Many organizations all over the world have already embraced outsourcing as a strategy to decrease cost and improve efficiency. Clearly, outsourcing certain parts of one’s business can provide the firm with many benefits. However, not all those who venture into outsourcing are successful.
In order to develop and sustain successful outsourcing partnerships, companies must not only understand but also embrace the following four key success factors.
1. Goals and Objectives
Companies who outsource do so for many reasons but each situation is different. They should clearly understand their own drivers and make sure that these are communicated not only throughout the organization but also with their outsourcing provider to avoid lack of stakeholder inclusion and involvement.
To set the stage for the selection and negotiation process, companies must set clear goals, objectives or expected outcomes, as well as the critical success factors by which to measure success and the criteria for choosing an outsourcing partner. This process ensures that there is an internal consensus about outsourcing and helps set expectations for both themselves and their outsourcing partner.
2. Change Management
Venturing into outsourcing, especially if it is new to the organization, can cause anxiety among your employees. In order to manage fear, resentment and resistance, proper change management strategies must be employed. Communication is key. Communicate the rationale behind your decision to everyone in the company to generate enthusiasm, support and cooperation. Explain what the benefits are for hiring outsourcing services, how it will impact the organization and how everyone can play a role in its success. It is only through this that the organization will be able to transition smoothly.
3. Team Integration
One of the crucial points of success is on how well companies are able to integrate their outsourced employees. Organizations have to ensure that they believe in the same core values, share the same ethics and embrace the company’s culture. Even though the outsourced team is not essentially part of the company, their performance will impact the performance of the entire company. In some cases, such as in outsourced call center services, the outsourced team will serve as the face of the organization and thus should be able to uphold the company’s image and reputation.
Team integration can be achieved by providing outsourced employees with the same training given to in-house employees, giving them an opportunity to discuss openly about performance and making sure everyone involved knows exactly what is expected of them.
4. Continuous Improvement
For an outsourcing partnership to be successful for the long term, there must be a process in place that ensures continuous improvement. Success must always be evaluated by ranking them against key performance indicators (KPIs). It is advisable to celebrate goal achievements and successes but at the same time track and analyze the causes of any failures so that they can be permanently resolved.
Going into an outsourcing partnership must be a strategic decision. Developing a structure for it with clear goals and objectives as well as a process for managing change, integrating team members and striving for continuous improvement will set the company up for success rather than disappointment.