COMMENTARY | COLUMNISTS | MELISSA STERN

The benefits of onshore construction outsourcing

The term “outsourcing” often comes with negative connotations. Some argue that to outsource services displays a lack of competency in a company Or that the service provider won’t understand the company’s vision or serve effectively.

I admit that I used to have reservations about the idea and still do in some cases. Certain types of onshore outsourcing however, in my experience, have proven to be an extremely positive business practice. The construction industry uses outsourcing on an ongoing basis to stay competitive and as a result, our clients reap many benefits.

Saving time = productivity

In any business, large or small, it is safe to say that time is of the essence. Outsourcing certain business operations can be a huge timesaver for many companies.

For example, if you are starting a new business and do not have the resources to hire a human resources staff right away, outsourcing could be a great solution. Companies such as Paychex offer online payroll services for businesses which takes away the burden of having to manage it internally.

This streamlined method of payroll processing takes just a few minutes, which gives the employer more time to focus on the fundamentals of the business. In any industry where professional services are offered, the ability to increase productivity for clients is essential.

Outsourcing can be very beneficial when it comes to construction as well. Many general contractors offer preconstruction services for projects. During this phase, the project team performs the necessary actions to prepare for the project.

These actions may include detailed scheduling, forecasting, and procurement of building materials. If the preconstruction and planning efforts are executed correctly, it is likely to save the client a great deal of time and money which in turn increases productivity.

Innovation

Many businesses are looking for more than just standard time and money savings when using an outsourcing provider. Innovation is also a significant factor when choosing to outsource. Companies need to stay competitive in order to succeed and with the constant technological advancements, innovation is crucial.

Such outsourcing can be a win-win for both the company using innovative providers as well as the providers. The collaboration of two companies developing ways to be inventive is a new, positive aspect of outsourcing.

Outsourcing IT, for example, can be a great way to foster innovation. By hiring an IT service provider to operate your network and handle your computing needs, you have more time to develop new ways to grow your business, while staying connected through technology.

In construction, as well as many other industries, software integration is an important factor in daily business operations. Construction companies use different types of software to help facilitate projects. When choosing the right software for your company, regardless of what industry you are in, several factors come into play.

IT providers who are familiar with each program and how they operate can help in that decision-making process. You can simply outline the most important functions for your software such as mobile applications or user friendliness and then an IT provider will choose one that is best suited for your needs. IT providers have exposure to new industries and processes that can advance a construction company’s effectiveness from the start of a project to finish.

Expertise

In today’s society, we focus on specialization. In health care, we seek out specialists to manage our ailments. When it comes to online needs, business owners typically outsource the design and management of their website instead of trying to do so themselves. The same is true in construction.

Most construction companies don’t have the expertise in-house to do all the work needed on a job site, so subcontractors are used. By using a subcontractor, the customer receives increased expertise at less cost.

In construction, this focus on expertise extends beyond subcontractors, however. More and more, we are seeing general contractors specialize in certain types of construction.

For example, with technology advances comes the need for specific construction expertise. A company needing this expertise will likely seek out a general contractor with a history of handling building projects with significant technology accommodations.

Construction companies focus on various areas including health care buildings, senior housing, and community facilities such as libraries, parks and places of worship. My company’s expertise includes the amusement attraction and recreational industries, both of which have specific construction requirements that, if not executed correctly, can make or break a client’s business.

To achieve the best practices and ideals for your company, you must have undivided focus among all employees. Outsourcing services is a practical way to handle functions that are necessary to run a business but could potentially take away from the underlying purpose of your company.

The same is true in construction. By outsourcing to experts, you can focus on running your business with the confidence of knowing your building project is in good hands.

Melissa Stern is marketing manager for Commercial Builders, Inc., a San Diego-based general contractor specializing in tenant improvement, special projects and general construction. She is a member of CREW San Diego.

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