13 Jan 13 Tips for Outsourcing
Outsource the right activities.
The decision to outsource is a huge step. Deciding which aspects of the business you want to outsource is equally as important. Perhaps a department of your business often expresses they cannot keep up with the workload? Do you find yourself staying up most of the night working on projects? Either way, outsourcing is an extremely viable solution. Outsourcing is the biggest change you can make to alleviate stress, save time and to help manage your workload.
Consider all your staffing costs.
Have you ever considered all your staffing costs?
When looking at an in-house employee with a salary of £17,000 a year it is often too easy to overlook the fact that this is not an accurate reflection of the true cost of the employee. In reality, the employee would cost the company a lot more than salary alone. When taking into consideration the overheads like pension NIC’s, general staff overheads, and training alone the actual cost per year amounts up to approximately £32,000. Many companies look to outsource as it is a flexible solution and has the option of being used as and when required. Outsourcing is the most cost-effective solution for your business.
Carefully choose your outsourcing provider.
Choosing the right company to fit best with your business needs will take time. Try to resist the urge of hiring the first party you encounter, even if they appear to be perfect for the vacancy. Take time to compare with other providers.
Recommendations, research, and feedback!
When hiring a contractor, take the time to find out any reviews and feedback left about them. Take feedback into account when weighing one contractor against the other. Evaluating costs is always important. You must always ensure to take into account reputation, offering, and personal relationship/rapport.
In most cases when outsourcing, you will be monitoring progress from a distance. This means the interviewing process is an important aspect for your business to ensure that you get it right. Interviewing is the one opportunity that you can discuss requirements at length to get a real feel for their personality, work ethic and drive. This can be done via the phone, skype or face to face if the company is local to yourselves.
Don’t rush – take your time.
Taking your time to select the right provider for your business is key. As is being able to delegate and communicate ensuring satisfactory and timely completion of the project. Putting the contractor under a ‘probationary period’ will allow you to make sure that things are going well, before entrusting more responsibility and workload with the contractor.
Set clear objectives.
Ideally, you would want your outsourcing team to work well independently. Keeping in touch to conveying goals and expectations is of the utmost importance. Whatever aspects of your business you are outsourcing, it is imperative for clear and concise communication. Be detailed and specific when explaining quality expectations and deadlines for project completion.
Ensure that you always communicate in writing/email with those taking on your outsourcing duties. Telephone meetings prove to be a good idea and a way to bridge the gap that working virtually can create, but it is not the best way to pass along important information. There is no way of knowing whether the person you’re speaking with has digested the information you have just relayed to them, nor indeed the security of your conversation. Written communication, such as an email, will ensure that any miscommunications will cease, and anything you want a team to remember or refer to will always be to hand. Talking face to face is an excellent way to build relationships, but any important information should be written down.
Write a solid contract.
This is an important element when dealing with a service vendor. The contract is drafted to determine policies and legislations between you and the other party, to outline expectations from the outset of the working partnership. This serves as a record that can be referred to from the outset. The content of the contract should include payment details, creative and other rights, expectations, and roles as well as an exit strategy. Any contract you sign should be reviewed.
Outsourced work takes place out of your sight. It is important therefore to make up for that by regularly checking in! Set meetings regularly and discuss key elements. Try video conferencing, so you can talk face to face which will help avoid misunderstandings and will keep both parties informed of any issues. Don’t forget to send a memo or email after your discussions, confirming the discussions.
Maintain control over outsourced elements.
It’s very important for you to remain in control of the elements of your business that’s being outsourced. If you use a reputable outsourcing provider you can rest easy in the knowledge that the managed solution is no longer a concern. Any direction should come from yourself or your staff. Excellent communication is key to achieving what you need.
Managing current personnel correctly.
It doesn’t take long for employees to find out that your company intends on outsourcing. Once this has been established, staff can’t help but be on edge. Staff will then wonder whether their jobs will be affected, and may feel that the decision to outsource reflects on their capabilities. The best approach is to disclose all information once decisions have been made Transparency will let your employees know they can trust you and eliminate fears and rumors.
All good things must come to an end.
As the titles states, it all must come to an end. But make sure that when a project is coming to an end that you end the working partnership on mutual terms, as these providers may be useful in the future if demand increases again. Leave feedback for the company and, if you can, make recommendations to other businesses that may also benefit from their services.