As more and more businesses depend partially or fully on their online presence to sell their products and services, website design is gaining more and more importance. A business’ website serves as its display window and, like a good or bad display window, can automatically draw customers to take a closer look or turn them off with one glance. Maximizing your website to look great, be user friendly, efficient and have a speedy loading time is therefore of utter importance. As answer to businesses’ need for a good website and other web services, IT companies providing custom web design services are cropping up. Web development is however evolving in such a fast pace with hundreds of technologies involved that many small web design companies in the US find that they cannot handle all the job orders. Because of this, more and more web design companies in the US are actually relying on outsourcing to handle the load and cut their expenses at the same time.
Without access to the manpower, skills and expertise provided by outsourcing, many web design companies will find themselves unable to take on many projects and contracts resulting to a significant loss in revenue. Web design and development companies can handle outsourcing two ways. One way is to set up a business with US manager but with all the other labor fully outsourced. Another way is to simply outsource projects or specific parts of projects that might pose as a problem for the company or that the company couldn’t handle because of its present workload. However, much a company depends on outsourcing, one thing is for sure, it is that the company gets to save money whenever they outsource.
Web designers in the US cost around $75 to $125 per hour. Outsourcing saves lots of money since the rates are usually on a per job or per page basis instead of an hourly basis. This per job and per page basis usually includes all the custom graphics design, animations, editing, enhancing, Java applets, and other features needed. This is a big deal since specialized jobs in the US will entail additional expense. For example, in the US, paying a graphics expert can cost as much as $80 per hour. Now, if a client wants to have some flash animation on his website it could cost up to a few hundred dollars just to create that one animation. This will increase the project expense and thus be an additional cost to the company’s’ customer. On the other hand, US based companies can save as much as 80% on labor costs when it is fully outsourced. This is possible since salaries in the countries where jobs are outsourced are usually dismally low compared to salaries in the US so that, even what is seen as cheap labor to US businesses is seen as a good paying job by the designers. This is important since being satisfied with the compensation affects the quality of work.
Not only can businesses expect low costs in outsourcing but quality work as well. Another advantage of outsourcing is the additional business control it provides. Although cost is still the main benefit of outsourcing, an increased control and a marked increase in business processes is very important. An Accenture survey of more than 800 American and European executives show that there is an improvement in business processes in as early as the first day of outsourcing with the levels of control increasing over a period of time. Improvements were most notable in the areas of ability to plan, operational reliability, and rapidity of implementation of new strategies. Outsourcing works because it brings with it a wider range of experience and more insights to get the job done efficiently and well. Many US companies choose to outsource their business to India and other Asian countries as well as to some European countries. However, outsourcing to South American countries like Colombia and Venezuela, though not yet as popular as India, are gaining popularity and are proving to be more advantageous for many businesses. The first benefit of outsourcing to Colombia and Venezuela is the cost. Cost is the very reason why businesses choose to outsource.
Although it is already proven that outsourcing to India is way cheaper than hiring US based IT companies to do the job, it is actually even cheaper to outsource in Colombia. According to David E. Gumper, a managed developer in India costs as much as $3200 per month compared to $1000 per month in Colombia. The large discrepancy in cost for a managed developer is proof enough that outsourcing in Colombia and other South American countries is more cost effective. Note however, that the rates quoted above were for 2004 and both are expected to have increased by this year. If Colombia is cheap compared to India then undoubtedly Colombian rates are almost incomparably cheap compared to that of US rates. Saving a few thousand dollars is a big deal especially for start up businesses since the money saved can go to other capitalization needs. Another advantage of outsourcing to Colombia and Venezuela are the countries' time zone. Of course, a US based company will have a nearer, if not the same time zone as your business. However, if you decide to outsource to Asia, the time zone difference is very pronounced with as much as a 13-hour difference.
Though time zone difference does not affect the quality of work, it can affect communication between you and your web developers. Being on the same time zone makes it easier to contact each other during business hours so that issues can be easily talked about, addressed, and solved before they turn into problems. It is advised to never ever outsource to a company that exhibits poor English skills – both spoken and written. Remember that the Internet depends mostly on written communication so it makes no sense to hire a company to do your website and end up having to edit everything in the content. Even if the project you outsource is only graphical, good English skills are still necessary to ensure that they understood the instructions well to avoid the hassle of revisions in design. Since most Colombians and Venezuelans speak perfect English, this shouldn’t pose as a problem.
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