Outsourcing is short for Outside Resource Using. This describes the outsourcing of operational functions and their transfer to third parties. In practice, outsourcing can be found in many service areas.

Examples: EDV, Factoring, Inkasso, Marktforschung (Institute), Schulung (Verkaufstrainer), Werbung (Agenturen), akquisitorische Funktionen wie Vertrieb (Außendienst-Leasing, Handelsvertreter), Telefon-Marketing call center), Direct marketing, Merchandising und Verkaufsförderung sowie die Auslagerung logistischer Funktionen auf Spediteure (Sourcing-Konzepte).

The main reasons for outsourcing are cost reductions and a lack of or insufficient competence. The outsourcing of areas that are part of a company's core competency is problematic because it can endanger the quality and image of its products. Some companies therefore reverse the outsourcing of such areas (backsourcing).

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