What is Co-Sourcing and Is it Right for Your Business?

Co-sourcing is a kind of outsourcing agreement which involves a collective agreement between a single vendor and multiple clients. Similar to hiring a contractor or consultant, co-sourcing allows companies to access an external resource which enhances their internal team. A co-sourced individual works alongside existing staff to achieve better results.

What is Co-Sourcing?

Co-sourcing is a form of outsourcing solution in which an organization accesses assistance from a specific outsourced contractor or professional. Similar to contractor hiring and consulting, you’ll be able to access external support for your internal team. However, with co-sourcing, the focus is on combining your internal and external professionals.

Outsourcing various routine tactical processes with a co-sourcing strategy can help to enhance the overall performance of your business and drive positive outcomes. This strategy works well in situations wherein companies might need to access external expertise to achieve specific goals.

Co-sourcing Example: The Process

With co-sourcing, companies aren’t simply hiring a consultant or an agent, they’re hiring a colleague – someone to work alongside their existing talent. A company looking for additional support to deal with a financial transaction in their business might decide to co-source for a CFO to assist with things like projection mapping and cash-flow analysis. You pay only for the time and skills required from the co-sourced professional, rather than paying for a full-time employee.

Co-Sourcing vs Outsourcing: What’s the Difference

When a company outsources tasks to specialists, you hire an outside agency, organization, or contractor to complete specific tasks for you on a contracted basis. With insourcing, you have one or more employees working in-house for your company handle all of the tasks you need to accomplish.

Co-sourcing allows you to leverage both external expertise and internal support in the same environment. Your internal staff works on some of the projects you need to address, while your co-sourced professional offers specific guidance and skills your existing team might not have.

Co-sourcing is different to outsourcing because the people you connect with work alongside your existing team members, rather than filling a gap in your staff structure.

Co-sourcing can help many companies that don’t have the right number of employees or access to the right selection of skills to access new strategies and results. Companies can also use co-sourcing arrangements to bring in temporary professionals when they need support from certain skilled individuals. You might temporarily work with a financial professional with experience in mergers as a co-sourced part of your finance team when merging with a new brand.

Co-Sourcing Pros and Cons

The only real downside to co-sourcing is that you won’t always be able to access the same professional every time you need to reach out to a co-sourced specialist. If you want consistent access to the same person to help you unlock new opportunities, you may need to hire an employee full-time.

There is a selection of benefits involved with co-sourcing that can make it an excellent strategy for companies in search of temporary assistance in a specific area. For instance:

  • Improved operational efficiency: Co-sourcing means you can quickly tap into specific skills and talents necessary when dealing with new projects and challenges.
  • Low costs: You hire your co-sourcing professional only for as long as you need them, so there are minimal overheads to worry about.
  • Agility: You can upscale or downscale your access to co-sourced support at any time, in response to external and internal changes.
  • Access specialist skills: Co-sourcing a professional that your employees can work alongside can help them to learn new processes and talents.
  • Improved business focus: With a co-sourced individual to help you reach your goals, you can ensure every employee is focusing on the tasks they do best.
  • Access capabilities you don’t have: Remove the need to invest in new technology and capabilities, without compromising on project outcomes

Co-sourcing offers quick and easy access to valuable sources of skill and support in various industry environments. Co-sourcing is common throughout the IT, sales, and software market, and can often appear in financial regions too.

As a solution often listed alongside consulting and contractor support, co-sourcing adds another tool to the executives kit for improving productivity, controlling costs, and increasing deliverables.

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