Outsourcing was not identified as a business strategy until 1989 and since then it has become a very common practice in many businesses. Typically, companies consider an outsourcing strategy for their support functions that are out of the company’s areas of expertise.
Many of Infomineo’s prospective clients that require ongoing access to research come to us asking about the cost-benefit of outsourcing their research to a specialized research provider versus developing or growing their in-house research capability. And while the answer usually depends on a specific business and their needs, below is a list of the top seven benefits that one gets when outsourcing their research function.
Access to Talent and Capabilities
Getting access to talent and research capabilities without needing to recruit or train individuals for the role is the most important driver for outsourcing research. In fact, relying on research providers gives access to new talent pools with local expertise such as language, technical know-how, and culture, as well as new resources.
Business flexibility is a factor that is commonly taken into consideration as well. Outsourcing research enables companies to focus on core activities while they farm out non-core services that specialist companies can do better, allowing them to be all in on their competitive advantages.
Another benefit of outsourcing research is risk-sharing. Since both the company and the research provider will be accountable for the output delivered to the final client, it’s in the research provider’s best interest to deliver the highest level of research quality.
Running Business 24X7
Offshore outsourcing to a country with a different time zone, gives the added advantage of making full use of a 24-hour day. Outsourcing partners can take over and continue work even after in-house employees go home. They can complete critical tasks and send it back for review the next morning.
Hiring full-time researchers can be very costly, especially if research needs are fluctuating. In this case, it is best to have a contract with a research provider, where the company can add and reduce research capacity according to its needs in different periods.
Saving on Infrastructure and Technology
Investing in infrastructure and subscribing to premium databases is very expensive, partnering with research provider divides these costs over several clients, giving each client exactly what they need at the fraction of the cost.
Cutting down on costs is one of the major drivers behind companies leaning towards outsourcing research. By using lower cost platforms and leveraging their scale, outsourcers can generate savings while still making a margin.
Yahia El Ghandour and Francisco Arenos, Researchers at Infomineo.