Outsourcing vs In-House – Which is Best for Delivering Your Training Program?

23rd February 2023

Surreal landscape with a split road and signpost arrows showing two different courses, left and right direction to choose. Road splits in distinct direction ways. Difficult decision, choice concept.

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As businesses continually evolve and adapt to the ever-changing global economy, how training programs are approached has become increasingly important. In the early stages of training program development, planning how to support, maintain and manage it is the key to its success.

A fundamental choice organisations need to make is whether to outsource training program management or keep it in-house. Both options have unique advantages and disadvantages, and the decision can vastly impact the program’s success.

In this blog, we will explore the pros and cons of outsourcing versus in-house training and provide insight to help you make an informed decision on the best for your organisation.

We are not about to tell you to outsource to us (honestly) – we want to help you explore your options and make the right choice for your requirements.

Read on for more…

The Benefits of Outsourcing to a Managed Learning Service Provider

Developing a training program isn’t just about selecting the correct Learning Management System (LMS). It’s also about planning how your program will be administered and backed up to ensure objectives are met and return on investment is maximised.

By outsourcing to specialists, you can be sure that your entire training program is in the hands of professionals. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best option for every organisation. If you have in-house expertise, capability and resource, you might prefer to keep it all under one roof. We’ll explore that option later on in the blog.

Now, we focus on the key benefits of outsourcing the delivery of your training program.

1. Your LMS and training program administered for you

This might seem like an obvious benefit, but understanding what that means for your organisation is important.

Expecting your company to have experts in every field is unrealistic. Bringing talent in-house every time you realise a need is expensive and time-consuming.

Delivering training internally is different to delivering training externally – it requires a unique skill set.

Partnering with an outsourcing company gives immediate access to the expertise to run this type of training program. It also frees internal resources and negates the need to employ, train and pay for new staff to administer, support and manage the program.

2. Guaranteed flexibility and agility

Without the constraints of additional projects, daily workload and changing targets, often felt by internal teams, your program can flex whenever the need arises.

Your organisational requirements, audience needs and market demands all require specific attention. Learners can quickly become unengaged if the program isn’t agile enough to meet these ever-changing needs. If you are selling your courses, this will also lead to a reduction in revenue.

Working with an outside training partner means new concepts, changes in direction and solutions to fresh challenges can be implemented quickly and efficiently.

3. Budget optimisation

Training programs have many moving parts. Sticking to a budget isn’t easy, especially when internal time and resources are not appropriately considered.

When you outsource, a budget can be set with the confidence that it will be met and there will be no overspending. From the offset, discussions regarding initial and ongoing costs will take place with the expert insight offered by your selected specialists.

When working with Wahoo Learning and taking advantage of the training eCommerce services, management of payments, invoicing and revenue is also taken care of. Regular reports are created and the decision can be made on whether to reinvest revenue into the training program (meaning it becomes self-funded) or to return it as profit.

Generally, outsourcing is the best option if you want the confidence that work is getting done, your program is optimised, and everything is achieved professionally and strategically.

It’s also the best option to reduce the time, effort and complexity associated with running and managing a successful training program.

Related content: Everything you need to know about our Managed Learning Services

The Benefits of Managing your Training Program In-House

Generally, organisations that want to implement a training program experience three key challenges relating to resources, expertise and budget. Of course, you might be the lucky one that already has access to large internal teams to look after your training program from start to finish.

There are several benefits to keeping things in-house. Here we explore the main advantages:

1. You will have greater oversight

By keeping training program management in-house, you will have a better understanding of whether it’s meeting your organisation’s needs and therefore identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments.

Having greater insight into your training program can also help you optimise your training budget. By understanding the specific areas of your organisation where training is most needed, you can allocate resources more effectively and efficiently.

However, considering whether your internal resources have availability to enable an effective program is still important. Continual optimisation can be a concern, especially if your program needs to generate revenue.

2. You retain control of your deadlines

Retaining control of your training program comes with benefits, but only if you have the resources available to make things happen. If you outsource, you will likely have to meet deadlines set by them.

Keeping everything in-house gives you the flexibility to move tasks around should they be required.

However, by doing this, you do lose an element of accountability. Something not to overlook.

3. You can work together with other departments and use your internal processes

Being told what to do and how to do it isn’t at the top of everyone’s favourite way to work. If you already have processes in place and need to keep to those, controlling things in-house can be easier.

It is also true that some teams would rather look after things themselves than have to talk to ‘outsiders’ about the best way to do things. Perhaps it’s a part of your organisation’s culture for departments to collaborate on projects to build a sense of team spirit.

Best Practices for Choosing Between In-House vs Outsourcing

When deciding between in-house versus outsourcing for your organisation’s training delivery, there are several best practices to consider. Below, we provide some tips to help you make the best decision for your specific needs.

1. Define your training needs

Before you start evaluating providers, it’s crucial to identify the specific training needs of your organisation. This will help you to determine what type of training is required and what you need from a provider.

2. Evaluate potential providers

When evaluating providers, there are several factors to consider, such as their experience, expertise, and reputation. You can also look at their track record and past clients to get an idea of their capabilities. Don’t hesitate to ask for references and check their qualifications to ensure they are the right fit for your organisation.

3. Consider the costs

Outsourcing training can be more cost-effective than keeping it in-house, but you need to carefully evaluate the costs of both options. Look at the costs of materials, time, equipment, and labour, as well as any potential hidden costs, such as travel expenses.

4. Set clear expectations

It’s important to set clear expectations for the training program, including the goals, objectives, and timelines. This will help you to measure the success of the program and ensure that all parties are on the same page.

5. Communicate regularly

Communication is key when it comes to training delivery, whether it’s in-house or outsourced. Make sure that you have regular communication with your provider to ensure that everything is on track and that any issues are addressed promptly.

Your communication plan should also include how you intend to communicate news of your training program, ensuring all stakeholders are clear on the benefits and how you intend the training program to run.

6. Evaluate the effectiveness

Once the training program is underway, evaluate its effectiveness. Look at the outcomes and assess whether the training met the objectives and if there was a return on investment. Use this feedback to make improvements and inform future decisions on training delivery.

Which is Best for You?

The decision to outsource or keep training in-house depends on a variety of factors, including budget, resources, and the specific training needs of your organisation

While outsourcing can provide specialised expertise and reduced costs, in-house training allows for more control and customisation. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of both options before making a decision.

We see all too often teams that are overwhelmed or asked to prioritise a different project or task depending on the current needs of the business. Sometimes it also helps to have an outside influence to keep things on track and offer valuable insight.

Although making a success of your training program isn’t necessarily rocket science, constantly having the expertise to back it up can be the difference between success and failure.

Ultimately, the key to success is to identify the training needs of your organisation and choose the option that best aligns with your goals and priorities. By doing so, you can develop an effective program that meets your organisation’s needs and drives success.

But remember – the right option for you and what is best for your organisation now might not be the best solution in the long run.

We understand everything training program management entails, and we know how to make a success of it. Are you interested in discussing how we can help you? You can get in touch with us here. We can discuss your specific requirements and answer any questions you might have.


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