• Michael Lobb

5 Things I learned about outsourcing

Updated: Nov 24, 2020

Last week I participated in a live “Fireside chat” with Anthony Bowers and Mari Borromea from ProSource Global Outsourcing and Andre Rodrigues from Complete Onsite Group. The chat was robust and covered a wide range of topics, but some of the discussion really stood out to me.

Even though I’ve had over a decade and a half of experience in outsourcing - I’m still learning new things and it was great to dive deeper into it during this chat.

Here are some of the things I learned (or relearned).

Outsourced roles are expanding

Traditionally (at least in my industry) there have been three main reasons to outsource work: cost savings, scale and to do the work outside of your core business. There are companies, like Complete Onsite Group, who are outsourcing core processes like drafting, estimating and other industry-specific roles. If you take a look at Fiverr or Upwork you’ll find there are new roles popping up every day.

The right fit

When hiring in-house I’ve always considered that hiring for the right fit is sometimes just as, if not more, important than hiring for a superior skill set. This is also true of your outsourced team or vendor as more and more they are becoming an integral part of your team. A strong relationship is important, and a toxic person in the team can be more destructive than at home, where you can monitor team health easily.

Face time is crucial

While we’ve had a year like no other, getting time face to face is still important. Since we can’t travel like we could in the past, that means getting on Zoom or Teams and having face to face meetings. This helps each team member see facial expressions that would otherwise go unnoticed in written form. A smile can be the difference between the team failing and succeeding.

Security is more important

As we’ve faced a year where many team members have been working from home, making sure there are no holes in your systems has become more crucial than ever. Home networks are notoriously insecure and bad actors are preying on people’s insecurities using social engineering. A strong network means not having to rely too much on people to make decisions about what is secure or not

Having fun is more important than ever

We are all super stressed right now and by having the right team on board it makes having fun remotely a lot easier. Anything from sharing dad jokes to sharing a Friday afternoon beer makes it a lot easier to relax with your team. One BPO we were working with even provided beer and snacks on Friday afternoon to share wind downtime with their clients. Keeping each other laughing and smiling keeps the wolf of frustration away.

So there it is - some of these I’ve learned and some I’ve needed to be reminded of. If you want to see the talk, this will be published soon and I’ll link to that when it happens.


Michael Lobb works tirelessly to help clients solve business problems using technology and heads up a team of developers, designers and miscellaneous nerds at Teamscāl. In his spare time, he likes long walks in the park with his dogs, Chappie and Pocky.

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