In a simpler world, businesses would be able to develop a product or service, scale it up, and market it worldwide without giving any extra thought to the complexities of international operation and distribution.

As things stand, however, this idyllic portrait of corporate expansion faces countless obstacles when put to the test. Even the very presence of an office or subsidiary in a foreign country often requires joint ownership by a local party – and that’s before labour laws, work visas, and other regulations even enter the equation.

 

The Map is Not the Territory

Despite the best intentions of international business, some things just need to be done locally. Some forms still must be filled in by hand, licensing stamps obtained from the proper authorities, and files delivered in person to local tax offices.

Certain internal initiatives within large companies, such as Shared Services Centres (SSCs), may adequately handle many support functions, but there are obvious limitations to what they can do remotely. In short: SSCs provide a valuable but incomplete set of general solutions, where comprehensive coverage of specific issues is actually needed.

At a time when every dollar counts, and agility and innovation represent the keys to success, only strong local support can create the conditions for smooth, frictionless growth. Yet ground-level partnerships raise additional challenges for businesses to address. How can these trustworthy organisations be identified? And doesn’t the possibility of standardisation evaporate, when each international branch of a large company is pulled in a different direction by their local partners?

 

Expert Guidance in Uncertain Times

Only one solution delivers the best of both worlds – trustworthy local expertise and connections, together with consistent and industry-leading services across a wide range of support functions. A professional services firm with a global presence can manage even the most challenging local tasks, while efficiently coordinating its solutions between different countries and regions of the world.

This combination lets clients maintain a coherent identity and operating style at all of their locations, even as they maintain business momentum. Perhaps the most important benefit of outsourcing is that it allows companies to focus their entire attention on core business functions, without getting lost in the minutiae of complex support functions.

This redoubled focus on the core becomes possible because of the unique benefits that the outsourcing model now allows. Robotic process automation (RPA), AI-driven analytics, and other technological tools of the modern professional services firm can handle admin requirements more quickly and accurately than ever before, to the point where they even provide operational recommendations that can potentially improve efficiency within the business.

Whichever of these paths is most appropriate for the situation, the takeaway lesson is clear: it is no longer necessary to choose between consistency, convenience, and capability. With the right professional services firm to lead the way forward, it is easier than ever to have them all.