There may be a number of factors that a prospecting outsourcer may think he/she may want to base the success of their outsourcing service. However, there is only one factor that the industry itself has developed to measure the success of their service/s. New outsourcers typically look at the cost, the ease of getting a full team, and the fast way for business innovation when trying to measure outsourcing success; but these are not factors. They are targets. Let’s look at each one by one:
Top Targets for Outsourcing:
One of the reasons businesses choose to outsource is to cut costs. If they meet this objective, they think that would mean yes, the outsourcing is successful. However, no, this should not be the only basis for outsourcing success. How about team performance? Did the offshore staff bring in fresh revenue performance-wise or is the success based solely on savings earned from cheaper headcount expenses alone? Worse, is the business indirectly losing money on poor team performance in the long run?
2. Human Resources
It’s true, a business won’t run without people working on it. For businesses needing more people but lacking enough budget on hiring in-house, they may be looking at the capability of the BPO provider to hire quickly and efficiently. However, access to a cheaper talent pool does not guarantee a job match, or consistent off-shore company management across in-house and offshore teams, or client control, or employee retention. Just because you have a person to fill in the seat doesn’t guarantee business success.
Many businesses start their companies as startups. They have a limited budget and young teams who are ambitious but inexperienced. For entrepreneurs who want to aim big, they look to outsourcing to get access to the updated equipment they can’t afford by themselves and look for an experienced provider who could help them streamline their processes. Yes, these experts may give wise, industry standard advice; However, are these BPO consultants willing to try new things with their client or are they set on their ways?
So you see, a BPO could answer your targets easily, but that does not ensure success.
So, how do you measure outsourcing success?
BPOs have actually already developed an iterative system to measure their effectiveness and prove their return on investment value to their clients. This is through using the business tool called the Key Performance Indicator (KPI). The outsourcer should be given a clear idea of what a KPI once they start out. It’s a standard for any Business Process Outsourcing company. KPI’s are performance metrics that the client and the provider agree on to make sure they are both on the same page.
These are the targets expected of your outsourcing teams. It lists down each team role’s daily responsibilities and tracks it for regular reports to the client. Having the said metrics will help you and your provider to pinpoint where and what is lacking so your business will improve. It’s iterative so it continuously adapts to the changing needs of an evolving business environment.
Not communicating or collaborating properly hurts your chances of achieving outsourcing success. The offshore provider needs to understand exactly what the client wants (or needs). The aim of a BPO is to be able to deliver whatever the client requests. This is why BPOs use KPIs to ensure they are aligning with the client’s goals. Thus, communication is extremely crucial to ensure that expectations are met and the results are on target.
Setting aside time to meet regularly is recommended so everyone is brought up to speed. The expectations and response times from both sides are vital to making sure that outsourcing doesn’t slow down the process in any way. When you outsource, your common communication is through phone calls or emails or video conferences in different time zones. Regular, proper communication will definitely benefit both parties.
Effective Communication Funnels for Remote Teams
- Emails – for impersonal, quick, business transactions and announcements to cascade information to team members
- Chat – for informal, light, casual conversations to develop camaraderie within team members
- Calls – for more personal and important team discussions that provide effective, urgent, and efficient communication between members
- Video Conferences – for more empathic and personal communication to help connect the team and address urgent roadblocks or celebrate milestones
- Face-to-face meeting – for relationship-building communication such as team introductions, interventions, and recognitions