3 great reasons to outsource IP processes

What is the value of outsourcing for an IP department manager?

For many IP departments I have worked with, the value of outsourcing is calculated in terms of money saved.  If you can accomplish a task in another part of the world for less than it would cost a domestic employee to perform that work in country, then the costs of salary and benefits saved can contribute to the company bottom line or help a company to better compete using lower prices.

While cost savings through outsourcing can contribute to the bottom line of a company, thinking about outsourcing only in this way can be short sighted.  Outsourcing has three potential values to deliver to an IP department, not just cost savings alone.  The other two are raising proficiency and increasing pace, both of which can also save money and both of which can allow an organization to better compete through differentiation and not just cost.

Any IP organization that does not consider both proficiency and pace along with cost in its calculations of the potential value to be gained from outsourcing, sets itself up to fail at actually saving money.  This is because any loss of proficiency or slowdown in effort caused by doing work overseas can have huge repercussions on the ability of an IP department to deliver value.  If, on the other hand, an IP department plans its outsourcing efforts to deliver benefits from all three values, then it may achieve cost savings while also improving its ability to deliver value.

5 Comments on “3 great reasons to outsource IP processes

  1. Pingback: General Global Week in Review 22 November 2010 from IP Think Tank

  2. On the other hand, I have little doubt that, in recent years, US outsourcing to developing countries has done quite a lot to spur technological — and, as a result, economic — growth in those parts of the world … and create additional competition for us in the global marketplace. One recent study showed that, although the US has a larger quantity of issued patents, China’s rate of patent issuance has exploded exponentially in the past year, and has even far surpassed ours (our rate of patent issuance seems to have remained fairly constant for a while). Similar story with India, another common site of US outsourcing.

  3. If you are outsourcing some IP processes, make it a point that you have someone in house who can evaluate any outsourcing projects before leaving shop and finely balance release of necessary information. The needs will vary from industry to industry. I would not recommend outsourcing in software IP unless you have an official presence in the outsourced country.

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