Your Guide to Managing a Virtual Bookkeeper in 2023: Role, Challenges & Benefits

Your business success relies heavily on effective financial management. But not every business is in a position or has the desire to hire an in-house bookkeeper — and they don’t need to. Many organizations are turning to virtual bookkeepers due to their ability to adeptly track, record, and seamlessly manage financial tasks. Curious how? Let’s find out.

Full-time bookkeepers usually demand an average annual salary ranging from $48,000 to $70,000, along with benefits and overhead expenses, depending on where they work. On the other hand, virtual bookkeepers are much more pocket-friendly. With cloud-based accounting tools, accurate records, and increased efficiency for informed decision-making, virtual bookkeepers can revolutionize the way you manage your finances.

Securing Confidential Information With a Virtual Bookkeeper

Getting your books right virtually is more cost-effective. In fact, 90% of businesses have embraced hybrid work models, allowing their employees to work virtually from off-site locations (including home) for some or much of the time. Only about 10% continue to work in a traditional office setting. In this case, businesses prefer a virtual bookkeeper that can simplify financial operations with ease and flexibility.

According to Investopedia, small companies choose to outsource bookkeeping as it is more cost-effective than having an in-house accountant. The global finance and accounting business process outsourcing market size is expected to reach $93.2 billion by 2028, rising at a market growth of 9.2% CAGR during the forecast period (2018-2028).

Accounting and Bookkeeping Outsourcing Market Insight (2018-2028)

Image Source: Research And Markets

By offloading the time-consuming and complex task of bookkeeping to external experts, companies can redirect their internal resources towards growth-oriented activities, such as product development, marketing, and customer engagement. This enhanced focus on core business activities not only improves overall efficiency but also contributes to a competitive edge in the market.

Companies are recognizing the immense benefits of partnering with credible virtual staffing providers. The cloud-based approach allows businesses and their outsourced bookkeeping partners to collaborate seamlessly, regardless of geographical barriers, enabling efficient data sharing and reporting. Let’s learn further about the responsibilities of a virtual bookkeeper.

Understanding the Role of a Virtual Bookkeeper

Unlike traditional bookkeepers who work on-site, virtual bookkeepers provide accounting and bookkeeping services remotely. Let's delve into the essential aspects of a virtual bookkeeper's role:

Responsibilities of Virtual Bookkeeping

  • Financial Data Entry and Maintenance: Virtual bookkeepers handle the accurate and timely entry of financial data into digital systems, ensuring the records are up-to-date.
  • Bank Reconciliation: They perform regular bank reconciliations to match transactions and maintain the accuracy of financial records.
  • Invoicing and Payments: Virtual bookkeepers handle invoicing clients and managing accounts payable and receivable to facilitate smooth cash flow.
  • Expense Tracking: They track business expenses, categorizing and recording them for budgeting and tax purposes.
  • Financial Reporting: Virtual bookkeepers generate financial reports like profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow reports to help businesses make informed decisions.
  • Tax Preparation Support: They assist in gathering necessary financial data and preparing documentation for tax filings.

Differences Between Traditional and Virtual Bookkeepers

Difference between Traditional and Virtual Bookkeeper

Virtual bookkeepers use technology to streamline their processes, providing a seamless and secure way to handle your accounting needs remotely. Their reliance on cloud-based accounting software and automation tools ensures faster and more accurate data entry, reducing the risk of errors and enabling real-time collaboration.

Qualifications and Skills Required in a Virtual Bookkeeper

  • Bookkeeping Knowledge: A virtual bookkeeper must possess a strong understanding of accounting principles, financial procedures, and bookkeeping software.
  • Tech Proficiency: Being adept in various accounting software and cloud-based tools is essential for virtual bookkeepers to work efficiently.
  • Time Management: Virtual bookkeepers should manage their time effectively to meet deadlines and handle multiple clients if they work for an agency.
  • Communication Skills: Excellent communication skills are vital for clear client interactions and understanding specific business needs.
  • Data Security Awareness: Virtual bookkeepers must prioritize data security and confidentiality when handling sensitive financial information.
  • Problem-Solving Abilities: Troubleshooting discrepancies and finding solutions to financial issues are crucial aspects of a virtual bookkeeper's role.

By understanding the responsibilities, differences, and qualifications of a virtual bookkeeper, businesses can make informed decisions when opting for this modern approach to managing their financial records.

Common Concerns for Hiring a Remote Bookkeeper and How Flowz Helps

Embracing the efficiency of a virtual bookkeeper might raise concerns. Discover common challenges and how Flowz delivers reliable solutions, ensuring peace of mind in your financial management.

Communication and Time Zone Differences

Hiring a virtual bookkeeper from a different time zone can pose challenges in terms of effective communication and collaboration. Key concerns include delayed responses, difficulty in scheduling meetings, and potential miscommunications due to varying working hours.

Flowz, a leading remote staffing services provider with locations worldwide, offers the following solutions to overcome these challenges:

  • Flexible Communication Channels: Our virtual bookkeepers use diverse communication tools like emails, instant messaging, video conferencing, and project management platforms, ensuring seamless interaction regardless of time zones.
  • Establishing Communication Norms: We set clear expectations and response timeframes, maintaining open lines of communication and addressing urgent queries promptly.
  • Scheduling Regular Meetings: Our virtual bookkeepers are available across different time-zones and schedule regular meetings to discuss financial updates, address concerns, and maintain strong client-bookkeeper relationships.
  • Dedicated Regional Teams: Our global presence allows us to establish dedicated regional teams of virtual bookkeepers, ensuring that clients receive personalized support that aligns with their local business practices, regulations, and cultural nuances. These teams are well-versed in the specific requirements of different regions, providing you with a tailored and efficient bookkeeping experience.

Ensuring Data Security and Privacy

Entrusting sensitive financial data to a remote bookkeeper raises concerns about data security and privacy breaches. Clients worry about unauthorized access to financial records, potential data leaks, and the implications of mishandled information.

Flowz ensures top-notch security with the following measures:

  • Implementing Secure Systems: Our virtual bookkeepers utilize secure cloud-based accounting software and encryption protocols to safeguard client data from unauthorized access.
  • Signing Non-Disclosure Agreements: We build trust by having our virtual bookkeepers sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), legally binding them to maintain strict confidentiality.
  • Regular Data Backups: With regular data backups, we guarantee that crucial financial information remains safe and accessible in case of unforeseen events.
  • Regular Security Audits: We conduct periodic security audits to assess and strengthen our compliance with HIPAA, GDPR, and CCPA regulations. These audits ensure that our security measures are up-to-date and in line with the latest industry standards, providing an added layer of protection for our clients' sensitive information.
Get Started with a Virtual Bookkeeper Now

Managing Multiple Accounts and Workload

Virtual bookkeepers often deal with multiple clients and accounts simultaneously, which can lead to difficulties in task prioritization, meeting deadlines, and maintaining quality standards across all clients.

Flowz provides the following solutions to overcome this challenge:

  • Effective Task Prioritization: Our virtual bookkeepers prioritize tasks based on deadlines and urgency, ensuring all clients receive timely attention.
  • Automation and Technology: Leveraging automation tools for repetitive tasks streamlines bookkeeping workflow and enhances productivity for our remote bookkeeping assistants.
  • Collaborative Platforms: Our virtual bookkeepers use project management tools to collaborate efficiently with clients, keeping track of tasks, deadlines, and progress.
  • Dedicated Account Manager: Each client is assigned a dedicated account manager or team leader for personalized support and efficient communication.

Building Trust and Establishing Long-Term Relationship Remotely

Establishing trust with a remote bookkeeper you have not met in person can be challenging. You may be hesitant to share sensitive financial information with someone you have not physically interacted with, and building a long-term professional relationship can be more challenging without face-to-face interactions.

Flowz focuses on building long-term relationships through:

  • Transparent and Ethical Practices: Our remote bookkeepers maintain transparency in bookkeeping processes and adhere to ethical standards, instilling confidence in clients.
  • Excellent Client Service: We prioritize delivering high-quality services and being responsive to client needs, fostering trust and satisfaction.
  • References: We provide references and case studies from existing clients, showcasing credibility and reliability.
  • Strong Credentials: We ensure that our clients benefit from the most accurate and efficient bookkeeping services, backed by over 23 years of expertise and experience serving more than 4,200 satisfied clients.

With Flowz's remote bookkeepers, you can overcome these common challenges and experience smooth and efficient bookkeeping services.

Hear what one of our clients had to say about her outsourcing experience with us. -

Flowz Customer Testimonial

Check out Flowz’s Virtual Bookkeepers.

10 Proven Benefits of a Virtual Bookkeeper for Your Business

Infographic - 10 Benefits of a Virtual Bookkeeper

1. Cost-Effective Solution

Hiring a full-time, in-house bookkeeper can be expensive, especially for small businesses and startups. On the other hand, a virtual bookkeeping assistant offers a cost-effective solution as you only pay for the services you require, avoiding additional overhead expenses.

2. Bookkeeping Expertise and Accuracy

Virtual bookkeeping assistants are professionals with extensive knowledge and expertise in financial management. Their skills ensure accurate bookkeeping, reducing the risk of errors that could have significant consequences for your business.

3. Enhanced Time Management

A virtual bookkeeping assistant can efficiently manage your financial records, allowing you and your team to concentrate on essential business operations. By handling time-consuming bookkeeping tasks, they free up your schedule, providing you with more time to grow your business.

4. Data Protection and Confidentiality

Keeping financial data secure is crucial for any business. Virtual bookkeeping assistants use encrypted platforms and follow strict protocols to maintain the confidentiality and security of your financial information.

5. Access to Advanced Tools

Virtual bookkeeping services providers leverage modern software and tools to streamline bookkeeping processes, providing real-time insights into your financial health. This access to advanced technology enhances decision-making within your business.

