Why do organizations outsource services? One big reason for the trend is because the services are not the CORE COMPETENCIES of that particular firm.    

What are your thoughts on this now that you’ve had a chance to do the reading?   

How would you go about finding the RIGHT services partner?

 

I think one reason why it’s smart for organizations to outsource is because of the sheer number of people (or amount of expertise and time availability) that it would take to do everything in-house.  An organization would have to be able to do its own design (including tables/chairs/stage/etc placement, and lighting, and paper products like invitations or programs), catering, communications/PR (both outside of the event and on-site), photography, set-up and tear-down, even owning the venue… There are a lot of components and to have a team with the knowledge necessary to do them even adequately would be unreasonable for most firms, unless that firm’s entire purpose is to be someone else’s outsourcing service.

Finding the right service partner for your needs is crucial to a successful program.  It’s important to find a company that fits in with your brand.  If you work for a kids’ birthday planning event and you want to hire a catering company, for example, you have to find someone that provides simple, kid-friendly menus but also someone with a brand that’s upbeat and friendly – otherwise, you might hire someone providing a fine dining meal with an upscale, elegant brand that will be a major turn-off to the kids (and their families).  Even more nuanced than that, if a wedding planner markets him/herself in a way that attracts couples looking for a black-tie, upscale sort of wedding, they should take care to hire a photographer, venue, catering company, etc. that all also have that sort of style – the product quality may be up to par, but the brand and style of people behind it may not match that of the planner (and therefore of the client).

I think of my own example working with wedding photographers – the photographer who hires me most often is very good at what he does, and his photos appeal to a variety of people, but his style during the day definitely meshes best with wedding parties that are joking, having fun, not taking everything super-seriously, but still valuing their investment in his services.  When he works at weddings where everything’s more old-money, formal, highly-detail-oriented, I can tell that he’s not meshing well with the party and there tend to be a few more bumps in the road as we work.