What is Outsourcing?

At its core, outsourcing means that a company delegates a piece of work to another party. The benefits of outsourcing range from lower labor costs and improved efficiency to better quality and product development. Outsourcing is not limited to a specific industry; businesses across sectors like IT, customer service, manufacturing, and healthcare often engage in outsourcing to some extent.

Types of Outsourcing

Outsourcing can be classified into several types based on various criteria such as the location of the provider, the nature of the work outsourced, and the relationship between the client and the service provider:

By Location:

Offshore Outsourcing (Offshoring): Sending work to another country, for example, to capitalize on lower labor costs.

Nearshore Outsourcing (Nearshoring): Sending work to another geographically close country, for example, to capitalize on lower labor costs while minimizing cultural and time zone differences.

Onshore Outsourcing (Domestic Outsourcing): Outsourcing to a company within the same country, often to access specialized skills or resources not available in-house.

By Services:

IT Outsourcing: Delegating IT functions such as software development, web development, and IT support to external providers.

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO): Contracting out business-related tasks such as payroll, human resources, or customer service.

Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO): Outsourcing tasks that require specialized knowledge or expertise, such as research, analysis, or consultancy services.

Advantages of Outsourcing

Outsourcing offers several benefits that make it an attractive strategy for many businesses:

Cost Reduction: Companies can save on labor costs, infrastructure, and technology.

Focus on Core Activities: Outsourcing non-core activities allows companies to concentrate on their core competencies, enhancing competitiveness.

Access to Global Talent: Businesses can access a broader pool of talent and expertise, which may not be available in-house.

Scalability: Outsourcing provides the flexibility to easily scale operations up or down based on business needs.

Disadvantages of Outsourcing

Despite its benefits, outsourcing also has potential drawbacks:

Loss of Control: Outsourcing can lead to reduced control over certain functions and processes, potentially affecting their integration with the company’s

Security Risks: Sharing sensitive information with third parties increases the risk of data breaches and confidentiality issues.

Quality Control Issues: There may be concerns over the quality of the outsourced work, especially if the service provider does not meet the company’s standards.

Cultural and Communication Barriers: Working with providers from different countries can lead to misunderstandings and inefficiencies due to cultural differences and language barriers.

Using an EOR for Offshoring as an Alternative to Outsourcing

An interesting alternative to outsourcing is to use an Employer of Record (EOR) provider like FMC Group to build up an offshore team in a country where you do not operate a local legal entity. We call this service Nearshoring/Offshoring by Employee Leasing.

The approach is straightforward. FMC Group hires employees in the offshore country on behalf of the client. The client takes over the functional management of the employee while we take over the administrative part (paying salary, payroll tax, social security, etc.). For some clients, we take over additional tasks like recruitment, providing office space, purchasing notebooks and mobile phones, etc. This works for all company sizes and many different use cases, as there is no minimum team size – we have clients that start with one employee abroad.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you are interested in this topic.

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Stephan is responsible for sales and marketing as well as operations in several countries.

Before joining FMC Group, Stephan worked more than 8 years for Accenture’s management consulting practice. His main projects were in the manufacturing and automotive industry, where he focused on transformation and digitalization programs. Stephan has a strong knowledge when it comes to „remote resources“. In many projects, he was involved in the definition and implementation of nearshore resources, offshore delivery teams or the set-up of shared service centers.

He started his career in the semiconductor industry, where he worked as project manager in Asia and as key account manager for governmental clients.

Stephan holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of St. Gallen and a Diploma (Dipl.-Ing.) in Automation Technology from the University of Stuttgart.