Outsource service providers or outsource solutions providers, as they are called interchangeably, but still mean the same thing, have mushroomed through the years. Today, the outsourcing industry has become very lucrative. Every internet savvy individual who has the resources puts up an outsourcing company. Bane or boon?
A boon because there is freedom of choice. When an industry is not controlled by a few, cost is kept to a minimum and a large pool of expertise is available for all.
Bane, when work standards are compromised. Not everyone who opens up an outsourcing company has enough background and expertise. Others merely realized that there is money in outsourcing, and just jumped in.
When choosing for an outsource provider, it is best to put premium on competencies. This is one factor that will ensure success.
Outsourcing has become a by-word among companies who preferred to delegate their non-core functions to another company, to cut on labor costs, upgrade quality of work, and devote companyâ€™s resources to other important areas in the operation. Due to these seamless benefits and opportunities, outsourcing industry has ballooned to include not just data entry and data processing, but a wide host of other services where the computer and the internet play pivotal roles.
How do you choose?
Start with a checklist.
In choosing your outsourcing partner, it is important to have at least a check-list of criteria, rather than rely on guesswork. The success of your outsourcing experience depends on the capabilities of your outsourcing partner. Your solutions provider and you will embark on a relationship symbiotic to each other. To commit an error in the selection process will surely cascade on both of you.
How do you identify the right outsourcing partner? Even if we outline the highest level of criteria in our search, there could be no guarantees. But an informed decision can minimize outsourcing risks. A checklist will channel your efforts toward the goals you have set.
Traditional approaches like conducting a background check, verification of credentials and business track records are still reliable sources of information, however, these are not enough.
A thorough inquiry about the companyâ€™s past performance, profiles of its key managers, including its technical people, and the status of its clientele â€“ number, kind and length of association â€“ should be evaluated as well. As most companies are judged according to their present stature, the weight of its past performance can lay heavily on the weighing scale of options.
Is the solutions provider, financially stable? If yes, determine the profile of those people guaranteeing for the solutions provider. Is there an iota of doubt?
The best sources of information when it comes to the solutions providerâ€™s performance are his previous clients. Inquire without necessitating a probe, about the solutions providerâ€™s trustworthiness, degree of responsibility, adherence to guidelines and deadlines and other relevant matters.
More than work samples, the above attributes are far more important.
Stay focused on survival.
Bear in mind that your solutions provider may be catering to other clients, too. How far would you go giving out company methodologies and trade secrets? To ensure success, it is best to identify the possible pitfalls in your contract, in your working relationship, giving of projects etc. Being able to identify pitfalls early, the ratio of avoiding these is higher, too.
What are your companyâ€™s competencies that should be kept internal and should no longer be outsourced? When the contract is over, how would you handle competition? Your outsource provider could be one of your competitors.
Play your cards well.
You outsource for a reason, that is, to save on cost, therefore, your outsourcing objective should be synchronized to your companyâ€™s strategies to save time, money and effort.
Outsourcing services is practical, efficient and highly cost-effective. But you should know exactly where to draw the line â€“ and stick to it.