What are Some of The Most Common Outsourced Business Processes

A lot of business processes can be outsourced today. Actually with the advancement of technology, the cut-throat competition that calls for increased productivity and reduced costs almost any business process can be outsourced. But before you proceed you need to do quite a bit of research to find out if outsourcing is for you and in particular which business processes you will or need to outsource. You have to analyze the financial implications of undertaking outsourcing, the third party vendor reputation, the time that will be spent negotiating the contract, the relationship you have to build with your third party vendor, how long the project will last, the expected outcomes among other things.

Basically look at every angle then decide. Will you outsource just part of the process or the entire department? What is the potential reaction of your employees? Will they feel threatened in terms of their job security? What are the expected outcomes? What are the risks? Today’s topic is going to analyze the most common outsourced business processes at the end of which hopefully you will be able to decide whether to outsource or not and what tasks exactly to outsource.

  • Finance and Accounting Services
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Tax preparation and payroll services are the most commonly outsourced services in regards to accounting. They are easy to outsource partly because they have a standardized method that any accounting professional from anywhere in the world is familiar with. They also can always be trained in the accounting process of the client’s country of origin should they not already be familiar with it. They also involve a lot of paperwork which is something that many people dread. A slight mistake in such activities such as an omission or an erroneous inclusion could cause a company anything from a small penalty to a full audit thus the choice to leave it to experts. Tax seasons also mean that there will be times whereby the demand for tax preparation services is high and a company may need to outsource some of the services.

However due to the sensitive nature of the work it is very important that one works with not only competent but also trusted companies. This is because outsourcing financial and accounting services involve sharing documents such as wage records or financials standings of individuals and companies. A breach of such information could have devastating consequences.

  • Contact Center Services
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Image: Source

These include telemarketing, call center services and help desks. This is normally offered in regards to customer support and managing customer interaction through the phone for both inbound and outbound calls. Call centers deal with both inbound and outbound while telemarketing deals majorly with outbound calls. Contact center services also include customer support offered through social media, emails and instant messaging. Of the three call center services are the most popular services to be outsourced. In the beginning call center services were mostly outsourced due to language requirements.

For example a company in the UK outsources its call center services to a Spanish speaking country like Mexico in order to offer support for its Spanish speaking customer base. Later the cost cutting factor came in and more and more companies chose to outsource considering the fact that recruiting and training customer service personnel is high. Another factor that fuels the outsourcing of this particular service is the fact that there are seasons that call for increased customer support. Such seasons include holiday seasons whereby a company that deals in seasonal products will need to increase its customer service team for a short while to cater to the increased demand.

Before outsourcing ensure that the staff of the company that you are outsourcing to is proficient in the language(s) that your client base is using. Do this and you will make sure to avoid bad customer experience as a result of language barrier. In the past there have been many stories about problems brought on by language barriers in outsourced call centers. If the call center agent does not understand the customer you can bet they will not only be unsupportive but will also frustrate the customer. Instead of being assisted the customer will end up trying to make the agent understand them.

  • Virtual Call Centre Services
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Image: Source

This is a variant of a call center whereby the operator has a third party vendor host the call center in their own premises. Unlike other call center settings where the operator owns and runs the center the third party vendor is the owner of the call center. The agents are then connected to the center through Voice Over IP. Calls coming in or from the customers are connected by the vendor’s equipment to the agents of the call center operator.

  • Transcription
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Image: Source

Transcription services entail turning audio files into text. Recorded material is typed out by transcribers and then sent to the clients. Transcription services are useful in almost all industries be it academic, media, legal, medical and other industries. They make storage of records easy as well as analysis and retrieval. Students and researchers might find transcripts useful when they want to analyze the gathered information rather than listening to the recorded material. Lawyers also might want to have a record of all depositions and interviews for review and future reference. As for the medical profession aside from it being a legal requirement to record their sessions doctors often record dictations when doing examinations then have it transcribed and later they can analyze the transcript.

  • Healthcare Services
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Image: Source

Healthcare services such as medical billing, coding, scanning, diagnostics among other healthcare activities can be outsourced. Considering there are many outsourcing companies willing to do these activities for less without compromising on quality it makes sense to outsource them. However as with the accounting services outsourcing healthcare services calls for deep scrutiny of the BPO company that one is using. This is because medical information is as sensitive as financial information. That being said it is recommended to be very careful of which BPO service provider one uses. It is recommended that you use one with a proven track record.

