Outsourcing is a prime tool for business efficiency. The term simply means “to procure (as some goods or services needed by a business or organization) under contract with an outside supplier.” In practice it provides a common, cost-effective way for companies to achieve better use of their assets and improve productivity in the face of shrinking staffs and operating budgets.
Consider also that all printers owe their very existence to outsourcing: other businesses outsource their printing and print management to printers because these functions aren’t among their core activities. So it only makes sense for printers to follow suit and consider outsourcing activities that are not their core functions. Outsourcing or subcontracting is not new to the printing industry. In particular, in recent times printers have strived to become single-source business-communications service providers, and this impetus has already translated into an increase in their subcontracting activities and strategic alliances.
Furthermore, PrintLink believes that a distinct outcome of our current challenging economy will be that printers will rely on outsourcing more and more. On the production front, we predict the industry will see a growth of business volumes for trade printers and finishers as well as niche providers of other production-related services. Yet another growing form of outsourcing will be business process outsourcing, which simply means “contracting the operations and responsibilities of a specific business function to a third-party service provider.”
Consider business process outsourcing partnerships
Examples of business process outsourcing partners who can directly benefit a printing company’s bottom line include:
- Workflow consultants to streamline a company’s productivity.
- Accountants to assist with financial streamlining, including forging cost-effective relationships that benefit both printers and their suppliers. Their functions may also include expense and payroll processing, accounts payable, financial statements, and collections.
- Insurers for credit risk and related trade finance activities
- Trainers, whether for management, sales, or technical staff.
- Health and safety consultants to ensure regulatory compliance and the benefit to employees of a safe workplace.
- Human resources services to help maintain and retain the staff you have already hired. Their contributions may include creating and managing job descriptions, performance appraisals and salary reviews, dispute mediation, HR policies and procedures, employee handbooks, orientation of new hires, workers’ compensation, benefits administration, and counseling.
- Staffing services to maximize the effectiveness of hiring practices and recruit the best possible employees. PrintLink falls into this last category: we provide specialized staffing to the printing industry and its supply chain across the US and Canada. Our service is value-driven because human capital coupled with your technology is central to generating profits.
During hard times, managers whose companies survive and prosper are those who can not only contain business costs but also improve the current performance and future growth of their business. And one means of filling this tall order is to enlist outsourcing specialists. For example, contracting third parties with genuine expertise in streamlining your production processes or delivery channels can definitely help your company gain a competitive advantage. In turn, this advantage enables your company to continue increasing its revenue and profits. Similarly, yet another specialized contractor could help your company improve its image and brand, yielding likewise gains in long-term business growth.
In all cases, the primary goals of any such outsourced endeavors are cost-savings and freeing your internal management’s time for important core activities and decisions. But additionally, in the best-case scenarios, outsourcing achieves much more by becoming a key source of strategic guidance, innovation, and better service value that will drive your company forward. In order to reap these more significant advantages, however, it is critical that you select outsourcing partners who have already demonstrated a strong, specialized expertise that will endow your relationship with trust and desirable results right from the get-go.
Advantages of outsourced staffing services
PrintLink exemplifies such specialized expertise. We have built a superior track record of serving the printing industry as outsourced human-capital providers for over 16 years. Thus we are able to identify candidates with not only the necessary qualifications but also the right motivation, adaptability, & aptitude to become long-term contributors to your company’s future growth. You can expect to gain from us not only the freedom to focus on critical hiring decisions (rather than inappropriate job seekers), but also insightful dialogue on your specific hiring needs and strategies. We can also assist you in defining realistic compensation packages and employment terms to meet your requirements. Or if we uncover the fact that no job candidates are available who match all the requisites of your position profile, we can act as a sounding board to help you compile a rational redefinition of the position that aligns better with today’s marketplace.
Moreover, we are not headhunters, and believe that our refusal to seduce candidates away from their present employers enables our clients to maintain an essential trust in our integrity.
Your time investment improves return
In order for our or anyone’s outsourcing arrangements to deliver exceptional returns, both parties must be willing and able to invest two immensely valuable things: time and information. Up front your outsourcing partners need to devote their time, explanations, questions, and analytical acumen in order to understand your company’s unique circumstances and specific needs thoroughly. Reciprocally, as their client, you need to communicate with them freely and comprehensively about your own requirements, policies, challenges, expectations, short- and long-term plans. Such open disclosure on both sides is the essence of a viable subcontracted relationship.
For example, in our recruiting services, one necessary point of mutual disclosure arises because employers will potentially source candidates via more than one avenue at a time. Thus when we screen potential job candidates, we do our best to ascertain if they have applied to the hiring company already, either directly or through other postings or recruiters. In return, we ask that hiring companies advise us of any other resources they are using to source candidates.
The boon of third-party advocacy for your business
Usually, because printing managers have their hands full with production jobs and deadlines, it proves enormously helpful for them to enlist outside advisers as advocates on behalf of their company. Especially when a business has recently weathered restructuring, downsizing, or financial downturns, outsiders can form negative assumptions that hurt the company or label it a risk. As part of damage control, third parties who are acquainted with the company are in an excellent position to reassure other outsiders that the business is operating effectively and is worthy of their consideration.
In helping to recruit new staff for your business, for example, we and other high-quality staffing specialists will first take the necessary time to understand your company and its culture, then use the information gained to help sell your company to choice candidates. (We are also finding that the more desirable job seekers rely increasingly on our insight to substantiate the fact that a hiring company will not create an employment risk for them.) In such ways, our success as third-party providers of human capital continues to help printers concentrate on their core focus while forging strategic gains for their business through outsourcing.