The Bad Boy of Business: Debunking outsourcing misconceptions in today’s work environment
Derek Gallimore, founder and CEO of leading outsourcing marketplace Outsource Accelerator, delivers an in-depth explanation of outsourcing at the launch of his new book, Inside Outsourcing.
Here’s what he had to say about what’s touted as the “Bad Boy of Business”.
Why does everyone love to hate outsourcing?
Outsourcing is a controversial topic. It’s either you love it or you hate it. To the casual observer, outsourcing is an unfamiliar topic so they, by default, are skeptical about it. And on the extreme ends of the spectrum are those who discreetly outsource and those who are completely against it.
Outsourcing is likened to slavery and unfair wages. It is also thought of as an industry that takes away job opportunities from companies’ countries of origin.
But the seismic change brought about by the pandemic to the way people work is only carving outsourcing as the future of work. This comes as a golden opportunity for the Philippines – a country whose people speak very good English and is teeming with college-educated professionals.
The Way We Work is Changing
When the Philippine economy took a hit after COVID-19, business owners of varying degrees and industries wondered, “Where do we go from here?” In comes one of the industries that has proven the strongest even amidst the onslaught of the pandemic.
This countercyclical industry has been prevalent in the country: Business Process Outsourcing or BPO.
Since the first use of the term in the 70’s, this business model has steadily evolved, transcending previous understanding. Globally, outsourcing generates $100 billion and employs around 10 million people annually!
Even though outsourcing has been working for several years to make services accessible, flexible, affordable, and reliable for the masses, other people still won’t take the plunge. They would allege poor service quality, unethical salaries, inhumane conditions, and even the cause of the ruination of industrialized economies. These may be some of the reasons it got its ‘bad boy’ moniker, but like many misunderstood bad boys, there’s more to outsourcing than meets the eye.
Inside Outsourcing, a book by Derek Gallimore, explains outsourcing from the perspective of an industry trailblazer.
What Outsourcing Means to Businesses
Outsourcing refers to the business model where companies hire third-party service providers to execute tasks or perform functions on their behalf. This may be in the form of hiring a company for some portion of your work or using a platform that provides access to freelancers to assign tasks directly to them.
These external providers may also act as extensions of a company’s in-house team.
Derek Gallimore, the author of Inside Outsourcing, states that outsourcing means having access to the “global workforce of highly qualified candidates at a fraction of the cost”.
Currently, 63% of the world’s population—five billion people—have access to the Internet. With the continuing effects of globalization, more and more people from across the world are gaining access to resources that they can use to upskill. This, in turn, is making it easier for outsourcers to scour the Internet for talented candidates.
Most of the remaining three billion people that aren’t online yet, earn less than $5 per day on average. But because of the learning systems like Khan Academy, MOOCs, Duolingo, YouTube, Coursera, and others, they become more educated, turning themselves into relevant, eligible, and valuable talents. Over the coming generations, if not in the forthcoming decade, there will be another three billion people entering the global employment market.
From in-house team huddles to digital meetings and contributions, people can now meet with their team members from all around the globe. Who would’ve thought it would be possible to have a team composed of diverse cultures and backgrounds from across the 8 billion people in the world?
With outsourcing, it is possible.
Another point highlighted in Gallimore’s book is the cost-effectiveness of outsourcing. Not all business owners have the funds, but there are millions of online, well-educated, and culturally-aligned people that will happily work for significantly lower salaries than those in Western countries. Previously, this would be an issue because of the distance, but globalization has made it easier to collaborate without the need to be physically present at work.
Hiring an offshore team can save a company 70% on staffing costs and give them access to an unimaginable pool of highly qualified professionals. Many of whom speak excellent English, have a college diploma, and would gladly work for a monthly salary of $500. As Gallimore wrote in his new book, “if there was the possibility of saving 70% on costs, it becomes something worth exploring.”
Without the limitations of a traditional work setting, business owners, hiring managers, executives, and anyone who’s handling a company would see that outsourcing is the best option to explore for their ventures.
It may look like the same old bad boy of business, but the more people care to understand—and the role that it plays in growing economies—the more we stand to gain from its benefits.
If you think this is something that could positively impact your business, Derek Gallimore encourages you to try it at least once. Otherwise, you would be “remiss if you didn’t at least explore this opportunity.”
His book, Inside Outsourcing, was launched on the 8th of June at One Corporate Center, Ortigas Center. The book delves into broad outsourcing concepters and higher-level theories, then deep dived into actionable tactics and helpful takeaways.
It provides more vital information on outsourcing, from concepts to application to the physical environment, for your business’ success. Grab your own copy now at bookstores nationwide or check out Derek Gallimore’s Goodreads profile through this QR code.