Get Tax Prepared from a Virtual Bookkeeper

6. Scalability and Flexibility

As your business expands, your bookkeeping requirements will also increase. Virtual bookkeeping assistants offer scalability, adapting to your evolving requirements, and ensuring your financial management stays efficient at all stages.

7. Better Cash Flow Management

A virtual bookkeeping assistant can help optimize your cash flow by managing invoicing, payment processing, and monitoring expenses, ensuring your business stays financially healthy.

8. Reduced Tax Filing Stress

Tax preparation can be stressful and time-consuming, but with a virtual assistant bookkeeping, you can be confident that your records are well-organized and accurate, making the tax filing process smoother.

9. Access to Real-Time Financial Reports

Virtual bookkeeping assistants can generate real-time financial reports, providing you with a clear picture of your business's financial performance. This information is invaluable for making informed decisions and identifying areas for improvement.

10. Peace of Mind to Focus on Priorities

Knowing that your financial records are in capable hands brings peace of mind. You can confidently focus on running your business, while the bookkeeping aspect is being handled efficiently.

Integrate a Virtual Bookkeeper in Your Financial Workflow Today

Embracing virtual bookkeeping is not just a smart move, but a strategic investment towards the financial health of your business. Virtual bookkeepers pave the way for you to focus on core competencies and make well-informed decisions, fostering sustainable growth.

Book a Call to hire a virtual bookkeeper

Why Businesses Need a Remote Graphic Designer in 2023 & Beyond

User experience is at the forefront of the digital age. Graphic design today needs to go beyond the basics to influence a larger spectrum of experiences. Having a dedicated graphic designer ensures that the business has a cohesive look and a strong presence.

However, hiring the right graphic designers is becoming taxing as 54% of graphic designers leave their jobs frequently. As a result, businesses of all sizes now need remote graphic designers more than ever.

Graphic Design

5 Graphic Design Trends That Will Dominate 2023 & Beyond

The post-pandemic chaos has expedited rapid changes in graphic design. Interesting videos disrupt sluggish streams. Web 3.0 developments showcase the modern user's appetite for eye-catching visual experiences. Moreover, increasingly Internet-connected lives have made visuals matter more than ever.

So, what is in the store for graphic design? 

Graphic Design Trends

Expressive Typography

It should come as no surprise that words have evolved to become more pictorial in today's visually focused world. In 2023, Expressive Typography will become the most essential part of graphic design. Designers use expressive typography to give each letter more personality and to communicate their message. Moreover, readily available tools like Glyphs, make it easier to design a font to fit your brand requirements.

Expressive Typography reinforces the meanings of the text and conveys brand messages subtly. Businesses can use Expressive Typography with a unique message on posters, website homepages, and more to effectively convey their brand message.

3D Graphics

3D graphics are becoming prominent and swiftly garnering favor in the design world due to their many applications. They give brands a modern and futuristic look. A skilled graphic designer combines depth, shadows, textures and outlines to convey innovation and modernity. In 2023, through 3D models, animations, or virtual reality, designers will utilize abstract 3D elements to create eye-catching and engaging designs.

Additionally, graphic designers will use three-dimensional, immersive, and virtual reality to explore the metaverse.

AI Design

The increasing use of algorithmic and generative design is evident in how artificial intelligence revolutionizes graphic design. With advancing technology, designers can create things that would be challenging to make by hand. Whether through generative design tools or AI to optimize and improve existing designs, expect to see more artificially augmented or manufactured designs in 2023.

Creative Graphic Designs

Riso Print

Riso Print will return to graphic design by offering a unique aesthetic. Businesses can benefit from rough, organic textures and vibrant hues of Riso Print to add originality and character. When replicating the stencils, soy-based inks give risograph printing its distinctive, organic appearance. Bold, vivid colors and rough textures set Riso Print designs apart. 2023 will see an increase in the use of risograph effects in graphic design through print or digital media.

Holographic Surrealism

Holographic surrealism aims to create an ethereal, futuristic mood. The use of iridescent colors, holographic patterns, and neon lights define this science fiction and technology-inspired fashion trend. In 2023, holographic elements will create striking, alluring, and futuristic designs. Holographic vibes will likely be a big trend in 2023, whether as holographic elements in packaging, digital graphic, or branding.

What is a Virtual Graphic Designer & What They Do?

A remote graphic designer is a creative individual with extensive training and experience in design. They provide high-level creative and technical assistance and can take on all the tasks of an in-house graphic designer. 

Here are the tasks a graphic design virtual assistant can undertake for you, freeing you up to focus on your core:

Brochures

A skilled remote designer will turn your ideas into an eye-catching design to make your brochure stand out. They will also be able to help with the layout and ensure that all the information is easy to read and understand. A graphic designer can also ensure that your brochure is print–ready, which will save you time and money.

Billboards

The best billboard designs are creative and attention-grabbing. Business messages vary depending on the billboard advertisement’s placement. People at a traffic signal have more time to view a billboard than those driving fast by. An online graphic designer  should consider the complexity of the marketing message and the audience when designing.

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Business Cards

Business cards make a good impression on potential customers. In the Internet age, business cards have been converted to digital format. They can be on product slips, box inserts, and other brand collateral, among many other things. 

Infographics

A graphic design virtual assistant with experience creating infographics for your niche can aid in boosting sales, traffic, and brand recognition. They are skilled at designing infographics in an attractive and simple manner that makes the design easy to understand and adds value to the reader.

Website Design

A great website can enable businesses to stand out from the crowd. Skilled virtual assistants help businesses to create professional and aesthetically pleasing websites. Remote graphic designers create great websites that will help reach the target audience. 

Graphic Design

Flyers

When designing flyers, a graphic designer can be of great assistance. They can be a terrific source of ideas and inspiration in creating a bespoke design that meets business requirements. They may also assist in making sure that the flyers look effective and professional.

Is It Worth It to Hire a Remote Graphic Designer?

Businesses are often in a dilemma whether it is worthwhile to hire a remote graphic designer. A virtual assistant (VA) might be a fantastic alternative if you have a project that needs graphic design but doesn't have the funds to engage a full-time designer. Hiring a graphic designer VA also helps businesses avoid errors. Having a skilled professional assess your creatives before they go live can help you avoid costly mistakes that could hamper your business.

Here are the perks of opting virtual assistant graphic design services:

Remote Graphic Designers are Visual Storytellers

When a company employs a remote graphic designer, they are not merely engaging someone to produce attractive graphics. They are going to employ a visual communicator. You may create and implement a visual identity for your brand with the aid of a graphic design virtual assistant. They could aid in the generation of ideas for you. Although it takes time, brainstorming design ideas is crucial if you want to produce high-caliber designs. Businesses can realize their ideas with the aid of a design VA.

Remote Graphic Designers are Time-Savers

Businesses often waste a lot of time trying to handle everything. However, if you delegate some of the work to a virtual assistant for graphic design, you may focus on the tasks that are critical to you. A skilled graphic design virtual assistant (VA) can handle everything, so you don't have to. They can manage everything, from locating photos to creating social media postings. As a result, you'll have more time to focus on other tasks, like meeting with clients and developing company strategy.

Remote Graphic Designers are Economical

Hiring a full-time designer might not be possible if you have a limited budget. The best approach to get the designs you need is to hire a graphic design VA. You pay for the time you use because VAs typically bill by the hour. You're also getting a lot for your money because a graphic design VA is skilled in marketing and other business-related areas, such as social media. With an online graphic designer, you can get the high-quality designs you need without shelling big bucks.

Remote Graphic Designers Build Your Brand

Virtual graphic designers maintain a recognizable brand image by creating a visual identity that is memorable and easily recognizable to customers. Keeping a consistent brand image is essential to developing a solid brand reputation. As a result of growing customer confidence, consumers are more likely to select your brand over competitors. Hire a virtual assistant to contribute original designs to enhance your brand's appearance.

How to Hire a Remote Graphic Designer

Also Read: Is a Remote Assistant Worth the Investment?

Hiring a remote graphic designer can be a tedious task. From many virtual graphic design jobs, it becomes to screen the right candidate. Here are some tips on how to find and hire the best freelance graphic designer for your needs.

Research

When a business looks to hire a freelance graphic designer, it’s crucial to do their research and ensure they are hiring someone who is skilled and has experience. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Check out work portfolios
  • Read customer testimonials
  • Interact with the graphic designer

Allocate Budget

Before businesses start looking for a virtual graphic designer, know how much they are likely to spend on the project. Once they know their budget, they can narrow their search to designers to fit within the price range.

Define the Project Scope

Before looking for a designer, it's crucial to establish the project's scope. It entails having a specific vision for the design and knowledge of any deadlines or other requirements. You will find it easier to identify a graphic designer who is a suitable fit for the position if you outline the project's needs in advance.

Conduct a Test Run

Give the remote graphic designers a sample project once you shortlist the potential candidates. Businesses can see how remote graphic designers work and decide if they can fulfill your expectations.

Document Everything

Before beginning any project, it is critical to document everything in writing to avoid misunderstandings later. It encompasses:

  • Scope of the design project
  • Graphic design deadlines
  • Payment terms

Keep Lines of Communication Open

It's critical to communicate with your designer often to ensure everyone is on the same page during the project.

  • Give feedback on designs
  • Ask questions

Hire a Remote Graphic Designer Today

It is tiresome to hire, monitor, communicate and track a remote graphic designer. Enter, Flowz that offers vetted graphic designers who are available around the clock and create bespoke designs. They offer:

  • Global infrastructure and customer support 
  • Latest design software and technology 
  • Worry-free enterprise software licensing

Flowz’s virtual graphic designers designs:

  • Banners
  • Billboards
  • Brochures
  • Business Forms
  • Catalogs
  • Embroidery Digitizing
  • Flyers
  • Infographics
  • Prepress Art
  • Signage
  • And more

Hiring an Flowz Graphic Designer Gives:

  • Access to full-time or part-time designers without the overhead costs
  • Premium and fully licensed design tools 
  • Seamless communication 

Conclusion

Graphic Design

Virtual graphic design plays a significant role in businesses. However, creating great designs requires time, effort, and resources. To this end, a remote graphic designer can help. They exhibit many abilities and solutions that can reduce stress, costs, and time commitment. Hire a remote graphic designer with experience, evaluating their portfolio, and communication skills. Flowz offers fully managed and committed graphic design virtual assistants to ensure you receive the complete creative help that your company requires. 

