Did you know? How an outsourcing partner can help you grow your business
August 26, 2021
Running a successful organization is challenging in today’s time. Consistently repeating this feat, is even more so. It is crucial for entrepreneurs to focus on their core business so they can give their undivided attention to grow their business and build value for all the stakeholders.
But someone has to do the non-core activities and that is where outsourcing comes in. Your non-core activities become core activities for an outsourcing firm and, like you, they know best practices on their core activities. It may not be possible to always have the best person for the job internally on your own team simply because the requirements keep changing as your business grows and you are not in the business of pooling talent. The good news is that’s what outsourcing companies do – having high-performing talent on hand is true outsourcing mastery.
The right outsourcing partner can make your life easier. Their crucial insights into the industry and industry benchmarks in which your business operates can help you improve your productivity, make smart business decisions, make better margins, and be assured that the rest is being taken care of. They help you understand things like whether you are operating at an optimum level, if there are ways to get the same job done faster, better and cheaper, or even, which aspects of your business are profitable and which ones require your attention to flourish.
How to keep your outsourcing partnerships healthy
It is important to understand that you will be choosing an Outsourcing “Partner” and not just a service provider. If you think of outsourcing as just service provision, things can go very bad very quickly. You have to work in collaboration with them so they can understand where you are going and guide you as to how best you can get there.
It is important to have open and transparent communication with your outsourcing partner. They should know the changes that are coming so they can be prepared to help you to weather the challenges that come along with them.
Be ready to hear the hard truths. If your partner is telling you that some aspects are not working out listen to their advice, take their input, discuss the options and then make the best informed decision. Your outsourcing partner will always tell you what’s best for you because it is their business to do so.
Trust is the currency in which businesses operate. Choose an outsourcing partner you can trust – and trust them to be in your corner. Without trust, any relationship, be it professional or personal, has a very short shelf life.
How to choose the right outsourcing partner
The right outsourcing partner can make partnership, communication, flexibility, and trust seem effortless, but like the possibilities, the choices are also endless. The market is flooded with outsourcing companies promising the best services at a fraction of your cost. It can feel intimidating to evaluate them and make the right choice. So how do you choose the best partner for you?
Here are some of the questions that you should ask any outsourcing partner that you are considering:
- Which industries do you work with?
You should know whether the outsourcing partner has any prior exposure to the work your organization does. It is extremely important for the outsourcing partner to understand your business in order to serve you proficiently. If the outsourcing partner has previously worked with companies in your industry, it eases the transition to a large extent and means that they will be able to provide you with industry expertise, advice, and best practices.
- How long have you been operating in the business process outsourcing industry?
It is important to understand the tenure of the outsourcing partner and their overall track record in the industry. Do they have clients who would be willing to talk to you about their experience? What issues did the clients have and what was the response from the service provider – was it dealt with to their satisfaction? Facing issues and challenges is always inevitable, but the way the outsourcing partner responds to the challenges says a lot about them.
Do you provide all of the services that my company needs?
The most obvious question that must be asked is can the outsourcing partner actually help your company in achieving the desired objective behind the decision to outsource the work. There can be many reasons for a business to choose outsourcing – some companies do it to save cost, others do it to realize process efficiency. Whatever your reasons, it is important to choose an outsourcing partner that will help you achieve your objective in the most proficient manner which starts with providing all of the services that your cost needs.
- Is the service scalable?
If there’s a surge of demand or growth in your business, and you need more staff urgently, what would the response time be from the outsourcing partner. There are plenty of outsourced providers that do what they do well at a small scale only and if pressed to go beyond that their service to you crumbles. If you know that you will be experiencing growth in the short or long term, make sure that the partner you choose to walk through that journey with can meet the challenges that the growth will bring.
How will your service benefit me?
An outsourcing provider should be able to provide you with a clear outline of how they will help you to realize efficiency gains. Typically, there would be a period of time after your on-boarding with them that processes would be settling in, but after that period there should be a clear plan, pushed forward by the outsourcing provider, that ensures that you start to realize efficiency gains either from standardizing, automating or optimizing your processes and procedures. Beyond that, the outsourcing provider should also be able to articulate for you the value add that their service will bring to you and your organization – make sure that that value add aligns with your goals for the business.
Who will I be working with on a regular basis?
It is important to understand the structure of the team that would be handling your business as well as the governance structure that they put into place. Make sure you understand whether you’ll be assigned a dedicated relationship manager acting as your single point of contact or if there be different contact points based on the nature of the query. Neither way is right or wrong – it is just a matter of what will work best for you and your company.
How much money will I save?
Even if your primary objective is not cost-cutting, you should probably expect to see some sort of overall financial gain in the long term by choosing to outsource the work. The most common form of savings is in the form of labor arbitrage, but there are also other costs to consider in your decision: software costs, hardware costs, support costs, employee benefits costs, general overhead costs, recruiting costs, and even employee retention costs. If you are willing to share your current cost structure in all of these areas, the outsourcing provider that you are evaluating should be able to share a clear ROI calculation with you which, of course, would be key in helping you to make your decision on your path forward.
In the current economic scenario, companies have to “Go Lean” to function more efficiently and grow sustainably and outsourcing can help you save money but the right outsourcing partner will help you make money. Choose wisely!