A 7 Point Checklist If Your Business Should Consider Outsourcing

It is a subject which business owners and/or managers wrestle with on a regular basis. Should I outsource certain parts of the operation and what will it mean for the business.

Unfortunately for a lot of executives outsourcing is not necessarily part of the overall management mix. It is not really considered unless something major goes wrong. (i.e. the need to cut costs)

It should not be this way. Outsourcing done right can reduce friction in a business, generate new ideas, alleviate workloads and boost productivity.

A regular look at your business, identifying potential weaknesses can be a good start to evaluate if you  should give outsourcing a serious look.

Here are 7 areas and trouble spots to review regularly to get a feel if outsourcing is a solution for your business:

1. Are You Making Enough Money?
If your business is not generating enough free cash flow there is a chance that expenses are to high. Outsourcing is the go to solution for major corporations to trim overhead...it might be viable for you too. The easiest dollar to make is the dollar you do not spent.

2. Are You Overloaded Or Are Your Managers Overloaded?
If your day is to short and you do not seem to be able to get everything done it might be time to look at what is chewing up your time. If it is because of supervising  employees and related business processes you might want to reorganize your company and use a good Business Process Outsourcer (BPO). They will make sure that the works gets done, relieving you from supervision and administrative tasks.

3. Do You  Have Time To Be Creative Or Do You Get Stuck On Repetitive Tasks?
It is related to Point # 2. If you do not have the time to lean back in your chair and contemplate ideas which will ultimately advance your business...you might have to look what can be done differently. Fresh ideas and the ability to respond to changing market trends is what makes a business successful. If you feel you lack the time to do so it might be time to change a few things.

4. Do You Spent A Lot Of Time On Irregular Tasks?
This is once again related to # 2 and # 3. If you are spending a lot of time on processes which are not mission critical to the business and/or are not part of your regular schedule...it might be a good idea to see what you can do to relieve yourself. 

5. Can Your Company  Handle All Of The Requirements Your Clients Have ?
If you are in a situation where clients are looking for solutions which you cannot accommodate, it might be worth your time to investigate what can be done about it. If the issue is a lack of knowledge or qualifications by your employees then outsourcing these tasks will improve the service offering of your business while at the same time providing a cost advantage over your competition.

6. Does Your Company Have A Hard Time Finding The Right  Employees ?
Every company wants to hire in such a way that the work product of the company does not suffer or perhaps even is improved. Of course, that also has to happen at the right salary. It has to fit into the overall pricing environment what your company can bear. If your company has a consistent problem finding the right hires  at the right salary  it might be time to think about hiring overseas. 

7. You Want  To Expand Your Product Offerings Without To Much Of Of An Investment?
One advantage outsourcing offers is that you can expand the offering your company has without having to reinvent the wheel, If you find the right BPO partner you can "plug and play" their offering into what your company offers. You broaden the capabilities of your business while at the same time not having to invest in personnel or fixed assets. 

Every business owner should periodically evaluate the above mentioned key areas to  get a sense if  outsourcing is  viable to advance the goals of the business. A lot of it comes down to personal preferences. A such some of the points mentioned above might not be on the radar when it comes to the decision whether or not to outsource.

One key point to remember though is that if all fails, outsourcing will deliver on cost cuts. It will reduce expenses and convert Capex spent into Opex spent. 

At the end of the day this is what it comes down to for a lot of businesses..improve the bottom line.

How Many Jobs Will The Outsourcing Industry Loose To Robots ?...Here Is An Educated Guess

The rise of robots will undoubtedly lead to the loss of jobs within the outsourcing industry. Everyone knows it...but no one has been able to come up with a legitimate  number as to what the total might be.

For the first time though there is a number which can be quoted with some authority. HFS Research,  a US based Analyst for the global services sector,  tried to quantify job losses associated with the rise of the robots and automation. It came up with  an estimate of about 1.4 Million in job losses by 2021.

The job losses are concentrated in the area of low skilled jobs, those  which are highly repetitive and do not require a formalized education.

The total numbers have already been disputed by Nasscom (India's Industry Association For Software Services). It points out that there will be a huge demand for higher talent to get the automation and robotic processes going which effectively will partially offset the job losses.

It remains to be seen what the final numbers will be...but at the very least the  BPO/Outsourcing industry has been put on notice that there are challenges ahead.

Romania Is The European Hotspot For Fin Tech Development

Anyone who has ever had to supervise significant FinTech Development knows the problems associated with it. FinTech development requires a rather unique combination of skill sets.

Not only does the development team need to be up to date on the latest technologies..it also needs a pretty good understanding of financial markets and the supporting logic behind it.

What makes FinTech development so unique is a requirement for very efficient (=fast) code. Often times FinTech applications are competing for 1/1000th of a second..so any unnecessary hicks ups in the code render the software at a competitive disadvantage. The  use the latest and most efficient languages and language environments are a true necessity.

On top of that a lot of the applications requires a pretty good understanding of the algorithms supporting the FinTech development. There is a rather steep learning curve associated with the proper use of  the formulas required to make an application succeed.

That combination is not always easy to come by. However...Romania seems to be specifically targeting those skill sets to get its software development industry going.

It clearly seems to be working, a bunch of European financial powerhouses have set up shop in Romania.

Their reasoning being that they not only find good local development talent, the talent is  also well educated as it relates to the financial markets. The local university offers a combined  Computer Science, Math , Economics curriculum which makes their graduates "prime" for the challenges encountered in FinTech Development.

The total numbers of developers available in Romania is of course minimal compared to countries like India, Phillipines or China.

Regardless though, it is an interesting niche solution for specialized niche development.