The Only Guide You Need to Outsource Apparel Design Work in 2023

Outsourcing apparel design work encompasses the entire design supply chain, including trend forecasting, apparel, graphic, accessory, and packaging design. 

Today consumer awareness has grown, the design element is gaining precedence, and outsourcing the design to niche service providers is becoming imperative. 

The entire design-outsourcing strategy has enormous value for apparel firms since it allows them to have a strategic partner to comprehend the evolving consumer needs and create novel designs. 

For this, apparel businesses are embracing cutting-edge outsourcing tactics. 

Technology Trends Reshaping the Apparel Industry

Tech Trends

Technology has permeated every aspect of our lives, including the apparel industry.

Apparel firms are realizing that technology is essential to increasing their bottom line.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the apparel industry will revolutionize business operations. It will allow companies to optimize design, streamline production planning, and implement advanced quality control systems.

For instance, generative AI might increase the garment market’s value by $150 billion to $275 billion by 2028.

Integrating inventory tracking with AI’s robust data prediction tools enables trend forecasting. Firms may instantaneously access data that permits quick planning of the designs and quantities rather than relying solely on traditional techniques of trend forecasting, which necessitate the observation and data collection of fashion designers, trend spotters, and influencers.

Sustainable Fashion

Take STITCH FIX, for instance. The British clothing brand has developed an automated technique for creating a virtual wardrobe for its female clients that monitors their purchases using analytics. Additionally, the platform enables women to put together outfits using the items in their closets and even shop from more than 10,000 stores.

Smart Textiles

Smart textiles have ushered in a new era of innovation as soft robotics and fabrics come together. In addition to offering greater functionality and a wide range of uses, businesses are now developing connected clothes that go beyond standard apparel. 

It involves the incorporation of soft robotics and electronics into fabrics, resulting in garments that can adapt, respond, and interact with the wearer’s environment. These textiles are flexible, lightweight, and comfortable, blending technology into clothing.

In clothes sensors, color-changing vests react to ambient conditions. Usually, fitness trackers and heart rate monitors are integrated into shirts.

Apparel Business

Google-branded clothes may soon be available to its fans. Project Jacquard is a collection of conductive threads developed by Google's ATAP lab (Advanced Technology and Projects) for weaving touch-responsive textiles, such as garments, tablecloths, rugs, and other items made of fabric.

3D Printing

3D printing technology opens new possibilities for customization, sustainability, and innovation. Many fashion brands use 3D elements in their designs. In contrast to conventional production methods, 3D printing takes a long time to create but results in substantially less waste and needs less work. On-demand printing reduces fabric waste by about 35%. 

Iris Van Herpen
Image Source: Google Arts & Culture

Since 2010, the Dutch designer Iris Van Herpen has been utilizing 3D printing. The "Crystallisation" shirt, made of white polyamide and one of her most recognizable designs, was 3D printed. Van Herpen is possibly the only fashion designer to display at the coveted Haute fashion weeks in Paris using high-tech materials. She has created unique 3D-printed fashion creations for clients, including Bjork, Beyonce, and Lady Gaga.

Interesting Read: Outsourcing 3D Printing: Is It The Best Bet For Your Business?

Digital Twins, AR/VR and IoT

By combining digital twins, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and the Internet of Things (IoT), it is possible to reproduce real-world objects digitally. It leads to improved decision-making techniques, modeling, and real-time monitoring.

One of the most intriguing uses of virtual reality has been blurring the lines between the offline and online retail worlds. In the apparel sector, it allows shoppers to utilize VR to try clothes virtually. It uses augmented reality technology and customized measurement functionality to provide improved precision. Additionally, it implies that consumers would be more inclined to purchase goods if they feel like they tested them. 

Customers can visualize and customize apparel before making purchases using AR/AR technology, which helps exhibit products in interactive and engaging ways. 

For instance, Virtusize enables online fashion shops to depict the size of their products and determine the precise fit for the clothing their clients select virtually.

Apparel Design

Outsourcing Apparel Design Work

Designing is the core of the business for apparel companies. Well, it ought to be. Good clothing designs help businesses win customers. Designers with expertise are aware of the subtleties and significance of clothes design. But managing an internal team of designers is a problem that most firms struggle with. Since design companies can provide their end clients with remarkable finished works at competitive prices and promptly, outsourcing creative design services has become a well-accepted phenomenon in the apparel sector.

Significant Time Savings

The mountain of design work that goes into the apparel business can be time-consuming. Hiring an in-house team takes time and requires additional management, training, etc. Outsourcing your design work will save you a bunch of time. You have more time to focus on other aspects of your business while better-qualified hands take care of your design needs.

Increased Productivity

Outsourcing can also help companies with an in-house design team. When your internal design team gets overwhelmed with design projects, an outsourced team can cover the extra load. Thus, outsourcing increases your capacity to take on more projects. With more hands on deck, you can take on several design projects and meet your deliverables.

Diverse Range of Services

Finding a skilled designer can be challenging. Outsourcing may therefore be the perfect solution to your issues. Design outsourcing gives you access to a big talent pool of competent designers with unique design skills. Outsourcing allows businesses to diversify their services. 

Increased Revenue

Skilled virtual staff can increase the revenue of the apparel business over time. Apparel brands can gain exclusive access to resources that would create new opportunities and boost profitability through outsourcing.

When You Shouldn’t Outsource Design Work

Outsourcing cannot be the solution to every problem with apparel design. In some business scenarios, this tactic won't be the most effective, so you should consider your alternative possibilities.

Don’t Outsource When Things Are Not Clear for You

For businesses, it's acceptable not to have a strategy or plans. Take time to determine the best course of action. A skilled designer cannot help you if you are unclear about your goals. Instead of seeking design outsourcing, choose consulting, auditing, or just a piece of advice.

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Not Before You’ve Done Your Homework

When you outsource the operations of your apparel business, you might be confiding in a firm with which you have never before done business. Before outsourcing, study the firm you intend to deal with. Ask about their security credentials before sharing any information. 

When Outsourcing Costs You More

The primary reason for outsourcing is cost savings, so if that gets expensive, you might want to rethink your options. In some cases, outsourcing may be more expensive than having an in-house team, which could lead to a financial loss. For this, choose a reliable outsourcing partner that doesn't exhaust your budget.

How to Outsource Apparel Design Work

With Flowz's design and editing specialists, apparel manufacturers can enhance their designs. Our virtual assistants are skilled in designing personalized clothing patterns to promote clothing brands through social media postings and newsletters.

Flowz provides a broad range of apparel design services. Our skilled graphic designers use leading design technologies to create trendy apparel designs. As a top outsourcing business, the following are the design services we provide:

Custom Apparel Design:

We personalized your garment designs to create digital art. We will reproduce your apparel designs just as you had imagined.

Bespoke Graphic Design:

Flowz offers bespoke graphic design services to produce intriguing apparel designs. Further, we provide different clothing design options to suit your preferences, from eccentric characters to elegant scripts.

Expert Advice

If you're having trouble with design or other issues in your apparel business, our specialists offer consultation services and can help you overcome the roadblocks. We will perform a market analysis to understand apparel trends and to help you fill the gap with apparel designs, sales support, and more. 

Conclusion

Apparel

Outsourcing apparel design work yields positive ROI for businesses. It helps them to broaden their apparel design while saving time and money.

On the other hand, outsourcing your apparel design work may seem like an overwhelming endeavor. It takes experience and subtlety to conduct interviews and evaluate portfolios.

At Flowz, we house skilled designers that will be a valuable addition to any apparel business looking to outsource. Our designers use the latest tools to deliver impeccable designs on time. They will communicate with you directly and work as members of your team. 

Moving Through the Storm’s Eye – Automotive Engineering Current State & Future Scope

The COVID-19 outbreak hampered the production of automobiles. Vehicle sales took a hit. As the pandemic recedes, automakers have resumed vehicle manufacturing with limited capacity and safety measures in place. Amid talent scarcity, automotive firms are opting to outsource. 

The global automotive engineering outsourcing industry is skyrocketing owing to soaring demand for electric vehicles and autonomous vehicle innovative technologies.

Top businesses use outsourcing to beat rivals in the race for innovation by boosting value generation and slashing time to market. Automobile companies profit from flexible staff to fill skill gaps, respond more swiftly to demand surges, and free up in-house employees for more challenging jobs.

Automotive Engineering

The Game-Changing Technological Trends in Automotive Engineering

Technology played a crucial role in overcoming global headwinds for the automotive industry. It paved the way for automakers to leverage emerging trends like virtual showrooms, electric vehicles, and more.

The Rise of Autonomous Vehicles & Self-Driving Cars

AI has gained favor for ushering in the era of self-driving automobiles. The system uses machine learning algorithms, computer vision, and sensor fusion techniques to comprehend the environment around a vehicle, make judgments in real time, and control the automobile across the full range of driving situations. Autonomous cars reduce the need for human drivers and increase efficiency, convenience, and safety.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk, the founder of electric car vehicles Tesla, has kept the viewers eagle-eyed on delivering full self-driving cars. Tesla’s campaign to produce a fully autonomous vehicle has suffered amid mounting safety concerns. It will be interesting to see how Musk will cater to what he has promised.

Skilled Virtual Assistant

Penetration of the Internet of Things(IoT)

Automobile engineering technology uses the IoT to connect and communicate with other systems for many purposes. Apart from providing customers with infotainment and entertainment, connected vehicles offer a wide range of features, including traffic alerts, real-time location sharing, tracking, emergency SOS calls, roadside assistance, remote vehicle diagnostics, downloading critical software updates from the maker, detecting pedestrians to prevent accidents, and much more!

