Have you identified the most important steps to outsourcing success?
Imagine flying a plane through stormy weather without plotting a course. The chances of getting lost are high and could easily end in disaster. Choosing to outsource parts of your business without a clear plan is much the same.
Of course, outsourcing can be an excellent way to quickly and efficiently drive business forward by allowing you to harness company resources for more profitable ventures. However, it isn’t a one size fits all magic solution.
Every business has different requirements and reasons for outsourcing. One common influencing factor we see time and time again at Cloudstaff is that businesses get the most value and productivity from outsourcing operations when they have clearly mapped out their goals, and developed a plan to achieve them.
Here are our top 10 steps to outsourcing success:
1. Set clearly defined goals
Outsourcing roles within your business is not always an easy decision. It’s certainly not a decision to be made by one person, but rather, the whole team. Each team member has different ideas on how and where to start. They may even have different motivations, but you should define your overall goal first.
Do you want to reduce company overheads? Are you aiming to improve efficiency? Defining these goals ensures everyone is on the same page and gives them direction and is but one of the first steps to outsourcing success.
2. Assess your infrastructure and processes
When outsourcing, it’s important your business is ready to handle changes in existing processes. This might mean a few infrastructure upgrades may be needed. Take time to evaluate your costs, capabilities and processes to identify what areas of your business will benefit the most from outsourcing. With this information in hand, you’ll be able to see if you can meet demand, and identify the tools needed to make it happen.
3. Consider your offshore management team
Together with your managers and team, you need to be ready to take on the responsibility for your offshore team’s training and daily management. How will you help them understand your business and culture? Who is going to take care of your people?
It’s important to invest time in this, assigning a manager for your offshore team will achieve better results. Having a dedicated person to manage an outsourced team helps with communication and can get your offshore team set up quicker.
4. Identify advantages, obstacles and challenges
One of the most important steps of outsourcing success is identifying its advantages, as well as potential obstacles or challenges.
Consider what will help you further your outsourcing goals and, in contrast, the challenges outsourcing will present.. Factors such as cost and potential savings, technological capabilities, local regulations, communication and staff structure, might be good places to start. With these things considered, we recommend speaking with people in your network who have outsourcing experience or contact the business development managers at a reputable outsourcing provider for their advice. Learning from their experience rather than learning by trial and error is best practice.
5. Use KPIs to measure success
What are your current KPIs and what are you looking to achieve? Compare the two and evaluate. These measurements can help you determine whether outsourcing is the right model for your business.
- Assess your objectives
- Identify your strengths and weaknesses
- Use your findings to structure your outsourcing model
6. Understand different outsourcing models
One of the vital steps to outsourcing success is understanding the different models available – and how they can contribute to achieving your business goals.
You have to decide which will best suit your business needs before looking for an outsourcing partner. Once you’ve decided on the model that fits your business, it’s time to find a provider. Remember to do your research on potential partners, check their background, look at their customer testimonials and ensure you have clearly defined pricing and services before taking the plunge.
7. Look at every possible scenario
Scenario planning is vital to every successful business model. It provides a clear path out of most challenges and gives team members the confidence to tackle any issues that arise. We suggest evaluating any potential issues that could arise by implementing an outsourcing strategy. Once you’ve assessed the possibilities, talk to your team and outsourcing provider to evaluate how to turn these potential issues into opportunities.
8. Evaluate the risks
With growth comes risk and outsourcing is no different. It’s important for your business to be clear about any potential risks faced when choosing to outsource parts of your business. For instance, there might be legal risks, environmental concerns or technological problems.
Identifying these issues is the first step in ensuring they won’t negatively impact your business. Speak with your team, other businesses who outsource and your service provider to ensure you’re prepared should a risky situation arise.
9. Create a business plan
Deciding to outsource is only the first step and it isn’t a process that is completed overnight. Before you begin, you need to gather as much information as you can. Take this data and turn it into a comprehensive business plan that includes your risk assessment and potential scenarios. Having these to hand will give stakeholders and employees peace of mind that everything has been considered.
We suggest documenting every step you’ll take. Include all business structures, costs and profits, workloads, goals and the expected timeline. This will enable you to come up with an outsourcing strategy that supports your objectives while enabling you to achieve your business’s growth targets.
10. Develop an action blueprint
With your business plan in hand, it’s time to develop a blueprint to implement outsourcing into your business. Set a realistic deadline to have everything in place, allot a proper budget for tools and technology needed to facilitate growth and discuss changes with your team.
- Do I need to make additional deals to bring this into fruition?
- Do I need to develop new or existing relationships to help support my outsourcing goals?
- What training or support will I need to ensure success?
Outsource with Cloudstaff
At Cloudstaff, we believe one of the most important steps to outsourcing success is having structured implementation frameworks.
We can help you develop structured training plans to help transition your business knowledge to your offshore team.
We have many years of experience working with global businesses to help them build and scale their outsourced teams. Our experts are only too happy to work with you and share what has and hasn’t worked for businesses similar to yours. You don’t have to do it alone!
With your planning and our guidance, your offshore team can really help you meet and exceed your customers’ expectations. Contact our team to find out how we can help take your business to the next level.