Today, thanks to outsourcing, companies that are overburdened or over-dependent on deadlines can delegate one or more services to specialists. However, the market for outsourcing companies is huge. So, it can be difficult for the entrepreneur to have an accurate idea of the quality of the work of the provider, of its compliance with standards and regulations, of the supervision and of the relevant transmission of information. In addition to this, the entrepreneur must be able to determine which service(s) to outsource and which one(s) his company will keep. The aim is to ensure that no vital action is taken in hand by a third party, however specialised it may be.
If you’re thinking about outsourcing, below are 8 key points that you can work on to make the best decision for your business.
The provider: its history, evolution and added value
Outsourcing is act that should be improvised as it is about the development and success of your business. Thus, it is essential to take the required amount of time, as you would to choose a team leader or key collaborator, to determine which service provider exactly meets your needs and your company’s ambition. In practical terms, you must make an in-depth check of his know-how: does he have the resources needed to take charge of the mission you want him to carry out? Can he illustrate this with examples?
Do not hesitate to compare several providers by distributing the tasks in order to determine which one will be the most efficient and the most reliable. Afterwards, choose the one that will stand out of the lot. It will take time and a financial investment. However, the gain is worth it for your business.
Clearly determine what will be delegated to the provider and what will be kept in-house
The best approach is to determine exactly which tasks:
- Can be done with simplicity and for which there is a process to follow,
- Require additional information, improved processes over time and involvement of other team members because of their importance.
This will help you understand which tasks can be delegated because they are simple and which ones must be managed internally because of their importance to your organisation. Keep in mind that internal employees are able to understand the company, its culture and its objectives in more depth.
Outsourcing supervised by an in-house manager
Outsourcing is in no way a sign of total disengagement on the part of the client company. Whether it involves outsourcing, for example, your human resources, your satisfaction survey service in order to measure the quality of your services, your remote secretary services or even your telemarketing services, you must entrust the supervision of operation to an in-house manager. If your company does not have such a profile, you must, without wasting much time, find the appropriate person who will manage the process and who will work with the outsourcing team to ensure that it delivers quality and on time work. He/she will work with the project leader to ensure that all players are on track with planned and achievable objectives.
Hire a consultant to create a flawless standard operating procedure
The outsourcing of one or more services depends on the quality of the service and the resulting performance. In order to determine these two elements, it is essential to have in-house expertise, and if this is not the case, you must hire a consultant. The latter will therefore be responsible for creating a standard operating procedure (SOP) by auditing and observing the procedures of your own staff. In case of failure, he/she can also help you to recruit an external profile in order to remedy the situation.
A documented outsourcing process
By choosing outsourcing, your goal is to save time and to allow your internal team members to focus more on higher priority tasks. How are you going to determine the quality of a provider’s work to achieve this? The best way to do this is to “test” potential niche companies by providing them with a clearly written and documented process for carrying out the tasks that interest you. By documenting this process as much as possible, you will be able to maintain quality control and consistency between your expectations and the results delivered with minimal revision. In addition, as a partner, the right provider must be able to provide you with the right pieces of advice that will improve your processes.
Time: an irreplaceable and essential ally
Once you have selected the tasks that you want to outsource, determine the time and cost necessary to carry them out internally. It is then that you will have to start gradually integrating external sources into the performance of these same tasks. This will allow you to compare the productivity of the two parts (internal and external) in relation to the cost.
With these metrics on hand, give the service provider more and more priority by investing in tasks that have to abide by time and budget constraints, while reducing those that are close to your normal operating margins.
Quality, reliability, communication and accountability?
A good service provider must be able to guarantee you four characteristics: the quality of his teams and equipment, his reliability, his sense of communication and his assumption of responsibility. In clearer terms, you can outsource when you are certain that the chosen company:
- Provides quality work,
- Has always that are always available,
- Ha supervisors who can communicate clearly and effectively and
- Is always willing to take on extra work.
Always outsource tasks without added value for your business
Last but not least, it is important for your business development to outsource only non-core tasks, which take too many resources in-house. These tasks must prevent your teams from focusing on the core business of your company. If you find out that a task is being handled in-house without affecting the normal day-to-day operations, review the points in your outsourcing project.
By taking care to weigh and scrutinise every task that you want to outsource, you will be able to more easily determine the difficulties and growth points of your business.