Discuss, debate and exchange ideas on latest trends and opportunities in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) landscape. Deliberate on adding “business value” to clients, vendors, employees and various other stakeholders to enhance customer satisfaction and sustain long term partnerships.

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May 16, 2011

Outsourcing for Cost vs. Value - An Analogy

This analogy is not mine and it came up during an internal conversation. All the same, I thought of sharing it as it is very relevant for many outsourcing discussions.

Often, outsourcing decisions are taken with the focused intention of saving costs. Other objectives do exist, but are less debated. Of course, saving costs is important and has tangible benefits. But outsourcing discussions should go beyond. Many decision makers know this but ignore acting on it as it is not immediately clear how it all adds up.

The situation is very similar to a weight watching program. While there is an obvious temptation to lose weight quickly, unless you sign up for a sustained lifestyle change, the results often disappear or lead to more damages in the long run. Signing up for a lifestyle change calls for more discipline and patience. And more importantly, you need a tougher and more committed coach. Further, it also means that you have to do much of the hard work. But this is the approach that is more likely to succeed in the  longer term, both in terms of getting in shape and staying that way. It is little wonder that few weight watching programs are successful and many move from one fad to another in their quest for better health.

So, outsourcing for saving costs or for convenience, can help shed some weight in the near term, but outsourcing for value calls for a more long term vision. It also calls for a tougher and more committed coach/partner. I would be glad to hear experiences to the contrary.

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