Top Outsourcing Companies

Outsourcing companies provide a variety of services from software development to data entry.
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Top Value Propositions and Differentiating Factors of the Best Outsourcing Companies

Overview

Businesses of all sizes encounter the need to outsource at some point in time. Small businesses may engage a third party for HR outsourcing because the expense of maintaining human resources in-house can’t be justified. Enterprise-level businesses may offshore manufacturing and production in order to reduce costs so their products can be priced competitively.

Whatever the reason for seeking outsourcing may be, the need to find a trustworthy partner is always the same. An engagement with an ineffective outsourcing company can have disastrous results, including everything from project delays to security breaches. It’s essential, then, to choose the right outsourcing partner to do business with. Below we cover the basics of outsourcing and go into detail about what to look for in an outsourcing company.

What can outsourcing companies do?

Outsourcing companies exist to handle many aspects of a company’s business, from office tasks all the way through to manufacturing functions.

Some common outsourcing services include:

Business Process Outsourcing - Commonly abbreviated to BPO, business process outsourcing entails the outsourcing of any number of time-consuming office tasks. BPO services are usually categorized either as back office or front office functions. Back office functions are internal company tasks like accounting or payroll, while front office tasks include customer-facing services like call center staffing and management.

Human Resources - HR outsourcing is a category within back office BPO. Businesses that cannot afford to fully staff and maintain HR services in-house may choose to assign certain HR functions to a third-party outsourcing partner.

Data Entry - Data entry outsourcing entails contracting a third party to handle data input and upload tasks like account applications and invoices.

Medical Transcription and Medical Coding - The need for services in the health sector is on the rise. Medical transcription and medical coding are administrative tasks in the medical field that are frequently outsourced. Specific certification is required to be able to do these jobs.

Transcription and Translation - Audio transcription and document translation are common outsourcing functions. Outsourced transcribers can work faster and do more accurate work than in-house teams, and most companies don’t maintain the right talent on staff to handle translation projects.

IT Outsourcing / Web development Outsourcing - Increasingly, companies are outsourcing web development to third-parties in countries where labor costs for this technical work are lower. Countries like India, Costa Rica, Portugal, and many Eastern European nations have become popular destinations for offshoring development work.

Quality Assurance Testing Outsourcing - Large QA testing projects can pose logistical challenges for companies that are trying to get a product to market quickly but don’t have enough skilled employees in-house to conduct testing on a large scale. QA outsourcing helps fill the gap.

Benefits of Outsourcing

The chief benefit of outsourcing is usually cost savings. Outsourcing work to a country where labor is less expensive invariably reduces costs to the company doing the outsourcing. Outsourcing can also help improve efficiency by freeing up in-house employee time to focus on core business objectives as opposed to ancillary tasks. Finally, contracting with a third party means additional resources assigned to a task or project, which means work can be completed at faster speeds.

Where to outsource your business functions

Location is a key consideration in deciding where to outsource your company’s business functions. Outsourcing can be handled in a number of ways. Offshoring is when a business outsources a task or category of tasks to a company in a foreign country. Nearshoring describes the practice of outsourcing to a company in a neighboring country. Technically the term ‘outsourcing’ simply means contracting certain business functions to a third party, even if that third party operates in the same country.

The location of an outsourcing partner influences a number of things. In the decision of where to outsource work, there is a delicate balance between cost savings and work product. Offshoring to countries where labor is inexpensive will invariably result in cost savings, but the distance and language barriers may affect the quality of the work product. Nearshoring, on the other hand, may result in moderate cost savings but has the benefit of timezone proximity and closer language and cultural alignment.

Top outsourcing companies invest in security

Though outsourcing has many benefits, it isn’t entirely without risk. The process of handing over control of specific business functions to a third party necessitates, by its very nature, a certain amount of data sharing. There’s risk in inherent in turning over materials to a third party, which is why choosing an outsourcing partner that is invested in security above all else is essential.

Top outsourcing companies make security a core concern. They are committed to thoroughly training employees on how to handle information and reduce security risks. They maintain high levels of security at their offices and facilities. When interviewing potential partners, be sure to ask for specifics on the company’s security processes, as well as on their protocol for dealing with breaches.

