Things You Should Know About Onshoring as a BPO Strategy

Posted on:
February 1, 2023
min read
Table of Contents
What are the benefits of outsourcing to developing countries?
What are the challenges of outsourcing to developing countries?
Top 5 Most In-demand Developing Countries for Outsourcing
What are some successful examples of companies that have outsourced to developing countries?
What are the best practices for outsourcing to developing countries?
Things You Should Know About Onshoring as a BPO Strategy
KDCI Outsourcing
September 6, 2023

Onshoring is quickly becoming a popular trend in the global economy due to the current economic climate. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many companies to reconsider their strategies and look to localize more of their processes.In this post, we will provide an in-depth overview of onshoring definition and discuss the relationship between it and the practice of outsourcing business processes. By the end of this, you will be able to understand if onshoring is the best solution for your present business needs.

Onshoring definition: What does it mean in business?

Onshoring is a business practice where a company moves its operations that were previously performed overseas back to its home country. It is the opposite of offshoring, which refers to the outsourcing of business processes to a foreign country.

A dynamic image of a team of Filipino onshoring employees collaborating on a project in an office.

In addition, onshoring is often driven by a desire for better quality control, as well as the desire to reduce unemployment in the home country. However, cost savings can also be a factor, as labor and raw materials in the home country may be less expensive than in the previous location.Most importantly, onshoring should not be confused with insourcing, which involves a company using its own employees to perform business operations instead of outsourcing to external service providers. Onshoring involves finding service providers within the same country, while insourcing is limited to the company's current workforce.

How is onshoring different from outsourcing?

Onshoring and outsourcing are two distinct business practices with key differences:


Onshoring refers to bringing business processes back to the home country, while outsourcing involves outsourcing operations to a foreign country.


With onshoring, a company has more control over its operations as they are located in the same country, while outsourcing may result in reduced control due to distance and cultural differences.


The cost of labor and raw materials can be a factor in both onshoring and outsourcing, but the specific costs will depend on the location and the nature of the business operations being performed.

Talent Pool

Outsourcing allows a company to tap into a wider talent pool across the globe, while onshoring may limit the available pool of skilled workers.


Onshoring can improve the quality of operations as the company is closer to the service providers, while outsourcing may result in reduced quality due to language barriers, time zone differences, and other factors. That’s why it’s important to choose the right service provider to mitigate these problems associated with moving business operations abroad.

Why is onshoring becoming popular in recent years?

There are several factors that have contributed to the growing popularity of onshoring in recent years, including:

Rising Labor Costs

As countries like China and India continue to experience economic growth, the cost of labor in these countries has also increased. This makes it more expensive for companies to manufacture goods in these countries, as wages and benefits for workers rise. As a result, some companies are starting to consider bringing production back to their home countries, where labor costs may be lower.

Trade Tensions and Tariffs

Political tensions between countries can sometimes result in trade disputes, which can lead to the implementation of tariffs on goods imported from certain countries. For example, the United States has imposed tariffs on goods imported from China in recent years. These tariffs make it more expensive for companies to import goods from these countries, and may motivate some companies to bring production back to the United States instead.

Supply Chain Disruptions

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted global supply chains, causing delays in the delivery of goods and highlighting the risks of relying on these complex and far-reaching supply chains. As a result, many companies are now reconsidering their supply chain strategies and looking for ways to reduce their dependence on suppliers in other countries. This may include bringing production closer to home, where it is easier to control and monitor the supply chain, and to respond quickly to any disruptions.

What are the benefits of onshoring for companies?

Companies that utilize onshoring for their business processes can reap the following benefits:

Improved quality control and accountability

When a company engages in onshoring, they have more direct control over their production processes, enabling them to ensure that the products they produce meet their standards. They can also address any issues that arise more quickly, improving the quality of the final product.

Reduced transportation and logistics costs

Onshoring means that the company's production facilities are closer to the point of consumption, reducing the costs of shipping and logistics. This can also reduce the carbon footprint associated with transportation.