Exploring Digital Buying in Metaverse

Customers can purchase vehicles in virtual showrooms made with metaverse technologies that are entertaining and interactive. They undergo a unique buying experience with virtual test drives. Auto experts have discovered that employing metaverse technologies has increased client reach for the auto industry. Additionally, it enhances sales, develops brand loyalty, and enables them to reduce showroom and inventory costs. Some automakers are making virtual environments where consumers may interact with the brand.

Electrifying Vehicles

Sales of EVs are soaring globally. EVs already account for 21% of the automotive market in China, the largest automotive market in the world. By 2029, nearly 26% of all vehicles produced worldwide and a third of the North American market might be electric vehicles, according to consultancy AutoForecast Solutions.

Automakers are creating electrification solutions like renewable energy-based charging infrastructures to address environmental issues and increase the accessibility of EVs. These initiatives lower the cost of EVs and offer renewable energy options for environmentally friendly transportation.

Leveraging Advanced Supply Chain

Automotive firms can learn more about their supply chain processes with data visualization (DV). They can pinpoint areas that need improvement and boost productivity. Also, automakers employ data visualization to manage inventory levels and evaluate supplier performance. It leads logistics optimization, forecasting consumer demand, analyzing quality control data, and identifying cost-saving solutions.

Ford Motor Company, an American multinational automobile manufacturer, uses visual analytics tools and dashboards to monitor supplier performance and identify potential issues.

Automotive Business

Outsourcing Powers the Automotive Engineering

Automakers require a flawlessly planned supply chain to avoid delays and satisfy client demands. Amid the push for competitiveness and innovation, efficient logistics operations are highly advantageous. Hiring professionals to manage the logistics task can be helpful in this situation.  Automakers spend an enormous time and resources on logistics work beyond their core business. They can delegate such tasks to skilled logistics experts. Virtual automotive experts carry out the typical warehouse management, inbound logistics duties, and other value-added services like sequencing or assembly operations. Additionally, they serve as a point of contact for OEMs, second- and first-tier suppliers. 

Building Competitive Edge in the Cutthroat Market

The automobile industry frequently sees an unexpected rise in demand, such as a sharp surge in client inquiries. With the help of a reliable outsourcing partner, they can streamline corporate operations and achieve set objectives even when circumstances are rough.

A reliable automotive outsourcing firm offers a wide range of services to participants in the automotive sector that reduce costs, boost profitability, prevent price wars, and outperform the competition.

Working with an outsourcing provider can help automakers spot potential threats, implement practices that cut down on losses, and ensure the most accurate data possible. So always make a decision based on which provider will work well with the team and promote an open environment.

5 Benefits of Outsourcing Automotive Engineering

Automotive Outsourcing

The automotive industry is suffering a great deal as a result of the world economic crisis. Experts estimate that the shortage of semiconductor chips alone will cost the auto industry more than $200 billion.

Automobile manufacturers are embracing outsourcing given the advantages it offers:

Cost Reduction

Automobile manufacturers continually invest in technology and systems to manage operations. At times, it becomes difficult for an auto company to match the expertise and level of software and communications infrastructure. An experienced outsourcing provider has years of experience with sophisticated technologies that enhance automotive engineering operations. They offer better staff at a significantly lower cost in technology and training.

Flexibility

Running an automotive in-house will subject an in-house team dealing with high operations volumes. When automakers are constantly getting side-tracked by filling in customer service gaps, their focus gets disrupted, and productivity decreases.

Outsourced automotive has the size and staff to ramp up operations quickly, leaving automakers to focus on tasks critical to improving and growing the business. 

Subject Matter Expertise

Automakers want to ensure that the in-house staff is experienced in all facets of support. However, in-house employees cannot cater to all the lucrative automotive industry needs. On the other hand, outsourcing automotive engineering gives access to trained and experienced automotive engineers to handle all automotive industry tasks, take care of clerical tasks, and more.

Identify Inefficiencies & Propose Solutions

Automotive outsourcing service providers will have the necessary skills to identify and resolve areas of inefficiency while enhancing the bottom line. They will also be able to offer advice specific to your automotive industry, based on years of experience, to ensure all automotive engineering functions are well optimized for success.

Unifies Teams

The in-house employee conflict exists in almost every company and often comes to the forefront, especially when discrepancies arise. Outsourcing automotive engineering can be an effective way to unify the team and minimize conflict. Outsourcing automotive engineering specialists will work as a mediator, helping the teams align their goals while unburdening them of repetitive tasks.

IT Services That Can Be Outsourced in the Automotive Engineering Industry

Automotive Engineering Benefits

The automotive industry outsources a wide range of IT services to outsourcing businesses.

Embedded Solutions

The automobile industry will see demand for embedded systems in the upcoming years. Automobile outsourcing providers improve the power efficiency of vehicles and automotive equipment. It denotes the active application of embedded hardware and software in the automotive sector. GPS, fuel injection systems, parking sensors, airbags, and anti-lock brake systems are examples of the embedded solutions used in portable computing devices found in cars.

Process Automation

Vehicle manufacturers can use outsourcing technology to gain real-time insights into different automobile components' operations. Outsourcing automotive engineering ensures results with more precision and increased productivity. It optimizes automotive tasks and also enhances end users’ experience. For instance, collaborative robots (Cobots) increase manufacturing efficiency and productivity.

Enterprise Mobility

Automotive companies are rapidly adopting mobile solutions to enhance business processes. Outsourcing mobile solutions in the automotive sector brings competitive benefits across all divisions, from production lines to logistics and inventory management. It allows transmitting data more efficiently within an enterprise. Also, it makes operations more transparent, predicts the delivery time, and gets information in real time.

Dealer Management

In the automobile business, software development is necessary for auto distribution. Automakers often outsource dealer management systems. To this end, outsourcing firms connect dealer management systems to IoT sensors. They are flexible to accommodate new stakeholders in the existing supply chain. 

Conclusion

Automotive Services

It's staggering how cutting-edge technology is driving the automotive industry. Automotive businesses fundamentally lack the technical know-how to implement advances. Some firms cannot afford to establish an internal R&D department. Therefore, automakers must choose automotive engineering outsourcing to hasten the creation of novel solutions to stay ahead.

How Can a Virtual Assistant Help You With Store Inventory Management?

74% of businesses have experienced shipment delays and much longer lead times. This gap represents the urgent need for improvement in the industry. Store inventory management is a complicated process, and it serves as the backbone for the optimal functioning of retail businesses. Present market conditions require firms to step up their game. However, hiring support doesn’t come cheap; that’s why most companies hire virtual assistants to complete their tasks. Read more to discover how outsourcing store inventory management to a virtual store assistant can cut your expenses and worries in half.

store inventory management

The Growing Significance of Virtual Assistants in the Retail Landscape

The expansion of the retail industry has created a growing need for virtual assistants to support back-end processes like store inventory management. From stocking to order management, the end-to-end process is handled by them. Apart from affordability, the aspect that makes hiring retail staff different from full-time employees is their scalability and flexibility. The working model gives them the added advantage of working remotely-anytime & anywhere. 

store inventory management

Essential Skills Your Virtual Assistant Needs For Store Inventory Management

What skills do you need while hiring virtual assistants for store inventory management? Well, we have done a quick rundown of the top ten mandatory skills that your VA must have. This list makes it easier for you to sieve through the resumes and find one that suits your needs.

 

1. Communication 

Communication is one of the most effective and powerful skill sets. Especially in the retail industry, solid communication skills are required to complete daily store inventory management tasks. Your VA should have written and verbal proficiency to easily handle all client and vendor communication. Whether sending emails, daily update reports, 

coordinating with vendors, etc., your VA should be on it. It helps bring uniformity in terms of communication in the workplace and accelerates retail operations.

 

2. Technical Expertise 

Joining the digital transformation wave is the only way to keep up with the growing competition. This process requires every candidate you hire to have basic IT knowledge. Fortunately, most virtual assistants are well-versed in technological advancements and have experience using a powerful software tool suite. Excel, Powerpoint, CRM, and inventory management applications are some of the areas your VA should have proven experience in. Being capable of using these apps can automate basic tasks in your store and reduce human error in store inventory management. 

 

3. Email Management 

Running a business comes with a messy inbox. This is where most VAs come in. Regardless of your virtual assistant's role, email management skills are a must. Your virtual store assistant sieves through your emails and organizes them based on your priorities. It saves you the hassle of searching through important emails and responding to them. They are also responsible for timely replying to client emails, customer inquiries, orders, vendor reports, etc. You could also ask your VA to execute email marketing campaigns, which includes monitoring them and using analytical parameters such as click-through rates, open rates, subscribe/unsubscribe rates, and bounce rates. 

sTORE INVENTORY MANAGMENT

4. Time Management 

Smart business owners hire virtual assistants that successfully manage their time on their own and with their clients. You're hiring a VA to work as an independent individual who can improve your business's overall efficiency and productivity. It means the virtual assistant needs to be caught up with daily tasks, keep up with deadlines, streamline workflow, and realistically plan daily task completion. Virtual assistants generally create calendars to monitor and coordinate store inventory management and other retail operations. 

 

5. Typing 

Typing skills come very much in handy, especially while working remotely. Your virtual assistants must have professional typing skills to take notes during meetings, transcribe client meetings or reports, or accurately perform data entry. Store inventory management requires handling a lot of data; mishandling could cause problems for your business. However, a VA with sharp skills can fasten the data entry process so your company doesn't have to face retail hassles. 

 

6. Mathematical Skills

Your virtual assistant will be dealing with numbers all day, so they need to be quick with their arithmetic skills. Store inventory management can be hectic and time-consuming, so a virtual assistant who is comfortable working with numbers. This makes it easy for them to look at Inventory data all day and process them with minimal human error. Therefore, it's a significant advantage if your virtual assistant has this skill.

