Outsourcing certain services of your company go beyond cost savings. This activity, also known as outsourcing in the business sector, consists of commissioning part of a company's service or a project to a third party that is specialized in the task.
When a company opts for the outsourcing of services, as a general rule, only the cost savings that it can entail are taken into account. However, outsourcing is much more than just cost savings. It cannot only reduce cost but also help you gain a competitive advantage. Considering outsourcing only as a way to save costs is usually a mistake; it is necessary to have clear objectives to outsource certain services and thus succeed in choosing the provider that best suits your needs.
Companies must see the provider they choose to outsource not only as a provider but as a partner. They must communicate clearly and defined objectives to the outsourcing partner that could help transform the company. Outsourcing is done for both operational and economic reasons. But one wrong step can get your company into trouble. To outsource effectively, you must follow a strategic plan and process that could give you results. Here is how you can outsource without losing quality:
A careful analysis of what should be outsourced
This phase will allow defining a criterion of what is or cannot be outsourced. For some companies, their focus is on core business, and they take strict measures to respect confidentiality. For others, what they are looking for is profitability, so they exclusively follow economic criteria. Next, the scope of outsourcing must be established. For this, an analysis of positions and departments must be carried out to identify all the tasks. Once done, it is necessary to know how much it is going to cost, from where the services will be taken and who is going to oversee the outsourced tasks.
After analysis of the tasks and costs, you must be able to know what do, what you can outsource and the price that it currently entails, therefore, it is time to document the plan to know what solutions the market offers and which ones cover your needs. If you find the right team to outsource, it's best to know who they've worked for before to beat the competition.
Make an agreement
When operations or processes are outsourced, they must be rigorously documented, clearly clarifying the scope of the contract. The way to do it is defining Service Level Agreement (SLA) through Key Performance Indicator (KPI) and potential penalties. An example of SLA is, for example, the number of articles, if we talk about a product, that we have agreed to receive monthly and the cost you're going to pay per product or a batch.
The first thing is to appoint a person in charge who takes the leadership of the outsourcing plan and who will supervise and verify compliance with the SLAs following the KPIs that have been established. Regardless of whether a company decides to outsource for reasons of profitability or efficiency, what is clear is that it must not harm the proper functioning of the company and to achieve this, it is essential to know what is being done, what can be outsourced and to whom it should be outsourced.
Outsourcing can be a tricky task, especially when you're doing it for a complex project. It's best to follow the right process, so you don't end up with compromised quality and wastage of time and money. Do your research, write down a plan and decide what and how to outsource!