Outsourcing begins with an understanding of your business’s core identity. If you understand your unique competitive advantage, you’re positioned to consider what work you’re doing that others could perform better. Essential areas of an organization are called core competencies. Microsoft Corporation’s core competencies, for example, are product design, product development and marketing. To the extent that Microsoft avoids spending resources on non-core competencies, it probably operates more efficiently.
Now more companies are seeking strategic advantages based on outsource alliances. While the relentless push to operate more efficiently remains the driving force behind outsourcing, it has also become a competitive, strategic marketplace tool, allowing companies to improve response times and develop new products faster than ever. Once focused just on reducing expenses, today’s outsourcing initiatives are likely to help companies do things they previously could not do.
Do you consider this a good practice in terms of cross-cultural communication and cross-cultural organizational structures and hierarchies? Why or why not?
The Internet and modern technology have opened up new marketplaces that allow us to promote our businesses to new geographic locations and cultures. And given that it can now be as easy to work with people remotely as it is to work face-to-face, cross-cultural communication is increasingly the new norm. After all, if communication is electronic, it's as easy to work with someone in another country as it is to work with someone in the next town. And why limit yourself to working with people within convenient driving distance when, just as conveniently, you can work with the most knowledgeable people in the entire world? For those of us who are native English-speakers, it is fortunate that English seems to be the language that people use if they want to reach the widest possible audience. However, even for native English speakers, cross-cultural communication can be an issue: Just witness the mutual incomprehension that can sometimes arise between people from different English-speaking countries.
In this new world, good cross-cultural communication is a must.
What other services or practices might be outsourced?
The most common types of work to be outsourced are:
* sole trader, partnership & limited company accounts * personal tax returns
* Corporation Tax returns
* book-keeping, sales and purchase ledger
What are some of the issues business managers should consider as they determine whether or not to outsource such services?
When you plan to outsource tasks, you also need to plan what you will do if any problems arise. Consider having other service providers that you can turn to relatively quickly and how you might take the outsourced processes back in-house, if necessary. The contract between you and the outsourcing company should set out the circumstances in which you can make changes to the agreement.