As domestic jobs become increasingly harder to come by, and many customers feel alienated when speaking with customer service representatives abroad, outsourcing has become a nasty word. I intend to write this article to explain how to deal with outsourcing.
It is often associated with poor quality, a lack of control, and worse yet, the elimination of much-needed domestic employment opportunities. However, for the growing business, outsourcing can open the doors for growth and expansion that would be difficult or impossible without this option. How can you combat the negative connotations of outsourcing and come out on top?
Combat Myth #1: Outsourcing Eliminates Jobs
Image via Flickr by Caitlyn_and_Kara
In most cases, companies which choose to outsource certain tasks do so because they could never afford to hire enough staff to do the tasks adequately. Furthermore, jobs are created elsewhere, even if none are immediately opened in the home office. If your critics are concerned about eliminating jobs, counter this misconception by highlighting the growth opportunities (which always lead to more revenue and jobs created) that outsourcing has allowed your company to achieve.
Begin these communications with your own employees. Prepare a presentation showing how the company has saved money through outsourcing, and how this money has fueled internal growth and allowed you to hire more people and offer better wages. Show how you’ve been able to outsource jobs requiring certain specialized skills, allowing employees to focus on the real business of your industry.
Combat Myth #2: Outsourcing Means Taking Jobs Overseas
Whether you’re outsourcing to Omaha or India, many people assume the term implies you’re sending U.S. jobs to foreign countries. If your outsourcing partners are operating within the U.S., it’s easy to combat this misconception with ads and promotional materials explaining how many jobs you’ve provided employees outside your organization. Explain the benefits to the local and national economy that your outsourcing partner contributes.
Companies which are outsourcing to other nations need to take a different route. There are several ways to approach this sensitive topic:
- Present facts about how the jobs you’re outsourcing has provided have improved the standard of living in the other country.
- Explain how outsourcing low-skilled operations has allowed your company to invest more in hiring highly skilled workers within this country.
- Talk about how saving money through outsourcing has freed funds to invest in other domestic projects, such as better technologies, lower consumer prices, or better workforce training initiatives.
Combat Myth #3: Outsourcing Means Low Quality
The only way outsourcing leads to poor quality service or products is if your company doesn’t manage supplier relations properly. Outsourcing non-core jobs to experienced companies with good hiring and training policies assures your quality remains at the high standard expected by you, your employees, and your customers.
Conduct quality assessments regularly, and maintain solid supplier relations to keep your quality above reproach. Review contracts as they come up for renewal and see if the supplier is still offering high quality service at competitive rates. As your company grows, it may make more sense to bring some of the outsourced tasks back in-house.
When negotiating outsourcing contracts, be as transparent as possible with your suppliers, employees, and your customers. If everyone knows what you’re doing and why you’ve chosen to do it, these myths won’t haunt your public image.