  • Human Resource Services
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Image: Source

Human Resource Service outsourcing also known as Recruitment Process Outsourcing is a variation of Business Process Outsourcing. It is a process where companies contract part or all of its recruitment activities to an external party. This external party is then responsible for all the recruiting activities. This has become an increasingly popular outsourcing task since it saves the company time and money required for the recruiting process. It is also easier because most HR outsourcing service providers will have a large pool of candidates to select from. And since they have specialized in recruitment their recruitment process will probably be more thorough than that of the company. They also have invested largely in recruitment tools and networks to smoothen the hiring and selection process.

  • Software Development, Testing and Maintenance
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Image: Source

Programming of various software programs, testing of new software, apps or computer games fall under the category of outsourced IT products and services. In such the specifications are usually made by the client and then built by the outsourcing vendor. The testing of software also falls under the same. The software is designed and built by a client and then sent to the outsourcing vendor for testing. Testing is also done when improvements are made on the software and the client wants it tested for performance. Maintenance is normally done on already built software and is usually done on a regular basis to ensure everything is running smoothly or to identify weak points.

  • Web design
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Image: Source

Web design is usually done for companies that do not have an established internal web team or a marketing team for that matter. The outsourcing vendors are made up of teams that have specialized in the field of web design Some of the web designs are custom made as per the requirements of the client while others just go with ready-made templates provided by the vendor. Outsourcing of web design services is still not so common because of the fact that many companies’ websites require considerable innovation and creativity. For this reason many companies choose to have it done in-house so that they can monitor the progress and quality of work done as well as apply changes as the need arises.

  • Manufacturing
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Image: Source

Manufacturing is one of most popular outsourced services and has been for a long time. The US is undoubtedly the pioneers and biggest consumers of manufacturing outsourcing services. This was brought on by the fact that hiring and maintaining employees to work in the manufacturing industry became quite expensive. Thus they saw it fit to outsource the services elsewhere at a cheaper price and instead concentrate on the service side of the business.

  • Data entry Services
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Data entry services revolve around scanning, indexing, order processing and cataloging. It comprises of turning typed or handwritten information that is on paper or in electronic documents like scanned images into electronic information. This makes it easier to store information for future use and easy retrieval as one can organize it as per their needs. It also enables one to store more information on very little space.

  • Virtual Assistance Services
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Image: Source

This is assistance that is offered via phone, email, instant message or fax. This assistance is provided by Virtual Assistants (VA’s) to mean that these assistants work from virtually anywhere using technology to deliver the services. They have the freedom to work from an office or the comfort of their homes. How it works is that they get their instructions via phone, email or message then proceed to deliver. While many virtual assistants provide administration and secretarial services more and more of them are specializing in different areas. Some specialize in IT support, some on marketing while others specialize in web design depending on their skills, interests and backgrounds.

  • Market Research and Development
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Image: Source

A lot of companies and organizations are choosing to outsource their market research and development (R&D) projects. This is because R&D projects are quite costly and can take a long time. Additionally companies may need R&D services for only a season thus the frequent recruitment and training of staff as the need arises is proving to be a tedious and expensive. Outsourcing partners and their teams can be trained on different R&D methodologies preferred by the client for their present project needs. A client may choose to work with different outsourcing partners that specialize in different research fields for their different R&D projects or they can work with a one-size-fits-all outsourcing partner for all their projects.

  • Legal Services
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Image: Source

The need for increased productivity, reduced expenses and turn-around time has made sure that no industry is left out when it comes to outsourcing and the legal one is no exception. Law firms can get legal support services from external partners. The services are don’t exactly mean that the legal service provider takes up the client’s court cases but more of legal document drafting, analysis, review, legal research, patent services as well some litigation support. Small legal firms or organizations benefit the most from such services since they are not in the best of financial positions to hire in-house staff to do it.

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4 Tips for Improving Service Quality to Drive Down Call Volumes

My Virtual Workforce

4 Tips for Improving Service Quality

With the rapid rise of new communication technology, some may believe that voice is quickly losing its ground as the number one go-to channel for customers. Whether they’re looking to make a purchase or solve an issue, customers now have the freedom and the technology to contact businesses wherever, whenever and however they want.

