Businesses today are under pressure to deliver better, faster, smarter products or services at the same prices. In fact, a number of customers even expect businesses to lower their prices because of increasing competition. With companies squeezed from all angles, most have no other option but to look offshore. Previously, only companies that have achieved economies of scale can outsource their requirements to third parties.

With the emergence of outsourcing websites that connect companies with contractors though, smaller firms can now compete. There are many outsourcing websites in the market today. A few names stand out including oDesk.com. The company was conceptualized by Gary Swart, CEO, and Odysseas Tsatalos, CTO. What makes the oDesk business model different from run-of-the-mill freelance sites? One of the key features of oDesk is that it focuses on helping companies establish and manage “remote teams” seamlessly.

Some of the features that give oDesk its competitive advantage include the following:

  • Global Workers – whether you need a web developer from Russia, a writer from the United States, or data entry staff from India, the concept behind oDesk has appealed to people all over the world. For this reason, companies can get access to top-level talent at below-market prices.
  • Wide Talent Tool – other outsourcing websites focuses on one specialty such customer support, web development, or web marketing. In the case of oDesk, there is a wide talent pool that can support all your business needs even legal and accounting services.
  • Time and Progress Management – the “Work Diary” as it is called on the website allows business owners or project managers to see snapshots of their workers’ output at regular intervals. This encourages long-term commitment on the part of both the company and its contractor.
  • Automated Weekly Payments – projects in oDesk are divided into “Fixed” and “Hourly” jobs. In the case of the hourly jobs, the website charges the credit card that was used by the company to pay the contractor. The set-up is convenient for all parties.

Another factor that plays to oDesk’s advantage is the scale it has achieved. Similar to social networking, the saying that “people attract people” is also true for outsourcing websites. Companies are attracted to the available pool of skilled contractors while freelancers go to the website because of the availability of jobs.