By Max Stinson
In the previous post, you learned about establishing a connection with the company you’re outsourcing offshore. Such is the first half of an effective outsourcing strategy that defies the claims of critics.
The second half is perhaps trickier. It’s all about a strong attention to detail in your relationship:
- Go through an exhaustive step-by-step process and examine every possible contingency of the offshore deal. Nail down all terms before an outsourcing contract is signed, and be absolutely certain that you understand differing legal standards and cultural norms.
- Create a detailed, strategic offshore outsourcing plan. Ensure buy-in on both yours and the supplier’s sides. Don’t just be satisfied with senior management but go further down to middle management and maybe even beyond (if necessary). Set clear objectives and get consensus before signing any outsourcing agreement.
- Make sure you have an anchor team responsible for project control and quality assurance. Select a few people from the provider to serve as domestic liaisons and assist in campaign management to avoid problems. Agree on the project management tools and processes to be used, and ensure that the offshore team understands all nuances. Find a way to track their progress but remember that even your outsourced company can have limitations.
- Give extra attention to more sensitive factors. Prioritize live communication with the providers, the offshore team, and managers in outsourced facilities. Consider giving regular reviews so that the constant feedback so that the outsourced company will steer clear of possible hiccups.
- Devote strenuous efforts to managing your expectations. This will make it easier for them to report in case those expectations aren’t met. Personally introduce other stakeholders to the offshore team so that they’ll hear it straight from them. Agree on contingency plans ahead of time with the offshore manager. Demonstrate transparency and proactive planning.
- Set and measure financial, productivity, resource and relationship goals. Aim as high as possible so that you won’t be disappointed with a lesser result.
- Think through the what-ifs of both long and short-term scenarios to anticipate emerging costs while making sure that the outsourcing provider is delivering the expected services. Treat the outsourcing relationship as a task-based performance contract as well as a partnership.
To sum it up, try to avoid costly surprises. Consider quickly completing one full cycle of the business process being outsourced and involve all technical, quality assurance, and compliance factors. You could even say that, despite the cost-effectiveness, it takes a lot of skill to sail against a storm of naysayers. However, that’s a skill you could really be proud of.