Over the past few months, businesses have been forced to shift their strategies and adapt to the growing challenges that continued to surface. Difficult decisions needed to be made, with cost cutting on the top of every C-suite executive’s agenda. Surviving the crisis was the main priority, and how to scale up post crisis, came in second.

Business leaders started from within, assessing the skills of every team member, and reviewing if every existent position was really necessary to maintain operations. As a result, organizational charts were minimized, and many layoffs were recorded globally. Remaining team members had additional responsibilities to take on, aligned with newly introduced strategic directions. However, with a reduced headcount, business leaders found that their plans for scalability were a bit harder to achieve than anticipated.

Without a doubt, the economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, disrupted traditional business models, fast. But many lessons and opportunities, disguised as challenges, came about as well. The first being the need for the prompt adoption of digitization to be able to continue operations remotely. The second being a shift in thinking, with business leaders considering outsourcing many functions, to reduce overhead costs.

Why outsource high-value added services?

With heavily reduced budgets to recruit top talent, coupled with new targets to achieve in 2020, scaling up has become a huge challenge. Outsourcing however, provides a viable solution for companies to tap into exceptional specialized talent pools, while optimizing costs. Businesses should also consider outsourcing, to either maintain current services at the same level, grow service lines or tap into new markets.

Operating with a reduced headcount translates into the same amount of work, distributed to a smaller number of employees. Handing out addition responsibilities tied to new strategic projects will not be a simple feat. Therefore, outsourcing enables companies to focus on their core business functions, and utilize external resources to either transform or diversify their offerings to scale up. Some functions that can be outsourced include human resource management, finance and accounting, technology / IT solutions, and communication.

The process to begin outsourcing

Before venturing on a scout for talent to outsource to, businesses need to look internally, and understand what comprises core business functions integral for success, and what functions are of lesser importance to achieve growth and scalability. Once this exercise is done, the existent capabilities and competencies of team members should be studied, and areas where additional support and expertise should be identified. Only then, can the services that need to be outsourced be mapped out, and the search for talent begins.

If innovation doesn’t exist within, look outside

Many years ago, multinational organizations began building in-house innovation hubs. These hubs were staffed team members who showcased forward-thinking and strategic creativity. However, with reduced costs, innovation hubs are now deemed a luxury for smaller businesses. In this case, companies can outsource the creative, digital and technological aspects of their business, and have specialized talent work on and lead innovative projects. If a company does not have the internal capabilities to devise plans to stay relevant and ahead of the competition, then external consultants are ideal to help take the lead.

Lebanon, a competitive outsourcing hub

Even before the crisis came about, many companies across the Middle East turned to Lebanon, and began outsourcing core functions to local talent. Lebanon has long been known for its unparalleled servicing culture, specifically in the fields of design, technology and communication. The interest in thriving Lebanese talent has now spread globally, with initiatives such as Jobs for Lebanon, tapping into the Lebanese Diaspora and linking them to talented individuals and companies operating locally.

The prevailing economic crisis exasperated the export of services to regional and international markets. As a result, many companies in Lebanon have eyed the importance of outsourcing their high-value services to global entities. Creative and digital services, as well as IT and technology related services are the main outsourced service offerings.

To learn more about BDD’s community of specialized companies that outsource key services, click here.

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