As companies look to streamline ops and take advantage of the latest tech, we have some practical advice on what to look for in a reliable outsourcing company and how to manage your new working relationship.
Preparing your business for outsourcing.
9 tips to help you choose the best outsource provider.
Outsourcing is the new normal. As emerging technologies become more important for business to leverage, so does demand for the outsourced talent to deliver it.
But handing control of tech development to an outside operator can be a daunting prospect. Especially when the project forms a crucial part of the way you do business – like a website, app or piece of software.
As companies search for cheaper, leaner ways to work and grow, outsourcing even core functions of your business can be a cost-effective way to secure the services of highly skilled professionals, without putting them on the payroll.
The importance of finding the right fit
If you’ve already taken the decision to partner with a tech services provider, you’ve probably also thought about what kind of company will make the best fit. Maybe you even considered what could go wrong…
Will they share your vision and commitment to high standards, focus on the same goals as your team or be as effective as someone working in your office? Will they understand the brief, stick to your timescale and budget or be around to talk when you need them?
Making it work
Simply put, the quality of your end product, whether it’s a standalone web design project or the ongoing services of an off-site team, will depend on 2 things; the people doing the work and your relationship with them.
To help you choose the right provider and avoid some of the most common pitfalls, we’ve listed a few best practices, based on the needs and requirements of our own clients, many of whom were also taking their first steps into outsourcing.
9 things to consider when picking an outsource provider
1. Google them. But before checking out their LinkedIn page or website, scroll down and see where else they’re mentioned. Look for reviews and namechecks on industry blogs (good) and angry customer rants (bad). If possible, try and speak directly with existing clients.
2. Do they know their stuff? The right outsourcer will bring a vast amount of experience and problem solving knowledge, gained from working on similar projects in the past. Ask for thoughts and suggestions on your project brief. If they’re bringing nothing to the party you may want to search elsewhere.
3. Your project, your objectives and KPI. A successful outsource strategy begins with clearly defined objectives and measurable goals. These are yours to set and the vendor’s to meet. You have every right to demand the same attention to detail and quality, as you would from your own employees.
4. Appoint a product owner. Even the most talented, experienced teams will need an understanding of your pain points and goals. They may need to contact members of your team, access information or flag up issues at short notice. Having a single point of contact will help maintain control of budget, timescale and progress.
5. Are they in the zone? Will you need to contact your provider on a regular basis? That could be difficult if they’re in another timezone and you may want to opt for a nearshore outsourcing solution.
7. Scalability. Best case scenario. Your new website is making hundreds of sales a day. Does your provider have the capacity to scale up and commit more people to your project? Can they do it quickly?
8. Language barrier. Do you expect much verbal contact with your provider? If the answer is yes it’s probably best to go with an English speaking team.
9. There will be hidden costs. Managing a third-party contract takes time. There will almost certainly be a learning curve, incidental transition tasks or onboarding to factor in to your budget.
When you choose the right outsourcing provider it really shows
Embracing the outsource model does carry risks. But they’re far outweighed by the potential benefits, which frequently go way beyond simple savings of time and money.
While incorporating new technologies once meant a lengthy and expensive process of recruiting, onboarding and training staff members, outsourcing offers immediate access to experienced professionals, capable of getting the job done quickly.
In a fast moving business world, the ability to dip into an off-site pool of IT talent – as and when you need it – can provide your company with a genuine competitive edge.
For an informal chat about the benefits nearshore outsourcing could offer your business, give us a call and ask for Rachel, Matt or Richard.