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Disadvantages of Outsourcing: What You Must Know, Part 1

Jun 17, 2008
If you're considering outsourcing jobs for your business, you must know the disadvantages of outsourcing.

You've probably read lots about how great outsourcing is, but do you know the disadvantages of outsourcing?

This article is the first of two that will cover the major disadvantages of outsourcing. This article covers three disadvantages. Part 2 covers four more.

Disadvantages of Outsourcing 1: You Don't Necessarily Save Time By Outsourcing

To outsource effectively, you have do preliminary work before posting a job with an outsource service. Then you have to review all the bids from outsource vendors, narrow the list, check reviews and samples for your short list, and select the vendor for the job.

Outsourcing also requires time to determine benchmarks for the job, to select a reasonable final deadline, and to communicate with vendors on your short-list.

When the vendor completes your job, you still have more work to do. You have to check the work to assure that it is error-free and performs as specified. You also have to arrange to pay the vendor.

In the time that you can complete all the tasks required to move an outsource job from bidding to completion and approval, you often would have been able to complete the outsourced job. Plus, when you do it yourself, you get the job completed on your schedule and save the outsource expense.

Disadvantages of Outsourcing 2: Language Differences Complicate Effective Communications

Communication problems often occur in outsourcing because many of the outsourcing vendors speak English only as a second language. Thus, they have difficulty understanding what you want, answering your questions, and keeping you informed about how your job is progressing.

Plus, many outsource services won't allow you to communicate with vendors off their site. This further complicates effective communications.

Disadvantages of Outsourcing 3: You Don't Know How Much Time The Vendor Is Spending On Your Job

Because you don't have direct access to the outsource vendors, it's difficult to keep them working and making progress on your job. All you can do is leave a message on the outsource service site.

Your vendor may not check that site frequently, or may just not reply because no progress is being made. Either way you're kept waiting. Of course you can be working on other projects, but sometimes your other projects are tied to the job. So you can't move forward with the project until the outsource job is completed.

Besides the three disadvantages of outsourcing covered in this Part 1 article, four more are covered in Part 2.
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Get more details about the Advantages and Risks of Outsourcing by clicking on the link in this sentence. To improve your marketing, see Strategic Market Segmentation.
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