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How Companies Are Utilising Nearshore Resources to Play to Their Strengths

Regardless of your in-house headcount, annual turnover or rate of growth, one thing is certain: you can’t do it all.

Sooner or later, your organisation’s growth rate is likely to surpass your in-house capacity. When you get there, you face a tough call: grow your team, or start saying no to new development projects. And since falling behind is unthinkable in today’s highly competitive marketplace, one key option remains: outsourcing.

“Master your strengths, outsource your weaknesses.”

— Ryan Khan, Founder of The Hired Group

Studies show that 29% of surveyed small businesses with 50 or fewer employees outsource, compared to 66% with more than 50 employees. As client work ramps up, so does the pressure to provide a seamless client experience, keep margins high, and develop innovative products in order to stay ahead of the curve.

Whether it means migrating an entire business function off your premises or adding a handful of specialist flex resources to boost your well-oiled team, outsourcing can bridge the gap between big-picture goals and reality.

But finding a trusted partner to work with and choosing a resourcing model that matches organisational needs can be a costly and time-consuming trial-and-error process. This is far from ideal, considering the end goal is to save time and resources, which can be reinvested into further business growth.

We already know that the world’s most innovative and rapidly growing organisations outsource to play to their strengths and tackle their weak spots — but what does that look like in practice? Why are so many companies turning to nearshore solutions over traditional offshore models? And how do they utilise their nearshore resources?

At BrightBox, we aim to break down the buzzwords and barriers to nearshore resourcing — and show you that getting started is simple when you’ve got the right partner on hand.

What is nearshore resourcing?

As opposed to onshore or offshore solutions, nearshore resourcing typically happens 1 to 3 time zones away from home. For businesses based in the UK, this usually means working with partners in Eastern Europe.

The most commonly outsourced functions include product development, quality assurance and testing, customer support, UX and UI design, and software development.

Nearshore is an excellent solution for those curious about cutting costs but apprehensive of the communication barriers that sometimes accompany offshore resourcing. Minimal time differences, cultural understanding and geographical proximity mean that your contractors are always a call, email or short flight away.

Exchanging deliverables and evaluating responsibilities is no different from managing remote workers in-house. There is also a great deal of flexibility around the day-to-day control you wish to retain. This affords companies the opportunity to forge strong working relationships built on trust and transparency — and make their outsourced development specialists feel part of the team.

BrightBox Group currently partners with more than 2000 trusted associates in Ukraine, Poland and Belarus. Nearshore resourcing allows our clients to work with top-tier specialists and tailor-made scrum teams while enjoying the benefits of the robust IT infrastructure in Eastern Europe.

Why are companies choosing to outsource to nearshore locations?

Great talent is hard to find, time-consuming to train, and expensive to retain. Where traditional recruitment lags behind, nearshore resourcing models provide a scalable solution that makes business sense.

Let’s address the elephant in the room: budget. It’s true: cost is the leading driver of outsourcing worldwide. And the effort is not in vain. Research by Deloitte shows that 59% of companies that outsource do cut their costs, which effectively improves their bottom lines.

But the decision to outsource is not always a matter of maximising available resources. More and more often, companies are utilising outsourcing solutions to adopt an agile way of working — and to produce the best results possible, regardless of geographical location.

Rapidly growing tech companies in competitive spaces such as FinTech and mobile solutions find it challenging to stay on the pulse of innovation while sustainably scaling their in-house capacity. Between assigning more work than core staff can chew and patching up problems with temporary solutions, something has to give.

Having more hands on deck can drastically increase an organisation’s capacity for growth, accelerate innovation, and get products to market at a far faster pace. This knock-on effect touches everything from customer experience to trust and security — which also boosts bottom lines.

Whether you are considering outsourcing from a budgetary perspective or because top-tier talent is in short supply, nearshore resourcing checks the box. The right nearshore solution can deliver a true business transformation, offering cost-effective flexibility without compromising output quality.

And all the while, your core team can focus on their core strengths.

How are companies using nearshore resourcing?

World-leading companies and small businesses alike are looking to agile sourcing solutions — both to pursue bold innovation and to safeguard their existing capabilities.

Given that outsourcing is not a blanket solution but a bespoke one, every resourcing strategy is bound to look different. At BrightBox Group, we use a comprehensive Global Sourcing Approach to cover all available options before our clients make the call.

There are three main sourcing models to choose from:

  1. Staff augmentation
  2. Dedicated teams
  3. Outsourcing a function

Each model varies when it comes to day-to-day management, flexibility, responsibility for the results, and ramp up times.

Evaluating your needs with a trusted delivery partner like BrightBox can help you to determine the most suitable model for your company.