Increased customer satisfaction

Companies that onshore are better able to respond to changing customer demands and preferences, as they have more direct control over the production process. This can lead to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Enhanced brand reputation and corporate social responsibility

By onshoring, companies can demonstrate their commitment to the local economy and community, improving their reputation and brand image. This can also help to build trust with consumers and other stakeholders.

Increased data security and privacy

Onshoring can reduce the risks associated with transferring sensitive information across borders, as the information remains within the country where the company is based. This can be particularly important for companies in regulated industries.

Improved supply chain resilience

Onshoring can reduce a company's dependence on distant suppliers, minimizing the impact of disruptions and improving the resilience of the supply chain. This can help to ensure that products are available when and where they are needed, even in the event of a crisis.

Potential cost savings

Onshoring can lead to cost savings in certain regions, where labor and production costs may be lower. This can enable companies to be more competitive and improve their bottom line. However, it's important to consider all the costs associated with onshoring, including the cost of setting up production facilities and the cost of training workers.

What industries are most commonly using onshoring?

Onshoring can be applied to various industries as well, depending on their specific needs and requirements. But here are some of the industries that are more likely to onshore their business processes:


An image of a bustling manufacturing warehouse with Filipino employees at work.

Many manufacturers have been onshoring production in recent years due to a combination of factors, including rising wages in developing countries, the high cost of transportation, and increased concerns about intellectual property protection. By bringing production back to the home country, manufacturers can reduce their shipping costs and have greater control over the quality of their products. Additionally, they can benefit from the use of advanced technologies and the availability of skilled labor in their home country.


An image of a bustling retail store with Filipino employees at work.

Retail companies have been onshoring certain operations, such as product assembly and distribution, to have better control over the quality of their products and ensure timely delivery to customers. Retailers may also choose to onshore operations to reduce the risk of product recalls and improve their responsiveness to changing consumer preferences.


An image of a bustling technology company office with Filipino employees at work.

Technology companies may onshore certain functions, such as technical support and customer service, to be closer to their customers and improve response times. By having these functions in the home country, technology companies can better understand local market needs and provide better support to their customers. Additionally, onshoring technical support and customer service can also help companies comply with local data protection regulations.


An image of a bustling healthcare company office with Filipino employees at work.

Healthcare companies may onshore certain functions, such as medical billing and coding, to ensure better data security and comply with privacy regulations. Onshoring these functions can help healthcare companies maintain the confidentiality of patient information and ensure that sensitive information is handled by trained and qualified personnel.

Finance and Banking

A dynamic image of a team of Filipino employees in a bank.

Financial institutions may onshore some of their operations, such as back-office functions, to reduce costs and improve efficiency. By bringing these functions back to the home country, financial institutions can benefit from lower labor costs and can also better control the quality of their services. Additionally, onshoring back-office functions can help financial institutions comply with local regulations and maintain the confidentiality of sensitive financial information.

How does onshoring impact jobs and the labor market?

While onshoring is deemed effective for some local companies, it can also have both negative impacts on the labor market. Some potential negative impacts include:

Job Losses

Onshoring can have a significant impact on workers in countries where jobs were previously outsourced. When companies bring production and jobs back to their domestic markets, workers in countries where the jobs were previously located can lose their jobs and face unemployment. This can have a significant impact on local economies and result in a decrease in the standard of living for affected workers and their families.

Higher Costs

Onshoring can result in higher production costs due to factors such as increased wages, regulatory compliance, and supply chain disruptions. For example, if a company moves production back to its domestic market, it may have to pay higher wages to its workers, which can increase the overall cost of production.In addition, companies may face increased costs due to regulatory compliance and supply chain disruptions, as they may need to adjust their supply chain processes to meet new regulations and meet the demands of a new market. This can result in higher costs for both the company and the consumer, as the increased cost of production is often passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices.

Skill Mismatch

Onshoring can also result in a skill mismatch between the available skills of workers and the skills required by new jobs. When companies bring production and jobs back to their domestic markets, workers may need to acquire new skills to meet the demands of new industries.As a result, there’s a mismatch between the available skills of workers and the skills required by new jobs, which can negatively impact the labor market and result in a decrease in the standard of living for affected workers.

