Apr 5, 2021

Outsourcing vs. Offshoring


Outsourcing vs. Offshoring

Outsourcing and offshoring are often confused with one another or misunderstood to be the same strategy. While both of these processes can improve business efficiency and have some similarities, they are two distinct resource management solutions. Here are some differences between outsourcing and offshoring, and the benefits and risks of each.


What is outsourcing?


Outsourcing is a practice that involves hiring an external organization to perform business functions in place of performing this work internally. Companies typically outsource non-essential activities or roles so that they can focus on core responsibilities and maximize efficiency internally. Some business operations that are commonly outsourced include customer service, IT management, accounting, and marketing.


[24]7.ai offers customer service outsourcing solutions including conversational AI, messaging, and voice solutions that can boost customer satisfaction and improve cost efficiency. From engaging performance management to our Accelerating Consistent Excellence (ACE) framework, we provide our agents with the tools they need to deliver results and support success for your business. 


Pros and cons of outsourcing


Here are some of the benefits and risks that come with outsourcing to a third-party provider:


Benefits of outsourcing

  • Reduces costs: By outsourcing, companies can rely on the external organization to perform the functions they need. Outsourcing allows you to receive high-quality work without needing to pay for expenses such as hiring, infrastructure, and technology costs.
  • Frees up more resources internally: While your outsourcing partner takes on some of your business processes, your employees can focus on core responsibilities and projects.
  • Gives you access to skilled resources: Outsourcing to an external provider that can perform specialized tasks gives you access to expertise and resources that you may not have or need internally.
  • Increases efficiency: Instead of having to hire and train employees for certain business functions, which can be time consuming and costly, your business can improve efficiency by outsourcing.


Risks of outsourcing

  • Loss of control: When outsourcing, the external provider gains control of certain projects or activities. This means that your business can’t manage how the work is done and its level of quality unless you invest time and resources in heavily managing your outsourced team.
  • Risk of exposing data: Businesses may risk exposing confidential company information when they outsource work responsibilities. However, a proper NDA should help reduce this risk significantly.


What is offshoring?


Offshoring is the process of relocating business operations to a foreign country or different location. Unlike outsourcing, companies that offshore often delegate core responsibilities to an internal team working remotely. Offshoring can help companies save on labor costs and resources, as well as take advantage of tax benefits.


Pros and cons of offshoring


Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of offshoring:


Benefits of offshoring

  • Cuts costs: Companies can lower the expenses of labor and producing services or goods by offshoring to a location with cheaper costs.
  • Maintains control: Offshoring keeps your business functions internal, allowing for more control over projects and processes than outsourcing.
  • Tax benefits: Some countries provide tax and tariff relief and benefits that companies can take advantage of by offshoring.
  • Geo-balancing:  Agent capacity is spread across different geographical locations to allow for closer proximity to companies and suppliers. Outsourcing can also ensure business continuity in case of geopolitical risks, pandemics, or natural disasters.


Risks of offshoring

  • Lack of communication: Offshoring jobs to a different location poses the risk of reduced or ineffective communication between the remote team and your company.
  • Language differences: When relocating to a different country, there may be a language barrier between your team and those who live in the offshore resource area.
  • Quality issues: Even though your company is keeping business operations in-house, offshoring may affect the quality of work due to factors like the working culture and supply chains in the remote location.


The differences between outsourcing and offshoring


Outsourcing and offshoring offer different ways that businesses can optimize their operations. While outsourcing involves delegating tasks to a third-party provider, offshoring involves completing business functions internally. Unlike offshoring, which takes place in a remote location or foreign country, you can choose whether you want to outsource to an external provider in your area or in a different location.


Here are some key differences between outsourcing and offshoring:


  Outsourcing Offshoring
Definition Outsourcing is delegating business operations to an external organization. Offshoring involves relocating jobs or business operations to a foreign country or different location.
Location Can be within or outside the country. Outside the country.
  • Cost efficiency
  • Allows company to increase focus on core operations
  • High-quality service
  • Labor flexibility
  • Access to external resources
  • Cost reduction
  • Tax benefits
  • Less regulations
  • More control of operations
  • Risk of exposing sensitive information
  • Less management control
  • Communication issues
  • Language barrier
  • Less quality control
  • Time difference
Goals Companies that aim to maximize efficiency and want to assign certain duties to organizations with industry expertise. Companies that want to save on costs while maintaining control over business operations.


[24]7.ai can provide you with the outsourcing solutions your business needs to operate effectively. With our expertise in contact center operations, [24]7.ai contact centers and conversational AI solutions help companies maximize customer satisfaction and business efficiency by providing high quality service around the clock, key for businesses with global footprints. We can help your business save on costs for labor and resources, while improving customer experience.


What is offshore outsourcing?


Offshore outsourcing is a type of outsourcing that involves hiring an external company in another country to perform business functions. This strategy combines elements from both resource management solutions, as it allows companies to benefit from high-quality services while reducing costs.


Pros and cons of offshore outsourcing


Offshore outsourcing comes with its own benefits and risks. Here are some pros and cons of using this strategy:


Benefits of offshore outsourcing

  • Increases efficiency: Delegating business functions to an external provider that has industry expertise can help get your tasks done quickly and ahead of schedule.
  • Lowers costs: Offshore outsourcing can help companies save money by reducing operation and labor costs.
  • Allows company to focus on core tasks: By offshore outsourcing smaller or less essential functions, your company can increase its focus on core tasks.
  • Geo-balancing for business continuity: Maintaining active operations across time zones allows for business continuity in the event of emergency incidents.


Risks of offshore outsourcing

  • Hidden costs: Companies may risk having to pay hidden or unexpected costs when offshore outsourcing.
  • Confidential data security: When giving tasks and responsibilities to another organization, companies can risk exposing or losing confidential information.
  • Lack of control: Offshore outsourcing means companies may have a lack of control over quality, work distribution, and project management.


Outsourcing vs. offshoring: which is the best solution for your operations?


Outsourcing and offshoring are both effective solutions to improve business efficiency. When deciding which strategy is better for your operations, consider which one aligns with your company’s goals and make sure the benefits outweigh the risks.


Whether you want to improve efficiency, reduce costs, or deliver a higher quality of service, outsourcing can help you drive business success and growth. [24]7.ai outsourcing solutions can improve your company’s performance and optimize customer experience. Learn more about our AI-powered customer service outsourcing to see how we can upgrade your business operations.