business challenges 21

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Outsourcing: A Strategic Advantage?

Outsourcing may provide tremendous advantages for firms. It may allow companies to specialize, reduce costs, and focus narrowly on the core competencies they deem strategic; however, companies also have to think about what they may lose both qualitatively and quantitatively. For example, when outsourcing, managers need to be certain that what they source from outside is not a key component of their value proposition.

A way to reduce those risks is to use an approach called vertical integration. The meaning of vertical integration is developing the ability to produce goods or services previously purchased or to actually buy a supplier or a distributor. It can take two forms: backward and forward. These forms relate to how the corporation moves in its supply chain to pursue the vertical integration. If the movement is towards the suppliers, it is called backward integration. Conversely, it is known as forward integration.

Using the module readings, Argosy University online library resources, and the Internet, research outsourcing. Based on your research, respond to the following:

  • What are the risks and benefits of the outsourcing approach?
  • What are the strategic advantages of outsourcing to vertically integrated firms?

Whenever possible, provide examples of Fortune 500 companies to illustrate your points. Write your initial response in 300–500 words. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.

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