However, while many contact centres now offer state-of-the-art communication technology, only a handful are successful at delivering quality service through new touchpoints. Centres that start using email, social media, SMS and web chat without a clear-cut strategy ultimately fail to provide the service customers expect.

As a result, call volumes and call durations rise without warning, hampering agent efficiency and potentially damaging the centre’s reputation.

Fortunately, problems caused by call spikes are not impossible to avoid.

At My Virtual Workforce, we want to make sure that our multi-channel contact centre delivers quality service on new channels…

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Why Are Your Employees Dissatisfied?

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Not everyone is satisfied with their jobs, some find it easier to just quit and look for other jobs others simply quit while others choose to stay for one reason or another. Dissatisfied employees are rarely productive, actually they are counter-productive and as such it’s important that the issue be addressed with care. The answer to issues regarding the resolutions of resolving employee dissatisfactions most of the time lies in the reasons as to why they are dissatisfied in the first place. On that note this post will serve to highlight and explain some of the main causes of employee dissatisfaction.

Underpayment.

This is the number one cause in employee dissatisfaction. One of the main reasons for working is so that we can earn money and in as much as some work for the love of what they do many are there simply because of the check at the end of the month. For many, money is a very big motivator. That being said when an employee is being underpaid chances are they are very unhappy. This will result to them underperforming or simply not performing at all. Some quit and some ‘hang around’ until they get a better job and instead of working they may choose to spend their time and the company’s resources looking for that other job. You know make extra cash on the side on the company’s dime.

disengaged-employee

Some just show up in the morning and decide to do their own things and leave at the end of the day having not done anything. They just want to make sure that they were seen at work. This routine might continue until either; the problem is resolved, they have enough and decide to quite or they are relieved of their duties. Others might even decide to sabotage the company. It could be by taking some of the company’s biggest clients when they leave or leaking sensitive information about the company that ends up being a PR nightmare.

Micromanagement

Micromanagement is a management style in which bosses or employers monitor and closely control the activities of the employees. It might result from the need to monitor the employees’ performance or from the lack of trust. In some businesses the intent to micromanage might have been good but the end products might be negative. This is because the employees may end up feeling like you don’t trust them. In some cases it might be true that the employer does not trust the employee thus the micromanagement but in others it might be a completely different thing. Now, the feeling of mistrust between employer and employee will most likely result to a buildup of animosity. They become unhappy, some suffer quietly but in some cases others choose to lash out.

If it feels very necessary for a manager to micromanager, in most cases it is not, then it is advisable to do it without it being too obvious. Make the employee feel like they have some wiggle room, that they can to do their work and make independent decisions without round the clock supervision. They should feel like they are important and that the management believes in their ability to deliver in their capacity. Isn’t that why you hired them in the first place? Why hire an employee only to tell them what to do? Granted some guidance and monitoring is necessary from time to time but for the most part the mode of delivery and the frequency is very crucial. Give the employee some freedom to make decisions too.

Limited career growth

Nobody wants to remain in the same place year in year out. Every employee wants to grow in their career. If an employee gets the feeling that they are stuck in the same place for a very long time and still the chances of growing in their career is limited you are going to have a very unhappy employee. And it is even worse if they feel that they are the only ones who are stagnant. If they have seen new employees coming and getting promoted and they are still in the same place that is a sure sign of trouble. Managers should make sure to make employees feel that they are learning and moving up the ladder. It might not even be a promotion but the employer could try having the employee take on more responsibilities.

Job insecurity

Job security is another important factor that contributes to the satisfaction of an employee. If an employee is feeling insecure they will not be productive because they will end up spending time being worried and preparing for the worst and very little time working. A company may use tactics such as investing in the employees through training and the likes in a bid to reassure the employees of their job security.

Poor working conditions

When employees are subjected to poor working conditions you can bet they will be unhappy. Such conditions can be anything from crowded offices, bad air conditioning, unsecure locations to limited office supplies. When the working conditions are not very suitable of course the workers will not be happy. In as much as not all companies are in a position to provide luxuries to their employees like all-paid-for meals, company cars and a corner office for everyone they should at least strive to make it comfortable and safe. The company should be able to provide the necessary resources to do the work. Something like the lack of simple office stationary is enough to have your employees grumbling.

Lack of appreciation.

