By Alfredo Atanacio, founder UassistME.CO / Inc. 30 Under 30 2012 / AGLN Fellow.
With fast-changing technology, companies are looking for ways through which they can make their business processes efficient. One strategy that can help you save both money and time is outsourcing.
Outsourcing involves handing over your business operations to third-parties with more experience and resources. Some of the most outsourced business processes by our clients are accounting, administrative work, back-office, marketing and customer support among other tasks.
If you are looking to outsource your business operations, you need to ensure that you use the right outsourcing partner that will meet your requirements. Based on our experience with our clients, these are some of the advantages of outsourcing and this is how to ensure that your business process outsourcing is effective.
Advantages of outsourcing business processes.
There are several benefits a company can enjoy from outsourcing some of its business processes. Some of the main advantages of outsourcing your business processes include cost reduction and enhanced speed and efficiency of business processes, especially those that may be too difficult or time-consuming to handle for your staff.
Since third-party service providers are more experienced, they will use optimized processes and specialized tools to handle your operations. They can then perform tasks faster and in a more efficient way than your company would have. This will give your business an edge over your competitors.
Outsourcing also helps your company enjoy more flexibility in its operation and budget. The company gets time to focus on their business strongholds while they source non-core tasks from their outsourcing partners. Furthermore, it is a good way to expand your global presence and reach international customers.
Here are five tips for outsourcing business processes effectively.
Involve the executive team.
For your outsourcing relationship to be successful, consider involving the management team or the board in your organization. It is essential for management to involve their staff in decision-making and to explain the benefits of outsourcing.
Outsourcing will minimize costs. Also, it will help meet the company’s intended vision and goals. By explaining the benefits of outsourcing to the executives of your company, you will create a successful relationship with your partners.
Let them know how outsourcing can lead to increased productivity at a reduced cost. It is also an effective way of meeting the goals of the company. Once they understand the benefits of outsourcing, the executive team will more likely support the decision to outsource.
Getting everyone involved will also ensure proper documentation enabling greater levels of accountability and responsibility. Proper documentation is also important should there be any legal conflicts regarding the outsourcing process.
Define your goals beforehand.
Before you outsource and bring another company on board, it is necessary to define your goals. Map out both your long-term and financial goals so you know how best to make the outsourcing.
Once you have defined your goals, you will be in a better position to align them with your outsourcing plan. This will help you choose the most viable outsourcing partners who have the requirements your company needs.
Never forego quality.
Outsourcing is beneficial for your company. However, you don’t want to settle for anything less than the quality you need. Always discuss your expected quality upfront before beginning the contract.
Also, before choosing a service provider to contract with, take some time to research various options and do a comparative analysis. Opt for a service provider who has some form of experience in the tasks you are looking to outsource.
While it is an excellent thought to engage a new company and promote it, you don’t want to be a company’s first client to test its effectiveness. Before you make a final decision, be sure to evaluate their experience, previous record, qualifications, reputation and performance.
This is especially important when outsourcing complex tasks that need an experienced service provider. Always do a background check on several potential companies and make your selection based on your requirements. See to it that they have completed other commercial projects that satisfied their customers.
Factor in costs.
A key advantage of outsourcing is cost reduction. As a company owner or director, you might outsource for the main reason of saving money. However, the reality is that it is unusual for the actual savings to meet the estimated savings.
After subcontracting during the first few months, you should aim to save a good proportion of the amount you had hoped to save. There will always be time-loss and adjustments, among other factors, some of which you had not anticipated but in the medium and long run, you’ll be able to see clear rewards in time and money saved.
Nearshoring over offshoring.
Nearshoring can be defined as outsourcing business operations to a nearby country, whereas offshoring is relocating operations to any other country, near or far. I’d recommend choosing nearshoring over offshoring every time you can. Why? With nearshoring, you get many added benefits that make communication smoother, such as time zone compatibility, short flight duration, culture fit, less language barriers and in many cases, the official currency even may be the same. For example, El Salvador is only a 2-hour flight from major U.S. cities and the official currency of the country is the U.S. dollar. It’s easier doing business that way.
Outsourcing is an excellent tool if correctly employed. To ensure successful outsourcing business processes, businesses need to keep various factors in mind. Make sure that you do extensive planning and research to ensure that you land the right service provider for your outsourcing needs.
Whether you are outsourcing to cut costs or make your business lucrative, you want to outsource your operations to the right service provider. With the right outsourcing partner, you can be assured that all your business processes will be handled effectively.
Forbes – Entrepreneurs