Modern business comes with its own unique set of challenges and economic opportunities which demand change, and driving down costs through outsourcing has been a widely adopted solution for many years.
Maxine Park, solicitor and co-founder of a co-sourcing and outsourcing service companu DictateNow, explains how the emergence of co-sourcing – where a business function is performed by both internal staff and external resources – is revolutionising business.
“Businesses are under increasing pressure to find solutions which save money, while continuing to drive innovation,” says Park. “Co-sourcing is a cost-effective alternative that offers less risk than outsourcing or multi-sourcing.”
Park launched DictateNow with husband Garry, to offer an enhanced transcription service to businesses in a wide range of sectors including legal, medical, public sector, charity and parliament. Her experience as a solicitor and home-working parent directly led to the formation of DictateNow which utilises home-based typists across the UK, to provide digital dictation and transcription services.
Understandably for her, co-sourcing not only ensures businesses have the necessary resources available to cope with increased workloads, it does it without affecting the rest of the firm or adding to the payroll.
“While there may be data security and confidentiality considerations when outsourcing; with co-sourcing, experienced UK-based secretaries are granted secure, remote access to an organisation’s system to undertake remote typing and other support services, ensuring the client’s data never leaves their servers,” she explains.
“Developing a premium co-sourcing solution for an organisation will involve typists employed by the service provider spending time at a client’s offices to ensure each member of the team is familiar with the system and is trained in the unique working methods of the organisation and its business ethos.”
“An important advantage of co-sourcing is companies pay only for the working time of staff and not their National Insurance contributions, holiday pay or sick days. Evaluations of cost versus output show co-sourced secretaries outperform their in-house counterparts by a wide margin.”
Organisations considering co-sourcing should seek partners that have the new ISO 27001:2013 certification, which proves they operate an effective Information Security Management System and are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office, Park adds.
For Park, outsourcing still plays an important role, but the emergence of co-sourcing as a more cost effective solution means organisations can reduce their in-house secretarial and support staff and boost efficiency and profitability.
“Implementing co-sourcing selectively allows clients to benefit from crucial administrative and management efficiencies. Internal teams can focus on their own jobs.”
It also means clients have control over the staff, technology and workflows which are developed and integrated into their firm. Co-sourcing enables the organisation to retain knowledge and intricacies about the company.
“Co-sourcing will reward forward-thinking enterprises with sustained competitive advantages because it is concerned with business performance. This means activities which are engaged as part of its process become a controlled and integrated part of the organisation.”
Additionally, one of the principle benefits of co-sourcing is helping to create a more motivated workforce, allowing companies to concentrate efforts on the more strategic of its initiatives, while maintaining full management control and high service levels.
“Co-sourcing can be particularly helpful when there have been recent changes in your organisation or when you need more flexibility with audits or when new issues have arisen and the current staff cannot meet those needs quickly.”
Often, co-sourcing is an important resource when new needs arise and there are no funds in the current budget to hire new staff, says Park. By co-sourcing the help your organisation needs, when you need it, you save the costs associated with a new starter. You can engage your co-sourced team for specific work when it is needed.
“While outsourcing still has a role to play, the emergence and evidence of co-sourcing as a more cost effective way of saving money means organisations can, in the future, be assured sustaining an efficient and profitable business, one which is better prepared to deal with the challenges it is likely to face.”