Outsourcing has proven to be an effective and efficient means of handling many duties in corporations. These include technical support, customer service and even some production issues. Outsourcing can cut costs for projects, increase productivity and save a great deal of time and money in terms of staff management and resources. However, there are five rules that every company needs to keep in mind before taking that step towards outsourcing.
You Get What You Pay For
The first rule to remember is that just because something is cost-effective, this does not mean it is the best option for your business. When someone offers outsourcing services at a severe apparent discount, they may be offering inferior or less-than-expert workers. If the task you are performing is crucial to your business, paying a bit more at the outset could save you in terms of customer satisfaction later.
Overseas Can Be Damaging
Outsourcing to overseas sources is a popular option. Workers from other countries often come cheaper than those at home, and often have similar knowledge and skills. Unfortunately, communication issues can skew customer relations fast. If you are looking to outsource overseas, make sure that writing, editing and spoken communication are clear and concise and that the firm you choose has a strong understanding of your business.
Do Not Rely on References
References are one aspect of the hiring process. They are not the entire process. You may find that your potential work source carries a number of great references from others you trust. Then, when you begin working together, you find that their outlook on business is incompatible with your own. Make sure that you have a strong personal relationship with your outsourcing service, with similar business philosophy before signing that contract.
Researching, shopping around and doing your homework will always pay off in the end. Even if the first firm with whom you speak seems perfect for your needs, take the time to interview a few others. You never know who is out there and at very least, having three or four quotes to compare can give you some perspective on your own needs. Those extra few hours could shed light on issues you did not even know you had.
Protect Your Data
Especially when dealing with outsourced technical support or computer programming, you need to take steps to defend your passwords and internal security. Allowing an outside firm unfettered access to your company’s private data can be a recipe for disaster. A single disgruntled employee can wreak havoc with a company’s servers.
Be aware of who holds passwords and what they can access. Keep detailed records of those with access to private information and update those records daily. Change your passwords on a regular basis so that former staff cannot regain access. You can never be too safe.
Outsourcing can be a boon to many businesses. Still, there are inherent dangers if you are not careful. Do your due diligence, however, and you can save tons of time, money and efficiency. If you need help or advice with outsourcing services, we are here to help. Give us a call!