An employee should be able to feel like their efforts at work are appreciated. If they do something worth a pat on the back make sure to let them know. It gives them a sense of accomplishments. Give credit where it’s due. At times some companies focus more on rewarding seniority instead of performance. A low level employee had a great idea that ended up saving the business a lot of money but instead of giving them credit the management decided to reward the head of the said department. In such a scenario the employee will feel unappreciated. They worked hard to contribute positively but the manager ends up getting the credit simply because they are the head of department and have been there longer.

At times the feeling of being unappreciated comes from not being consulted. If there are major decisions to be made it is not enough just to have top management make the decisions. They should consult all the employees. Consulting does not mean that the management has to implement what the employees want. It simply serves to A, let top management know what the employees think or want and B, make them feel that they are part of the team.

Overburdened/Overworked

In an effort to give employees more responsibilities the managers often times end up overburdening the workers. The worker then gets to a point where they have a lot of things to do that are either halfway done or not done at all. Maybe the manager was looking to give extra duties to get more out of the employee or exploit their potential but in the process they ended over burdening the employee. The employee then finds themselves in a position where they are taking on the new duties and neglecting the ones they were hired to do in the first place. When it comes to the review part it then feels like they are not delivering at all. While it is advisable to make your employees more responsible an employer should make sure not to overburden their employee.

Overworking an employee can also be seen in having them always putting in extra hours. Once in a while some situations call for employees to put in extra hours but this should not always be the case. Compensating for overtime is a good idea but keep in mind that your employees also have a life outside of work that might be suffering as a result of them working overtime.

Miscommunication

Miscommunication can present itself in many forms. It could be that there are no clear instructions in terms of what to do and how to do it. It could also be in terms of infrequency of communication or an employee having different messages communicated to them by multiple people. This happens when there are no clear channels of communication or chain of command. Miscommunication can also manifest in the form of limited information. Employees need to know what is going on in the company as such employers should make it their duty to keep them up to date at least on the most important happenings. New mergers, acquisitions, changes in management, company performance, profits or losses and the likes.

Keeping employees happy and satisfied is no mean fete but there are things that one can do to at least mitigate some of the common causes of employee dissatisfaction. From time to time try and evaluate your employees’ level of satisfaction. How? Ask them. This way the management will be in a position to catch the issues as they arise otherwise they risk a full blow out when the employees get to their breaking point. Have an open door policy or other ways of collecting feedback. Things like suggestions boxes might be considered old fashioned but you would be surprised how helpful they can be. Have incentives in place to motivate your employees and rewards to give credit where it’s due. Invest in your employees and to show them that they are in for the long term and that you are not looking to replace them. Remember it’s always the little things that count.

Leave your comments below. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic.

Business Process Outsourcing, A Great Way To Reduce Cost

outsoucing

BPO Services or Business Process Outsourcing means contracting the operations and activities of some particular business process to some third party service provider. The idea of outsourcing first came from the manufacturing industry when firms used to outsource their productions or other supply chain activities to other organizations. The BPO Services or Business Process outsourcing is mainly associated with outsourcing operations such as finance, accounting, customer support, etc. The outsourcing of these services can help in bringing down the costs associated with running these operations significantly. When these services are outsourced to some other country this is known as offshore outsourcing.

IT Service Management or ITSM is the process or approach of designing and delivering the IT services used in the organization in such a way so as to deliver it in the best way possible for the end users i.e. the employees working in the organization and also to…

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Outsourcing has made things easier for any company in all ways

outsoucing

Lots of different requirements are there when any come is about to set up or when you want to see that the old company functions in a proper manner. So many things are to be done and focused on that sometimes company has to outsource the work in order to complete the whole work. Lot of work can be outsourced so that there is no need for anyone to take any type of tension. The most important one is data entry service and the same can be outsourced and there are many companies that are doing this as well.

Maintaining data is really important and nowadays all the data entry work can be outsourced and the work gets completed in the best manner. Moreover, it is also reasonable to do the work as well. It has been seen that companies that outsource are progressing and the trend for outsourcing is…

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Reduce The Cost Of Business With The Help Of BPO services

outsoucing

IT Service management or ITSM is a process in which all the IT related services of an enterprise are aligned with the business needs and processes. The purpose of the ITSM is to give the end user, whether it is the customers or employees, the best IT experience. It deals mainly with how IT services and business processes are carried out hand in hand to deliver the best end-user experience and to make the best use of the available IT resources within the company. It aligns the people, processes and technology in the best way possible to give that perfect synchronization between the three.

