I Tried (fill in the blank here) But It Did Not Work Out!
When I hear somebody say something like that, I immediately pay attention to listen to what comes next – their justification.
For example, in the last 24 hours I heard…
“I tried India for outsourcing but it did not work out, so I went to the Philippines instead – I just could not communicate with them”
I don’t know about you, but do you think it is possible that the reason that outsourcing did not work out for that individual, is more than just about nationality? Like did they just have a poor experience with one specific outsourcer? Perhaps they themselves did not know how to outsource effectively, or possibly between the two organisations, there were aspects that contributed to the issues? Yes it appears they are ready to dismiss a whole country!
Maybe you have had similar experiences?
Now I know I am starting to sound like my father, but when you have been around for a while, which for me is over 25 years in the outsourcing industry, you start to see patterns and importantly, what works and what does not work!
Most Outsourcing Is Mediocre At Best
But here’s the rub…
My outsourcing mentors: Professor Bill Hefley (The University Of Texas), Dr Mary Lacity (University of Missouri), Professor Leslie Willcocks (London School Of Economics), Professor Emeritus Arie Lewin (Duke University), Kate Vitasek (University of Tennessee) and others, repeatedly show in their research that most outsourcing fails to live up to expectations. However, they have equally demonstrated that there are critical success factors that need to be in place on both sides – the buyer and provider of outsourcing services, to guarantee a successful outcome for all parties.
Yet, there is something about human behaviour, even when we know what to do, we keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again! Don’t do this to yourself anymore, because it’s painful for me to watch you go through all this and see you in denial!
So here is what you need to do…
The 5 Critical Disciplines Of Strategic Outsourcing Partnerships™
I spent years going through all the outsourcing research and case studies, as well as reflecting on my own experience having worked on both sides of outsourcing and also as an advisor, and realised that there are five things you need to do in collaboration with your outsourcing partner (client or provider) to be successful and I call these The 5 Critical Disciplines Of Strategic Outsourcing Partnerships™.
Discipline 1 – Service Delivery Excellence
The First Discipline you need to have when you outsource, is ensuring you have a strong foundation in the day to day operations of your business. When you have this, you have the certainty of which you can build on, you can scale and grow your business. When you do not have this, then your whole business can become unstable – it can hold you back. This is about the discipline of Service Operations Excellence and includes things like…
• Services & Capabilities
• Availability & Capacity
• Technology Collaboration Tools
• Onshore Oversight & Offshore Supervision
• Development Of Key Performance Metrics
• Daily / Weekly Status Dashboards & Reports
• Customer Satisfaction Surveys
• Continuous Improvement Practices
Discipline 2 – Expertise, Consultation & Advice
The Second Discipline you need to have when you outsource, is the ability to leverage your outsourcing partner’s experience. You know your business, but they know outsourcing. When you have this, then you can take advantage of their experience more fully. This is about ensuring your outsourcing journey is aligned to your business needs for today and for tomorrow. When your outsourcer does not provide this, then all you have is a transaction. This is the discipline of Expert Consultation & Advice and includes things like…
• Monthly, Quarterly, Annual Reviews
• Regular health checks
Discipline 3 – Robust Risk Management
The Third Discipline you need to have in place when you outsource, is the ability to ensure you do not open your business up to possible threats. When you do this, you are implementing certainty into your business and you have control despite any unplanned event. And of course, when you do not do this, you open your business to uncertainty. You’re not in control of your business and this is not good because we know that in business there are some many facets which can impact you significantly if you are not prepared. This is the discipline of implementing Robust Risk Management and entails…
• Documentation Of Operating Procedure Manuals
• De-Risking Of Key Individuals Through Cross Skilling
• Access Controls (Virtual & Physical, CTV Monitoring)
• Non-Disclosure Agreements To Protect Client IP
• Business Continuity & DR Protocols
Discipline 4 – Value, Leading Practices & Insights
The Fourth Discipline you need to implement when you outsource, is the ability to ensure you are continually improving your business with new ideas and perspectives. When you have this, then you will get positive outcomes – from cost savings, improved quality, improved service, and even new capabilities, because you are up to date as to what is happening around you. When you do not have this, then it unlikely that your business will evolve or step up – it will instead remain static with other businesses likely to pass you by. This is the discipline of implementing ongoing Value, Leading Practices & Insights and leveraging your outsourcing partner’s ecosystem of…
• Business & Technology Seminars & Resources
• Industry Introductions
• Social Media Promotion
• Quarterly Joint Press Releases & Case Studies
Discipline 5 – Effective & Efficient Administration
Lastly, The Fifth Discipline you need to have in place when you outsource, is the ability to minimise your overheads and day to day focus on tasks that do not generate value for you or your business. When you have this in place, then outsourcing is easy for you to manage. When you do not have this then outsourcing starts to become complex and time consuming for you and your own team and what I am referring to is the discipline of Effective & Efficient Administration and includes in its simplest…
• Seamless account processes that are easy to reconcile so that you always know at any time where you at
Time To Reset & Move Forward
So if you are currently outsourcing, have a conversation with your partner about these 5 Disciplines, or do this quick online self-assessment to see where you current sit…
Click here: http://survey.theoutsourcing.expert/
If you are considering outsourcing for the first time, then make sure you include these 5 Disciplines as criteria in selecting the best partner for you.
Finally, if you want FREE resources including…
• 70 Page Step By Step Business Implementation Guide
• 68 Point Check List
• Online Business Benchmarking Tool
• 5 Training Videos
• Business Strategy Consulting Session (Optional)
Click here: http://resources.theoutsourcing.expert/
And always remember…
“Today, success is achieved through partnering and collaboration – not going at it alone”