The year 2021 is certainly off to a running start; in fact, here we are, already inches away from the end of March, and we’re executing new strategies, launching new products, and building new teams. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a bigger budget, more resources, and deeper bench strength? Sure it would. Unfortunately, the question we’re all asking, or being asked, is “how do I do more with less?” The answer, of course, is through outsourcing.
Outsourcing is not new, but it is being used in new ways.
Strategic leaders are finding that the “how do I do more with less?” question isn’t actually about getting more blood from a stone at all. It’s really about “how do I do more with less…time?”
Time is the scarce resource in the knowledge economy. When you can shrink time, the speed at which you can execute increases.
What if you completed the project in three months instead of six? What if you hit your growth targets in nine months instead of 12? What if you came to market with your new stuff in six months instead of 18?
Would that help your career? How would that help your company achieve its goals?
When there’s a fire to fight, the need to move quickly is obvious. But strategic leaders increase speed when things are going well too. Especially so. The question my CFO is very good at asking when he sees something working well is:
“How can we move faster?”
So, what’s the answer? How can you move faster? The answer: You outsource.
Here’s the formula:
Speed = distance traveled / time
Let’s get algebraic and break this formula down further with an example:
A few years ago, I led a $2.5M services engagement for a banking customer. We completed the work successfully in 6 months. At dinner one evening, the executive sponsor shared that they had looked at performing the work themselves using their in-house capability. They estimated that it would have taken them 2 years to complete at a 30% higher cost. It was a no-brainer for them to outsource the job by every measure. We were happy to help our client and exceed their expectations. A win-win.
Increase Distance Traveled
When you strategically outsource, you get the innovation, accountability and progress the company has already made on Day 1. With the right partner, you also get their future roadmap. The technology investments we had honed over several years drove immediate leaps in service capability for this customer.
Traditional management thinking is that you should never outsource your core competency. But in the knowledge economy, this is less true than ever before.
When you break free from the “do it yourself” mindset, you realize that your core competency is more about assembly, not manufacturing. And this shrinks your time requirement and allows you to focus on the higher value tasks to grow and optimize your business.
Apple doesn’t build iPhones. Boeing doesn’t build planes. Amazon doesn’t deliver packages. They all assemble.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.” – African Proverb
If you want to go fast and far…Outsource.
Become an assembler. Think about your goals for 2021. Where can you outsource to increase distance and decrease time? Start having these conversations today and solve this long-standing challenge once and for all. Your career and your company will thank you.
To learn more and find the right outsourcing solution partner for your organization, download our eBook: From Vendor to Partner