With it becoming increasingly easier to connect with people all around the world with the click of the button it is safe to say that the world is becoming a smaller place. This is a great thing for customers because it means that they can make use of expertise all around the world. What it means for businesses on some levels though is increased competition.
Everywhere you turn smart people are coming up with new ways to package services that make things quicker and more accessible. That means, if you want to stay ahead of the curve, you’ll need to think outside the box. Speaking of thinking outside the box; have you ever heard of nearshoring?
Nearshoring: Something New to Consider
Global companies have offshored critical parts of their business function for years now — with mixed results. Call centers have been run in foreign countries with distant geographic and cultural ties to the parent company. While this is done with the best intentions, it has at times led to a drop in customer satisfaction. Something that we can agree that no company wants!
Interestingly that’s where the idea of nearshoring comes in. It’s a form of outsourcing, but one that is contingent on finding a professional third party with close geographical ties to your core business. The interesting thing about this is that it’s a relatively new idea, but one that makes a great deal of sense when you start thinking about it.
Here area few ideas off the tops of our heads about why nearshoring is an idea that you might want to consider:
- It can help you improve efficiency by outsourcing specific tasks to experienced third parties
- It can allow you to employ a much leaner and more flexible workforce that will match the current shape of your core business
- It enables you to cut costs while maintaining the quality of the customer experience
- It’s an idea that meshes with the needs of companies of all shapes and sizes
Certainly plenty of food for thought when you see it all down on paper isn’t there!
Has Offshoring Gone Out of Fashion?
It’s something we get asked all the time: it’s not so much that it’s gone out of fashion, more that it’s starting to be superseded. For years offshoring has provided a cheaper and leaner end product to consumers by reducing the costs of some of the biggest companies in the world. Pretty cool from a consumer standpoint I’d imagine you’re thinking.
Something to consider however is that it can (unwittingly) have a negative impact on the level of service those same consumers experience. No one is saying that this is due to a lack of effort or anything like that — offshoring companies employ the best and brightest, there are no doubts about that. However, customers do feel like things run a little smoother when they have a closer link to the person on the other end of the phone.
Call centers are just a typical example, but in truth, you could make this argument for any model of outsourcing. It’s just plain old human nature when you get down to it. That is why there’s a gap for nearshoring. Businesses can save money and pass some of those savings onto their customers. Furthermore, your nearshore workers can integrate seamlessly into a team without any hassle or friction.
How Do You Know When You Should Nearshore?
It can be tricky knowing when to take the leap and trust a third party with some of your work. You want to be sure that you can rely on them to get the job done because ultimately it’s your name and your brand that’s on the line. That means that while the upsides of nearshoring are no-brainers, a bit of thought is needed on your part to avoid any potential downsides and pitfalls from occurring.
To make things hassle-free, we’ve taken a little bit of time to draw up a few things for you to consider and mull over. If you work through them one by one you’ll be able to see whether nearshoring is the right path for you:
- Are you looking to cut your costs? Of course, you are! That’s the first thing about nearshoring that you need to give a great big tick. Because you’re only paying for what you need with simple flat fees for the task at hand you can keep things lean and flexible. Two things I think we can agree are all-important in the world of business.
- Is your corporate culture important to you? Of course, it is! The culture of your business is just as important as your core brand when you want to create an enduring identity that sets you apart from the crowd. Offshoring can alter your culture because you’re dealing with working practices from all around the world. We’re the first to say that a bit of cultural diversity enriches us all, but remember that’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about making sure that expectations regarding output, quality, and timeframes become intuitively aligned from day one. Nearshoring takes care of all of that without you having to chase and send around codes of conduct endlessly.
- Is a fluid and productive workforce something you’d like to have? You bet it is! By being able to hire people who are known for getting the job done right the first time you’ll be able to take things a little easier. There’ll be no sweating about whether you got your point across as you intended a couple of days earlier while you watch the deadlines tick ever-closer. Think of nearshoring as hassle-free offshoring that makes everything easier.
Cut a long story short: nearshoring is like offshoring, but without the hassle of midnight crises, the difficulty of cultural barriers, and the tricky stuff about aligning markedly different expectations. If that sounds like the kind of thing you need, then it’s well worth brewing some coffee and thinking about what tasks and functions you want to nearshore.