Choosing an Outsourcing Partner: 10 Questions to Ask
Choosing an Outsourcing Partner: 10 Questions to Ask
Outsourcing partnership has become one of the mainstream trends in the business world. However, in order to benefit from the partnership, one needs to have the answers to some questions.
In the New Economic era, partnering and networking have been a common trend in the business world. The modern economic environment is very competitive and needs tremendous mobility and adaptive capacities to cope up with the changes. The pattern is for organizations to rely on their strategic abilities to somehow gain from other business houses, the skills they need but do not have or do not want them in-house. While this provides improved opportunities for firms in the emerging global markets, it also poses some risks. So, before you outsource any service, do not forget to ask the following questions to the outsourcing partner:
Can You Provide a Track Record of Your Service?
The best way to assess a prospective service provider is to analyze from various angles their service track record. Find more about their client service and get to see if the graph tends upward. Take feedback from the current clients of the provider to know if they were satisfied with the service offered. After the conclusion of the project, make sure to ask the provider if they provide help desk assistance. You will figure out whether the Service Level Agreement (SLA) of the provider is supported by financial commitments that meet customer service expectations and operating metrics.
Share Your Plans to Manage My Account
It is a vital part of the outsourcing process to figure out how your company account will be handled and if they are implementing a precisely defined account management process. Figure out how your day-to-day functions will be handled and how much you will need to communicate for the same. Before the onset of the outsourcing project, ask the vendor if you can reach the account manager and other employees in the future.
Who Are Your Former Clients? How Satisfied Were They With Your Service?
Request the service provider to supply you with a list of past and current customers. Talk to at least five of these clients to understand if their industry profile or business criteria are close to yours. Ask them for comprehensive and frank reviews on the strengths and shortcomings of the outsourcing partner. Find out if there were any challenges they encountered and how were those fixed. Finally, question them how pleased they were with the quality of the service and the administration skills of the provider.
What Is the Quality Level That Can Be Expected From Your Workers and Infrastructure?
Never forget to check the reliability of the service provider by seeking information about their infrastructure, technical partners, internet providers, data centers, network environment, and key metrics. Having an on-site visit to the company will give you confidence in the management skills and physical facilities of the supplier.
Give Some Details of Your Security Measures
Before sharing any confidential business information with the outsourcing partner, be confident about their security protocols. Ask the provider for a detailed explanation of how they have secured their facility from outside interference. Find more about the firewall and the provider’s other security measures. In the event of a data breach, ask the provider if they have a recovery plan. Finally, ensure that the data center of the provider is staffed with trained, skilled, and devoted resources.
Do You Offer a Migration Plan?
Figure out if a tested plan is available for the service provider to allow a smooth transfer of processes and data from your enterprise to the business center. Get to know in-depth information about how the provider can regulate the conversion and the approach to be used. Ask the vendor if it is possible to modify their migration plan to meet your requirements. In order to ensure a seamless transition, also verify whether the contractor can work with the in-house personnel or overlap activities.
Give Us a Quotation for Your Service Price
Prior to beginning the outsourcing process, be sure of the price that you are paying and also find out if there are any hidden prices. Also, ask if helpdesk resources would be priced separately. Ask the service provider how their prices will evolve over time as the needs scale up or down. Do not forget to ask if you should expect price breaks or waived penalties in case a defined service level pledge is skipped by the provider. To get the overall pricing picture, weigh the final pricing structure against your total cost of ownership.
Elaborate on Your Special Skills and Experience
Measure the scope and depth of expertise of the provider in delivering the services you need. Get to know more about the history of the provider by asking whether a given service has always been offered or whether it has upgraded to offer a service. Ask them about their competencies, talents, expertise, and abilities for intricate information.
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How Flexible Are You to Satisfy My Specific Needs?
Assess if the provider is merely attempting to promote their services by over-promising or if they are sincerely committed to tailoring their services to suit your particular needs. You can acquire this information by talking to their clients. Also, check if the service provider shows a desire to describe the specifications and map them to their service offerings.
Is Your Finance Strong Enough to Support the Process?
Never neglect the financial wellbeing of a future vendor. If the prospective provider is a brand new start-up or less than two years old, you must ask to check their cash flow status, burn rate, and other financial details to reduce the chance of losing a business partner due to unexpected financial scarcity. Outsourcing to an existing service supplier with a track record of profitability is obviously better. Also, do not fall prey to cheaper rates. In most cases, these service providers with cheap rates are not reliable. They often compromise with the quality of the services they provide. In the long run, cheap services may adversely affect the reputation of your company. Remember, good things are often costly.
It is a fact undeniable that an outsourcing partnership business has countless benefits when done wisely. Understanding how the partnership works, how it progresses and evolves is critical for getting the most out of the cooperation, and for preventing potential difficulties. Therefore, make a well-informed decision before venturing into the outsourcing partnership.