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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.

Assignment 1: Discussion—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?

By the due date assigned, post your response to the appropriate Discussion AreaThrough the end of the module, review and comment on at least two peers’ responses.

Write your initial response in 300–500 words. Your response should be thorough and address all components of the discussion question in detail, include citations of all sources, where needed, according to the APA Style, and demonstrate accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation

Do the following when responding to your peers:

  • Read your peers’ answers.
  • Provide substantive comments by
    • contributing new, relevant information from course readings, Web sites, or other sources;
    • building on the remarks or questions of others; or
    • sharing practical examples of key concepts from your professional or personal experiences
  • Respond to feedback on your posting and provide feedback to other students on their ideas.
  • Make sure your writing
    • is clear, concise, and organized;
    • demonstrates ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources; and
    • displays accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

    Grading CriteriaMaximum PointsQuality of initial posting, including fulfillment of assignment instructions16Quality of responses to classmates12Frequency of responses to classmates4Reference to supporting readings and other materials4Language and grammar4Total:40

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