4 Reasons why you need to start Outsourcing Today.

If you could have your way as a business owner, chances are you would prefer that your organisation handle every business and operational process in-house. This means that you would either recruit all the needed competencies as your business grows, or acquire other companies. Such linear growth is common when a business has reached a comfortable stage of development and has enough revenue or funding to allow it to do so.

However, linear growth is definitely not the best way to scale a business. It invariably means that with each new customer you get or location you reach, your cost base will have to grow too.  Instead, outsourcing is the recommended scaling strategy during both good times and bad, based on articles by most of the big strategy consulting firms. Indeed, beyond the obvious cost optimisation that it offers, outsourcing also allows for more business focus, a higher quality of service, and smoother digital transition for traditional businesses.

What if, beyond these advantages, you could also have a positive social impact on vulnerable communities by outsourcing to an impact sourcing platform?

This is what this article will suggest, along with sharing some thoughts on the four main reasons why business owners should include outsourcing as part of their business and operational strategy.

  1. Outsource for focus

One of the main drivers of outsourcing is to allow your organisation and its employees to focus their time and effort on the business activities that generate immediate results. In fact, outsourcing non-mission critical tasks and temporary projects is one of the best ways to ensure that you are retaining focus on core business activities.  The more focus you maintain, the more specialised you and your team are able to become.

Identifying which processes to outsource should be done as part of a thorough strategic and organisational review that identifies the non-critical business and operational processes, performs an assessment of the different service providers that could be considered as outsourcing partners, and assesses the pros and cons of outsourcing the processes you’ve selected.

The perfect candidates for outsourcing are typically an organisation’s support functions as the processes are mostly transactional. This includes Information Technology, Accounting & Finance, Logistics, Human Resources, Legal & Tax and even sometimes Operations or Marketing & Communications.

  • Outsource for innovation

The ability for your organisation to keep up and stay relevant during these modern times of significant disruption, while maintaining the highest quality of service, is absolutely crucial.

By outsourcing some of your processes to subject matter experts that accompany several businesses across multiple sectors, your organisation can benefit from deeper expertise and from tried and tested innovations that could lead to major improvements in performance.

Moreover, disruptive solutions, business process automation and innovative products and services would take much longer to build from scratch than to integrate via collaborations.

  • Outsource for a smoother digital transition

The COVID-19 pandemic’s social distancing and confinement measures have pushed people to adopt digital tools much faster than they would have under normal circumstances. In fact, we are witnessing the most rapid digital transformation that the Middle East has seen in years. After the COVID-19 pandemic, the new habits that consumers and businesses would have embraced may well remain with them for the long term. This provides a unparalleled opportunity for businesses that are already online and those who have plans to do so.

This opportunity to grab market share by going digital, coupled with the recent rapid advancements in technology (such as robotics, artificial intelligence, blockchain and cloud & automation technologies) can be made available to your business by external service providers in a much more seamless and efficient manner than if you had to build the expertise and capabilities in-house.

By outsourcing to organisations that can help you transition your business activities online, your digital transformation will be faster, smoother and more cost-efficient.

  • Outsource for cost optimisation

Although we have kept this point until the end, it is a well-known fact that most companies opt for outsourcing as a way to optimise their costs and survive in times of crisis. In fact, most surveys have shown that the growth of the outsourcing sector is primarily linked to cost optimisation.

Indeed, the providers of outsourced services are usually able to provide the same (or an improved) level of quality and expertise at a reduced cost simply because they are able to mutualise resources across several clients and can benefit from better deals for any needed procurement.

With the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no better time to consider outsourcing as a means to optimise your costs and focus your teams on what will help you drive revenue growth.

What about people?

Beyond business growth, today’s business leaders are increasingly focused on having a positive impact on society and providing meaning and a sense of purpose to employees. The good news is that impact sourcing allows you to reap the benefits of outsourcing while achieving precisely that.

For instance, Lebanon has recently seen the emergence of its first impact sourcing platform, B.O.T which launched in 2018. B.O.T provides high quality digital services executed by skilled freelancers from untapped communities across Lebanon, under the supervision of a highly qualified team of project managers and experts. 

The services they offer to clients across the Middle East range from data management, to e-commerce, call centres to AI.  With the ability to serve small, medium and large organizations from the private and public sectors, B.O.T helps companies optimise their business processes and organisational efficiency through outsourcing of services, managed services or staff augmentation. Project management and quality assurance on final deliverables are done by BOT’s team of experts and account executives, to ensure high quality and on-time project deliverables. 

In less than two years, B.O.T has managed to employ 238 underprivileged youth and expect to increase that by over 30% in 2020. They have built an outstanding track record, won a number of competitions and international awards, and have positioned themselves as the benchmark for high quality digital services.  Their clients have seen quick improvements in cost-efficiency as they now save time on recruitment and training, and have seen a fall in their turnover, overhead and taxes costs.  All of this while also contributing to social impact and youth employment in Lebanon.

In a very short timeframe, B.O.T has delivered successful projects for demanding clients such as The American University of Beirut (AUB), OmniPharma, the University of Columbia, OLX, Word Vision, EuroMENA, Oliver Wyman, UNICEF, IRC, Hicart, Born Interactive, TEDMOB and other leading organisations.

If not now, when?

So now is the perfect time to ask yourselves: “Are we able to scale fast enough to address market demand? Is our digital strategy optimal? Is our business sufficiently operational during the COVID-19 pandemic? Can we optimise our costs while improving the quality of our service?”

If you aren’t satisfied with the answers to any of those questions then you should immediately reach out to experts like B.O.T who will advise you and support you in identifying ways in which you can optimise your operations to better focus on your mission, to innovate and improve business delivery, to complete your digital transformation, and to reduce your costs. All this while having a strong positive social impact on vulnerable communities!

You don’t need to do it all alone, reach out for support!

Author – Michelle Mouracade is Alfanar‘s Country Director for Lebanon. Alfanar is the first venture philanthropy organisation in the Arab world that provides early to growth stage social enterprises with funding, training, management support and access to networks.  Prior to joining Alfanar in 2016, Michelle had spent 20 years working in the private sector in strategy, HR and organisational consulting in the US, Europe and across seven locations in Asia. Her experience covers a wide range of industries and functional expertise, from banking to internet start-ups and from business development to strategic reviews. In her last position as Head of Strategy & Organisation for Société Générale Asia Pacific, Michelle was instrumental in leading large organisational restructuring projects such as the offshoring of 30% of the support functions from seven locations across Asia to Bangalore, India. Michelle is also a very passionate executive coach, certified by HEC France.

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