The Internet and globalization have given rise to new uses that have shattered the borders between countries and continents. These uses include, for example, e-Commerce for the general public and outsourcing for companies.
Outsourcing is a process that consists in delegating certain activities or works to a service provider located most often in a foreign country. This approach is generally motivated by cost reduction. The majority of companies using outsourcing have noted multiple advantages, particularly in terms of savings. The external service provider offers a tailor-made outsourcing offer according to the needs and requirements of the client.
Undoubtedly because the Web is an area perfectly suited to this type of practice, outsourcing a Web project and working with IT service providers based in India or Madagascar no longer shocks anyone in the Web industry.
If the search for performance and savings are often the main motivations for outsourcing all or part of a Web project, you will see that beyond the purely accounting aspect, it is necessary to be well informed to properly approach outsourcing under good conditions.
During this article, you will find explanations and advice drawn from lived experiences to enlighten you on this subject. Moreover, and even if I am very satisfied with the service providers with whom I have worked for several years, I will not publish any recommendations in this article in order to maintain my independence and neutrality. On the other hand, if you are looking for a professional solution to outsource all or part of a Web project, I can communicate to you by email one or more completely reliable and efficient companies.
Why outsource a web project?
The first reason is very often budgetary. Having content written 3 to 4 times cheaper than in France, paying a web developer between 20 and 30€ per hour and charging the same work 3 to 4 times more to his client can be reason enough for many. On Web projects costing several thousand euros, this can even become quite a motivation. Be careful, however, not to fall into the trap of the lowest bidder. In my view, the argument of cost reduction only has real added value if the quality of the service provided is there.
Very many companies like mine are not sized to work on important Web projects. Not to mention certain technical skills, it is impossible to accomplish several hundred hours of work alone in a few weeks. On the other hand, thanks to outsourcing, it is possible to build a "team" and respond to larger projects. As La Fontaine might have written, “It is better to eat half a good cake than to starve”. This makes it possible to distribute the work to several people in order to gain in efficiency and speed. In this specific case, outsource a web project is an entirely relevant response to this type of need.
Whether it is for one-off custom Web development, for a direct or lump-sum service, you may need a very specific skill to respond to a specific project. In this case, and as you will not have time to train yourself, outsourcing makes it possible to find a person who perfectly masters what you are looking for and who is immediately operational to provide the service to your client. This is clearly the most appropriate and coherent solution to meet this type of request.
How to properly outsource a web project?
The first thing to do is to perfectly define the scope of the tasks that you wish to entrust to your offshore service provider. From there, you will be able to define the profile you need: developer (on which languages, etc.), integrator (which CMS, etc.), editor (blog articles, product sheets, data entry, etc.). Some specialized companies will be able to support you on this job description and will offer you the profiles best suited to your needs.
Writing specifications is also a very good practice here, which will allow you to clearly outline the various delegated tasks as well as their order of priority. The rigor and precision of the drafting of your specifications will avoid any misunderstanding and disagreement regarding the missions entrusted. Thanks to this essential document, you will be on the same wavelength as your service provider.
Finally, I advise you to first contact a company whose outsourcing is the core business rather than a local freelancer. Indeed, contracting with a well-established company is a guarantee of confidence and reassurance. Even if the hourly rate difference is generally favorable to the freelancer, the safety and success of the project that your client has entrusted to you, deserve a few euros more.
Here you are, you have all the cards in hand to compose your "team", you are ready to carry out your client's project.
Before concluding this article, I would like to give you some practical advice if you need/want to use this type of service.
- anticipate your search as much as possible so as not to find yourself caught off guard. Even if the person who will work with you is a professional in his/her field, he/she will need to be briefed to be comfortable when the mission starts.
- have several outsourcing solutions up your sleeve in case a service provider cannot accompany you. The longer the Web project is in terms of hours, the more you will have to make your external resources more reliable so as not to find yourself in an awkward position.
- if your service provider does not offer it, consider setting up collaborative tools online to monitor the project (Trello, Asana, Slack, Dropbox, etc.) whether to discuss during project and/or to share the documents essential for monitoring and carrying out the work entrusted.
- exchange and communicate regularly so that your service provider has a clear and precise vision of the project in which he/she is participating. For example, this can be within the framework of a weekly report according to the planning and the returns made by your client.
Considering outsourcing primarily as a way to save money is a reductive and not necessarily wise approach. Based on my experience, I would say that it is above all a flexible solution that allows you to stay focused on your core business - or on more specific tasks - thanks to time savings and greater flexibility. It is also a good way to get out of the isolation that you experience as a freelancer. Finally, outsourcing a web project also allows teamwork to be able to collaborate on much larger or more intellectually rewarding projects.
If you have already had an outsourcing experience, do not hesitate to share it with us. You can also react by commenting below. And if you have more specific questions on the subject, contact me directly by email.Externaliser