The great news is that it seems that the chronic under investment of the past years in technology as companies battled to stay afloat and trade through the recession is now over.
Whilst naturally cautious our clients are now examining how they can at optimal cost upgrade and enhance their digital infrastructure.
A by product is that as our clients expand and in some cases acquire other business units or companies they are hiring more internal support staff. Which is only natural, however some of the lessons of six years ago could be lost. Do you really want to double your internal support team to fulfill some functions that could be carried out more reliably, cost effectively and flexibly by a trusted partner ?
Of course there will be key areas that require hiring for notably any area that generates and supports a genuine USP for the business. There are many though that are essential but are really hygiene functions that ensure smooth operations and run in background mode.
Here are some tips on what to consider
- Outsource the Right Activities
Outsourcing is a huge step, and the question of which activity to outsource is one of the most important. Be careful not to give up your company’s competitive advantage. Retain control over aspects that make you unique or define your business. If you’re already a leader in price or service levels in an area, don’t outsource it. While you need to have a good grasp on an element to be able to effectively manage it, it’s important not to change the parts of your company customers appreciate the most.
- Own Your Website
If you’re interested in making a move toward outsourcing, the chances are you already have a presence online. Your own website is the beginning and end of your presence online, so make sure people will always be able to find you.
- Consider All Outsourcing Costs
Although many times companies decide to outsource because they expect to save money, bear in mind that it is very unusual for actual and projected savings to match. Particularly in the first several months of a partnership, plan to save about three quarters of your projected amount, due to adjustment, time loss, and other factors.
- Choose the Right Help
It will take time to select the vendor or workers that will fit best with your needs, so resist the urge to hire the first party you contact. Even if they end up being the right decision, take the time to compare and contrast their strengths with other providers.
- Consider Reviews and Feedback
Read these carefully, and take them into account when weighing one contractor against another. If a member with a substantial amount of positive feedback will be a bit more expensive than a member with negative or no feedback, it’s probably worth it.
- Interview Carefully
Since in most cases when you outsource you’ll be monitoring the area from a distance, the interview process is your one opportunity to really get to know a potential employee or contract hire. Talk to a prospect for long enough to get a real feel for their personality.
Ask questions based on prior experience – suggest a situation and ask how they may have handled events before. Listen carefully for red flags such as a negative attitude, disregard for rules and deadlines, or aversion to feedback.
- Rule Out Lowest Bidders
Although saving money can be tempting, as the adage goes, you get what you pay for. While you don’t need to hire the most expensive option, the pay a worker requires is often a reflection of education, experience, and work quality.
While you don’t have to splurge, don’t skimp too much, either – you may regret it.
- Take Your Time
In addition to not rushing the choice of a vendor or contractor, you don’t want to fly through the transition process either. The partnership will be more successful if you yrun a pilot with your partner . This period will allow you to ensure things are going well before entrusting them with a larger portion of business.
- Maintain Control Over Outsourced Components
It’s critical for you to remain in touch with the elements of your business you’re outsourcing. The best way to do this is to have staff whose sole responsibility is overseeing the relationship. These employees should be skilled managers who understand your corporate vision well and can monitor the outsourced activity to be sure it’s in line.