Outsourcing is a great way to reduce your costs and become competitive while keeping your quality in control. It is also a way for small businesses to acquire knowledge and skills from providers to increase the range and penetration of their business.
The path to outsourcing is, however, fraught with danger.
Here are some tips for the outsourcers to make the best of outsourcing while avoiding pitfalls.
Identify areas of outsourcing
Business processes are made up of activities, each of which has a cost and value that it adds to the value chain of your business. Outsource high cost, low value contributing activities which are non core, repetitive and high volume. Do not outsource those processes or their parts where there is scope of growth for you in terms of acquiring knowledge, skills and control critical to your business.
Select your outsourcing partner very carefully
Internet has made it possible for anyone to pose as an expert and pretend to have resources they don’t have while concealing their real intentions. The cyberspace is full of fly by night con specialists who have multiple identities and false geographic addresses if any.
The first thing to do is to ask for testimonials and references that you can verify. Check out the skills and values of the prospective provider. Talk to them and guage for yourself their knowledge and claims. Give them small tasks before moving into bigger ones that may affect your business process.
Don’t look only for the lowest price
The cheapest is not always the best for you. A successful provider is likely to have sufficient business and will not provide service at the lowest going rate. Besides, even if he agrees, all those who have given better prices to the same provider will have preference over you in terms of allocating a skilled person from the team to you and according priority to your job.
Don’t threaten when you are requesting for quotes
Providers shun outsourcers who declare that offers will be rejected if this or that is not mentioned. You scare away providers if arrogance and intolerance is shown even when requesting for quotes.
Give clear instructions and specifications of task
Remember your provider is likely to come from a different cultural and workplace background. Do not assume anything.Give very detailed step by step instructions accompanied preferably with screencasts or videos showing screenshots. Give also clear time estimates for each activity. Attach output formats. Ask for some samples of the job done to know if they have really understood what you want.
Most of the quality problems come from not giving clear instructions and the providers hesitating to ask questions as you haven’t encouraged them to do so.
Pay in time
It takes time to build trust in the cyberspace. Delaying payments makes the provider nervous. You lose priority to those who pay in time, work begins to slow down and you keep wondering what went wrong.
Outsourcing is building trust and partnership while being careful whom you trust.
Mr. Ashok Gupta
Mr. Ashok Gupta , management consultant, digital media specialist and a published author is a chemical engineer from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, with over 30 years experience in senior management positions and as a management consultant in reputed companies in Supply Chain/General Management/ Techno-Commercial areas in India and Indonesia.
He has an international management exposure having worked and undertaken consultancy assignments in USA, India and Indonesia . He is running a highly successful business of Digital Marketing including Social Media Marketing VA International http:www.virtual-assistance-international.com since last 10 years. In addition he has a company offering digital marketing courses in classes at Vadodara and also online.
Skype ID: ashok1082
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