Every business owner recognises the benefits of outsourcing. You simply cannot perform the quality and quantity of work that is required with just your in-house team - regardless of how big your company is.
Even Amazon outsources some tasks!
Outsourcing is the process of contracting a third-party to perform work on your behalf. This can be done offshore (i.e. outside of your country) or onshore (i.e. within your country).
There are many reasons why you would want to outsource work onshore as opposed to offshore.
In this article, we will explore the concept of onshore outsourcing and its benefits in detail. We can also discuss its popularity in recent years and situations where you might want to consider it for your firm.
Let’s get going!
What is Outsourcing?
We’ve covered the very basic definition of outsourcing already. For the sake of clarity — let’s go into a little more detail about exactly what it means. You can think of outsourcing as a business arrangement in which one company contracts another company to provide services or perform certain tasks for you.
It’s extremely common in the business world and can be used for all sorts of different tasks.
The key point to remember is that with outsourcing, you are essentially paying someone else to do work that you would otherwise have to do yourself.
This can be extremely beneficial as it frees up your time and resources so that you can focus on other areas of your business.
Now that we know a little bit more about outsourcing in general, let’s move on to onshore outsourcing in particular.
Onshore Outsourcing Definition
Onshore outsourcing is defined as the process of contracting a company that is based in your own country to provide services or perform certain tasks on your behalf.
This is in contrast to offshore outsourcing, which involves contracting a company that is based in another country.
There are many benefits of onshore outsourcing, which we will explore in the next section. However, it’s also important to note that onshore outsourcing is not without its challenges.
Benefits of Onshore Outsourcing
Here are a few of the main benefits of onshore outsourcing in further detail.
1. Onshore outsourcing brings the work closer to home
There’s no denying that when you outsource work offshore, it can feel very far away. This is often the case with customer service or technical support roles, where language barriers and time differences can make communication difficult.
With onshore outsourcing, these issues are immediately removed as the team is based in your country (and likely in your time zone too).
This makes training and managing them much easier as you can simply pick up the phone or jump on a video call whenever you need to.
2. You can easily visit the office
If you’re ever in doubt about the work your onshore outsourcing team is doing, or if you simply want to check in and see how they’re getting on, you can always visit their office in person!
This is not something that is possible with an offshore team — unless you’re happy to travel halfway around the world, of course.
3. Onshore outsourcing is more secure
When you outsource work offshore, you are entrusting sensitive company information to people in another country. This can make some business owners feel uneasy, especially if they are working with teams in less developed countries.
With onshore outsourcing, there is no need to worry about data security as the team is based in your own country and subject to the same laws and regulations. This gives you peace of mind that your data is safe and secure.
4. The quality of work is often higher
Offshore outsourcing teams can be very good, but there is always the risk that the quality of their work is not up to par with what you would expect from an in-house team. This is because they may not have the same level of experience or qualifications.
With onshore outsourcing, you can be sure that the team you are working with is highly qualified and experienced. This is because they likely have worked with other local companies in your industry before, so they know what to expect and how to deliver results.
Challenges of Onshore Outsourcing
Now that we’ve looked at the benefits of onshore outsourcing, let’s look at a few of the main challenges associated with it.
1. Onshore outsourcing is more expensive
The main downside of onshore outsourcing is that it tends to be more expensive than its offshore counterpart. This is because you are paying for the convenience of having a team based in your own country (and often in your time zone too).
2. Limited talent pool
Another challenge of onshore outsourcing is that the talent pool can be limited. This is particularly true if you are looking for specialist skills that are not widely available in your country.
Looking beyond borders gives you access to a wide breadth of talent that might not otherwise have been available locally.
3. Language barriers
Language barriers can also be an issue with onshore outsourcing. Even if you outsource to a team in your own country, there may still be a communication barrier if they speak a different language to you or use industry-specific jargon.
4. Difficult to manage
Onshore outsourcing can also be more difficult to manage than offshore outsourcing. This is because you may have less control over the team and the work they are doing.
Onshore teams may be less conducive to advice and amendments to their work than offshore teams, but it does come down to the culture of the country the team is from.
5. Less flexible
Finally, onshore outsourcing can be less flexible than offshore outsourcing. This is because you are often working with a team in the same time zone as you and have to take into account things like holidays and different work schedules.
With offshore teams, you might have different holidays in different countries — so they are able to continue working on days where you might be off. This keeps the ball rolling and doesn’t bring the company to a complete halt which may be the case with onshore outsourcing.
You could even use a time tracking app to keep track of how much the offshore team is working. This makes productive tracking easy and the team’s performance consistent.
Situation Where Onshore Outsourcing may be Beneficial
There are many situations why companies would do onshore outsourcing instead of offshore outsourcing. Here are some common situations where a company might choose to do onshore outsourcing instead:
1. They have a specific task or project that requires specialist knowledge or skills that can only be found within the country
This one is a no-brainer.
If you want to outsource a task or project that requires specialist knowledge or skills that can only be found within the country, then you have no choice but to do onshore outsourcing.
2. They need to maintain close communication and collaboration with the service provider
This is another common situation where companies choose onshore outsourcing over offshore outsourcing.
When you outsource work onshore, it is easier to maintain close communication and collaboration with the service provider. This is because there is no time difference and you can easily meet up face-to-face if needed.
3. They need to comply with certain regulations
There are many industries where companies have to comply with strict regulations. For example, the financial and healthcare industries are highly regulated.
In these situations, it might be easier for companies to do onshore outsourcing as they can be sure that the service provider is also compliant with the relevant regulations.
4. They want to support the local economy
Some companies choose onshore outsourcing as they want to support the local economy.
By doing onshore outsourcing, these companies are creating jobs within the country and helping to boost the economy.
5. They want to build a long-term relationship with the service provider
Lastly, some companies might choose onshore outsourcing over offshore outsourcing as they want to build a long-term relationship with the service provider.
When you outsource work onshore, it is easier to develop a long-term relationship with the service provider as you can meet up face-to-face and build trust over time.
What Services can be Outsourced?
Outsourcing has been around for many years but it has become increasingly popular in recent times. This is largely driven by the advances in technology which have made it easier than ever to connect with people all over the world.
This has made onshore outsourcing a lot more viable as a option for businesses. Not only is it easier to connect with potential service providers, but the quality of work that can be achieved has also increased dramatically.
There are many different types of onshore outsourcing that businesses can outsource. The most popular ones include:
- Social media marketing
- Content marketing
- Search engine optimisation (SEO)
- Website design and development
- Software development
- Customer support
These are just some of the most popular services that are being outsourced onshore at the moment. The list is really only limited by your imagination (and budget)!
Onshore outsourcing is a great way to get the work that you need done without having to sacrifice quality or pay through the nose. There are many benefits to utilising onshore outsourcing services and the trend is only set to continue in the years ahead.
We have discussed a few of its main drawbacks above — however the benefits of onshore outsourcing often outweigh the costs. When you consider the increased security, higher quality of work, and easier communication, it is easy to see why onshore outsourcing is becoming increasingly popular.
If you are thinking about outsourcing some work for your business, then onshore outsourcing should definitely be something that you consider. You might be surprised at just how much it can help your business to grow and succeed.