Insourcing Brings In More Business
Four years ago, Terry Fulcomer, the supervisor for the Prince William County in-plant, in Woodbridge, Va., had a dilemma.
His half million dollar, six employee in-plant's equipment was fast becoming obsolete. But, catching up and keeping up with technology was an expensive proposition—one that Fulcomer's budget was not inclined to support.
So, Fulcomer got creative and started looking for ways to increase revenue so he could buy new equipment. He found that money outside the in-plant.
"For me, the motivation to take in outside work was not only getting new technology, but to be able to fund that new technology, as well," he remarks.
As in-plants struggle to prove their worth to parent organizations, insourcing has become a great way for them to eliminate down time on equipment and bring in money to offset costs. IPG data shows that 44 percent of all in-plants take in work from customers outside their parent organizations. Still, some in-plants have to be careful about what they insource. Fulcomer, for example, is limited in the kind of jobs his governmental in-plant can accept.
"We do work for other local towns, cities and counties," Fulcomer explains. "We do brochures, maps, newsletters and a lot of public service type work."
The income Fulcomer has received from insourcing has helped him not only improve the in-plant's equipment, it has helped to justify its continued existence.
"If you want to stay in business, then you need to move as much work into your in-plant as possible, otherwise you might find yourself being downsized," notes Fulcomer.
Insourcing Improves Skills
He estimates that between 18 and 20 percent of all the work his shop produces comes from outside sources. Fulcomer has also found that by insourcing, his employees' skills have improved, both in customer service and as equipment operators.