What to Outsource

  September 1, 2011

Identifying needs is the first step in developing an outsourcing strategy, starting with an internal assessment. Think about why you want to outsource. If it's because the internal staff has failed to meet the needs of the organization, you first need to evaluate why that happened to make sure the failure was not caused by something that will persist even when the contractor comes on board, making them fail as well. Address and correct the issue internally before pursuing an external outsourcing partnership.

Next, recognize what tasks can be successfully outsourced and what tasks must remain in-house. Different organizations have different requirements, but generally the early focus for outsourcing should be on services readily available. It all depends on your local market, but look for services that are mature and have competition. This might be easier in a big city than in a very small town.

The most commonly outsourced tasks are the day-to-day, labor-intensive operational chores like administration, security, janitorial and food service. Large projects undertaken only as needed or on a quarterly or annual schedule also are candidates for outsourcing. Examples include architectural design, space planning and construction-related services, such as plumbing, painting and electrical.

In most facilities, the organization's core competencies are never outsourced. Projects requiring strategic planning also usually remain internal. For example, portfolio planning, contract management and expenditures for large capital improvement projects would stay in-house, even if the outsourcing partner oversees other aspects of the facility's operation.

After determining which tasks within a facility are eligible for outsourcing, then begin to research the various vendors.


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