Outsourcing or offshoring your core functions is a big step - so how do you make sure you get it right, first time? The key is in the planning.
As businesses look at ways they could introduce cost savings to protect margin, thinking about outsourcing or offshoring customer service is always a consideration.
There are many well-documented examples of offshoring gone wrong – so how do you make sure that outsourcing your customer service, technical support or back-end processes doesn’t end up as being a costly headache for your business, but instead ensure that it delivers the expected efficiencies?
Over the last 20 years we’ve worked with many different organisations to help them create business improvements and efficiencies through outsourcing various parts of their business operations. Our experience has shown us that the key to a successful offshoring project is the planning that comes BEFORE you start to move processes or services to the new provider.
So what are the first steps in your planning process that you should consider?
1. Be clear on your objectives:
It may sound obvious but getting the right objectives in place before you even move to the tender process is vital. Many businesses aren’t always clear on what they want to achieve or find that by the time they appoint a provider (which can be a lengthy process), their objectives have changed. It’s critical that you take the time to document exactly what you hope the project to achieve, up front and then review regularly in conjunction with your chosen partner, to ensure you meet your goals for the project.
2. Understand the costs:
Once you’ve established the expected benefits, it’s important that you understand the costs surrounding the project and what efficiencies (if any) you hope to achieve. Many an outsourcing project has failed because organisations have failed to understand the initial expenses associated with a project, and how to balance them against the benefits to be realised.
3. Build your team:
Getting the right internal project team in place is vital. As with costs, it’s important to understand that outsourcing/offshoring projects don’t just ‘happen’, and that having a team in place is critical to the success of the project. Engaging early with your existing internal delivery agents, as well as partners from finance, IT and internal comms will all help your project succeed.
4. Measure, measure, measure:
Finally, are you clear on how you will measure the project against your objectives and what good performance looks like? Have you benchmarked the current performance of your internal teams, and set in place rigorous reporting so that your partner can understand what is expected of them, and what success for you is? Sharing your current measurements and reporting with your new partner is a good first step but you should also work together to create a reporting dashboard that gives you the right information – this should enable you to track all your key metrics and mean you can report on the project internally.
By getting the planning right up front you can help to ensure that your offshoring project gets off on the right foot and sets you up for success.
Our latest White Paper looks in detail at all the steps you should consider when thinking about offshoring your back-end systems, processes, and customer services. To find out more, download the white paper, or get in touch with one of our Outsourcing experts.