According to a survey conducted by the American Society of Quality (ASQ) among its members and their customers, more than half of companies currently outsourcing are dissatisfied with the service being delivered by their outsourcing provider. According to ASQ, only 34% feel that the outsourcing companies they are partnering with are providing them with good value while another 41% see their provider meeting performance metrics.
With more and more companies finding the value that lies in outsourcing, it certainly does not help when they find themselves stuck in an outsourcing partnership that is not delivering them the results they need. Therefore, in order to help alleviate the confusion here are some key areas that you need to pay attention to when you outsource which will help you maximize the benefits of outsourcing with a provider:
1.Start Small, But with the Bigger Picture in Mind
Companies may sometimes over-, or even under-, estimate the number of people they require for certain projects. Whether it’s because of time constraints or deadlines, pressures such as these can affect the judgment of a business owner when determining how many people they would like onboard for their project. While the issue may not sound so big, it can cost precious time, money and effort if your number is way off the mark. Consider that if you accidentally overestimate the number of people required by ten, and you find a few months later that you never really needed that many? Or what if you hire two and find that you really needed twice that many to do the work and you’re already delayed?
The best way to resolve these kinds of issues is to start small, but do discuss future plans and needs with your provider. Determine how many people it will take to meet your deadline in a month’s time and start from there. Remember to discuss this strategy with your provider so that they will be prepared to step in with a few more people if need be later on.
2.Be Upfront with Your Budget
It usually all comes down to budget so it makes good sense to discuss this with your provider. Whether you are just starting out or you are already in an existing partnership, do not hesitate to consult with your provider for any budget constraints. A good provider would always try to be flexible with your needs.
Some outsourcing companies are not opposed to tweaking services in order to provide you with the results you need at the budget you have. Whether it’s through telecommuting or other cost saving strategies, innovative outsourcing providers are often easy to talk to in terms of working out services within your budget.
3.Don’t be Afraid to Say What You Mean, and to Expect What You Require
A company going into any kind of venture will always expect results to be delivered, just like in outsourcing. Advise your outsourcing partner what results you expect out of the partnership, and involve them in your goals.
Being open with your provider about what you expect will help them determine what strategies they need to adapt to meet your needs at anytime down the line. Remember that communication is important to make the partnership work.
4.Remember that Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Do not always take their word for it without seeing results. Outsourcing partnerships should never be founded on word alone.
Some companies will provide samples of their work before carrying out a project just to show potential clients what they can do. Another approach some take is providing Proof of Concepts. These are good benchmarks for how a provider will perform in the project later on.
5.Work on Making it Work
It is inevitable that problems will arise along the way. No relationship is perfect, and this is true for outsourcing as well.
When problems arise it is important to first understand the root cause of the problem. Determine a course of action based on this problem and implement it. Afterwards, document the challenges, and update your knowledge database to make sure that these issues will not be repeated.
Hopefully, these tips will help keep your outsourcing partnership on track and help you remain among the group of clients happy with the performance of their outsourcing provider.
Audrey B is a Strategic Solutions Executive of Infinit Outsourcing, a leading outsourcing company that provides boutique services to small and medium sized enterprises. Among the services offered by Infinit Outsourcing’s solutions are call center services, financial and accounting services, research services and sales support services.