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Co-sourcing a solution to managing staffing levels through the upturn

By: Maxine Park, DictateNow
Published: Monday, September 29, 2014 - 09:49 GMT Jump to Comments

With optimism slowly but surely returning to the UK economy, many of those organisations that made significant staffing cuts during the recession find themselves at a crossroads.

So, do they recruit and risk higher overheads or continue to outsource and cope with the degree of uncertainty it introduces?

Whilst the benefits of outsourcing are widely understood, many organisations are beginning to appreciate the advantages of co-sourcing. This new approach delivers similar results as outsourcing, but allows for greater control and minimum agreed service levels.

Co-sourcing support, for instance, relies on service providers creating dedicated teams within their own organisation to undertake the work required by each specific client. These teams, assembled carefully to ensure they contain complementary skills, are designed to work as an extension of the client’s office function, rather than as a completely outsourced substitute.

Developing a co-sourcing solution this way will often involve the service provider’s typists spending time at the client’s offices to ensure each member of the team is familiar with the client’s systems and processes. They will also be trained in the firm’s own unique working methods and develop an understanding of its ethos.

The close contact service providers encourage between members of the co-sourcing team and the client develops a strong sense of loyalty and team spirit, which helps overcome the perceived lack of control often associated with pure outsourcing. 

This efficient mixing of internal and external resources to deliver the necessary resources is becoming an increasingly attractive alternative, with the potential cost savings over recruitment remaining a decisive factor. This flexible approach delivers a guaranteed minimum service level and avoids the need to pay underused secretaries when the busy period is over and an inevitable slowdown in demand occurs.

Service providers like us employ hundreds of experienced secretaries, mostly based at home, but with a good geographic spread across the UK that makes it possible for organisations to access local resources. Being based in the UK means secretaries can be granted remote access to the required business’ systems to undertake typing and other secretarial services directly into client documents, databases and presentations, with work never leaving the firm’s own servers.

The services on offer now extend beyond traditional transcription and copy typing to include file opening, data input, document production along with work in the usual Microsoft Office programmes, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio and others.

Co-sourcing offers a number of advantages for organisations, including paying only for the hours agreed for the team members and not their National Insurance and pension contributions, holidays, sick days, office chats and coffee breaks.

For businesses in offices with high rents, switching to a co-sourced approach can help reduce the required office space or allow it to be used for income generating staff, which is proving an increasingly attractive option as rents show little sign of reducing.

Regardless of whether organisations adopt an outsourcing or co-sourcing solution, it is essential they choose ISO 27001:2013 certified service providers to ensure sensitive information remains secure and confidential at all times. 

Maxine’s experience as a solicitor and home-working parent directly led to the formation of DictateNow, which utilises a large pool of home-based typists in the UK, to provide fast, reliable and confidential digital dictation and transcription services.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Information Daily, its parent company or any associated businesses.

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