When Should You Outsource? How to Identify Core Competencies

In a high-growth economy and tight labor market, understanding your company’s core competencies can help you quickly and effectively seize opportunities and improve financial performance. These are the foundation for:

  • Targeted strategy
  • Stronger brand
  • More effective recruiting
  • Clarity on outsourcing opportunities

How to Identify Your Organization’s Core Competencies

Organization Core Competencies

Core Competencies should tie to your unique value proposition—what your customers value, and your competitors would find hard to duplicate.

Some examples:

  • Product development
  • R&D
  • Customer service
  • Time to market
  • Reliability
  • Standardization

The company positioning process can help you to identify your core competencies and unique value proposition. This starts with customer discovery, or ‘voice of the customer’, and competitive analysis. Employee insights are also critical—be sure to include a cross-functional group in determining your unique value proposition and the core competencies that help you deliver on it.

Knowing your organizational key competencies can help you build both the brain trust and your brand by investing in what matters most to your customers. The talent bench in these areas, as well as proprietary technology and processes, are the core of your business.

Once you’ve determined your core competencies, and what functions and roles may lie outside that core, think about how that impacts every aspect of your people, process, and technology:

Map company competencies to individual characteristics. What core competencies should every member of your company exemplify? Identify the few common characteristics, and tie them to your hiring, training, performance reviews, and reward programs. At Launch Team, we look for and reward customer focus, lifetime learning, and the ability to deal with ambiguity (how to move forward during times of change.) These tie directly to our interview programs, 1:1 development, and year-end reviews.

Evaluate your branding and go-to-market strategy. Are you playing to your strengths, or do you look like everyone else? Tell your story.

Look at the company from the customer’s perspective. Are you delivering on your core competencies consistently, no matter who the customer interacts with? From the customer service hotline to accounts receivable, will their experience match the promise? Consider how your core competencies can better support all aspects of the business. And in the areas where that’s a reach…

Look at what functions are outside your core. Companies of all sizes outsource functions of the operation—often to improve margin and focus on their core competencies. Whether it’s accounts payable or receivable, sales and marketing, organizational development and change management, or engineering services, there may be opportunities to improve outcomes without FTE investment.

The Advantages of Outsourcing

Launch Team is regularly the outsourced marketing partner for technology companies from $5M to nearly $1B—either acting as their marketing department serving their VP Sales and Marketing; or supplementing their in-house team. Why? To help the company optimize profit margins by focusing on what they’re great at.

Depending on your size and growth rate, strengthening your core may leave few resources to invest in the development of the specialized skills and processes in the other functions of the business. Functions like marketing are critical to hitting your growth targets, but in-house investment may be more significant with less leverage. Partnering in these areas can:

  • Help you hit targets now while you build up in-house skills over time
  • Allow you to make one hire instead of the dozen specialties you’ll need
  • Move in-house resources into a director or coordinator role, verses ‘wearing all hats’
  • Minimize overhead costs while tapping the best practices and broad industry expertise of an experienced firm
  • Make it easier to manage outcomes vs. supervise direct reports

Curious about how outsourced support may fit into your organization? Need an outside perspective in determining your core competencies against the broader industry landscape? We’d welcome the chance to talk - contact us

To learn more about the ROI of in-house marketing vs outsourced marking, check out our blog! 

Read the Blog