Should I avoid hiring companies that outsource?

Have you discovered that the company you hired for your project is outsourcing to developers in India, Ukraine, Mexico or any other country? This is usually an issue that is raised in the very beginning or whenever a project goes sideways. Things get hairy and you start questioning why a company is charging you so much if they outsourced. You might also consider it the reason why your project has failed. The common misconception here is that the quality of work in India or Ukraine or other countries is subpar compared to those of developers based in United States, Canada or Europe. Outsourcing is frowned upon, but it should not be. Outsourcing gets a bad reputation usually when the company you are working with does not outsource correctly.

There is an incredibly high chance that the company you have hired (Eg. United States of America, Canada or Europe) for your project is working with and outsourcing to an international team of designers, developers or SEO specialists. Even you have the impression that this is not the case, trust me when I say it is. Some companies flat out lie when they say “we hire USA developers only”. Others try to approach this more diplomatically with a variation of “we cannot confirm nor deny” or by saying that they work with “in-house developers only”, except the term “house” loosely translates into anyone they hired regardless of location. However, it does not and should not matter what country a design or development team is based in or whether the company you hired is outsourcing. What should matter is the delivery of your project.

There are amazing developers based anywhere, in any country (Eg. India or Ukraine are popular countries to outsource), but sometimes you do not need an amazing developer. An amazing developer will cost you a fortune regardless of location. Sometimes you need just a good, experienced and reliable developer. You can also find this kind of developer in other countries.

The problems with outsourcing come down to finding a good, experienced and reliable company or individual freelancer to outsource to, coordinating the work with them and agreeing on common issues such as billing, scope and time. Most of the time, issues with your project arise when there is a disconnect between the company you hired and their outsourcing partner. For example, you request a minor edit on your website, but the outsourcing partner does not want to cover it because they have already exceeded their budget. The company you hired in turn comes back to you saying this minor change is going to cost you extra. There you go, you now have a headache. If it was up to the company you hired, they might want to do this minor edit free of charge, but their hands could be tied. Either they foot the bill from their budget or risk upsetting their outsourcing partner. In most cases however, it comes down to the mechanism both companies have set up to resolve these kinds of issues. Is it to ensure project success or profit success? More often than not, profit success is the priority.

My personal opinion based on experience is you should not avoid a company because they outsource. Depending on the project, you can get a better result on a lower budget if you outsource compared to working with local developers. Another personal opinion is that companies should have a disclaimer on who they work with, such as: “We work with developers in Ukraine.” The reason many avoid doing this outright is because they believe clients will not be willing to pay a premium otherwise. And many will definitely not be willing to do so. The reason is that if you, as a client, are paying $50k for a website, it better be done by a local company in-house. You end up feeling duped when things go wrong and you discover this is not the case. You have a right to feel this way, but my job is not to defend the company you hired.

My job is to defend your interests as the client. Smokyfish Ltd. offers a Quote Review service to help you choose the best bid for your project. If you want to find out if a company is outsourcing and I find out they do, I would not recommend dismissing them right off the bat. As I mentioned, outsourcing is not a bad thing. It is a bad thing when your project is being mishandled and you incur additional costs because of it.

During a Quote Review, Smokyfish Ltd. can help you make an informed decision on which company to choose. If you are having difficulty choosing a bid, then contact Smokyfish Ltd. for a Quote Review. I can review all the bids and provide an explanation on which you should choose. Smokyfish Ltd. can also act as your representative and ask follow up questions to the bidders on your behalf. This allows us to spot any red flags by speaking the same language your bidders are speaking.

Smokyfish Ltd. not only wants to dispel the misconception that outsourcing is a bad practice, but also wants to safeguard your interests as a client. Contact us today for a consultation and let us help make your project a success.

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