What exactly is outsourcing?
Although there are about 400 outsourcing centers in Poland, Polish enterprises are just starting to discover the possibilities offered by this industry. The fear of losing constant control over the services commissioned to outsource is common among the domestic entrepreneurs. Research conducted by Ipsos in 2012 shows that as much as 54% of those using such services feel the abovementioned fear. The results clearly indicate that outsourcing is still underestimated by Polish companies.
The concerns may root in too little knowledge of the subject. Outsourcing is simply commissioning a part of the tasks to an external company. Such actions allow for optimizing the costs of running a business. Commissioning tasks from the field of IT or finance to a specialist external company reduces the costs associated with the employment of specialists in the structures of one’s own company.
Outsourcing is not about eliminating full time jobs, just about a rational approach to time and money at the disposal of the company – says Magdalena Kreczmańska, the owner of an outsourcing company Office Management Magdalena Kreczmańska. Outsourcing also gives you a comfort of working with a specialist, who doesn’t have to learn how to do certain things, he or she just learns about the client’s expectations for the way the service should be performed.
An alternative for a company?
The main advantage of outsourcing services is their attractive price. It of course depends on the type of tasks commissioned to the external company. Remember that the greater responsibility for assigned duties, the higher the price. The cost of such services is also influenced by the degree of specialization of commissioned works, as well as by the place of their execution. Some of the services, despite the idea of commissioning tasks to an external company, may be performed at the premises of the customer. Running an office (a solution used, among others, by PZU Group and Credit Agricole) or storage and order picking by an external contractor at the premises of the client allows not only for delegating the tasks to specialists (without having to maintain their jobs), but also for a constant access to the necessary documentation or commodity resources of the company. Therefore, when deciding on outsourcing services, it is worth considering if a complete realization of the project outside the company would be the best solution.
Apart from the cost reduction, outsourcing has one more important advantage: a guarantee of professional service. Obviously, the purpose of every client of the outsourcing company is the best execution of the task. A specialized team having experience in a given field will certainly meet every expectation of a client.
Outsourcing is most of all a comfort of working with a specialist without hiring a full time employee. It allows for using an extensive knowledge and experience of the service provider – admits Magdalena Kreczmańska. Another advantage of outsourcing is flexibility. It may be used for to day-to-day service or for implementation of individual projects, depending on the company’s needs.
Services for anyone?
When deciding on outsourcing services, you should carefully consider which tasks may really be outsourced. Surely, this group should not include processes affecting the competitive advantage of the company or identifying the specific nature of the company on the market. Outsourcing financial tasks also raises a lot of doubts. If you would like to outsource the tasks which may significantly affect the future of the company, you should be particularly careful and choose the right contractor.
Apart from checking the information on the Internet, it is worth meeting with a representative before signing the agreement. Especially if an important contract is to be outsourced or if it is about permanent cooperation - suggests Magdalena Kreczmańska. Recommendations from the clients and companies who have already used the services in question are helpful. Of course, in case of some minor services a meeting is not always necessary and can be replaced by a phone call.
Additionally, you should pay attention to the scope of responsibility of the company to which certain processes will be commissioned. Although having a reliable insurance will not guarantee lack of possible mistakes made by an outsourcing company, it certainly provides some protection in case of any problems.
As a rule, it’s the service provider who is responsible for the quality of the service. However, the situations are not always obvious. Then you should think about how to streamline certain processes to prevent the repetition of mistakes on both sides - says Magdalena Kreczmańska. The task of the outsourcing companies is to provide services to the best of their knowledge and experience and promote the interests of the client. In the sectors particularly sensitive to errors, the entrepreneurs have legal liability insurance. It is a very good solution, in particular for the IT and accounting companies – she adds.