Nearshoring: The Advantages of Looking Closer To Home


Today, a number of UK companies are looking closer to shore for outsourcing services as they aim to bridge the gap between their base and their service partners.

Ireland has been widely seen as a global hub for providing BPO services since the 1980’s and have a competitive advantage in offering stable, innovative, and flexible services to world class organisations.

While an offshoring approach has provided lower cost benefits in the past, there has been an international shift towards nearshoring by organisations, for a variety of reasons. Chiefly, organisations wish to retain a larger piece of control over their services and develop a partnership with their service providers. For this to be successful, proximity is key, and is among the key reasons that British companies are looking across the Irish Sea for new outsourcing partners.

Here David Corcoran, Global Outsourcing Advisor for Enterprise Ireland, explores why many UK organisations are continuing to seek out Irish partners as they weigh up the benefits of moving from an offshoring to nearshoring model.


Ireland is extremely accessible and therefore both cost and time efficient compared to travel to countries across offshoring hubs in Asia. Dublin to London is Europe’s busiest air route, with 14,500 flights made between Dublin and London Heathrow alone in 2017, and multiple options for travel to by air and sea to various Irish locations from across UK. Companies on both sides of the Irish Sea can visit regularly, which will help develop a stronger partnership.

Increased training between staff can also be provided in person on regular occasions, and UK companies can ensure that the culture of their organisation is being reflected by their Irish service providers.

An Efficient Time Zone

Sitting in the GMT time zone ensures that an Irish service provider is working within the same business hours and should be seen as an extension of a UK organisation, whereas an offshoring model must navigate a multitude of time zones, leading to a strain on both workforces. It also ensures that any issues can be communicated and escalated to resolution immediately by senior officials in real-time situations without delay.

A Multilingual Hub

Nearshoring with an Irish provider ensures there are no challenging, cultural differences or language barriers. Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, Ireland will sit as the only native English-speaking country in the EU and is perfectly positioned to support British companies across the European Union. The jewel in Ireland’s outsourcing crown is their reputation as a multilingual hub and a hotbed for a well-educated and progressive workforce.

Ireland’s focus on quality over low cost ensures competitive employee salaries are offered within the customer contact and business processing sector leading to the country attracting the best talent from across Europe. With a war on talent and skills ongoing internationally, Ireland’s ability to provide talent on tap and a skills injection to the UK economy is crucial with over 6,000 jobs being supported by outsourcing trade between Ireland the UK.

Industry giants, including Citibank, Dell, Facebook, Google, HP, Microsoft, PayPal, and Vodafone are all based in Ireland, and while some have relocated their customer service teams, many have sought out indigenous Irish firms such as Abtran, Eishtec, SalesSense, Westbourne IT, to provide services initially in Ireland. As partnerships have grown and matured, Irish providers have successfully scaled with these companies internationally, and have developed their own new customer bases across the UK, in industries including financial services, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, and utilities.


Innovation is a bedrock of Ireland’s reputation in the services sector, with Irish SMEs recently noted among the most innovative in Europe by the European Commission. Irish service providers believe their advantage over competitors further afield is their drive for continuous advancement and innovation in services. The same customer-first focus is provided whether it is a 10 seat, 100 seats, or 1000+ seats service. By being nearer to clients, and developing a partnership approach, there is increased opportunity to create bespoke innovative solutions - are prime reasons why UK companies are adopting a nearshoring model and looking closer to home through sourcing an ‘Irish Advantage’.

David Corcoran is Global Outsourcing Advisor for Enterprise Ireland, based in London. Enterprise Ireland is the Irish Government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets.



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Wednesday, 17 July 2019
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