Outsourcing refers to a company that contracts with another company to provide services that might otherwise be performed by in-house employees. Many large companies now outsource jobs such as call center services, e-mail services, and payroll. These jobs are handled by separate companies that specialize in each service, and are often located overseas. There are many reasons that companies outsource various jobs, but the most prominent advantage seems to be the fact that it often saves money. Many of the companies that provide outsourcing services are able to do the work for considerably less money, as they don't have to provide benefits to their workers and have fewer overhead expenses to worry about. Outsourcing also allows companies to focus on other business issues while having the details taken care of by outside experts. This means that a large amount of resources and attention, which might fall on the shoulders of management professionals, can be used for more important, broader issues within the company. The specialized company that handles the outsourced work is often streamlined, and often has world-class capabilities and access to new technology that a company couldn't afford to buy on their own. Plus, if a company is looking to expand, outsourcing is a cost-effective way to start building foundations in other countries. | |
There are some disadvantages to outsourcing as well. One of these is that outsourcing often eliminates direct communication between a company and its clients. This prevents a company from building solid relationships with their customers, and often leads to dissatisfaction on one or both sides. There is also the danger of not being able to control some aspects of the company, as outsourcing may lead to delayed communications and project implementation. Any sensitive information is more vulnerable, and a company may become very dependent upon its outsource providers, which could lead to problems should the outsource provider back out on their contract suddenly. While outsourcing may prove highly beneficial for many companies, it also has many drawbacks. It is important that each individual company accurately assess their needs to determine if outsourcing is a viable option. Kenya already has a growing outsourcing sector and a boom in the sector is expected with going live of three high-speed undersea fiber-optic cables. The cables will give Kenya significantly faster, more reliable and less expensive telecommunications connectivity to the rest of the world. Apart from the much improved telecommunications that the high-speed undersea fiber-optic cables will provide the emerging outsourcing sector, Kenya has an abundant English speaking population who are highly literate and IT skills competent with clear accents that are ideal for call centers. It also has the advantage of a skilled and cost-effective workforce. Accordingly, the Kenyan Government has introduced a raft of incentives to make investing in outsourcing businesses a very attractive proposition. In fact, Outsourcing is underscored in Kenya’s recently unveiled Vision 2030 initiative as a key pillar and driver of social and economic improvement through job and wealth creation.
Outsourcing is often viewed as involving the contracting out of a business function - commonly one previously performed in-house - to an external provider. In this sense, two organizations may enter into a contractual agreement involving an exchange of services and payments. Of recent interest is the ability of businesses to outsource to suppliers outside the nation, sometimes referred to as offshoring. Outsourcing is generally broken down into two distinct focus areas, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO):
BPO, fundamentally, is the contracting of operations and responsibilities of a specific business function to a third-party service provider. Examples of BPO services include...