Outsourcing or the process by which companies permanently assign to external suppliers, for a contractually defined period of time, the operational management of one or more functions previously performed internally.
This process is certainly part of the cost containment policy and the search for efficiency of the companies themselves. Generally then this practice is configured, at least in its intentions, virtuous, and represents the means by which it implements the strategic management of business processes.
The term outsourcing, just to clarify in a simple and transparent way what it is, is used in the event that the activity outsourced is inclusive of the means of production.
The decision of a company to resort to outsourcing allows the company itself to focus all its resources on what it does best and is an important step in optimization. In this way, it transfers all the non-decisive activities for the achievement of competitive advantages to suitably selected suppliers.
A lean business model, after all, which leaves all the problems of middle management very expensive at the level of time to others. An example? Motor vehicle management.
Outsourcing has recently changed, as corporate theories have shifted attention from essential and typical activities to the product / service offered. The concept depends on the point of view assumed and sometimes even the core activities may not represent real added value on the competitive market.
For example, meals represent a non-core service for the management of a hospital and at the same time an important aspect of evaluation of the structure by patients.
A concept therefore, that of outsourcing, in continuous evolution whose different types can be identified on the basis of the field of application:
- simple supply, which corresponds to the simple provision of an outsourced service (wages and contributions for staff, gardening, etc.)
- service, defined in the past as outsourcing, which includes the provision of the IT system, canteen or meals, etc.
- complex services or business branches, usually defined as facility management, with the field of application on properties and related services, with fixed remuneration for the period. The same can also be remunerated upon achievement of predetermined objectives (defined then global service); these can also aggregate multiple business functions
- service, for which we supply the equipment and everything necessary in consumable goods and in ordinary and extraordinary maintenance to obtain the service. Typical example is the supply of laboratory analysis equipment for a hospital
- process, also called as in-service management, for which everything necessary for the realization of a process is provided, such as equipment, equipment and furnishings, adaptation works on buildings and plants, consumables, services (administration of work, maintenance, insurance, consultancy, etc.)