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The global economic meltdown late in 2008 shook almost every industry imaginable except for the outsourcing industry, which remained sturdy and unaffected in the heat of financial flight. Thus while the rest of the industries faltered, outsourcing became a promising respite from unemployment and failed investments. Because of its resiliency amidst a changing economic landscape, business process outsourcing (BPO), particularly its offshore version, has gained such a following that at present it is the most sought after means of doing business. So if you are an individual with a keen interest on increasing business efficiency through outsourcing, how could you possibly start? Three cues are worthy of note:
Brainstorm and Assess for Suitability
Do not go to uncharted territories without a map in your hands. The same can be said when you, the business owner, want to outsource some of your in-house processes to a vendor. First, think what kind of outsourced services you want to get. Do you want telemarketers to boost up your company’s existing revenue? Or perhaps you want a team of individuals to provide you with back office solutions. Are you sure you do not need a remote customer service department that can handle all potential client inquiries for you? Whatever it is that you prefer, as the would-be outsourcer, ascertain that you outsource tasks that have one way or another caused you delays or have hindered you from pursuing or accepting opportunities for growth. Moreover, make sure that at the outset you have no misgivings about outsourcing and that whatever services you outsource, they mirror your will and decision. It is best to outsource services that take up most of your time but are basically support or non-core in functional designation. If you focus all your outsourcing efforts on these areas, you will save money and time at a larger scale.
Communicate Effectively and Build a Strong Relationship with Choice Vendor
There are a myriad of outsourcing companies out there and whether by an unexpected twist of fate or by careful deliberation, you will certainly get to select the right vendor for your outsourcing needs and one with which you can establish a collaborative partnership. Before anything else, however, it is already a culture between partners to give their partnership a trial period. Despite implications of mistrust or doubt, this trial period is actually a good omen of better things to come. If the vendor is good, you can then decide to pursue the partnership and enter a stage of interaction and mutual agreement. Should the vendor fail to impress you, then you can certainly discontinue future outsourcing prospects. The trial period also gives you enough time to brainstorm your decision and assess whether outsourcing with this vendor is right or wrong for you. During this period, communication channels are filled to the brim as client and vendor take their time getting to know one another, discuss what each would want to get from the other, and eventually decide whether or not to continue the present outsourcing deal.
Oftentimes, business owners neglect the importance of a trial period and just embark on an outsourcing voyage without double-checking the legitimacy of the company they outsourced with or thoroughly discussing what they actually want. Trials actually provide a win-win situation for both outsourcer and outsourcing agent, giving the former protection from any forms of deceit and inefficiency while giving the latter the benefit of the doubt and the chance to prove they are up to the challenge. If the challenge is not met, then you have the discretion to cut your trial partnership and try another outsourcing provider. Perhaps, in the long run, you will find the right one and forge strong, collaborative ties with them. Contracts should strike a balance between your interests and the vendor’s interests; it should therefore espouse policies that are mutually beneficial. In doing so, the win-win situation that the trial period afforded would persist until both parties decide to part ways.
Clarify the Terms of the Price
Usually, contracts already reflect the price of the service that is being outsourced. Just to avoid confusion though, it is best to set the terms of the price at the earliest possible time. During the inquiry stage, this must already be made clear. If there were further negotiations before the commencement of the trial period, price must be stipulated correctly in the contract and with your concurrence. Misunderstandings between you and vendor are unlikely to occur if the price was clarified before service provision began. Simply follow these procedures so that mutual benefits continue to flow between you and your selected vendor. You will also spare yourself from added burdens and instead keep your mind focus on growing your business.
There are several ways to start an outsourcing venture, but to brainstorm and assess the suitability of the vendor, to communicate effectively and forge a strong relationship with your choice vendor, and to clarify the terms of the price, are three of the most important reminders that any business owner interested in outsourcing should take note of. You have to know what you want first of all, and then communicate this preference with a possible vendor. A trial period ensues afterwards to see whether you and the vendor of your choice are compatible. If all goes well, then you can negotiate the price and set it out clearly in the contract to avoid jeopardizing your newfound partnership. Simply take heed of these reminders and from there onwards, outsourcing will work wonders for you.