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Managers Express Outsourcing Concerns
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Survey Says: Managers Sound Off on OutsourcingPt. 2: Managers Indicate Outsourcing Provides Sense of SatisfactionPt. 3: Outsourcing's Impact on Staff MoralePt. 4: This PagePt. 5: Work Quality Common Outsourcing Survey ThemePt. 6: Outsourcing Not Going Away OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Survey Says: Managers Sound Off on OutsourcingPt. 2: Managers Indicate Outsourcing Provides Sense of SatisfactionPt. 3: Outsourcing's Impact on Staff MoralePt. 4: This PagePt. 5: Work Quality Common Outsourcing Survey ThemePt. 6: Outsourcing Not Going Away
What Concerned You Most About Outsourcing Going Into the Process?
Respondents had plenty of concerns about starting the outsourcing process, ranging from poor work quality (36 percent), life-cycle considerations (21 percent) and loss of control (20 percent).
“Most people that I’ve talked to that outsource everything generally are not happy because they’ve lost their freedom to reach out and grab somebody,” Cowley says. “When you have an in-house group, I can go to the head of maintenance and say, ‘I want this done Saturday mornings,’ and (the manager) says, ‘We don’t work Saturdays, it will have to be overtime’ and the response is, ‘I don’t care. Do it anyway.’
“But if it’s a contractor, (he’s) going to whip out the contract and say, ‘That’s going to cost you $2,500 for our guys to show up on Saturday.’ Then I’d back off and say, ‘I don’t need it on Saturday. We’ll wait until Monday.’ When it’s your people, you can use and abuse them because maintenance work, unless it’s contracted, is always perceived to be free. When it’s outsourced, there are consequences.”
Why Do You Outsource These Tasks?
(Check ALL that apply)
Managers cite a variety of reasons to turn to outsourcing. A majority of the respondents (58 percent) say a lack of staff or time to complete tasks is the main reason. Other popular answers include a lack of in-house credentials and certifications (42 percent) and lack of in-house expertise and knowledge (39 percent).
Managers concerned with cost savings, which some managers cite as a primary outsourcing issue, might need to take a closer look at their own operations.
“My philosophy is that nobody can outsource better and cheaper than you if you can manage your business properly,” Cowley says.
The lack of performance or ability of in-house front-line technicians to complete tasks are two reasons managers decide to outsource, Cowley says.
“People take the outsourcing route because their crews are so bad, lazy and mismanaged that anything is an improvement,” Cowley says. “You see that quite often, (especially) with some of the government and municipalities. When you get systems that are hung up in the bureaucracy and big companies, outsourcing is a breath of fresh air quite often.”