Outsourcing can really be beneficial for a number of reasons. Some companies enjoy benefits such as reduced labor costs, larger workforces, access to industry experts and increased flexibility through outsourcing. However, despite the obvious advantages to outsourcing there are some situations when outsourcing is not a good idea.
Although there a number of scenarios where outsourcing is a viable business option there are other scenarios where outsourcing is not the best idea. In these situations it is best to keep the work in-house rather than attempting to make an outsourcing situation work out.
When Outsourcing is Too Costly
One of the primary advantages of outsourcing is a cost reduction. In many cases outsourcing results in reduced labor costs because costs such as social security, health care and workers' compensation are eliminated. Additionally, the increased efficiency resulting when tasks are outsourced to industry experts can also result in a cost reduction.
Despite these many opportunities for cost reductions, there are some situations where outsourcing might be the more expensive alternative and it may also lead to a financial loss instead of a gain. This may include a situation where the cost of outsourcing to a highly specialized expert exceeds the budget for the project.
Fees for individuals with highly specialized degrees or areas of expertise are often quite expensive. Another possible situation is one where finding an individual qualified to complete specialized tasks would be too expensive of a process.
When Outsourcing Causes You to Lose Control
Even when tasks or projects are outsourced the company responsible for the work likes to continue to manage the project and keep close tabs on the progress of tasks. It is important for the company to continue to manage the project even after it has been outsourced because they are the ones who are ultimately responsible for the successful completion of the project.
Whenever an individual or company wants to deny the company access to project files or documents, outsourcing is a bad idea. The company who has the vested interest in the outcome of the project should never be excluded from participating in making decisions regarding the project.
Before outsourcing a task or project care should be taken to establish criteria for the management of the project. Depending on the length and complexity of the project it may also be wise to schedule regular meetings to provide updates on the progress of the project.
During this time the contractor should provide the employer with all documentation necessary to evaluate the progress of the project and verify it is still on track for completion by the established deadline.
When Outsourcing is Not Permitted
Sometimes outsourcing is not a good idea simply because it is not permitted by contract requirements. Some project contracts may have stipulations stating the work cannot be outsourced to an individual or to another company. Inserting such a clause into a contract document is well within the rights of the clients. When they hire a particular company to complete a project or task, they expect all work related to the project or task to be completed by members of that company unless they specified otherwise when negotiating the contract.
Violating the contract documents in this situation is not a good idea. The company could be penalized by the client. Penalties may include withholding payment or refusing to award future projects or tasks to the company.