From banking call centres to data capture, outsourcing non-essential activities to external service providers makes perfect commercial sense. Greater resources from the service provider, as well as deeper skill sets and focused attention on service levels, mean that outsourcing can relieve many of the pains asscoiated with tasks outside of your core business function. In order to reap the benefits, it pays to invest some time and effort in structuring the outsourcing relationship – before the contract is signed. There is genuinely no barrier to creating shared goals in which both sides benefit, provided that the business and corporate objectives are understood and aligned.
Below are 3 golden rules we like to abide by when looking at creating an outsourcing relationship:
1) Shop around
It is essential to play the outsourcing field a little, and learn about who is in the market. For example, what services are on offer, what are their strengths
and weaknesses? Are any of the players ‘your type of company’, and do they share your corporate culture?
2) If it doesn’t feel right, walk away
Does the service provider’s corporate culture feel right, and does it fit with your company? Outsourcing is a particularly close form of
business relationship. In effect, outsourcing means that an internal service division (customer service, accounts, technical support, logistics) is being run and managed by another company – and you will work with and speak with this other company’s teams on a regular, if not daily, basis.
In many cases, the outsource provider’s staff will be representing your company to the outside world, and it is absolutely essential that the two companies’ cultures are a close match.
3) Keep it simple, stupid
Write down, on one side of A4, what you want, how it will be measured, and the specific goals to be achieved. Too many potentially good deals have been ruined because of parties getting bogged down in overly technical discussions. Focus on the output, not the methodology.
do what you do best, outsource the rest