Outsourcing, Part 2

Yesterday, I posted a response to Tim Schmoyer’s blog post about “Why Parents Outsource Their Teen’s Spiritual Formation”. I did some brief research on why companies outsource, and here is one list:

* Reduce and control operating costs
* Improve company focus
* Gain access to world class capabilities
* Free internal resources for other purposes
* A function is time consuming to manage or is out of control
* Insufficient resources are available internally
* Share risks with a partner company

Pretty straightforward. As many of these are similar, I’ll combine them.

When parents outsource spiritual formation of teens:

* Reduce and Control Operating Costs/A function is time consuming to manage or is out of controlIt costs them less, in terms of investment.  Not in money, but in TIME..which, at this point, is the most important thing.  Spiritual formation is all about time, and many families simply neither have, nor make, the time.
* Improve company focus/Free internal resources for other purposes:  Families are free to spend their time on other things, perhaps those things are valid (employment, school, etc), perhaps they are not.
* Gain access to world class capabilities/Insufficient resources are available internally:  Some churches and ministries are absolute machines.  The amount of material available is incredible.  As a parent, I (personally, no sarcasm intended) do not have the TIME (see #1) to pour through it all and determine what I might use to disciple my families.
* Share risks with a partner company:  The word “partner” here is incredible.  It implies a relationship…that the two parties are working together.

Now, each of the above can be completely legitimate things.  Here’s where my cynicism comes out…

* Reduce and Control Operating Costs/A function is time consuming to manage or is out of control: Question: Is there anything more important than passing on the faith to our children?
* Improve company focus/Free internal resources for other purposes:  Question: Is there anything more important that passing on the faith to our children?  I mean, I want my children to to grow up and be productive members of society.  But, what good is it to gain the world and forfeit their souls?
* Gain access to world class capabilities/Insufficient resources are available internally:  Do we view the Bible as insufficient?  Is that why we use curriculum?
* Share risks with a partner company:  I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard a parent complain about “if my church’s youth ministry only did “x”…”  Let’s be honest.  Outsourcing gives us someone to blame.

To recap:

The outsourcing takes place because we allow them to.

There are benefits, both legitimate and illegitimate, to outsourcing.

Tomorrow, let’s talk “partnership.”

Join the conversation!

 

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Outsourcing, Part 2

  1. This, also, ultimately goes to investment – but we outsource the areas we are least proficient in. I may know publishing, but I don;t know shipping – so I outsource that because I believe someone could do it better than me. In reality, maybe I should hire someone to teach me how to do shipping efficiently and effectively. If so, it behooves that shipping expert to focus on his greatest impact for my business – shipping. If he comes in and tries to take over the publishing part, I’ve wasted my money….

    • xjm716

      Darren,

      wonderful comments, I had UPS’s “What can brown do for you?” running in my head!

      Let’s say you run a business, and someone recommends me to you for your shipping needs. Would you talk to me? Interview me? Seek to know about me? Would you expect for me to meet with you to find out what your needs are?

      Thoughts?

  2. Hmmmm – seems like a business partnership (I know – coming tomorrow) would require mutual trust and a general working knowledge on both sides of the business. I think it also requires risk and potential failure – as do all businesses. Somewhere in this mix is DNA – just because you know shipping doesn’t mean you are the right fit for my publishing company. If DNA’s don;t mostly line-up, expertise and/or outsourcing is doomed before it even begins.

  3. xjm716

    so, in short, you would not simply drop your packages off at my door?

  4. No. But I also would not try to micro-manage how you do packaging – especially since I hired you in to take care of that (and therein lies the true crux of the REAL problem we’re talking about.) What I should really be ‘hiring’ is a consultant to help me with my shipping – not someone to take it over. But unless I’m already pretty savvy about that stuff, I’m thinking I’m calling in a professional to do the job – so he should do it. It’s a tight rope for the packaging person to convey that they are here to ‘teach and equip the shipping process’ – not take it over…..

  5. xjm716

    I’m not asking you to micro-manage me…I’m asking you to give me some insight into how you’d like your packages shipped, what the shipping label might look like, what you want your customer to see when they arrive.

  6. Pingback: Outsourcing, Part 3 | The Cost and Joy

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