The term ‘outsourcing’ has become widely viewed as sending jobs overseas. The plain definition of outsourcing is having someone else do the task for you. It can be because you don’t have the time, you don’t have the manpower, or you aren’t familiar with the process. For example, let’s say that your roof begins to leak during a storm. You could go out and learn all about roof repair, buy ladders, buy tools, buy shingles and nails, and take your chances on your steep roof. Alternately, you could hire a roofer who already has the equipment, knowledge, and enough daring to fix your roof. If you don’t already have equipment and training, it’s probably cheaper and quicker to hire a roofer than buying supplies and going to classes.
In the world of new product development, this relates to your employees. Because Paragon Innovations is an engineering firm, we’ll use engineers. If you outsource for a project requiring expertise unusual to your field, your engineers are free to continue working on what they do best while the outsourced engineers go to work on something at which they excel. Having a project that deals with the unfamiliar shouldn’t make everything grind to a halt while your team learns about it and buy new tools. This should be an opportunity, not a burden. Your company can continue business as usual, but soon you’ll have another product to sell. Your engineering department grows temporarily with people who have expertise in the field. Make sure to research what the engineering firm has worked on in the past so you’ll have a good idea of what they are best at. If they’ve done a similar project before, they’ll be able to do yours quicker, cheaper, and smarter.
One of the best reasons to outsource is to increase your workload without increasing your overhead. Outsourced engineers work for another company, so you don’t have hiring and firing expenses, you don’t have to pay insurance and vacation, you don’t have to pay for their electricity and desk space; you get experts who will work hard to make sure your project is a success.
When you do get around to outsourcing, make sure that your project is documented, and documented well. You paid an outsourcing firm to build something so your company wouldn’t have to build it. Your documentation should let you know as much about the product as if you had built it yourself. Besides, when it’s time to assemble it, you’re going to want to know how to build it.
Outsourcing can take your business to a whole new level. It can add capacity, keep costs down, and expand your product line. I highly recommend it.