Disruptions to Global Supply Chains

Onshoring can also disrupt global supply chains, leading to higher costs and longer lead times for manufacturers and suppliers. When companies move production back to their domestic markets, they may need to adjust their supply chain processes to meet the demands of a new market.Consequently, it leads to longer lead times for manufacturers and suppliers, as they need to find new sources for raw materials, components, and other supplies. This can increase costs for both the company and the consumer, as the increased cost of production is often passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices.

What are the challenges of onshoring for businesses?

Companies that have been dependent on onshoring often encounter the following challenges:

High Costs

Onshoring often involves higher labor costs than offshoring, as wages and benefits are typically higher in the domestic market. This can make it difficult for companies to remain competitive, especially if they are used to the lower labor costs associated with offshoring. Additionally, onshoring may require investments in new equipment, facilities, and other infrastructure, which can further increase costs.

Lack of Skilled Labor

Onshoring requires a highly skilled workforce that may not be available in some regions. This can lead to difficulties in finding and retaining the right employees. Companies may also need to invest in training and development programs to bring new hires up to speed, which can be time-consuming and expensive.

Inflexible Workforce

Onshore workers may not be as flexible as offshore workers, making it difficult to accommodate changes in business needs or product demand. For example, onshore workers may be more likely to resist changes to work hours, shifts, or responsibilities, which can limit a company's ability to respond to market demands.

Longer Lead Times

Onshoring often leads to longer lead times due to the need for additional transportation and handling. This can make it more difficult for companies to meet customer demands, as well as increase the risk of product damage or loss.

Logistics Challenges

Onshoring may involve increased logistics and transportation costs, as well as more complex supply chain management. For example, companies may need to coordinate with multiple suppliers and carriers, which can be time-consuming and expensive.

Legal and Regulatory Compliance

Onshoring may require businesses to navigate complex legal and regulatory requirements, such as labor laws, immigration laws, and taxes. Companies may need to consult with legal experts and accountants to ensure that they are in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.

Onshoring vs. offshoring: Which one is better for your business needs?

Choosing which between onshoring and offshoring is better for your business needs depends on several factors, including:


Offshoring can result in significant cost savings as labor costs in other countries may be lower. However, you need to factor in other expenses such as communication, travel, and cultural differences that can offset the initial cost savings. Onshoring may be more expensive in terms of labor costs, but it can reduce these additional costs and increase efficiency.


Onshoring provides better control over the quality of work as the team is in-house and easily accessible. Offshoring may result in quality issues due to language barriers and differences in business practices. Additionally, it can be challenging to monitor the work remotely.

Time zone

If your business requires close coordination and collaboration with your team, being in the same time zone is important. Onshoring provides the advantage of being in the same time zone, reducing the potential for miscommunication and delays.

Data security

If your work involves sensitive data, onshoring may be more secure as it gives you greater control over access. Offshoring may result in security risks due to differences in data protection laws and lack of control over data access.

Regulatory compliance

Offshoring may result in compliance issues if local laws differ from those in your home country. It is essential to research and understand the local regulations before offshoring work to ensure compliance and avoid potential legal problems.It's important to carefully weigh the pros and cons of each option and consider the specific needs, priorities, and constraints of your business. It may be helpful to consult with experts and gather input from stakeholders before making a decision.

Let KDCI Help You Build the Best Offshore Team in the Philippines

KDCI is the premier outsourcing service provider for those seeking to build and manage the best offshore team in the Philippines. With our extensive pool of Filipino talent, we are prepared to provide the best services, quality assurance, and customer satisfaction.We offer scalable offshore staffing solutions for a wide-range of services from creative design and marketing to ecommerce, customer support, finance, and web development. Our team of experts is always available to ensure a smooth process, ensuring that your business has the right offshore team to meet your organizational goals and objectives.Are you interested to learn more about our offshore staffing solutions? Click the button below to get a FREE consultation with our experts today!Contact Us

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