Increasing profitability and efficiency with co-sourcing

Maxine Park, solicitor and co-founder of digital dictation and transcription service provider DictateNow, on why firms are turning from outsourcing to co-sourcing to cut costs but maintain standards.

Firms are able to concentrate their resources on increasing fee-earning activities, as outsourcing non-core business processes helps free up a lot of capacity for organisations. In turn, this has allowed many businesses to increase efficiency and profitability, with far fewer in-house employees needed.

However, a lack of control over outsourcing processes has ensured a growing market for co-sourcing. Firms are now pursuing innovative processes and technologies that allow them to adapt their business quickly to the changing work levels and constantly evolving business environment they are faced with.

To deliver a co-sourced service, the provider will create a dedicated team within their own business to undertake specific activities for a client. This team works as an extension of the firm’s remaining office function with regular contact, rather than as an outsourced substitute.

By co-sourcing services, firms have the necessary resources to cope with peaks in demand, without recruiting additional overheads to the pay roll. This delivers a guaranteed minimum service level, and avoids paying for underused employees when the firm experiences a quieter period.

The traditional outsourcing model is the mainstay of most service providers’ offerings, but all firms require a level of confidentiality, work tracking and control that has helped shape this new co-sourced solution. Implementing a co-sourcing solution typically involves the service provider sending its staff to the firm’s offices so each member of the team is familiar with the firm’s system and is trained in their unique working methods and business ethos.

Firms can now access a range of services beyond simple transcription and copy typing, to include Land Registry searches, file opening, data input, document production along with work in the usual Microsoft Office programmes.

The advantages for the firm are numerous and obvious, with paying only for the working time of the team members a major consideration; no holiday, sick days, office chats and coffee breaks to pay for. The steady rise in office rental costs will also lead to many adopting the co-sourcing approach, helping either cut the space required or delaying the inevitable re-location for growing firms.

Co-sourcing secretarial support ensures fee-earners have quick and easy access to the services they need in the evening and at weekends, with all the necessary security and confidentiality compliance measures already in place. Choosing ISO 27001 accredited service providers, registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), ensures there are no compliance issues, unlike when meeting a deadline means a member of the office team is tempted to take work home on a memory stick!

The use of dedicated co-sourcing teams allows firms to concentrate on growth and prosperity, safe in the knowledge they have the necessary resources available to help deliver the high-quality service demanded by their clients, while driving the efficiencies that help them remain competitive.

Maxine Park launched DictateNow with husband Garry to offer an enhanced and efficient transcription resource to businesses in a wide range of sectors including legal, medical, public sector, charity and parliament.