 

7. Detail- Oriented

Virtual assistants responsible for store inventory management should ideally have a keen eye for detail. The retail environment is fast-paced, and you need someone who doesn't miss out on the details among it all. Being detail-oriented comes in handy when dealing with stocking, customer complaints, inbound and outbound inventory, shipping, etc. Your virtual assistant should meticulously handle and store the data in an organized manner so it's easy to retrieve them when needed.

store inventory management

5 Tips That Will Streamline Your Store Inventory Management

An efficient and well-maintained inventory system is the core of any business. Not only does this significantly reduce operations costs and increase margins. Implement these five expert tips to make your store inventory management effective & efficient. 

 

1. Maintain Safety Stock

Lack of stock can affect the profitability of your business. That's why business owners use statistical methods for accurate sales forecasts. It helps them determine stock for each item in the inventory. In addition, it's crucial to maintain safe stock options, which means keeping a minimum in-stock count for each item in the inventory. Software applications like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems help business owners track this information for each item so they can maintain safety stock.

 

2. Leverage Technology 

Technological advancements are a vital differentiator in giving you an edge over your competitors. As a business owner, you must stay on top of inventory tracking and management techniques. It helps in making informed decisions regarding which technologies to invest in. Integrating the latest technological tools and platforms will facilitate the company's rapid development.

 

3. Cut the Excess Inventory 

Excess inventory lying around in your warehouse is just dead weight. It occupies unnecessary space, making storing or moving new stock challenging. Products no longer being sold or used or in demand must be unloaded. Research shows that reducing stock-outs and overstocks can lower inventory costs by 10%. An inventory audit is the fastest and easiest way to single out products underperforming in the market. Offering special discounts like buy one get one free or 50% off will help you free up storage.

 

4. Order Processing 

Order processing and efficient store inventory management go hand in hand. Implementing advanced strategies for order processing management is pivotal for providing efficient services such as shipping, receiving, and storage. Introducing a new layout to the warehouse and reliable personnel will ensure orders are processed quickly without delays or errors. There are software tools available that help business owners simplify order processing and management.

 

Also read: Are Virtual Assistants Necessary for Efficient Order Management Process?

 

5. Contingency Strategies 

Running a business is complicated, to say the least. Retail operations, specifically store inventory management is not an easy task. Several things can go wrong, such as running out of stock, no working capital to purchase items, fluctuating demand due to seasonal hikes, etc. Thus, it's necessary to have contingency plans to be prepared for such unforeseen circumstances. This way, you have a plan of action to help you get out in an emergency. 

store inventory management

Conclusion

Why struggle with store inventory management when you can outsource it to a virtual retail assistant? The retail industry is vast, and you need backup support. So, business owners choose outsourcing as the most convenient and cost-effective solution. Flowz has domain experts with considerable knowledge and skillsets to meet your requirements. Outsourcing from Flowz gives you the benefit of an exceptional online store assistant at competitive rates.

How to Outsource Information Technology in 2023

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally altered industries, ushered in new-age customer demands, and stimulated technology advancement. It prompted companies to rethink their business operations. Outsourcing has burgeoned, where some IT firms streamline their business while cutting costs and minimizing risks. 

The IT outsourcing market has grown tremendously for hiring the best talent and discovering hitherto untapped outsourcing benefits. Global IT outsourcing contracts are staggering $66.5 billion. It’s obvious that IT outsourcing is in demand, but how can it help small firms expand, especially if they’re still in the early stages of growth?

This blog explores how IT outsourcing solutions can help businesses of any size to meet their business goals and increase revenue.

IT Outsourcing

What Is IT Outsourcing?

IT outsourcing is a business practice that involves managing IT infrastructure, providing software service offerings, developing robust design apps, and managing many service desks using outside service providers. 

It is turning to outsourcing providers to access the best technology and talent at a low price to maximize profits. 

When Eastman Kodak took the historic decision to outsource its IT operations in 1989, there weren't many significant suppliers. Today IT firms have many options for delegating their IT needs.

IT Outsourcing Types

Offshoring

Offshoring is outsourcing IT operations to a partner in another country. Businesses use offshoring to hire a larger talent pool at affordable costs. Usually, firms offshore their services to countries with low labor costs, political stability, and tax savings. The main downside of offshoring is the distance which can make communication difficult and lead to cultural differences. It can also be challenging to manage and monitor an offshore team. 

IT Outsourcing

Nearshore Outsourcing

In contrast to offshore, where the service provider is in a foreign country, nearshoring uses a local service provider. With nearshoring it's simpler to coordinate and communicate with a team in a similar time zone. Additionally, it is less likely that cultural differences may cause problems.

Onshore Outsourcing

Onshoring is outsourcing IT operations to a service provider within the same country. Organizations onshore either acquire skilled labor that is not accessible locally or benefit from tax incentives. Onshoring allows IT firms to coordinate and communicate easier. On the other hand, onshoring doesn't likely provide the same economic advantages as offshore or nearshoring.

Multisourcing

Multisourcing refers to the use of several outsourcing providers. By working with several vendors, businesses reduce their risk. The main benefit of multisourcing is IT firms can mix and match vendors to get the optimal balance of cost, quality, and service. The biggest drawback is that maintaining several providers and managing several vendors in various time zones can be more challenging.

What Drives a Business to Choose IT Outsourcing Over Hiring In-House

IT Outsourcing

Outsourcing allows IT companies to save costs while focusing on their core business activities. It is a practical means of addressing capacity issues. With outsourcing amid growing market share and elevated product value, businesses can work on projects with the most potential.

Companies outsource their IT process owing to limited resources and resource optimization. With outsourcing, IT organizations can easily bypass the drawn-out and time-consuming hiring process and onboarding. Businesses that outsource are more adaptable and can scale up or down as needed.

Benefits of Outsourcing Information Technology

Businesses can outsource their IT and gain the following benefits over time:

IT Outsourcing Benefits

Strategic IT Expertise

IT firms frequently experience difficulties in hiring people. 

Did you know that 53% of European businesses say it is tough to find qualified IT candidates? For this, IT firms need to seek assistance to have access to a skilled base of IT specialists.

Through Information Technology outsourcing, IT businesses can combine their internal resources with external knowledge. They can access staff with top-notch skills and technological expertise.

Increase in IT Efficiency

A top-notch IT outsourcing provider will have the tools to carry out the tasks effectively. However, handling the same project in-house, finding the candidates, and training them could take time. Reliable outsourcing partners like  Flowz brings years of knowledge, saving time and money.

Information technology outsourcing enables companies to optimize their internal resources and free up team members to focus on their competence. 

Support In-House IT Team

In-house IT teams usually become overburdened by handling general help desk requests, software updates, and other tasks. Employing an externally managed IT service can free up internal IT staff's time so they can work on core IT tasks.

With creativity and innovation at the forefront of every IT outsourcing operation, they complement the in-house team's endeavors.

Compliance & Security

With IT companies expanding into the digital sphere, cyber security is crucial to the operation of any successful company. Sensitive information about your business and clientele is at risk if you don't have a solid cyber system. IT companies can secure client information and other sensitive data by outsourcing with a PCI compliance provider.

A reliable outsourced IT team works around the clock, ensuring zero downtime. They are available 24/7 to tackle any IT-related issues promptly.

For instance, if a website is down, sales possibilities are lost. 37% of businesses have experienced client losses due to website outages. 

Low Costs

Hiring, training, and turnover in the IT department can be expensive. Above all, it means your employees are on a perpetual learning curve. Outsourcing IT services means dealing with experienced staff and a company that bears the financial burden. With IT outsourcing, businesses don't have to worry about paid time off, health insurance, or replacing outdated software or broken hardware. Now, IT firms can repurpose finances in other areas that help their business grow.

How to Build the Best IT Outsourcing Strategy

IT outsourcing demands the coordination of several departments, such as legal, HR, operations, etc. The top things that drive businesses to outsource are sophisticated technologies and resources at the lowest possible cost.

Here are a few best practices to follow to create the ideal IT outsourcing plan for IT businesses:

Outsourcing for the Right Reasons

IT Outsourcing

Many IT firms place a lot of emphasis on performance optimization while overlooking their primary goal to improve business performance. These business goals need additional space to experiment and test out novel ideas, new applications, new solutions, and more. Businesses need outsourcing to free up the resources for these activities. 

A good IT outsourcing strategy is where the business is upfront with its expectations from the external outsourcing provider. Also, IT businesses need to outline the business value of outsourcing and how it supports business goals. 

Utilize the Right IT Outsourcing Partner

Finding trustworthy, dependable, and high-quality service providers is a very crucial choice. An ideal Information Technology outsourcing partner needs to be capable of completing all the complex IT project requirements within the stipulated period. Before signing the contract, businesses should ensure they work with the right partner. 

Nondisclosure agreements, or NDAs, are the primary checkpoints to outsourcing collaboration. These contracts will help IT companies to conduct business without disagreements or issues. Therefore, the security of intellectual property must be kept in mind while selecting an outsourcing partner.

Gauge Communication Skills

When selecting an outsourcing partner, look at how well a company communicates. Start looking for a partner who discusses the need in detail. Communication can establish trust for IT businesses to create successful, long-term business relationships.

Also, keep track of the daily progress of virtual assistants. Get everyone on the same page by communicating frequently and defining KPIs.

These are the primary factors to consider when choosing the right outsourcing partner for IT business tasks.

Conclusion

IT outsourcing saves companies money and provides high-quality services at their discretion. An outsourcing partner with highly skilled staff and an appetite for growth can propel IT firms onward. Flowz assesses clients' needs to deliver the finest IT services possible. Ready to take the next step? Let's connect.

Are Virtual Assistants Necessary for Efficient Order Management Process?

