No outsourcing here, thanks.

By Michelle O'Keeffe on August 10, 2017

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I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve been approached by people & agencies almost forcing their outsourcing services on me, telling me how silly it would be of us not to accept their awesome offer of assistance…

Not one of them asked me about the type of development work we do, who are clients are, what our in-house resources are like, our preferred development methodologies…

Dodgy sales tactics aside, it does seem like a reasonable business decision – build software platforms and client solutions at roughly ⅛ the cost of our existing overheads… but it’s not for us.

We did try it in the early days, when we couldn’t afford our own resources, and required specialist services in a hurry. But in my experience, the amount of time spent re-engineering briefs, testing, re-testing, re-testing and more re-testing means our timeframes blow out and the frustration levels are rather LARGE! And we just have much less transparency & control over both time and accuracy.

We build very complex solutions for our clients, it’s impossible to commoditise what we do. Not to mention the rigorous security requirements we have. Our style is to immerse ourselves in our client’s businesses, not just our account managers, but our developers too. That is something that is fundamentally incompatible with outsourcing development.

Aside from having less control over timelines, accuracy and security, there’s a lack of company culture. The best part of working here is the vibe of the place and the people. It’s our philosophy that given we all spend so much time at work, this should be a place we enjoy being, with people we enjoy being here with. In my opinion, this is more fundamentally important than the amount of profit we make.

Aside from all of this, we regularly collaborate with other digital agencies who do outsource, and our observation is that it significantly impacts on their ability to deliver excellent solutions to their clients, it also makes it virtually impossible for them to have deep conversations with their more tech savvy clients.

There are clear cases in favour of adopting an outsourcing model, particularly if you build similar solutions over and over again. But we don’t build systems like that. It doesn’t work for us and doesn’t work for our clients.

Michelle has been in marketing strategy for over 20 years. Michelle got involved in Engaging from Day 1 with the conviction of creating a business that ‘does great work with great people’, including clients, partners and staff. A born problem solver, she immerses herself in clients’ businesses and reconstructs their sales & marketing activities to ensure they operate to deliver directly on the business’ objectives. Michelle is passionate about maintaining a company and company culture that leaves the world a better place than we found it.

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