Outsourcing involves subcontracting parts of a company's value-chain, (i.e. steps in the design, supply, production, marketing, sales, HR ,and services processes) to other companies or contractors that specialize in those activities. Through outsourcing agreements, the client company hires separate companies to perform specific tasks in the value-chain on its behalf. Often, the work is performed under the name of the client.
The kinds of outsourcing work performed vary widely across industry sectors. Some common outsourcing activities include: human resource management, facilities management, supply chain management, accounting, customer support and service, marketing, computer-aided design, research, design, content writing, engineering, diagnostic services, and legal documentation.