When outsourcing offshore, some critics are like tropical storms that rampage and overwhelm the regions you’ve selected. Offshoring has long been a target of negative criticism for stealing jobs with political critics claiming that the negative effects are often magnified compared to gaining the benefits they are supposed to gain.
These same critics often cite the fact that much risk is being taken when transferring important processes to places they have no complete control over. Failure can be due to poor communication; political unrest; even arbitrary changes in the economic policy of the outsourced country. And of course, there’s always the association between poor infrastructure in developing countries and the negative effects on quality or timeliness.
Despite that, most economists also agree that offshoring lowers costs for companies while being able to pass on the benefits to consumers and shareholders. There is also better availability of skilled human resources in a specific region for specific types of tasks. For example, top BPO countries like South Africa, Philippines and India have a large pool of English-speaking, college educated youth. If a company’s got the right training, that makes it ideal for business process outsourcing.
But in order to achieve that, there are two important things you need to establish first within your own business and then the offshore company you’re going to outsource. Only then can you present proof that runs counter to your critics’ claims.
The first is establishing ties. It’s really important that know your outsourced company real well and making a strong connection. Keep the following in mind:
- Select an experienced provider and understand their business model. Both parties much understand the company core values of the other organization (with the outsourced company still being able to deliver).
- Determine how stable a provider’s workforce is and find out how it measures its attrition rate. Try to check if your provider has a good reputation among job seekers and if they have strong retention.
- Develop a communications plan for primary external and internal stakeholders. These will allow mechanisms for feedback and more importantly, active follow-up with the offshore outsourcing managers.
- Carefully outline the process for ordering any changes and stick to it. Processes that are too simple and tacky (e.g. pure email) will only make a mess that you wouldn’t want to sift through later just to clear sudden misunderstandings.
- Plan for unexpected costs during the early stages of the outsourcing relationship like when information is transferred between you and your provider. Deploy additional network bandwidth and security technologies if necessary for important data transfers. Be aware of country-specific communications and data encryption regulations and requirements.
Getting to know your provider can take some time so it’s only fair that the second part of this guide will come in a later post. Critics will have little to say once they see how you seriously take the relationship you have with outsourced companies.