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Definition: Insourcing is performing tasks, operations, or services within the organization rather than delegating them to an external party. It utilizes the existing talent within a company to accomplish a goal or solve a problem.

Insourcing process (how does insourcing work?)

The insourcing process begins with identifying a task, service, or operation that needs to be addressed. It might be something currently being outsourced, a new requirement, or a process needing improvement.

Next, the organization evaluates its internal resources – personnel, equipment, technology – to determine if it can handle this task in-house. If necessary, the organization might hire new employees, train existing staff, or purchase new equipment.

The final step is implementing the task, monitoring progress, and making necessary adjustments to ensure efficiency and quality.

Insourcing vs. outsourcing

While insourcing utilizes internal resources, outsourcing involves hiring external entities or contractors to perform certain tasks.

Outsourcing is often used to save costs, gain access to specialized skills, or focus on core business functions.

However, insourcing can offer better control over processes, quicker response times, and greater opportunities for collaboration and innovation.

It also allows for more protection of sensitive information and can strengthen company culture by providing more opportunities for employee development.

Benefits of insourcing

  • Control: Companies have more control over the project, as it’s executed by internal team members who are directly accountable to the organization.
  • Communication: With all team members in-house, communication can be more effective and efficient.
  • Flexibility: The process can be adjusted quickly in response to feedback or changes in the project requirements.
  • Costs: While insourcing might require an upfront investment in training or equipment, it can save costs in the long term by reducing dependency on external service providers.

Insourcing examples

  • Apple: The tech giant is known for insourcing critical parts of its business, including chip design. This strategy gives Apple control over the performance and integration of these chips with the rest of their products.
  • Starbucks: The coffee company insourced its baked goods by purchasing La Boulange, a small bakery chain. This gave Starbucks control over its bakery items’ quality and supply chain.


Why might a company choose insourcing over outsourcing?

A company might choose insourcing over outsourcing when they want to maintain direct control over decisions and quality, protect proprietary data and processes, reduce costs in the long run, or invest in internal capabilities and staff development.

What types of tasks are typically insourced?

Tasks that are typically insourced often involve core business functions, sensitive data, or proprietary techniques that companies prefer to keep in-house. This can range from strategic planning and decision-making, to specific product development, IT management, customer support, and marketing.

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