The number of businesses outsourcing processes has grown over the past few years in Australia and the world over. The trend can be attributed to demand for experienced expertise in fields such as IT, finance, recruitment, and human resource. The trend will only continue to grow.
According to a 2016 Deloitte Global Outsourcing survey, the main reason for outsourcing is to cut costs. Other reasons include focusing on core business functions, quality of service enhancement, lack of workforce capacity, and access to intellectual capital. All these advantages could explain why the survey found that, globally, about 75% of businesses enjoy a positive relationship with their outsourcing partners.
If You have made a decision to outsource a business process, you must find the right outsourcing partner. So who should you choose to work with? The following are some general qualities and characteristics to look for in an outsourcing company.
Experience determines the quality of service a company can provide. Therefore, it is important to work with an outsourcing partner that has been in business for long. It takes time to learn the trade, develop an effective project delivery system, and perfect collaboration with clients.
Experience is not only a question of how many years but also how much work. An outsourcing company that has been in business for ten years and has handled 100 projects is less experienced than a 5-year old company that has handled 500 projects.
Check online reviews, testimonials and case studies to confirm the experience of the company. Also, ask for references from the company. Make sure you contact the references to verify the quality of work the company provides.
Most outsourcing companies focus on one service, such as internet marketing. But, there are others that offer multiple services. Do not just look for overall experience; look for experience in the specific service you are seeking. Look at their previous projects to establish their main focus area. A company might be good at web development and maintenance but not as good at content creation, yet both services fall under internet marketing.
Expertise and credentials:
Expertise is about the level of skills possessed by the employees of the outsourcing company. This determines the quality of service it can provide. In a way, the staff in the outsourcing company can be considered your employees. And would you not prefer to hire the best talent to work for you?
A good outsourcing company should employ qualified professionals. You can determine the expertise of employees by doing a background check of the outsourcing company. Does the company take the time to find top talent? How strict is their hiring process? What are the credentials of their employees?
Another way of determining the expertise of a company’s staff is looking at the bios of their top-level employees. You can request such information or look it up on websites such as LinkedIn.
Also, check the company cultures. Does the company share values similar to yours? What motivates the company? Does the company care about the success of their clients? Look at their metrics and goals and even seemingly less important things such as employee retention. When you share the same culture, the company is more like an extension of yours.
Employees need quality equipment and technology to produce quality work. Also, technology plays a major role in efficiency. Do not assume that since a company is experienced, it has the required technology. That is especially the case when hiring offshore companies. The standards of technology you are accustomed to in Sunshine Coast, may not be the same offshore. Therefore, it is important to investigate the infrastructure of your potential outsourcing partner before hiring.
You can learn about infrastructure and technology employed by checking their website or inquiring directly from the company. For instance, if you are outsourcing accounting, ask for the software they use and check if it is the industry standard.
Another option is to visit their facilities. Of course, that can be a challenge in the case of an offshore company. But it is worth it as it will give you a clearer idea of how your project will be handled and who will be handling it.
Communication is vital to the smooth running of business processes. In outsourcing, communication helps in determining progress. Dealing with companies abroad can pose several challenges. There is the issue of language and time difference. The latter is not so important provided the company provides quality services. However, there can be no effective communication when there is a language barrier.
If language is not an issue, determine whether the company has an effective communication plan and establish if it will work for you. A good communication plan could include daily updates from the team working on your project and weekly or monthly project review meetings.
The next step is establishing if the company actually executes its communication plan. You can determine that by talking with their previous and current clients.
One of the main reasons for outsourcing is to cut costs. Therefore, it is important to ensure that you are not getting overcharged for the services provided. It helps to get quotes from different companies. From here, you can determine the market price for the service you intend to outsource.
The temptation to save money might prompt you to seek the services of the lowest bidder. Often, a low cost is an indicator of the substandard quality of service. Still, a high price tag does not always mean a high-quality of service. That is to say, the cost is not the only thing to look for when hiring an outsourcing company.
Fortunately, there is a large number of outsourcing companies offering the same services. As such, the pricing of services is very competitive.
Business process outsourcing (BPO) comes with several advantages. However, you will only leverage those advantages by partnering with a good outsourcing company. If you are considering BPO look for the characteristics mentioned above in potential partners.
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