Monday, October 8, 2012

BPOVoice, one of Software Russia’s newest partners, is a network of Business Process Outsourcing professionals that provides its members with news and up-to-date information from around the globe, using original research as well as drawing on the knowledge of its expert members.

Since being launched in 2008, BPOVoice has provided a common ground upon which professionals can meet, brainstorm new ideas, and share important developments about the issues that affect outsourcing professionals internationally.

Located in India, BPOVoice recently offers its members eight valuable tips about selecting an offshore partner and Software Russia is pleased to include it here as a service to our readers.

When it comes to outsourcing business processes, one needs to be extremely careful when choosing a partner as the relationship is bound to have a deep impact on the company’s reputation among its customers. Make an unwise choice and it can be tremendously damaging to your bottom line, especially when customer complaints cause you to regret your choice and begin looking for an exit.

In most cases when the client/vendor relationships turn sour, doubts about the suitability of outsourcing usually arise, though most often the issue is simply one of an inappropriate choice of vendor. If a client has done due diligence in selecting an offshore partner, the end result will more often than not be satisfactory to everyone concerned.

But it’s not only about profitability. Even though the prime motivation for the move into outsourcing is almost always increased profits, a company needs to bear many other factors in mind as well.

By examining the various factors involved in selecting an offshore outsourcing company and keeping in mind best practices, a clearer picture of the pitfalls to avoid emerges. By following these simple steps a company considering going offshore can ensure stronger relationships, better consumer satisfaction and increased profits.

  1. Pricing
    Price will always remain the primary motivation for outsourcing and it is important to get the best price you possibly can. While most of the discussions regarding offshoring will return again and again to this topic, it should not be the only factor influencing your final decision to go overseas with all or part of your business. Pricing is important, but let the market decide what is appropriate. This means you may opt for reverse auctioning but if you do, only serious players should be allowed to participate.
  2. The Management Team
    It is extremely important to know as much as possible about who is leading the team. Do they have the kind of experience or exposure needed to fulfill your objectives? Experienced leaders often ease the transition and posses the audacity needed to employ creative solutions.
  3. SLA
    The service level agreement is the most indispensable document of any transition. Have everything written out so that it is crystal clear to everyone involved and leaves absolutely no room for confusion. There shouldn’t be any ambiguity about the minimum quality levels required for the services being provided.
  4. Flexibility
    Determine if your prospective vendor is rigid or flexible in their approach. Usually outsourcing contracts are in place for a number of years. Over time a situation may arise that necessitates renegotiation of the contract. The vendor must be flexible enough to understand its clients concerns and act accordingly.
  5. Communication
    Any vendor must be able to clearly understand what is required, should be able to promptly reply to your queries, and must be competent enough to ask for information in clear terms so as to avoid any delay in the decision making process.
  6. Staff Resources
    Your vendor must have sufficiently qualified and experienced staff who are competent enough to carry out your day-to-day operations smoothly and efficiently.
  7. Reliability
    When visiting a potential vendor’s site, it is imperative that infrastructure safeguards, backups against downtime and adequate staff availability are thoroughly checked. You shouldn’t place all of your trust in the technical specifications that you are presented with on paper, but must insure that everything is also present on the floor, including servers, dialers, etc.
  8. Stability
    It is essential that you check the references of your vendor be conducted before awarding any contracts. A past record check helps establish the trust necessary for a working relationship and should be the final assurance that you have made the right decision to go ahead and sign the contract.
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