IT service management is not built around development of IT related services but it examines what can give the end-user the best possible experience and then builds and delivers a process around that level. It also measures the operational efficiency of the IT solutions in meeting…

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Short and Sweet Advice For Writers – Have a Point (plus WIIFM)

Live to Write - Write to Live

hand drawn mind mapIf you want your writing to be effective, you need to have a point: a purpose, something specific you’re trying to say, a “Why” behind the writing. This rule applies no matter what you’re crafting – novel, short story, poem, personal essay, op-ed, sales page, website, flash fiction, screenplay. Having a point is what stokes your creative fire, and it’s what gives you the ability to write something that will make people care.

I have written in the past about the magic of clarity:

Clarity brings focus and purpose to your writing. It illuminates the ultimate reason you’re driven to write a thing and it helps you make critical decisions about what to include and what to leave out. Clarity is like a pair of enchanted glasses that filters out everything extraneous so you can hone in on exactly the things you need to tell your story. When you have clarity…

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Reducing Contact Centre Employee Attrition: Top Tips to Keep in Mind

My Virtual Workforce

Reducing Contact Centre Employee Attrition Top Tips to Keep in Mind

Employee attrition refers to the reduction of a workforce’s size when personnel are lost through retirement or resignation. Calculating the rate of employee attrition allows contact centres to determine the percentage of employees that leave the organisation over a certain time period.

Whether employees leave voluntarily or involuntarily, attrition could be a telling sign of low employee motivation and, if left unchecked, may spell trouble for the centre.

That said, contact centres that experience negative attrition should improve their situation with the following tips.

 

Communication is key

Poor communication is known to be one of the major causes of high attrition rate. When there’s no healthy line of communication between the contact centre and its employees, low motivation is bound to ensue, affect productivity, and increase retention problems.

Without proper communication, it can also be difficult for employees to align their individual targets with the goals of the organisation.

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12 Reasons Why Offshore Outsourcing is Gaining Popularity

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Photo Credit: Source

Offshore outsourcing means contracting part or an entire department of an organization to an external vendor located in another country, most of the time in a developing country. Over the years offshore outsourcing has gained popularity and aside from the financial benefits there are other factors that have influenced the rise to fame of offshore outsourcing.

The supply and demand factor.

Developed countries offer an abundant supply of cheap labor which enables the more industrialized countries to conduct their business at a modest cost. The abundant supply of labor often times enable the outsourcing companies to allocate a large number of workers to tasks which can then be accomplished in a matter of days. This is a huge advantage to the client since it would have otherwise taken them probably months to set up and finish the same project due to limited human resources.

The 24/7 work schedule.

Thanks to the time zone difference companies can ensure their business runs round the clock. While one team in one location goes to sleep the other is up and working in another. This business continuity offered by the time zone difference ensures that work never stops, including on weekend and holidays. This in return results in an increase in productivity. Companies no longer need to have their workers working overtime or in shifts if they don’t want to. Aside from increased productivity there is also an increase in customer satisfaction. This is due to the fact that customers no longer need to wait for long periods of time to get their goods or services just because a company had to close at the end of working business hours or on holidays.

The increase in customer satisfaction and productivity in the end inevitably contributes to the company’s bottom line. Translation? Profits. Increased sales means increased income. Increased income means increased financial resources which can then be invested in even more productive projects or reinvested back into the same project.

Employment opportunities.

Job creation is undoubtedly one of the top reasons as to why outsourcing is gaining popularity at such a fast pace. In many developing countries unemployment tops the list of problems affecting the countries. Even getting a formal education is no assurance that one will get as job when they are finished. Few are lucky in securing jobs. Graduates end up jobless, engaged in crime or doing menial jobs just to make ends meet. This situation has seen a spike in human capital flight also known as brain drain. Well-educated people or professionals in a particular country move to more favorable economies in search of jobs. Their home country then end up losing expertise because there were no jobs. Outsourcing has become an important tool in the fight against brain drain.

Improvements in telecommunications.

Improvements in the communication sector have contributed immensely to the growth of the outsourcing industry. Communications have been made instant and clearer. There is also the variety of communication channels from emails to phone calls to teleconferencing to videoconferencing. Partners in different countries do not need to travel to the outsourcing countries to keep up to date with what is happening. All they need to do is call in, send an email or a text. If there are more than two partners in the project a conference call can come in handy when holding meetings which would have otherwise proven difficult were it not for the advancements in telecommunications.

