7 Ways Your Outsourcing Engagement Can Fail
“You reap what you sow” is wisdom that also applies to outsourcing. While outsourcing can produce benefits to be harvested at the end of the work cycle, you cannot afford to overlook your preliminary outsourcing decisions and how you manage outsourcing relationships. In this article, Back Office Pro talks about seven reasons that can cause unexpected problems including outsourcing failure with your final output.
#1 Inadequate Screening
One major source of outsourcing failure is not doing your “due diligence” when evaluating prospective outsourcing partners. To avoid this potential problem, verify professional credentials, review ISO and other certificates, examine samples of previous work, ask for a trial period (paid or unpaid) and obtain references. Experienced outsourcing providers such as Back Office Pro follow industry “Best Practices” and will have no trouble complying with preliminary screening requests.
#2 Excessive Bargaining
There are many benefits of outsourcing, and reducing costs should not be your only goal. When cost reduction is the primary objective, you might be tempted to select the cheapest outsourcing provider regardless of resources, quality, skills and scheduling. Strive for a “Win-Win” approach that allows equal consideration of several strategic objectives for all parties — look at the “entire picture” and not just the “bottom line.”
#3 Poor Incubation
Remember that seeds often need to incubate and grow inside before moving outside to the “real world.” With outsourcing, the “incubation period” includes your initial communication of project requirements and the need for your outsourcing partner to hire and train full-time equivalent (FTE) team members before operations go “live.” Be sure that your outsourced project will incubate properly and get off to the right start — for example, does your provider have quality standards and up-to-date tools?
#4 Too Much of a Push
The normal benefits of outsourcing include creating more time for you and the rest of your company’s team. However, this advantage of outsourcing can be quickly lost if you micromanage — this is what you are hiring an outsourcing partner to do! Resist the urge to push for more. Experienced providers such as Back Office Pro are skilled at doing more while you do less (and without the necessity of pushing).
#5 Imbalanced Volume
Achieving a balance between volume and quality is often difficult. With many tasks, you can expect to achieve more volume if quality is sacrificed — and reducing quality is rarely a winning business strategy. For example, Back Office Pro can routinely provide quality guarantees that are typically among the highest in the outsourcing industry.
#6 Unfriendly Destinations
One of your most important outsourcing decisions is a simple one — Where? Potential outsourcing destinations are not all equal. For example, misappropriation of trade secrets and intellectual property was recently reported among several outsourcers to China. Each candidate country for outsourcing involves a unique mix of business friendliness (such as intellectual property protection), economic feasibility and skill sets that are readily available. For example, Back Office Pro is based in India — a global leader on virtually all outsourcing scorecards.
#7 Inexperienced Coordinators
When you select a long-term outsourcing partner, use an experienced coordinator to facilitate the interviewing process. If your prospective outsourcing provider is located in another country that you cannot readily visit for a personal interview, use Skype to visually communicate before making your final choice. One suggestion is to thoroughly review your expectations and goals for outsourcing with the coordinator prior to any initial interviews.
Shared Responsibilities for Outsourcing Success
The outsourcing cycle can be challenging for companies of all sizes. To minimize the possibility of outsourcing failure, it is important to anticipate common sources of potential difficulties such as the “7 Reasons for Outsourcing Failure” just described. The responsibility for outsourcing success must be shared between the outsourcer and the outsourcing service provider — and choosing an experienced outsourcing partner such as Back Office Pro can lighten your load. We follow best practices for outsourcing and are an industry leader.
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