The best outsourcing companies are strong communicators

Communicating effectively with an outsourcing vendor, especially one that is operating in a language other than its mother tongue, is a consummate challenge. Communication issues can result in crossed wires, project delays, and costly mistakes. As such, it’s important to choose an outsourcing company that can communicate effectively.

You should expect to have a point person assigned to your account who is communicating with your business regularly and managing the outsourcing team on the other end. Be sure to get a clear picture of the communication structure and an understanding of how often you can expect reporting to take place.

How top outsourcing companies market themselves

Outsourcing companies operate in the B2B sector and their marketing efforts are centered on reaching and appealing to decision makers at companies in their target market. Though much of their efforts fall into the category of digital marketing, offline initiatives like print advertising, trade shows, and outbound sales are also part of the picture.

From a digital marketing perspective, content marketing in the form of thought leadership is key. Many outsourcing companies seek to differentiate themselves through thorough and useful content surrounding the business challenges of their target audience. Attracting traffic through search is, of course, an important element as well. SEO and paid search advertising are central marketing channels for many outsourcing companies.

Takeaways:

Outsourcing certain business functions can help greatly reduce operating costs and improve internal efficiency. The success of any outsourcing initiative rests, however, on the selection of an appropriate partner.

Key considerations when searching for an outsourcing vendor include:

●     Outsourcing services - There are outsourcing companies that can handle a number of different business functions -- from manufacturing to web development to data entry. Endeavor to get a clear understanding of what your company’s needs are before beginning your search for a vendor.

●     Benefits of outsourcing - Cost savings and improved efficiency are the key benefits of outsourcing work to a third party. Getting projects completed faster may also be a benefit. Knowing which benefits are most important to your business will help in the selection of a vendor.

●     Where to outsource - Companies can choose to offshore, nearshore, or outsource to a company that operates in the same country as they do. The location of the outsourcing company has implications in terms of timezone, language, and culture.

●     Security concerns - Data security is a chief concern when outsourcing work to a third party. Top outsourcing companies may information security a core focus of their operations.

●     Communication - Communication can be a challenge when working with a company based in a foreign country, especially when language barriers exist. Be sure that clear communication processes exist and that your business is confident from the beginning that the vendor can communicate effectively.

Top Qualities of the Best Outsourcing Technology Companies

Experience

Choosing to outsource your company’s technology needs is usually an effective way to save money and relieve the pressure of having to maintain an internal team, but it isn’t without risk. When an outside company takes control of an element of your business, you want to make sure they’re equipped to handle the job. That’s why the top outsourcing companies are the ones who have years of experience in the field. They know the ins and outs of the business, and are well-positioned to manage your account. Be sure that whichever company you choose to work with has worked on projects similar to yours before and has the expertise necessary to make it a success.

Talented Team

A company is only as strong as the people who staff it. Top outsourcing companies have talented teams in place to solve their customers’ problems. Make sure you’re clear from the start about who your company will be working with and what the skills of the team are. Strong project management is a must, so ask to meet directly with whoever will be managing your account. This is your point-person, and having a good working relationship with them will have a positive impact on the outcome of your project.

Custom Solutions

Your company’s outsourcing needs are unique to your business, and the solutions your outsourcing partner provides should be tailored to meet those needs. Top outsourcing companies work to understand each client’s unique set of goals to ensure that the solutions they recommend are able to meet the core objectives of the clients. A cookie-cutter approach to outsourcing solutions will not work in your business’s favor, so you want to make sure that whoever you work with is open to customizing their approach. As your business grows your needs may change, and you want to be working with a partner whose solutions will evolve in line with your company’s needs. 

Reliability

You have a lot of control over your own internal employees, but this isn’t the case with outsourced resources. You have to be able to trust your outsourcing partner to deliver on time and to specification. Top outsourcing companies pride themselves on being steady, reliable partners to their clients. Be sure to contact references for the vendors you interview and ask about each company’s abilities. Did they meet the requirements laid out? Did they do so within the timeframe specified? How did they handle challenges and issues? The answers to these questions will help you get a sense of their reliability as an outsourcing vendor.

Communication

You should always know where your business stands, and that includes having a clear understanding of the status of outsourced business as well. Top outsourcing companies prioritize client communication because they know it’s the key to a productive and lasting relationship. Before signing any agreement, make sure you’re clear on how often you can expect to receive reports and communication from your outsourcing partner. Respectable companies will be committed to keeping you updated on a regular basis.