The order management process is the backbone of any eCommerce business. About 20.8% of retail purchases in 2023 are expected to occur online. From the time a customer clicks on ‘buy’ till the time the product is delivered to the customer, the whole journey falls under order management and processing. It sounds easy enough at first, but if it’s not maintained or executed correctly- it will lead to potential loss and damage. In this blog, we will explore the order management process and how a virtual assistant can help you.

Understanding Order Management Process

In simple terms, the order management process includes accepting, tracking, and fulfilling orders placed by customers. However, there are a lot more components to it. The order processing manager will also have to coordinate and manage the inventory system, delivery visibility, etc. With the advancement of technology, business owners can now keep track of everything in one place. 

There’s room for error in the coordination and involvement of many departments within the order management process. As a business owner, you can’t afford such a mistake. That’s why most business owners outsource eCommerce store management, specifically order processing management, to save time and money. Letting an expert virtual assistant handle all the grunt work reduces the possibility of error and frees up time for your full-time employees to focus on other essential tasks.

The Key Components of Order Management Process: Tasks a VA Can Help You With

Are you planning to outsource your order management process but unsure what tasks your virtual assistants can handle? Well, worry not. In this blog section, we focus on the different tasks your VA can do for you.

 

1. Order Receiving and Entry

Depending on your business model, your VA receives and accepts customer orders through emails, social media, websites, or phone calls. It is the first of the many steps in the order management process. Your VA can enter the order details manually or use software to automate the process to ensure all the necessary information is stored in a database. Furthermore, they send an order confirmation message or mail to the customer.

 

2. Order Verification and Validation

Once the order is accepted, it needs to be validated regarding available inventory, promo codes, special discounts, pricing, etc. Virtual assistants do this to monitor the business's stock availability and cash flow. They also verify the information provided by the customer, like phone number, address, etc., to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the order information. The VA screens all orders to ensure there's no fraud to prevent/block fraudulent charges, keeping your business safe.

 

3. Inventory Check and Allocation

Managing inventory is a tedious and time/consuming task in the order management process, but it's crucial for the success of your business. With the help of your VA, you get detailed and error-free inventory reports timely, so you can focus on optimizing your business. They update the inventory records and alert you if there's an out-of-stock or low-stock situation to take the necessary action. Most of all, your business will always be up and running as the VA will ensure that there's always sufficient stock for order fulfillment.

 

4. Payment Processing

It's always best to let one person handle the end-to-end order management process. Virtual assistants are generally well-versed in financial knowledge and have the skills to use software tools to make payment processing easier. They handle credit card transactions, processing invoices, payments, etc. To ensure the customer's and company's safety, your VA ensures that all protocols are followed, the payment gateways are secure, and the payment collection process is monitored.

5. Order Fulfillment and Packaging

Since multiple departments are involved, coordinating with them can get tricky. VAs are constantly in touch with the warehouse or fulfillment center during order management. They coordinate with the center to ensure the order is picked up, packaged, and delivered on time. Further, virtual assistants also arrange for packaging material (like boxes, protective bags, etc.), to secure the products and ensure the delivered goods are not damaged. VAs also look into labels and packing slips to confirm the order is correct and reaches the right person. 

 

6. Shipping and Delivery Logistics

Another department virtual assistants coordinate with during the order management process is logistics. VAs help them schedule pickups for on-time delivery. They must also look into customer preferences like shipping methods, delivery destination, cost on delivery options, cost considerations, etc. They take care of the shipping and delivery logistics to ensure no delay during transit. On-time delivery adds to customer satisfaction, which builds brand reputation.

 

7. Order Tracking and Status Updates

Do you know that 76% of people will stop doing business with a company after two terrible customer experiences? They want to see where the order is, how long it will take to reach, etc. Virtual assistants keep customers informed about their order status and answer any query that they might have. They can provide further information on order shipping, processing, approximate delivery date, and more. It reassures the customer and keeps them in a loop. 

 

8. Returns and Exchanges Management

Virtual assistants also handle the process of managing exchanges or returns for customers. VAs communicate with them to understand why they want to exchange or return the product, if the product received is damaged, etc. These reasons help your business improve production and order management processes. Customers get 24/7 assistance from virtual assistance to initiate return requests, get return shipping, and exchange products on time. 

 

9. Customer Communication and Support

A Harvard Company Review states that business owners spend, on average, 3% of their work hours communicating with customers. It means there's little time allocated to the people essential for growing the business. That's why they choose to outsource a virtual assistant to help them with the order management process. This way, business owners can focus on other things on their plate without neglecting customer support. 

 

10. Order Documentation and Record-Keeping

The order management process is complex; virtual assistants keep the process organized and manageable by documenting everything. They are responsible for maintaining and keeping track of ongoing and past order details, payment records, customer data, and more. These documents and records are stored in a manner that is easily accessible for future use. Virtual assistants can also use data and records to analyze trends and give insights into sales, business trends, or customer behavior.

Overcoming Common Challenges in Order Management Process

The order management process is not smooth sailing. During this journey, you are bound to encounter one or many challenges. Here is a rundown of some of such issues and how to solve them.

1. Technology Limitations 

The manual order management process is a thing of the past. It is time-consuming, inaccurate, causes delays, is error-prone, and ultimately leads to customer dissatisfaction. Business owners have realized that the key to rapid growth and success is automation. By integrating order management system processes or even customer relationship management software, you can improve the efficacy of operations on all fronts of your business.

 

2. Order Tracking 

Customers want to know where the product is or how long it will take to deliver. Poor tracking and visibility of the order lead to customer queries, a hike in customer support requests, and a poor shopping experience. To avoid this, streamline your eCommerce site or app and allow customers to track their orders and get real-time updates. Back-end processes like integrating tracking numbers from shipping carriers into your OMS needs to be done to give such a service to your buyers. Customers who can view and manage orders independently are less likely to be dissatisfied with your business

3. Collaboration and Communication 

As mentioned before, the order management process requires many departments to communicate and coordinate to deliver the product successfully. In most cases, the inefficient communication between these parties leads to delays or errors in order processing. To prevent this from happening, most businesses outsource virtual assistants as it's less time-consuming, and they are well-versed with all the practices/tools required for accessible and effective communication. 

 

4. Scalability 

As your business experiences an increase or decrease in demand due to seasonal fluctuations, market forces, etc., it can be hard to adapt to such changes instantly. There needs to be a system in place through which you can maintain the flexibility to meet the changing demands. Outsourcing the order management process is the easiest and most effective solution. Depending on the current requirements, you can scale up or down and pay accordingly. An alternative solution is to invest in scalable technology that can handle the increasing orders when necessary.

To Sum Up

By now, it's clear that virtual assistants are the solution to all challenges encountered during the order management process. They are necessary to streamline operations and drive growth or success. Outsourcing a virtual assistant from Flowz comes with many perks. The competitive rates allow you to hire them cost-effectively; you get access to a suite of powerful software tools, detailed weekly reports of VAs, and so much more. Outsource your order management process and leave your operations in capable hands.

How to Wow & Win Customers with Promotional Swag

In the dynamic digital media ecosystem, brands vie for consumers’ attention. It becomes challenging to connect with customers since their attention spans are getting shorter owing to the abundance of products available. In essence, marketers have a brief window of time to grab the audience’s interest before they scroll past to another product.

If we cast our eyes around, we probably see a promotional item or many.

Nowadays, it has become common to see social media influencers hawking merchandise, HR inundating branded merchandise to employees, and startups splurging on bags to commemorate their IPO. 

It’s interesting to realize that there are more uses for products with logos today than there were even ten years ago, which indicates that the market for promotional goods is growing.

Therefore, firms should now resort to promotional products as a successful marketing tactic to grab consumers’ attention.

Whitepaper

Breaking into the Promotional Products Industry

Often referred to as swag or giveaways, promotional products are branded objects featuring a company logo, phrase, or motto used in marketing, sales, and advertising. Promotional products broaden the target market, promote products and services, and raise brand awareness. Typically, businesses give free promotional items to their audience, employees, and clients at trade shows. 

Promotional products evoke positive emotions in the target audience. The customer feels happy, curious, appreciated, and connected when they receive promotional products. Through emotional engagement, brands establish a connection between their products or services and their target audience, which is the precursor to a purchase. 

The Most Popular Promotional Products

Depending on the organization’s needs, industry, and customer base, promotional products are of many forms. Promotional products measure through impressions over the lifetime of the item. 

The number of lifetime impressions is a good indicator of how effective promotional products are. It is crucial to consider how long promotional and marketing products will last. A promotional product can maximize the number of lifetime impressions and possible organizational gains if it is kept and used for a long time.

Based on anticipated lifetime impressions, PPAI claims that the following promotional goods are the most well-liked and successful:

Promotional Products

Outerwear — Rain slickers, jackets, and windbreakers can achieve an estimated 6,100-lifetime impressions.

T-Shirts — T-shirts can achieve an estimated 3,400-lifetime impressions.

Headwear — Hats, visors, and similar headgear achieve an estimated 3,400-lifetime impressions.

Bags — Backpacks, and tote bags can achieve an estimated 3,300-lifetime impressions.

Stationary — Pens, notebooks, and pencils can achieve an estimated 3,000 lifetime impressions.

Polo Shirts — Polo shirts can achieve an estimated 2,300-lifetime impressions.

Drinkware — Coffee mugs, water bottles, and glassware can achieve an estimated 1,400-lifetime impressions.

Umbrellas — Umbrellas can achieve an estimated 1,100-lifetime impressions.

Calendars — Calendars can achieve an estimated 850-lifetime impressions.

Why Do Businesses Need to Branch into Promotional Products?

Promotional Products

Promotional products are a powerful marketing tool. However, before using promotional products, businesses need to assess their goals. An organization can reap the benefits of promotional products when giveaways add value to the consumer and effectively communicate the brand message.

