5 secrets to ensure Outsourcing works for your Business
Outsourcing is not new, after all. Perhaps the word “Outsourcing” derived from “Out resourcing”. The term is relatively new (early 80’s if I am not mistaken). The concept has been around for longer than that. For instance the earliest I can recall, must be the case of Diamond merchants outsourcing the cutting and polishing of Diamonds to India. The Rough diamonds or unpolished diamonds regardless of where it was mined were brought to India for the workmanship and cost efficient ways. As the outsourcing model caught up with the growing demands of efficient processes in the services industry, outsourcing of services came to the forefront of this concept. Although outsourcing was initially seen more as a cost cutting measure, with time and experience, service providers today provide a lot more value than just cheap labor.
For years now, large corporations have embraced outsourcing and have been known to effectively integrate outsourcing into their business models. In the early days, however there was a preconceived notion that outsourcing was a model only large corporations could deploy. Over time, developments in the industry and availability of talented resources from developing nations have presented a strong case for a Win-Win situation for all parties involved. Especially with the onset of services industry increasingly favoring outsourcing as a strategy to scale up only made the move more common.
Breaking down the problems to its simplest forms is essential to get the best out of any outsourcing partnership. This helps figure out the best practices you can adopt to get the best outcome from an outsourcing partner,
1. Strategize the move
If you have your sights fixed on business Expansion, you probably have figured it takes a whole lot of time and a significant outlay of money and efforts to hire, train and equip your new resources. As long as you are a really large corporation with deep pockets and all the time in the world this may not be a real problem. An efficient and logical solution that outsourcing offers for any business is, an opportunity to expand your business faster and save on costs. Outsourcing is obviously NOT a ‘set and forget’ solution. Outsourcing is rather a strategy, and it is imperative that you figure how it fits into your overall business plan, team structure, immediate goals and long-term goals. If you did not already know, this is something you can entirely do one your own. A good Outsourcing partner will help you set processes in a way that it will be in the best interest of your strategic goals.
2. Either IN or OUT
You read that right. As stern as it may sound, there is no middle ground. And outsourcing is no different. Outsourcing should be driven by the organization as a whole unit and not just through decisions made by the senior management. When the vision and mission is deep routed in every action of every last man in an organization it only goes in one direction, which is towards the common goal. Across the hierarchy, the board, the senior management, onshore team and the offshore team work as one towards your business vision, goals and objectives.
3. Point of Contact
Offshore team is a critical part of your business and just as vital as your in-house team. Apart from the fact that your offshore team and your onshore team are in different locations, each of their roles and commitment to the goals is crucial. The “project champion” is who leads this charge on your behalf. This is the crucial point of contact who will ensure excellent team cohesion, collaboration, goal alignment and manage the outsourcing process and relationship. Bridging this point leads to the best outcome and makes overcoming the “challenges of distance” as easy as it gets.
4. Communication and Feedback Mechanism
It is not rocket-science to figure-out a highly productive team regardless of physical location becomes more effective and efficient with constant improvements made through constructive Feedback and transparent communication. Just like your onshore team, your offshore team performs best when there is a clear and transparent communication and feedback mechanism in place that helps the team to have excellent working relationships with their colleagues and managers, align themselves with your businesses’ goals. A bonus from such a mechanism is enables your offshore team to develop a great rapport with your onshore team. The result is a happier and productive team. Technology has brought us all closer, everyone in the world is within our reach, just one click away. Communication platforms such as Skype, Google Meet, Zoom and GoTo Meeting make it super easy to have face-to-face team huddles.
5. Refine the process
When you are outsourcing, you are essentially extending your team and scaling up your operations. Consider your outsourcing partner as an extension of your business and make it an integral part of the business by refining the process, as required. It is wise to ensure that clear systems and processes are in place in integrating outsourcing solutions into your business. A good place to start is attention to details. The inputs, input points, points of contact, turn-around time, output, quality control, who does what, the flow of activities every factor in the process has a degree of scope for Refinement.
These best practices have their own little impacts on all the areas that are considered crucial to get the best out of an Outsourcing Alliance. Most of these steps are, all the more easier if you involve your Alliance Partners.