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How Outsourcing Jobs Can Actually Save You Money
By Mike DeMaio, CFO
We often find that our biggest competitor during the bid process is actually the customer. The decision to outsource work versus doing it internally is not an easy decision — and it gets further complicated when trying to compare costs.
It is not uncommon for someone to say to us, “Why should I pay you $6,000 for this project when I only pay my printer $4,000 to print this?” Viewing it this way would be comparing apples and oranges. While we probably have the same $4,000 printing expense (although often times we can get better pricing than our clients can), that additional $2,000 pays for our time, but more importantly, saves our clients time and headaches.
An example closer to home would be trying to decide if you should pay someone to cut your lawn or just do it yourself. Using the thinking above, why should you pay someone $20 to cut your lawn when the only expense you have to do it yourself is about $2 in gas? What do you get for that extra $18?
Well for one, you can decide to use those two hours to spend time with the kids, go to the grocery store, watch the game or just relax. Another benefit is that you don’t need to squeeze it into your schedule (nights/weekends; working around rainy days). When you come home from work it is done. You don’t have to worry about buying and maintaining a mower or making trips to the gas station to fill up the gas can. And if your mower breaks down, who will fix it? Who will mow your lawn in the meantime? Many people find that “outsourcing” this work allows them to worry about one less thing in an otherwise busy life.
So comparing the $20 to $2 lawn-mowing “cost” would not be fair based on the qualitative benefits you get from it. The same goes for comparing the $6,000 versus the $4,000.
Clients who work with us get benefits that are hard to put a dollar figure on. We do many projects with various printers around the country and have the ability to move print schedules around. If for some reason your design team is late getting files to your printer, do you have the clout to move schedules around and avoid additional fees? In addition to these intrinsic advantages you get by outsourcing, you also benefit from our expertise. We live, eat and breathe this work — and there is certainly a value for that.
So when it comes to deciding whether to outsource, you must think about more than just costs. You need to factor your time, your staff’s time, the headaches involved and — in some cases — the lack of internal expertise for the project in question. Of course, you also get the satisfaction of checking off one more thing on your to-do list. It is hard to put a value on that.