28 Jul 2022

Managing Transition – From Onshore to Offshore

Managing offshoring transitions can be quite tricky. But there are so many benefits associated with offshoring that it’s worth the effort. Companies can leverage lower labor costs, gain access to highly skilled professionals, and have the ability to operate around the clock. 

Covid-19 has presented businesses with a lot of unique challenges so they have to take swift action to stay competitive. Offshoring can solve a lot of problems related to workforce and costs, but managing the transition from onshore to offshore is not easy. 

Let us take a look at some of the most common challenges you may have to encounter while offshoring, and how you can overcome them to successfully manage the change.

How to Manage the Transition from Onshore to Offshore

1. Prime your Onshore Team for the Transition

Change is hard which is why it is critical to get your onshore teams ready for the transition. They will need to understand what is required of them as they work with new remote teams. Start by establishing a service delivery model and then train them all to follow it. This will foster a healthy working relationship between your in-house teams and delivery partners.

2. Establish Roles and Accountabilities

It is easy to get muddled up when new people are introduced into the system. Avoid overlaps and ensure optimal transparency by defining everyone’s role in the new process and way of working. Managing offshore transitions is just as much about optimizing your in-house teams as it is about managing offshore partners. 

Outsourcing tends to be a sore spot for employees so be sure that you explain the entire process, establish clear accountabilities and define how everyone’s role will benefit the company.

3. Create SLAs for Governance

SLAs will set the tone for the results your in-house teams and offshore providers achieve jointly. It also factors in the consumers so that all of the services provided by your company are consistent. Make sure to assign a point of contact between your company and offshoring partner who takes charge as a lead or governance manager.

4. Define the Technology to Be Used

Your IT team must be involved early and often. Most businesses have trouble with transitions because they don’t lean on their IT teams to lead the change. In a technologically-driven world, they must be kept in the loop and can develop systems that ensure both security and efficiency when managing the transfer of files and data between your company and the offshore team.

5. Define the Legal Framework

Several factors must be included in the legal framework when working with an offshore provider. Put all of this in writing to avoid hassles later on.

  • Content needs must be identified.
  • Copyright must be assigned. Creative design services, transcriptions, and content creation must have the copyright requirements clearly defined. 
  • Outline the requirements and expectations for the outsourcing partner.
  • Consider all legal liabilities and document them in writing.
  • Make a plan for terminating contracts and/or partnerships.

6. Define Quality Control Processes

Review mechanisms are an essential part of outsourcing. You must ensure that the services provided by your offshore partner live up to all of your expectations. Don’t just blame an outsourcing partner when there’s an issue. This is a common mistake. 

For instance, when a process isn’t followed, it might not be the fault of the offshore provider. It might be the result of unclear expectations and a poor quality control process. This is why it is essential to define quality control processes upfront and maintain compliance with it.

7. Train Internal Teams for Multicultural Differences

This is another common problem with managing outsourcing transitions. Companies fail to take cultural differences into account. 

For instance, working with Asian cultures can be tricky if you’re not aware of their cultural nuances because they have a unique work culture when compared to America and Europe. Train your teams to be aware of these cultural differences to avoid conflicts between people.

8. Maintain Open Communications

Communication and transparency are essential to making the transition work. You can achieve this by setting clear expectations and by having a sound, transparent management process in place. Keep both your in-house teams and offshore partners in the loop at all times to avoid unnecessary ego-clashes and confusion.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to manage offshore transitions is an important step that will bring new opportunities to your business but it’s not magic. It won’t just work because you want it to. Clearly defining everyone’s expectations and keeping communication lines open is the key to making the transition successful.

BackOffice Pro is a leading outsourcing provider of research & analysis, creative design and transcription services, for businesses worldwide. Contact us today for outsourcing your non-core business functions.

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