Can you remember why you outsourced? There are myriad reasons why companies look to outsource certain functions within their organisation. Deloitte conducts an annual outsourcing survey to assess how and why companies outsource, and identify changing trends. The functions outsourced obviously change depending on the industry, but the top reasons for outsourcing are often the same.
- 59% of respondents use outsourcing as a cost cutting tool
- 57% as a way to focus on their core business
- 47% to solve capacity issues
- 31% to enhance service quality
Content owners using a subscription model will cite one or more of these reasons as the driver behind their decision to outsource. But as subscription technology advances, and with more organisations putting customer engagement at the core of their business, is it not time to re-assess the reasons that your company chose the outsourcing route and gauge whether it continues to fulfil your businesses objectives?
Whilst outsourcing subscriptions management may have seemed the best decision at the time, there are drawbacks. Outsourcing means relinquishing some immediate control over subscription models. Your service is standardised which limits your possibilities. This can lead to disengagement with your core business – understanding and fulfilling the needs of your customers profitably. If you can’t innovative and flex to meet (or create!) demand, you’re at a disadvantage. So why do companies do it?
10 years ago, your subscription mix may have included, magazine subscribers and magazine buyers. Nowadays, you likely have a mix of print, website, mobile and digital edition subscribers. Products might be bundled across different channels. There might also be associated benefits in the mix, such as discounts off events or products. This array of potential permutations can seem daunting to administer, especially with large volumes of subscribers – and for this reason many media owners feel unable to manage their subscriptions themselves.
But this is where technology has changed the game. Software is better than ever before (well, ours is at least) and with functionality and user experience at the forefront, it’s re-enabling content providers to reap the rewards of managing subscriptions in-house.
With Ingenta’s subscription solution, it doesn’t matter what you’re selling, or how you build the proposition. Package bundles can comprise any or all of your delivery channels. Subscription packages can be dynamically altered and updated giving the content provider the flexibility to react rapidly to changing business needs, as new products are introduced.
What does that mean for organisations?
Complexity is no longer the enemy. In fact, complexity gives you freedom to try new models and pricing, and to test these on market segments. Sales and marketing can create new products, bundles and promotions quickly and easily. Fixed term or anytime start durations, physical and digital packages can be rolled out in near real-time, compared with the lag you might experience with a bureau. You can be a lot quicker to respond to trends in data too. Often bureaus provide standardised reports which give a narrow view of the data your customers are producing. With your own system, in addition to standardised reports, you can get hands on with the raw data and deploy your business intelligence tools and techniques to find nuggets of critical information.
From an accounting perspective, everything is transparent. No matter what subscription, product or method of marketing, revenues are automatically and correctly attributed to the appropriate cost centre. Complex pricing, promotions, billing and licencing models including time related access or fixed downloads and all embedded. Auto renewals are generated as well as configurable reminder schedules and Industry standard EDI (ICEDIS). Trial and gratis subscriptions are also supported along with complex consortia deals.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you can re-engage directly with your customer base by utilising integrated CRM like tools to optimise subscription opportunities, and build customer retention.
Bringing subscriptions in-house removes the limitations and disconnects, refocusing you on your customers and your core business.
Don’t miss an opportunity to improve your service
It’s easier than ever to manage subscriptions in-house, and doing so provides you with opportunities to improve your service, and profitability. What do you have to lose?
If you’re interested in finding out the first steps, speak with one of the team at Ingenta who will guide you through the steps.
By David Montgomery, CEO, Ingenta
In September, 2015, David assumed the role of Ingenta’s CEO. He was previously Chief Technology Officer, where he was responsible for driving all aspects of the company’s IT strategy, including its vision, innovation and roadmap. In addition to defining the technical architecture and development of the company’s core products, David continues to manage their testing, rollout, and on-going support, working in close collaboration with the company’s customers to ensure that product strategy and development is aligned and with client requirements. Prior to Ingenta, David was Managing Director of Software Operations at Inspired Thinking Group (ITG), a Tech Track 100 company, where he was responsible for overseeing software hosting, application management, software development and customer services. Prior to that, he held various senior positions, including Chief Innovation Officer, at software company Atex, 10 years as Director of Technology at 5 Fifteen and spent 9 years as Director of Technology at Anite plc (previously Autofile).