Monday, 12 March 2018

Reading Copious Briefs and Reference Materials Shouldn't Be Free of Charge!

Everybody outsources things these days. Even quite internal things. Outsourcing is good because it frees you of all the hassle of the special treatment employees get. And allows you to pay people when you actually need them, not for the entire time of just being there.

On the other hand, more and more clients yearn for the special treatment an employer traditionally gets. They want someone to get to know them, in fact quite intimately (in business terms), to become dedicated to them, to give them one's all, and so and so forth. And sometimes they want all those benefits right off the box, where they take months or years to achieve with employees or some other variety of in-house staff. And they certainly want customized, tailored services.

… But they also want to keep paying only for what's billable or tangible, or just the standard price of a standard service.

Clients sometimes need to be reminded — gently if possible — that outsourcing is for not paying people when you are not in fact using them. It's not some magic of the invisible hand of the market for getting a month's worth of attention for a week's worth of pay and save a ton on costs while reaping all the benefits.

Here's an analogy that also works for services that have rarely been done in-house and thus needed to be outsources but have traditionally been purchased from the market:

If you're buying a single loaf of bread at the standard two or three bucks per, you don't get to mail the bakery a 20-page PDF detailing your absolutely essential, holy inviolable specs. You could get more luck with a custom order, especially  But even a custom order than normally takes them a day will get them to spend a week studying your PDFs. No chance. Nobody's going to eat that cost for you.

High time our clients appreciated this basic fact of life. High time we did.


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