You've already done the math and found out that the savings and efficiency of outsourcing far outweigh the control or communication issues that might go with it.
So you decide to go ahead with your outsourcing plans. The next step is choosing your outsourcing partner. It goes without saying that you should choose the best one so your company can achieve optimum results.
When evaluating your outsourcing partner, your main focus has to be the ability of the vendor to meet your requirements. Below are some of the criteria you should consider.
1. Establish industry experience.
A target outsourcing company's deep knowledge of and experience in your industry qualify it to handle the tasks and processes you plan to outsource. To gauge how much experience an outsourcing vendor has, you could ask how many projects it has completed and how intensive those projects were.
The management team, project managers, and other team members who will be working with you should likewise display outstanding qualifications and extensive experience in implementing your business projects.
2. Assess technical expertise.
Your future outsourcing service provider should be able to explain to you the methodology it uses to manage its projects, track results and resolve issues so that you understand how your own projects will be handled.
Ideally, your outsourcing partner should be accredited in critical areas such as project management and quality control. Meanwhile, having a business continuity plan in place will ensure it can deliver uninterrupted services or support to your company.
3. Ask for client references and samples.
Knowing the background of your prospective outsourcing partner can give you a better understanding of what the vendor can offer its customers. Request feedback from past and present clients regarding the scope and quality of services they received, as well as any challenges they might have experienced in the partnership.
Alternatively, you could refer to any case studies found on the company's website to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the company. If applicable, ask for work samples from completed projects or marketing prototypes to give you an idea of the kind of output you'll receive once you sign the service contract.
4. Inspect communication and client management systems.
To facilitate communication with your partner, you should discuss your expectations that everyone in the outsourcing team is available on email, phone, Voice over Internet Protocol, and other messaging applications or software at the designated times.
If you're operating in a different time zone, your outsourcing vendor must make sure that both of your working hours meet to a certain degree to minimize gaps in communication.
You also need to agree on a single point of contact for all your queries, feedback or concerns to have a smooth exchange of information between you and your outsourcing team.
5. Check infrastructure and technologies.
A technologically ready service provider is in a better position to support your company's needs and demands. The IT infrastructure of your outsourcing partner should include the latest hardware and software components, a reliable network of phone and internet lines, and integration with your own system.
Your vendor may also have to invest in acquiring and applying other technologies specific to your business.
6. Calculate costs.
Fixed project costs can give you huge savings, so as much as possible, you should ask your potential partner if this option is available to you. Otherwise, it's your responsibility to look into and question any hidden costs in project implementation, staff training and the like that might add unnecessary expenses to your operations.
7. Evaluate the workforce.
The success of your outsourced company will largely depend on the workforce and other frontliners in your outsourcing team. That said, you could review your vendor's hiring policies and processes to help you highlight the knowledge, discipline, and technical and soft skills that your business needs.
It might also be healthy for your company if your partner understands your corporate culture, including your values, beliefs, vision or mission statement, and medium of communication, and adopt it in the outsourcing environment.
Following the tips in this guide, you can find the best onshore, nearshore or offshore outsourcing partner that meets your requirements and suits your organization well.