What's New in Outsourcing the Transcription Business
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“We have outsourced the area”. You often hear that when you ask medium-sized daily newspaper publishers about permanent photographers.
What initially was just the English call center in India affects many corporate divisions today: they are being outsourced. Sooner or later almost every managing director is faced with the question of whether it makes sense to place one or more areas of the company in the "care" of service providers.
It makes sense here to take a close look at the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing and to relate them to your own company.
What is Outsourcing?
Outsourcing refers to the confidence of companies to hand over certain business areas partially or completely to external service providers. Business areas that can be dealt with at any time and from any location.
This includes, for example, processes such as transaction processing, the processing of pay slips or warehouse and logistics management. But services such as the classic call center already mentioned are firmly established.
The benefits of outsourcing don't stop there. Thanks to modern communication technologies, the list of possibilities has become longer and longer.
In addition to a wide range of IT services, special services such as digital image processing, transcription services or the writing or editing of entire texts are among the frequently used offers today.
The question of when you should start thinking about outsourcing certain areas is not that easy to answer. The decision here depends on a wide variety of factors.
Starting with the size of the company, the decision should primarily be based on the benefits for the relevant business area and the cost savings that can be achieved.
Benefits of Outsourcing
To enjoy the benefits of outsourcing, there is one thing you should never forget: you are becoming dependent. Of course, a lot depends on the individual case and must always be viewed individually, but the advantages and disadvantages can be broken down into certain key criteria regardless of the industry.
The cost savings
Probably the most obvious advantage relates to the cost savings. Work can often be done at lower costs and sometimes with better quality by service providers.
Savings of up to 60% can be achieved, especially with tasks that can be relocated abroad. Contracts are drawn up in such a way that only the work actually performed has to be paid for.
Circumstances such as idle times are the responsibility of the service provider and do not burden your own company.
Concentration on the core business
Outsourcing frees daily business from trivialities. This makes it possible to concentrate all available resources and energies on the core business.
Infrastructure and technology savings
Outsourcing eliminates the need for regular investments in the relevant areas, as the service provider assumes responsibility for this business process and thus also the maintenance and development requirements.
The money saved can therefore be invested in more important areas such as research and development or building your own brand.
Access to expertise
Particular attention should be paid to the possibility of having work done by trained specialists. You are no longer forced to invest in the recruiting and training of expensive specialists in order to cover areas that are not part of the actual core business of your own company.
Service providers offer almost all types of work to be carried out by trained specialists. This saves money and enables access to expert knowledge, especially if this is rarely used.
Disadvantages of outsourcing
Dependence on the service provider
The more you trust in outsourcing, the greater the risk of damage to your own business.
You simply have to reckon with quality deficiencies, failure to meet deadlines or IT failures at the service provider. And that can happen without their own fault!
Difficulties in communicating with a service provider can have lasting effects on your own company.
These arise not only from language barriers, for example when using service providers from abroad, but also from factors such as unclearly formulated contracts or specifications. Often the error is only noticed at the end and requires constant quality control.
The risk with sensitive data
In some areas it is almost always better to do it in-house. Personnel administration, payroll accounting and recruiting deal with sensitive company data on a daily basis.
If these departments are outsourced, you run the risk of disclosing sensitive data to third parties.
The same applies to knowledge from your own company. Trust is the keyword here, because only then can you outsource here.
Tips for successful outsourcing
The advantages and disadvantages as well as the opportunities and risks ultimately define the catalog of requirements.
One should not only look at the potential benefits, nor is it wise to be categorically deterred by the various risks.
If you should decide to outsource one or more business units, there are three things you should always keep in mind:
- Work out contracts with service providers carefully and pay attention to the subtleties.
- Take your time when choosing the service provider.
- Ensure constant quality control.
With good preparation, however, many companies (even very small ones) can benefit from outsourcing. Good luck with it!
By Vanessa Lehmkuhl
Since 2008, the marketing and communications specialist has been advising advertisers in the B2B sales department of a regional media company.
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