Outsourcing vs. Offshoring: Which is Better for Your Business? - Outsource Access

Outsourcing vs. Offshoring: Which is Better for Your Business?

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There are several aspects to consider before you scale up your workforce, and the method of doing so might get a bit confusing. 

The distinction between offshore and outsourcing is one of the most misunderstood concepts in the global supply chain. A sizable fraction of the general population considers these terms as one and the same. However, they are two separate notions altogether.

Understanding the distinction between these options can help you expand your business more effectively. Fortunately, this article will help distinguish between outsourcing and offshoring. So, if you’re seeking a resource management system and want to learn more about these two, we’ve got you covered!

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What is Outsourcing?

Outsourcing is the process of contracting out internal activities and transactional duties to a third-party organization, generally an expert in their field. It can be distributing copyrighted equipment to a supplier which produces the company’s products or services. But outsourcing can also involve moving a whole department to the responsibility of another company.

Almost every corporation has spun out its operations to focus more on the areas that generate the most profit. As a result, outsourcing has brought tremendous revenue to the global economy. But, it also has drawbacks, such as job losses and diminished capacities.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Outsourcing

While outsourcing is a debatable subject politically, most management professionals agree that it promotes competitive advantage throughout the workforce when implemented correctly. For many businesses, the benefits of outsourcing often outweigh its disadvantages.

Read on to learn more about the advantages of outsourcing and if they truly outweigh the drawbacks.


  • Access to more talent

Outsourcing enables your business to scale up and down easily. It paves the way to flexibility, ensuring your organization is not spending too much time and resources on recruiting and training employees. 

Moreover, your company might lack in-house competence for specific tasks. In these circumstances, working with a third-party agency is a more cost-effective alternative, and outsourcing a supplier’s goods and services usually yields superior quality.

  • Lower labor cost

Outsourcing is most often motivated by cost savings. Contracting tasks to a third-party connection is usually less expensive than all the expenses involved in recruitment and onboarding, such as funding a team of in-house headhunters and conducting seminars for new and current team members.

Additionally, outsourcing can help organizations save money on employee benefits and miscellaneous costs. This is because most outsourced talents are considered independent contractors wherein they receive a different employee package than regular employees.

  • Increased efficiency

Every business has its own “primary activity,” which is the ultimate value proposition that gives a firm a competitive edge over its rivals. It is the focus of your company’s operations and objectives. On the other hand, secondary activities are tasks that can be categorized are repetitive and mundane.

Outsourcing admin or accounting work in your organization, for instance, can give you more time to improve your main offerings, bring the most value to your clients, and focus on your core responsibilities as the business owner.


  • Prone to security risks

When your company decides to outsource business functions or tasks, you risk revealing valuable company information. As such, when an outsourced talent needs to work on personal and sensitive data, your organization must prepare a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) outlining your information confidentiality agreement to mitigate any security threats.

  • Lesser management control

When you outsource, an external agency will oversee your specific tasks or operations. This implies that unless you devote time and money to closely monitoring your outsourced staff, you will not be able to control how the job is done from start to finish. Because of this, the quality of work might be put at risk.

  • Intellectual property risks

You often have to disclose confidential information about your production to a third-party vendor when outsourcing. While safeguards are in place to protect businesses from copyright theft, you must also consider the possibility of exposing confidential company information.

What is Offshoring?

Offshoring, unlike outsourcing, is entirely a geographical activity. It takes advantage of cost differences by shifting manufacturing or labor from expensive nations to lower economies. Its goal is to resell the items at a significant discount.

Consumer items such as apparel and electronics have become more affordable because of offshoring, promoting technical advancements worldwide. Offshoring encompasses both the manufacturing of products and includes the provision of services.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Offshoring

Offshoring has been the largest rising section of the outsourcing industry in the last decade of globalization. It is particularly true in the manufacturing and information technology sectors. Another rapidly growing sector in offshoring is business process outsourcing (BPO).

Here are some practical reasons why offshoring is popular and the risks associated with this business method. 


  • Included tax benefits

Apart from reduced operational expenses, your firm can take advantage of tax or tariff reductions and incentives provided by certain nations with offshore activities. Various governments have different tax and tariff relief schemes, and many countries enable businesses to import items at cheap costs. This allows companies to save a lot of fixed costs in their operations.

  • Wider network of skilled workers

Certain jurisdictions establish a far superior environment for specific industries. It indicates that trained human resources are more readily available in other locations for specific jobs. Your company can offshore particular business services to these places, such as a call center or a virtual assistant company for customer assistance, among other things.

  • Time zone differences

While other companies might see major time zone and proximity differences as issues, they could also serve as a great asset. Some businesses might find it beneficial to work with an offshored partner who clocks in at a completely different shift, so operations are still going even after you’ve completed your 8 hours. 

If your enterprise is based in the US, for instance, working with a provider from the Philippines means you can expect to come in to work the next day with all the tasks done and prepared for you already!


  • Communication difficulties

A language barrier might develop between your in-house staff and your offshore partners who reside in a foreign nation. It can lead to multiple misunderstandings and misinterpretations, which can eventually ruin core interpersonal relationships and immensely affect how the business operates.

  • Different local policies

An inferior quality from an offshored partner may be attributed to the drastic changes in their working culture, location rules, and supply chain guidelines compared to the policies you have in place in your business and region.

As such, it is important to look up any pressing operational contrasts you may have with your third-party vendor before signing a deal, as these may significantly affect how you run your business.

  • Lack of synchronization

In case you’re someone who’s used to synchronous communications, offshoring some of the business’ tasks might come off as a complete con to you. On top of language barriers and cultural gaps, it can also lead to a lack of synchronization. Email responses and work submissions may not occur in real-time, which can be an issue, especially for urgent job orders.

Find the Best Type of Outsourcing for You

Several multinational brands use outsourcing and offshoring as viable business methods. While each solution has its own benefits, both outsourcing and offshoring can help your business save expenses, enhance operations, and provide better service to consumers.

Remember, invest time finding a resource management system as the right one can help you best expand your company. It might help you determine if the advantages of executing a plan exceed any potential disadvantages.

In helping you better pinpoint what type of outsourcing best suits your firm’s needs, Outsource Access and its virtual assistant service can help you ramp up your brand. Check out our process or book a call today to learn more!

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