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Farewell to “Outsourcing” Hello “Operations”

February 2, 2018

Seth Appel
VP, Productivity Solutions, RRD


You may have noticed the rapid decline and near disappearance of the term 'outsourcing' among B2B service providers. And this is for good solid reasons. The term 'outsourcing' was predicated on the assumption that an external provider was removing a segment of a company's internal operations. But that notion is out of touch with the hyper-connected 21st century work place in which it is routine to delegate the right task to the right provider on the right shore for the right price.

Increasingly companies are embracing the wisdom of focusing on their core competency and letting others worry about everything else. And as companies further define their core competency what is considered a distraction to their mission, i.e. 'everything else,' is becoming broader and broader. It turns out this is doubly true when it comes to back office support functions. With the rise of technology based process enhancements, and especially robotics, specialized service providers can more than ever provide a level of efficiency that non-specialized internal back office operations simply cannot emulate.

Of course the promise of 'labor arbitrage' – cheaper resources – remains one of the primary drivers for companies to engage external multi-shore providers for routine administrative and transactional functions. But in the coming years as technology increasingly plays a larger role in achieving greater efficiencies, it will provide domain knowledge and technology infrastructure far above and beyond low labor costs that will deliver true lasting value.

At RRD GO we have experienced many examples where our subject matter expertise and technology insight has enabled us to provide our clients value above and beyond access to cheaper labor.

A few quick examples:

  • Robotic Process Automation: With the know-how gleaned from our transaction based work at scale we are assisting many clients to incorporate automated computer based transaction processing - more commonly known as Robotic Process Automation – into their operations to achieve hitherto unseen levels of process efficiency and cost savings.
  • Process Reporting: Via our proprietary reporting platform, Metrics, we bring to our clients a robust medium for process reporting and oversight that secures a level of transparency and efficiency unseen by internal service functions that almost always lack a clear reporting regimen and infrastructure.
  • Data Visualization: Service provision at scale entails handling lots of data; dynamic and growing data that contains many useful operational insights. At RRD GO we have a team of data visualization experts who are skilled at crafting interactive data dashboards using best-in-class technology to enable our client's leadership to make smart, informed data driven decisions.

Of course these are just three examples of the many reasons why over 100 top-tier companies see RRD not as a vendor or an outsourcer, but as an integral partner for their ongoing growth.

If you have questions as to how RRD could assist your company in developing process efficiency via robotics, enhanced reporting or data visualization please let us know, or feel free to drop me an email at seth.a.appel@rrd.com

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