For many government officials and the communities they serve, the word “outsourcing” is often misunderstood. After all, when you have the right talent for the right task at the right time, right in your own offices, why bother looking beyond your own organization to staff your government contracts?
The reality is that every government contract comes with a host of staffing demands. If these demands are not handled strategically, creatively, and with a certain degree of flexibility, the project risks preventable delays, budget creep, inefficiencies, and more.
Outsourcing is one of many valuable tools you have on hand to prevent these situations. And, like any useful tool, you’ll get the best results when you truly understand how it works and all it can do for you.
But first: what is government outsourcing, really?
We’d all like to think that we have all the answers and can do everything ourselves at all times, but sometimes we need to call in experts from a different wheelhouse. That’s outsourcing in a nutshell. More specifically, it’s when a local government contracts with an outside company or agency to perform specific services it can’t perform on its own.
Outsourcing is the process of shifting responsibility to deliver a task, role, service, or an entire project from the local government to a private provider. Calling in a contractor? That’s outsourcing.
Another way to think of it is as a multi-use tool that can scale to a wide variety of municipal needs. And for decades, many communities have relied on contracted (outsourced) providers for planning, building inspections, street repairs, and utilities.
Evaluating outsourcing options for government contracts
There is an ever-increasing need for local government entities to provide cost-effective services to their residents while maintaining the highest levels of service. Facing staffing challenges, budgetary restrictions, and rising personnel costs, local governments are searching for alternative service delivery options that take some of the strain off of limited local resources.With the proper research and due diligence, outsourcing can provide numerous advantages, including:
- Service improvements
- A means of accommodating fluctuating seasonal peak demands
- Access to outside expertise and new perspectives
- Stabilized budgets
- New insight into innovations
- Having the precise numbers of employees for the task with the right expertise, only when you need them
Now, let’s take a look at that in action.
Implementing next-day inspections in Hampshire
Only one hour outside of Chicago, the village of Hampshire, Illinois began to be experience tremendous growth as more families looked to move to a location that's close to the metro but outside of the direct city limits. But with the sudden increase in permitting, the village had a hard time keeping on top of demand, creating scheduling delays, complaints, and stress for the department's permit technicians.
When SAFEbuilt came on the scene, we were able to supply a full-time team to reduce approval times and help the village quickly scale to meet the new demand. To solve for these prominent challenges, we took the village from next-day inspections within a two-hour window, all while navigating challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s time to embrace outsourcing
Jurisdictions across the country are finding outsourcing to be an effective and efficient way of dealing with a wide variety of financial challenges.
While outsourcing is certainly not for every community, many can benefit from asking: Am I using every tool at my disposal to deliver my project and benefit my community?
With the right partner, outsourcing improves customer service, bolsters quality, handles staffing and activity fluctuations, and saves money without monopolizing local business.
Ready to see what outsourcing can do for you?