Why All The Fuss With Outsourcing?

In layman’s terms, it’s the process of getting another company or organization to do something (perform a function, process, or service) on your behalf.  Outsourcing has been going on much longer than anyone’s had a term for it.  You likely outsource some things in your life – for example:


 

  1. Driving into a convenient lube-and-oil service, rather than changing the oil in your car and rotating the tires yourself;
  2. Taking your clothes to a dry cleaners for cleaning and pressing, rather than washing and ironing them yourself;
  3. In the good old days before digital photography, driving to local kiosk buildings or drugstores and dropping off film to have it developed, rather than learning the process, creating a dark room somewhere in your house, and using those smelly chemicals yourself
  4. Using a lawn maintenance service – the kind where you don’t have to mow or rake your yard;

If these kinds of activities have always been around, why all the fuss?  Simply put, outsourcing at a business or organization level is much more complex.  The risks and stakes are much higher.  Yet companies successfully outsource some type of service in many ways including the following:

  1. Paychecks are often produced by specialty payroll companies;
  2. Larger organizations outsource the support of health benefits to specialist companies;
  3. Claims processing is a long – time outsourced service;
  4. Billing and accounts payable are often provided by outsourced companies.
  5. Companies typically outsource computer and office equipment maintenance.

So here’s mistake #1 – Jumping in too fast.  I was so desperate to have someone immediately that I did not do a proper evaluation.  I hired someone immediately only to find out a month later that she still has not done the job. If I was to do it all over again, I will do the standard of having to sit down and have a strategy.

To avoid mistake #1 – Outsourcing should be a means to achieve some strategic goal.  Think of a sourcing strategy that would provide you with the overall direction, sequential order, and boundaries that your company determines are best for it.  When you jump in too quick you forget to ask the question:  What do you expect to attain?  Don’t assume outsourcing will make everything better, and certainly don’t embark on an outsourcing effort before you define where and why you’re heading in your chosen direction.

How to implement:  I’d like to introduce to you Strategic Coach’s Activity Inventory

Step 1:  List 40 types of things you do while working in your business; for example, open the mail, meet with managers, call clients, strategize to solve client issues, determine new business strategies, delegate and so forth.  Be as specific and comprehensive as possible.

Step 2: Draw 4 circles and label the innermost circle as Unique Ability, the 2nd circle, Excellent, 3rdcircle is called competent, and the 4th ring incompetent.

Step 3: From the list that you created in Step 1, categorize each activity:  UA, Excellent, Competent, or Incompetent

Step 4:  How much time are you currently spending in your unique ability?  What’s your one year goal?  Building a support team is not something that can be done in a day.  It will be an ongoing activity for the rest of your business and career.  As you take each small step, you will experience greater confidence and results.

Step 5:  Ask yourself the question: What improvements do you need to make in order to spend more of your time in your Unique Ability?

Do you need help to implement this to your business?  If you want to apply for a VIP Day for an Outsourcing Breakthrough Session,  please email customerservice@lourdesgant.com to schedule a time with me.

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