1. Staff Augmentation

Whether you need to get the ball rolling on a new project or pick up the pace on an existing one, staff augmentation is a quick and straightforward way to amp up your capacity.

This model allows you to adopt a skills-led sourcing strategy by simply filling in the gaps in skillset and capacity. Disruption to your existing systems and processes is minimal, as outsourced associates slot right into your daily operations.

Working with this model on a nearshore level affords companies access to top-tier talent without the added cost and time pressure of sourcing that talent locally. The ability to add more resources as and when you need them makes it an attractive solution for scaling businesses that find themselves stretched to capacity — especially if existing staff have been carrying the burden.

Missguided opens its first UK bricks and mortar presence scaled

We recently implemented a successful staff augmentation solution for Missguided, the fast fashion online retailer.

Missguided chose to partner with BrightBox to utilise their Nearshore service for staff augmentation across Magento and React technologies, bringing the flex capacity they needed to meet the medium-term demands and to also build a capability that they could depend on whilst meeting the competitive pricing requirements.

Launched in 2009, Missguided specialises in fast fashion for women, and more recently it launched its menswear label Menace in 2017. Headquartered in Manchester, Missguided has dedicated websites in the USA and Canada, Australia and New Zealand, France, Germany, Ireland, Poland and Spain, plus a pan-European site. At its core Missguided is built on its online platforms, including traditional web and mobile devices. They are continually evolving their omnichannel presence and how it can provide their customers with the best shopping experience.

Outsourcing was the obvious answer, but not at the expense of output quality. All contracted individuals needed to match the standards expected of in-house team members. Cultural fit and the ability to work to tight specifications and deadlines proved just as important as technical skills. That way, the Missguided could seamlessly continue to provide excellent service to their clients.

“We have been talking to BrightBox for a while and are delighted that we have been able to engage with the BrightBox team as our Nearshore resourcing partner for what is critical time for us as we continue to evolve our ecommerce platform.. The BrightBox team have integrated really well with both our Product development teams and our Development leadership team and we know they are there when we need their support”, said John Rignall, IT Director. “Brightbox has landed at pace a nearshore team with the specific skills and experience we were after, and we look forward to continuing to work with them.”

2. Dedicated Teams

It takes a village to develop a successful product. And in this case, a team of highly-skilled, self-motivated and reliable developers who are 100% committed to getting the job done.

If there is a project in the pipeline that your in-house team does not have the capacity to execute, working with a dedicated development team may be the only chance of getting it past the finish line — and delivering it at a lower cost, quicker turnaround, and higher-quality finish.

In this resourcing model, your nearshore delivery partner hand-picks a cross-functional scrum team that is perfectly tailored to your requirements. Depending on your needs, roles could include product testers, ops engineers, UX designers, data specialists, statisticians, and programmers. All working together with your shared goal in mind.

Day-to-day management is made easy through a dedicated team manager who keeps track of the product backlog and assigns tasks where needed. In essence, the team works as a remote department, with minimal distractions and maximum drive.

Whether you aim to design an app or develop a new product, your dedicated scrum team will work in a series of sprints to deliver a market-ready solution in record time.

BrightBox is a trusted provider of dedicated development teams to dozens of rapidly growing organisations across the UK. We look after team structuring, background screening and day-to-day management so that your sole focus is the output delivered.

3. Outsourcing a Function

Small and large businesses alike are used to outsourcing functions such as accounting, digital marketing, and customer support to external agencies. But moving software or product development to a nearshore location can further support sustainable resource distribution, keeping your core team devoted to what you do best.

Functions that lie outside of your core business activity can quickly stack up as your organisation scales. Apart from adding pressure to your budget, recruiting these roles in-house can inadvertently lead to a team full of generalists rather than the specialists you need.

It’s worth noting that security is a common concern when outsourcing business functions — and a valid one, particularly where proprietary information is involved. Organisations can avoid data breaches and security leaks by having robust non-disclosure agreements and data encryption systems in place.

Working with a trusted nearshore partner allowed them to step back from their product and gather invaluable feedback about their market — which led to the refined solution that businesses across the world have grown to know and love.

In summary

Future-forward companies are utilising nearshore resources to play to their strengths and tackle their weaknesses. Leaders who choose to outsource early on know that by filling in essential skillset blanks, they can grow their revenue, improve their customer experience, and deliver innovative solutions at a quicker pace — and on a slimmer budget.

If your firm is ready to explore the merits of nearshoring a business function or sourcing a development team, BrightBox Group is here to support you every step of the way. That way, your team can get back to doing what you do best.

Our clients are choosing to break out of traditional silos and into a newly agile working world. Are you ready to join them?

Stuart Houghton

CEO - BrightBox Group

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