Outsourcing vs. Insourcing: Which is More Eco-friendly?
As a business owner, you are devoted to two key things: providing the best products and services that you can, and being as friendly to Mother Earth as possible. Lately, your workload has been so increasingly busy, you are looking into either insourcing or outsourcing to handle the extra work. As it turns out, there are pros and cons to each choice, including each option’s impact on the environment. To further weigh the pros and cons of insourcing and outsourcing, please consider the following points:
Pros of Insourcing
As its name implies, insourcing is when you bring in specialists or extra team members to take on the extra work, either on a temporary or permanent basis. There are a number of advantages to insourcing; they include being able to better monitor the new employees — since they will be in the same building — as well as better communication. Because the insourced employees will be working at your company, it will be easier to speak with them face to face rather than have to rely on phone calls, emails and a Skype sessions or two. In addition, employees who are in-house typically understand your business really well, including the company culture, office politics and your overall goals as a company.
Cons of Insourcing
As beneficial as insourcing can be, there are also some pitfalls. For example, it might be difficult to find local talent to take on the extra work; in some cases, you might need to hire someone who lives in an outlying area, and will have to have a long and gas guzzling commute into the office. Your overhead costs will also increase by adding people to your in-house team, including higher water and electric usage and bills, which is not that eco-friendly.
Pros of Outsourcing
Outsourcing involves assigning part of your company’s work to an external agency. In some cases, company owners hire domestic outsourcing companies while others will work with overseas firms to handle business related tasks. If you model your company along the lines of a proven eco-friendly company like Amway and try to make the most eco-friendly and appropriate choices for your business, outsourcing can be a great way to go. For instance, just as Amway is devoted to using their 6,000 acres of Amway-owned certified organic farmlands as much as possible, you also try to make “green” choices whenever you can. When you hire remote workers, you don’t have to pay for any relocation costs (that involve using a lot of fossil fuel for the moving vehicles), you don’t have to pay for a larger office space and/or use more energy to run it. In addition, outsourcing tends to have lower labor costs, and since you are typically tapping into an existing knowledge base, you may also save on training time.
Cons of Outsourcing
While there are good reasons to consider outsourcing, there can also be disadvantages. These include having a possible loss of control over your company’s business process, potential language issues — especially when hiring overseas — a slower turnaround time and difficulty reaching the outsourced workers to train or have a meeting, particularly when they are in a different time zone.
Although there are definitely plusses and minuses to both insourcing and outsourcing, including some environmental impacts, as a business owner you are the best person to decide what is best for your company. Take a close look at what you hope to accomplish with the extra employees and decide how important things like face to face interactions are, as opposed to using less water and power in your office. Whatever you decide, you can rest assured that you have given it a lot of thought and are doing what is best for your company.