The following PPAI statistics demonstrate the effectiveness of promotional products as a marketing tool:

  • Consumers are willing to take action to get promotional products.
  • 88% of consumers who got a promotional product could recall the brand
  • 96% of customers want to be informed when a business plans giveaways.
  • 80% of consumers react strongly to promotional and marketing products.
  • Consumers relate a brand's reputation with the caliber of its promotional products in 72% of cases.
  • Promotional products rank as a highly effective marketing strategy by 70% of brands

Promotional products are a tangible tool that addresses a range of marketing issues, such as amplifying attempts to engage employees and raising brand recognition. They offer high ROI due to the impact on the public. 

Freebies Put the ‘Emotion’ in Promotion

Promotional Swag

Everyone loves free stuff. However, does it provide enough buzz for a brand to give out these gifts?

People often forget an advert on TV or billboard in a few seconds. However, a gift from a brand stays with the user. Promotional products elicit emotions. For instance, when you give a consumer a customized gift, they interact with your brand rather than just seeing it in an ad.

Freebies give people a feeling of accomplishment in general. Such an experience helps businesses grow by cultivating loyalty by establishing the business-customer connection.

A personalized promotional product imprinted with a distinctive logo, tagline, or text aid in achieving many business goals:

  • Keeps the brand in the minds of the customers
  • Increases a customer’s loyalty
  • Celebrates clients and employees
  • Encourages and promotes attendance at events, booth visits, and in-person interactions
  • Extends face-to-face communication beyond a single meeting

Tapping into Promotional Products to Fuel Branding

Promotional goods are a powerful advertising tool for businesses. Below are the four benefits of promotional products that boost marketing. 

Promotional Products Benefits

Attract More Eyeballs

Companies can increase the efficiency of their marketing campaigns and draw in new clients by using promotional handouts and thoughtfully crafted swag boxes. They are a great way to increase eyeballs on the brand and create more awareness. 

Branded merchandise acts as a marketing tool that allows brands to ensure that people will get to know their products. It increases the chances of the audience recalling the brand.

Increase Sales

Freebies are enticing and can increase sales. Half of the people who receive promotional products engage further with the advertiser. 

Promotional products serve as lead generators in addition to being branding tools. These products have demonstrated the ability to leave a lasting impression on clients. 

Therefore, working with brilliant designers has an immeasurable benefit because great designs are one of the things that draw in new customers. After falling in love with the brand, consumers eventually become paying customers. 

Enhance Employee Engagement

When employed correctly, promotional products are an efficient external marketing method for elevating a brand among internal stakeholders of the business. Promotional products help to build relationships with employees and can increase brand loyalty. They improve a company's reputation. 

Employees find it easier to connect with a company that invests in meaningful gifts that make them feel valued. The Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) reports that 57% of American workers would stay with a company longer than one that didn't provide branded things to its staff.

Act as a Business Card

Business cards are an essential marketing tool that promotes brand awareness while establishing a connection with people. Promotional products with a brand name can act as a business card by introducing the brand and its services to consumers.

When distributing promotional products, businesses can introduce themselves to broader prospective buyers.

Promotional handouts include contact information, just like business cards. They bear the brand and graphics of your business together with a message that conveys your marketing strategy.

As a result, consumers can use the tangible brand-named product as a useful business card on a daily basis.

3 Ways to Align Your Market Presence Through Your Promotional Products

Every brand aspires to be distinctive in today's competitive business environment. Therefore, businesses need to understand who they are, what makes their product stand out from the competitors, and how they add value for the customer. Here are the three ways to align market presence through promotional products.

Ensure Brand Relevance

It's crucial to select a giveaway item relevant to the brand and encapsulates what your company does. Your target market will find it simpler to relate your brand to the product they have purchased. For example, T-shirts are a popular promotional item, but if the company doesn't perform promo shirts, they might not be the best choice.

Understand Buyer’s Personas

A consumer interacts with a brand through many touchpoints, and there is a potential to increase brand awareness, trust, and loyalty. Therefore, businesses need to recognize every stage a customer goes through. From the time they first learn about the brand until they make a purchase. Once a company has accomplished this, they ensure that their promotional products create an emotional connection. 

Establish Competitive Advantage

Businesses must be explicit about the advantages their promotional products offer to customers. They have to be upfront with customers about how the product will benefit them and improve their lives. By highlighting these advantages, brands make it simpler for customers to consider choosing their product over others.

Winning the Giveaway Game

If a promotional item is fun, practical, and stylish, people are more inclined to keep and use it. Mix fun in your swag with a dash of functionality to appeal to the social media-savvy audience. The third factor is to remain trendy. For instance, today's consumers are fun-loving while also being responsible. Customers love a brand that promotes ecologically friendly promotional items and cares about the environment. The industry witnessed a surge in sustainable promo product sales last year by 20%. Therefore, brands must use eco-friendly products to capture the attention of their target audience.

Wrapping Up!

Promotional Products

Promotional products remain a powerful marketing strategy. Whether you call them swag, branded goods, or promotional products, promo products are a fantastic way to engage with customers and demonstrate your concern for them. These freebies increase brand recognition. These products are also great for attracting a loyal fanbase and increasing sales.

Transforming Project Efficiency: Leveraging the Power of Outsourced Engineering Service

Outsourcing is revolutionizing the work culture around the globe. Companies are slowly opening up and becoming more dependent on outsourcing agencies to provide them with capable individuals. According to research, the current global outsourcing market is expected to reach USD 280.6 billion in 2023.

However, most business owners are still unaware of the full potential of outsourcing. Did you know that you can also outsource engineering services apart from IT, administration, finance, and other favored industries? 

The blog below contains an in-depth guide on what outsourcing engineering services mean and how outsourced engineering services benefit your company.

outsourced engineering service

What are Outsourced Engineering Services?

As the name suggests, outsourced engineering services refer to hiring an external employee to complete specific engineering tasks or functions. It works like any other outsourced service. Due to the complexity of the industry and high costs, companies are looking for alternative ways to get their job done at the lowest possible prices. Hiring full-time employees is not a feasible option as it only ends up costing them a lot more.

That's why business owners prefer outsourcing, as it is reliable and helps boost their company's productivity without burning a hole in their pocket.

Global Engineering outsourcing Services

This trend shows the continued growth of ESO and the internal decisions made by several companies to choose outsourcing engineering services.

Exploring Outsourced Engineering Services: An Overview

Okay, now you must be wondering what type of tasks or functions you can outsource. Well, most engineering virtual assistants are well-versed enough to handle any kind of task you assign them. However, to give you an idea, here are a few examples of outsourced engineering services.

1. Conversion Services

An outsourced engineering virtual assistant can help you take care of all the conversion tasks like 2-D to 3-D, Point Cloud to BIM, PDF to CAD, and much more. Conversions require 100% accuracy for the success of the project. One needs to be an expert at it. Luckily, our virtual assistants are subject matter experts with the software proficiency to handle such tasks. Our VAs also give you a detailed terrain report and detect potential risks in your project. 

 

2. Stimulation Services 

Certified engineering VAs can perform stimulation services that play a critical role in manifesting the project. Using high-tech specialized software, they can bring life to the projects by visually stimulating them. It helps the architects, engineers, and designers involved to visualize the project and collaborate efficiently. 4 BIM construction, mechanical/HVAC BIM, and Plumbing BIM are a few examples of such services.

 

3. Design and Drafting

Are the cogs of your creativity wheel stuck? Why not oil it with the creative juices of our virtual assistants? 2D, 3D, Solar Rooftop, and Sketchup Modeling are some popular outsourced engineering services. Our VAs have years of training in using computer-aided design (CAD) software and its various types available in the market. They provide you with models or drawings of product design, mechanical components, architectural plans, etc., in either 2D or 3D.

Outsourced engineering service

4. Compliance 

Adhering to regulations and compliance procedures is mandatory while working on any project. Compliance is regularly outsourced engineering service as business owners want to reduce time and cost by relocating their resources elsewhere. Our VAs are subject matter experts and up-to-date with the latest environmental regulations, product concepts, and more. 

 

5. Cost Estimation & Takeoffs  

Another vital outsourced engineering service is cost estimation. It is conducive and wise to plan out the cost distribution before you start the project. Not only does this go hand in hand with drafting designs of the project prior, but it also will help you fit the project within your budget. Additionally, you will be able to avoid any overruns and delays in the future. From renovation takeoffs to BIm estimates, our virtual assistants can handle it all. 

 

6. Documentation 

Outsource engineering services to virtual assistants to ensure you're not wasting time on back-end processes. VAs can quickly create any technical documentation required for the project. It includes engineering reports, user manuals, assembly introductions, etc. They ensure the information is easy to comprehend and presented concisely.

Outsource Engineering Service

Benefits of Outsourcing Engineering Services to a VA

Now that you have an idea of outsourced engineering services, here is a list of benefits that will give you a picture of why you should choose outsourced engineering firms for your business. 

1. Cost-Friendly 

The number one benefit of outsourced engineering service is that it will always be cheaper than hiring someone in-house to do the same task. Virtual assistants don't require infrastructure requirements, quote high prices, or require employee benefits. VAs can help firms save up to 78% on operational costs compared to a full-time hire. Reliable outsourcing agencies like Flowz is a prominent destination for a plethora of businesses to outsource their operations. 

 

Also Read: Virtual Assistant Cost: 4 Crucial Factors to Keep in Mind

 

2. Free Access to Powerful Tools

Advanced technology doesn't come cheap. Especially in an industry like engineering, you will need access to numerous tools and software for project execution. One big advantage companies can benefit from while outsourcing is gaining free access to state-of-the-art technological tools and software. Thus, outsourced engineering services boost the overall integrity of the project.

 

3. Scalability and Flexibility 

Outsourcing Firms like Flowz provides clients with 24/7 availability. Our VAs are present worldwide, so they are flexible to work in any time zone and your preference. Another bonus is that VA services are on an as-need basis. It means that you can hire more VAs when the load of the outsourced engineering task is more and then scale up or down based on the current requirement. It maintains the overall efficiency of your company.

