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Outsourcing is a contractual relationship where an external organization takes responsibility for performing all or part of a company’s functions (Vita, 2006). Outsourcing is the term used to designate a relationship in which a partner company performs business functions. Common examples of outsourced functions for companies in the developed world are software development and call centers. The principle justification for outsourcing functions like these from, for example, the US to India is that prevailing wage rates for these kinds of tasks are much lower than in the US and the Indian partner companies hire and train employees who speak English and are skilled at their jobs. There’s a difference between outsourcing and off-shoring. When a vendor in another country performs an outsourced function, off-shoring is the correct terminology for describing the relationship. The jobs being outsourced in an organization do not necessarily have to be outsourced to another country. Off-shoring can result in significant savings due to wage and currency discrepancies among countries. However, quality controls must be maintained to ensure that the products and services provided are returning the expected results. Outsourcing is typically done by organizations who outsource non-core processes that are inefficient, difficult to manage, or too costly. Choosing a supplier to meet an organization’s outsourcing needs depends on the business process being outsourced, the scope of the project to be outsourced, as well as geographic factors. Business processes that are often considered good candidates to outsource include, but are not limited to:

  • administration (audit, tax)
  • asset and property management
  • finance (accounting, billing, accounts payable, accounts receivable)
  • human resources (benefits administration, payroll)
  • information systems (development and operations)
  • miscellaneous (energy services, customer service, mailroom, food processing)
  • procurement/logistics

Business process outsourcing is becoming increasingly important. The management of one or more processes or functions by a third party is a means for the organization to reduce costs. The key benefits of outsourcing are realized by organizations that outsource business processes by transferring the entire function out-of-house. This enables access to specialized knowledge and expertise in the area; sharing of new methodologies, technologies and other resources; and standardizing processes across the organization.

An organization needs to outline the benefits and risks of outsourcing when deciding whether to outsource. The benefits need to outweigh the risks in order for outsourcing to be efficient and effective (Halvey, 2000). A typical benefit/risk analysis is:


  • cost savings
  • increased flexibility
  • better customer or employee service
  • higher productivity
  • ability to concentrate on the core business
  • implementation of wide initiatives
  • movement of assets off books
  • more resources
  • variety of skills
  • access to new methodologies and technologies
  • training expense reduction
  • greater flexibility


  • loss of control
  • difficulty in managing costs
  • additional liability
  • difficulty in bringing the business process back in-house
  • reduced flexibility

Uncertainty in outsourcing occurs when an organization is not sure which business process function to outsource. Organizations should be overly inclusive with what needs to be outsourced. Including an unbundled requirement where the vendor provides separate pricing for certain functions can be helpful. Also, deciphering through the complexity of outsourcing can be easier once determining where the services will be provided.

The next step in assessing outsourcing is to identify potential vendors that have the desired resources, capabilities, and experience. The following will provide beneficial information to help make an informed decision:

  • vendor information from industry reports/survey
  • looking at industry publications
  • talking to other outsourcing customers
  • sharing goals and concerns with chosen vendors

Potential external relationship obstacles

Outsourcing offers a number of potential benefits for companies; however they cannot ignore the obstacles that come along with outsourcing. Some countries have not achieved the desired benefits from outsourcing, because they have not realized the expected cost reductions anticipated from outsourcing their business processes to a third party. The lack of capable suppliers and service providers is a major problem. Losing control over the outsourced process is not uncommon. Additionally, problems and issues may emerge due to the integration of services and systems provided by the vendor.

Problems within the networked organization usually arise due to the failure in identifying all stakeholders and network partners. All nodes and partners in the networked organization have to know and recognize all the stakeholders involved. Another potential problem can result from having dominant nodes, which must be eliminated in the early stages of the relationship. All nodes within a relationship must fully understand the mission and goals. Having incompatible missions and goals will destroy a relationship and no benefits will be achieved. Also, problems may arise from clashing company cultures. Therefore, when choosing a supplier or a partner in the networked organization, having similar goals, missions, and similar ways of performing the business processes are vital for the success of the relationship.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
what does it mean business eco system?
Mohammed Reply
what is business
Abdul Reply
how can i know my business best resources, cheap and good quality
cabdi Reply
vikash rawat
jagvir Reply
entrepreneurial mobility
Manish Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Business fundamentals. OpenStax CNX. Oct 08, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11227/1.4
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