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Staffing Issues & Insights for the Graphic Communications Industry.
Making Every Hire Count: Maximizing Your Human Capital Investment
Quality of Hire Begins With Sourcing: Pick Your Method to Suit Your Needs
Getting a grip on mission-critical "soft" skills: 5 simple steps
Forget Doing "More with Less" Older Workers Help Companies Accomplish "More with More"
For Expanding Your Value-Added Services Profitably, Hiring Is Rocket Science
Assessing job candidates beyond the technical skills
Employer Branding: The solution to attracting & keeping great staff
Successioning Your Business: Five Simple Steps that Aren't Exactly Easy
The 20-60-20 Rule: Simple Concept, Practical Applications, Profitable Results
Universal Employment Concerns: Creating Opportunity Out of Adversity
Hanging Flexible in Tough Times
Value-Driven Outsourcing
Downsizing: Don't Retreat - Motivate!
Navigating Today's Hiring Minefield: Who Is Available & Do You Really Want Them?
Today's Financial Storm Inspires Tomorrow's Long-Term Success
The case for HR: Why & how you should implement formal policies & procedures
Staffing for success in a soft market
The Challenge of Hiring Sales People
Workforce Optimization
Evolving Your Company into a Service-Oriented Business
Redefining Sales
Staffing for the Future of Print
Communicating With Employees From Start To Finish
Eight Steps to Prepare You for the Retirement Brain Drain
Job Hopping for the Right Reasons
Resumés are just the Tip of the Iceberg
How Some Hires Fail
Hire Like You Mean It
Concluding Your Hiring Workflow: Closing the Deal
A Hiring "To Do" List
Challenging Employee Excellence to Achieve Company Pre-eminence
Aim for the Top: Getting Value for Compensation Dollars
The Productivity Challenge
The Dynamics of Telephone Interviews
How People Enable "Enablers"
The People Side of Succession Planning
Tips for Effective Interviewing
Corporate Culture: What It Is, Who It's for, Why It Matters
What's In a Name?
Investment in Regulatory Managers is Money Well Returned
Flexibility in HR Management Reaps Rewards
People Drive Technology
Return on Experience
The Credible Resume
Leadership Delivers
Managing Employee Skills & Knowledge
Managing Employee Success
Profit by being a good employer
Achieve Employee Excellence with Effective Job Descriptions
Maximize your Human Capital Investment
Demystifying Job Descriptions
Benefits of Outsourcing
Surviving The Management Paradigm Shift
Invest in the Best


Benefits of Outsourcing

Outsourcing is the transference to third parties of the performance or administration of tasks once accomplished in-house. As a business strategy, it has become widely accepted as a viable way to maintain or improve a company's productivity at reduced cost. Usually it is leveraged in order for businesses to invest their energies primarily in their core activities by outsourcing the rest.

In other words, businesses typically outsource non-revenue-producing support services that are not a core competency of the company. Although essential, these services do not fit within the mission statement of the company and are not central to generating its profits. Tasks are also typically outsourced if they can be done faster, better, or cheaper by outside suppliers and vendors, if management does not have time to execute them properly, if they are only temporary needs or recur in cycles, or they are too specialized to have in-house employees do them.

Take printing as an example. Businesses outsource printing and print management to printers because it is not their core business. So when you think about it, all printers owe their existence to outsourcing.

Because outsourcing is often an effective way for companies to obtain better control and use of their assets in the face of shrinking staffs and operating budgets, it only makes sense for printers to consider outsourcing activities that are not central to generating profits. But PrintLink's Managing Director Myrna Penny suggests that, as part of their business evolution, printers should also consider outsourcing more services that do relate to revenue.

Services to Outsource

According to Myrna, examples of outsourcing that can produce a direct beneficial effect on a printing company's bottom line include:

  • Workflow consultants to streamline a company's productivity
  • Accountants to assist with financial streamlining, including forging cost-effective relationships that benefit both printers and their suppliers. Their functions may include expense and payroll processing, accounts payable, financial statements, and collections.
  • Training, whether for management, sales, or technical staff.
  • Human resources services to help maintain and retain the staff already hired. Their contributions may include creating and managing job descriptions, performance appraisals and salary reviews, dispute mediation, HR policies and procedures, employee handbooks, orientation of new hires, workers' compensation, benefits administration, and counseling.
  • Health and safety consultants to ensure regulatory compliance and the benefit to employees of a safe workplace
  • Staffing services to maximize the effectiveness of hiring practices and recruit the best possible employees to the company
Advocacy for your business

"One advantage to outsourcing is that outside advisors are often able to get better buy-in from your company's personnel. They can help convert your staff to a paradigm shift that is required to run the business more successfully. Since their ideas originate from outside the business, they are often accepted more readily than changes that arise internally," says Myrna.

"Another benefit of outside services is that they can help sell your business to outside stakeholders," says Myrna. "Usually printing managers have their hands full with completing jobs and meeting deadlines, so it can be enormously helpful for them to have support from outside advisers with advocacy on behalf of their company." For example, in helping to recruit new staff for your business, Myrna says the best placement specialists will take the time required to understand your company and its culture, so they can help sell your company to top-calibre candidates as a good place to work.

Especially when a company weathers transitions like restructuring, downsizing or financial troubles, negative assumptions are often made that can hurt the business because it is perceived as a risk. But because outside advisors are acquainted with the company, they are in an excellent position to reassure other outsiders that the business is operating effectively and is worthy of consideration. A classic example of such advocacy is provided by accounting firms or bankruptcy consultants, who can assist a company's negotiations with creditors or lenders when banks or other conventional sources of funding are inclined to look askance at the company's past financial performance. Accountants can provide details of the company's restructuring strategy and instill confidence in lenders and suppliers that they are implementing a viable plan for getting the business back on track. Workflow consultants can also assist in this regard. Other potential champions of a printing company's cause in good times or bad include placement consultants who are able to substantiate the fact a company is not an employment risk.

For outside advisors to fulfill their role as potential advocates of your business, however, they need first of all to be willing and able to invest the time and acumen required to understand your company and its needs. In addition to meeting this prerequisite, it is also important to look for vendors who are really committed to serving your business as well as the functions you are interested in outsourcing.
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