 

4. Expert Help

Any VA hired from a reputable firm will be a subject matter expert in that particular industry. With years of experience, training, and knowledge under their belt, Flowz's VA gives you access to a broader range of engineering skill-set. Outsourced engineering services allow companies to leverage specialized skills without any constraints or limitations.

outsourced engineering services

Similar to any other industry, the landscape of outsourced engineering services is constantly evolving. A new market or opportunity is created with new innovations and developments that impact the industry. Based on the current information and trends, here's what you can expect the future of outsourced engineering services to look like. 

1. Growth in Outsourcing Designing

Outsourced engineering services in the design sector are expected to grow at a CAGR of 27%. With the functions and designs getting further complicated, it is predicted that they will be a greater need to outsource design work at relatively low prices. 

 

2. Automation and AIs

As part of the cutting-edge solutions provided to clients, there will be significant developments in technology- specifically AIs and automation. Core outsourced engineering services will now include possible technological upgrades capable of predicting & preceding problems and helping with maintenance.

 

3. Sustainable Solutions 

Needless to say the earth's drastic climate change is changing how we work. In order to reduce carbon footprint and other environmental damages, there will be considerable growth in the market of green engineering solutions. Solar 3D planning and similar outsourced engineering services will see a significant hike in terms of demand and staffing.

 

4. Cybersecurity 

With the rate at which digitalization is taking over the world, it is hard to keep up with cybersecurity to maintain the same. Taking preventive measures to safeguard sensitive data, access codes, design software, etc., has become an absolute priority for business owners. They have started investing in cybersecurity and outsourced engineering services to secure their data. 

outsourced engineering services

Conclusion

As the demand for outsourced engineering services increases, companies look at 360-degree firms that can handle all their needs. Flowz has more than two decades of experience in the outsourcing business and has helped 4,400 clients achieve their goals by providing them with expert virtual assistants. It goes without saying that we are the number #1 trusted firm for outsourced engineering and other remote services. 

It is because we understand and interpret our client's requirements and provide them with nothing else than the highest quality work. Embracing virtual assistant engineering services is guaranteed to contribute to the success of your project and optimize your workflow. Improve your bottom line and accelerate your project's timeline by simply giving Flowz a call.

Outsourcing 3D Printing: Is It The Best Bet For Your Business?

3D printing has gained ground quickly, given the advantages such as cost savings, and enhanced product-design possibilities. 72% of companies have already embraced the technology, and 52% of organizations believe 3D printing will improve significantly over the next five years.

3D Printing Market
Image Source: Markets

Often businesses remain in dilemma whether to set up an in-house 3D printing or outsource to 3D printing service providers. 

This blog post explores the nuances of 3D printing and breaks the impasse for businesses in making a decision. 

3 Major 3D Printing Trends to Look for in 2023

The year 2022 was challenging owing to ongoing supply chain issues, the Ukraine crisis, and the rise in energy and raw material costs. It made businesses realize how important it is not to depend on a complex supply chain and made it obvious how 3D printing can be a savior. 

Hospitals and medical personnel benefited greatly from 3D printing throughout the pandemic. The technology aided in accelerating the production of face shields or intricate ventilator parts.

So what is in the store for 3D printing in 2023? How is it going to revolutionize industries? Here are the three 3D printing trends that may influence the market through 2023 and beyond.

Growing 3D Printing Technology Maturity

Fortune 500 Companies

3D printing enables customized products and reduces manufacturing costs and process downtime. These factors indicate that the market will become more mature in 2023. 3D printing applications are evolving beyond prototyping to functional part manufacturing in various industries, such as healthcare, manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, automotive, medical, aerospace, and consumer goods.

When supply chain disruptions occur, 3D printing technology enables the rapid availability of much-needed parts. Also, additive manufacturing is an optimal solution for production ramp-up. Outsourcing 3D printing allows the easy shift from one material and technology to another by reducing the risk and cost of implementing its infrastructure.

The Upsurge of Digital Supply Chain

3D printing drives streamlined processes for greater efficiency and cost reduction. Digital warehousing platforms will enable companies to manage their parts more efficiently throughout their lifecycle. Companies can eliminate warehousing and maintain an integrated or connected ordering system. 

In 2023 we can witness a digital supply chain that uses additive manufacturing technologies, leading to transparency, sustainability, flexibility, and efficiency.

Upgrades in the 3D Printing Sector

There are two types of 3D printing users: experts that are committed to the technology and want their printers to operate more reliably and effectively.  The second category of users are exploratory, who can appreciate the advantages of 3D printing but require assistance in putting it into practice and challenging the status quo in their respective industries.

Now it has become an obligation for businesses to train and upskill their staff to leverage the power of 3D printing for business growth. For this, organizations need to spend time and money training new employees, so outsourcing 3D printing makes sense.

The Enormous Benefits of Outsourcing 3D Printing

3D Printing Benefits

3D printing offers many benefits, including quicker prototyping, enhanced product quality, and more. However, only businesses with the right 3D design and modeling skills can benefit from these advantages. 

1. Prompt Prototypes Creation

A crucial part of manufacturing firms is creating prototypes, which requires resources, time, and effort. 3D printing enables companies to manufacture prototypes in less time while saving money. 

2. Optimum-Quality Products

Businesses can use 3D printing to create high-quality products at a lower cost. The computer-controlled 3D printer creates a replica of the original product or prototype, guaranteeing unmatched quality.

3. No Equipment Handling Hassles

Businesses can avoid the headache of maintaining manufacturing facilities by outsourcing 3D printing. They can conserve space, reduce operating and maintenance expenses, and expedite production without any equipment. Additionally, as 3D printers are more adaptable, there is less worry about interruptions that can halt the manufacturing process.

4. Low Manpower

3D Printing

Outsourcing 3D printing isn’t as labor-intensive as traditional manufacturing. It has advanced 3D solutions that are fully computer-driven and come with robust technology. Considering that outsourced 3D designers are often highly skilled and can handle more work, the number of people required is also fewer. Virtual 3D designers use advanced tools to optimize operations and deliver optimum results.

Why 3D Printing Is Better Outsourced Than Done In-House

Interesting Read: The Emerging Trends That Will Redefine Logistics Outsourcing in 2023

Businesses shouldn't attempt to make everything in-house. Even the largest Fortune 500 companies outsource 3D printing projects despite having resources at their disposal.

Here are the four reasons why 3D printing is better outsourced than in-house.

Capacity

Every firm faces resource shortages, which can cause impediments in the business processes. Businesses that outsource 3D printing might use more capacity. A reliable outsourcing supplier optimizes printing outcomes and eliminates production delays using powerful 3D printers with the best build capacity.

On the other hand, to install 3D printers, manufacturers or service providers need to make considerable facility changes. Some 3D printers are too big to enter through regular doorways, some demand sophisticated power requirements, and others need ventilation. These changes are expensive, and in some cases, they might not even be achievable at the in-house facility.

Technology

3D printing is ever-changing. New tools, materials, and processes are pushing the bounds of what is conceivable. Keeping up with evolution can be an expensive endeavor for the in-house team. Also, many businesses cannot afford to invest in new 3D technologies because of their high upfront costs and the rapid speed of innovation, which could render them obsolete in a few years. 

With outsourcing, businesses can access cutting-edge technology without investing in them. In addition, not having the right machinery, such as an SLA machine, for a specific technical project pushes businesses towards outsourcing 3D printing services. 

Expertise

The 3D printing sector is novel and creates materials in unique ways that traditional manufacturing cannot match. However, 3D printing requires skill to work well. Changes to the equipment, build orientation, material mix, and support material alters the results. For this, businesses need knowledge and understanding to use the equipment. 

When firms outsource their 3D design requirements, they get access to highly qualified, skilled, and experienced staff. Outsourcing brings a high level of expertise, not just the services.

Cost

High-end 3D printers can be pricey to buy. In addition to the expense of the machines, businesses also need the infrastructure, skilled labor, and raw materials to run them. With technology and tools, companies still need staff to run the process. Even if a firm has the right equipment, outsourcing a project could be less expensive than in-house.

Top 3D Printing Challenges

3D Printing

There are many advantages of 3D printing, including effectiveness, speed, waste reduction, zero errors, and lower costs. If you are still debating whether to outsource 3D printing or build it in-house, then knowing the challenges of 3D printing can help you decide which path to take.

Employing a 3D printer for the internal production of large parts pose several challenges for businesses to overcome, including:

Common Challenges in 3D Printing

3D Printing Challenges

A study reveals 25% of businesses cited equipment prices as the biggest obstacle to 3D printing. That response shouldn't be a surprise because most firms require more than one 3D printer to manage the volume of orders they receive, and saving up for the initial outlay can take some time.

Another expense related to additive manufacturing is the cost of production and processing. Although 3D printers are autonomous, firms still need a professional to send the digital file to the printer, check the printer setup, and start the printing process. 

Technical Challenges in 3D Printing

3D printers are vulnerable to errors producing components that can't adhere to strict tolerance standards. This problem poses a hurdle for the use of additive manufacturing in fields that demand exceptionally high levels of accuracy, like the aerospace or automobile industries.

How to Overcome 3D Printing Challenges

Are you unsure how to integrate 3D printing into your firm, having trouble designing, or are overwhelmed with the cost or technical challenges of owning your 3D printers? It is best to outsource 3D printing to a trustworthy outsourcing partner. One of the biggest obstacles to 3D printing is upfront equipment expenditures, uneven outcomes, and a lack of understanding of the technology. An experienced 3D printing partner may assist you in overcoming many of these challenges. 

Conclusion

3D Printing

The debate over employing an internal or external 3D printing service ends. No matter what stage an organization is at, outsourcing can assist a business in achieving its 3D printing objectives without going over budget.

To maximize your marketing budget, consider outsourcing your 3D printing to Flowz's experts, with over 23 years of experience. Your brand's growth is what we strive for.

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