Peter Drucker, one of the world renowned management gurus, consultant and educator was also an advisor for General Electric for years. It was not until 1981 that he got to meet the new CEO Jack Welch. It was during this iconic meeting that Drucker asked, "If you weren't already in this business, would you choose to get into it now?"
This was in the context of GE's non-core businesses where inevitably the weakest people were managing operations and ultimately had constant overheads to deal with. That question prompted Welch to begin the massive restructuring of General Electric in the 1980's and 90's.
Peter Drucker described the concept which eventually came to be known as outsourcing when he used the example of "front room" and "back room" of each business: "A company should be engaged in only the front room activities that are critical to supporting its core business. Back room activities should be handed over to other companies, for whom these tasks are the front room activities".
Companies which are experiencing growth, have an overflow of work leaving the in-house staff to handle too many tasks at the same time and they find themselves working over and above their maximum capacity. For example, a law firm could outsource their admin tasks, get extra hands for legal secretaries and allow in-house staff more time and flexibility to complete the work that is required of them. By outsourcing to a Virtual Legal Assistant, the firm can save on the cost of a full-time employee and space to accommodate a new staff member. Another example would be to assign a Virtual Legal Assistant to Associates to take away the repetitive admin tasks enabling Associates to focus on increasing billable hours thus having a direct impact on the firm's bottom line.
In fact, when you are thinking of outsourcing, it is much easier, accessible and beneficial to partner with an onshore outsourced business support company. Undoubtedly, whether you decide on onshore or offshore, the advantage of partnering with an outsourced business support company is that they source for the right fit for your company as they have access to a much larger local talent pool with local experience and offer a continuous uninterrupted service all throughout the annual contract.
So, what is the differentiating factor that makes onshore more advantageous over offshore?
Working with a locally based outsourced business support company allows for real-time collaboration during the business day. You can discuss changes to documents, troubleshoot issues, and work on changes to workflow in order to increase efficiencies. Have a quick question? Call or send your assigned Virtual Assistant a text.
A natural understanding of local culture can be a significant advantage and your Virtual Assistant would have knowledge of cultural touchstones and current events.
The most important and valuable factor is that the virtual team can come to your office for a training or spend a day working and interacting with the in-house team. This builds rapport between your in-house and external team which is extremely vital to a successful collaboration.
Research on business management has proven to show that outsourcing back room tasks can increase business productivity. The best way to approach outsourcing is to look for partner that is onshore and is focused on providing your back room office tasks. That it, it is their front room tasks.
Have you thought about your back room tasks that could be outsourced to boost the productivity of your business?