On-site versus remote. It is a debate affecting many aspects of the technology industry. In today’s post, we’re interested in exploring some of what it means for companies hiring external service providers.
This is something we’ve seen more than a few clients struggle with, as they’re perhaps accustomed to resources being within arm's reach. Indeed, it’s hard to beat the comfort level of knowing exactly where to find someone when you need them. Collaborating amongst a distributed team used to take considerable effort, too. Tools like Slack and HipChat are helping to bridge that distance, making team members more accessible without requiring a phone call or numerous emails. Regularly scheduled (and sometimes long) meetings are being replaced by a stream of small interactions. These can be searched through later, for example, to verify why a certain decision was made. Since the pros of having resources on site tend to be well understood (and we're admittedly advocates of the remote service model), let’s consider one of the benefits of remote resources: a company can access a team with diverse skills it might otherwise not be able to afford.
When you have consistent demand for a skillset, it can make a lot of sense to hire your own staff. When demand and/or the required skills are variable, an outside firm can be more effective and less expensive. What does this have to do with today’s post? Well, hiring a service provider and then requiring resources to be on site means your provider has to cover the cost of relocating talent. Travel also introduces inefficiency, as resources lose productive hours as they move from client to client. This cost is inherently passed along, either directly though travel and expense line items or indirectly through higher rates. What about local resources? True—they may not require additional fees for travel, but if you’re looking for niche skills, it can also simply be tough for a service provider to hire qualified staff in your area. In short, requiring external resources to be on site can dilute the potential savings of hiring a service provider for transient needs.
At the end of the day, regardless of whether they’re on site or off, you have to trust your service provider will operate in a professional manner—and that includes being available when needed. At Addo, we have built the expectation of operating remotely into our service model and provide tools to help clients manage our efforts on their terms. This allows us to accomplish two important things—provide lower, transparent rates and more responsive, consistent service. Still not convinced? Contact us, and one of our team members will help you figure out whether our service is the right one to supplement your team.