Outsourcing has been a hot topic lately and when it comes to website design knowing who is actually building your site is important to a lot of people. For some it has to do with the idea of keeping jobs local to support our local economy. For others it is a simple matter of wanting to actually know who is doing the website design on your project and getting what you pay for. How can you determine if your website design company outsources to Pakistan, Indians or some online websites such as fiverr and if they do what is the impact to your business?
It is a good question that today we will try and shed some light on.
Why do companies outsource?
Outsourcing has become very popular especially in software development and tech fields. Everyone from start-ups to giant corporations have used or consider using offshore development as a way to cut costs or save money in the early stages of business.
India was one of the primary outsourcing spots to begin with when call centers shifted overseas. Now common areas for overseas outsourcing also include Bangladesh, China, the Philippines and Pakistan.
The biggest reason for outsourcing is cost because labor rates are much lower overseas when you consider the conversion rates between the U.S. dollar and some other currencies. Local talent can cost anywhere from £30 to £150 per hour depending on the job while you can outsource the job for a quarter of that or less. For some people that can mean stretching a budget much further on a project while for others it equals more profit on a project if they are charging enough to undercut the standard fee but then pay only a quarter on labor costs.
Problems with outsourcing versus in sourcing
As we stated initially, for some people outsourcing is a problem simply because they want to spend their money on local workers. The Go Local movement is very strong in many areas around the country and the idea of outsourcing jobs is not always very popular. Aside from that, here are some common problems that arise when outsourcing:
- Quality – It is not always very easy to ensure the quality of the people that are being used. In some cases it can be very difficult for a company that outsources to know how much actual skill someone has in design or coding because many overseas development shops use a general portfolio for the entire firm and you really don’t know the actual skill of the person assigned to a project.
- Collaboration and Communication – Web design and development involves a large amount of collaboration of ideas, especially with the client, to ensure business needs and goals are being met along with crafting something that the target users will want to engage with. There can be major cultural issues that develop with understanding what you want or providing ideas and insights because they are coming at the project from a different perspective or getting information second rather than directly from client meetings. This can lead to longer project times and delays due to revisions and adjustments because of communication breakdowns.
- Logistics – It can be difficult enough to work with someone on the East Coast when you are on the West Coast and vice versa, but that problem is hugely magnified when dealing with the 9 hour difference to Pakistan or other countries. This can lead to communication problems or meetings at odd hours when not everyone is at peak performance levels.
How do you really know?
Honestly you don’t know unless you ask, which you should do it is important to you. When you are looking to hire a firm it is very helpful to meet them at their office and ask for a tour. You can see firsthand how many people they have working for them and get an idea of the job titles and then ask who specifically will be working on your project. Research can also take place on a company website cross referenced with a social site like LinkedIn to get a good idea of who would actually be working on your project.
For many businesses it is important to have local workers on a project because first and foremost they have a better understanding of the target users or customers along with the marketplace and how to present a UK brand.
Beyond that there typically is a lot of collaboration and ideas being exchanged early on in the development of a site or project that happens faster when the team can instantly exchange information or meet to discuss problems right then and there. Those are the reasons you want to know if your website design company outsources to Pakistan or some other overseas company because it could easily affect the timeframe of your project or the quality.