That being said it also encourages channeling of investment towards the improvement of the communication structure. Therefore nations engaging in outsourcing will see major improvements in their communication sector in a bid to improve communication as well as product and service delivery in the outsourcing industry. Clients and vendors can communicate effortlessly as well as send instructions/requests and end products fast and inexpensively via digital channels made possible with improved communication infrastructure. This is an added bonus seeing as chances are if they were not engaging in outsourcing in the first place investors would not have seen the need to improve the outdated communication infrastructure in the first place. This improved communication infrastructure will then end up benefiting other economic sectors as well.

Everyone can now engage in outsourcing.

In the beginning only well established companies had the resources and man power to take advantage of the international recourses. This was largely due to their ability to set up subsidiaries or contracts with third-party vendors. However owing to the improvements witnessed in the communication industry small, including start-ups and medium sized companies can now also take advantage of the global resources through outsourcing. They are now able to reap maximum benefits with limited resources.

Knowledge and skill transfer.

Outsourcing creates a channel whereby skills and knowledge can be transferred form developed nations to the developing ones. This happens when the two nations partner up during outsourcing. They have to exchange information in order for the work to be done. If a new technology or a new way of doing something is created in the developed country they normally share it with their external partner. The knowledge and skills gained through partnering during outsourcing can then be used in domestic projects. In the end when the knowledge and skills are applied in other economic sectors the livelihoods of the citizens in that country end up being improved attracting even more investors.

Creating demand in other sectors.

Outsourcing has given the rise to needs in other service sectors. For example when setting up an outsourcing company you have to have worker who are skilled. You will need IT department, a legal department, accounting department and the whole lot in management team. The people in these departments have to have an education thus prompting educational institutions to set up courses or revise them in order to produce candidates fit the positions or even open up a special training institutions. This is to say that outsourcing creates a niche that other sectors who are not involved in outsourcing can benefit from.

Source of foreign exchange earnings.

Foreign exchange is vital to every nation as it determines the value of foreign investment. Offshore outsourcing means that foreign currency will be exchanged making it a good source of foreign currency. One will be exporting goods and services that will be paid for in the client’s form of currency.

Globalization.

The ability of companies to access skills from anywhere in the world has also contributed to the rise of offshore outsourcing. Before globalization accessing skills based in other countries meant processing visas and relocation of the said skills to the home country of the hiring company. Today this simply means having access to the internet and a computer. Employees can then work from anywhere.

Access to skilled human resource.

In the past in as much as developed nations wanted to outsource the developing countries were just not skilled enough to take up the jobs. This is one of the reasons why outsourcing was registering a slow growth. However in recent times with improved economies, upgraded education systems and political stability in many developing nations their expertise and skills in not only technology but also managerial capacities has contributed to the growth of the outsourcing sector.

Corporate Social Responsibility

A number of companies engage in outsourcing as a part of their corporate social responsibility initiative. This is so that they can provide employment to disadvantaged groups of people in developing countries and improve their livelihood. These groups might be women/girls, the youth among others. So in as much as they are benefitting business-wise their main goal might be to improve the lives of the targeted group. With time more and more companies followed suit.

Few start-up requirements.

Most activities in the outsourcing sector unlike other sectors such as oil and gas are environmentally friendly. They do not necessarily need to comply with strict regulations that come with production processes, waste management and disposal among others. They also do not highly depend on infrastructure such as roads and ports which need to be well-maintained at all times.

These are just but a few factors fuelling the growth of the outsourcing industry, granted there are more. What can be concluded from the above is that these factors are in a way connected and is one huge cycle. Companies are able to access quality products and services at low cost and in the process they are providing a source

of income and improving the lives of the inhabitants of the developing countries. Education institutions are being set up and curriculums revised to train the professional who will work in the industry. In the process of collaborating with these nations they gain the knowledge which they then transfer to other domestic sectors. This then lead to improved economies that end up attracting more investors. Feel free to leave your comment below with your thoughts and we can pick up a discussion from there.

9 Effective Ways of Dealing with the Drawbacks of Outsourcing.

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Every endovour including outsourcing has it’s pros and cons. In most cases the pros tend to outweigh the cons however any organization looking to outsource should analyze their business carefully to make sure that outsourcing is for them. Should you come to the conclusion that indeed it is suitable for your business be ready to tackle the cons that may arise. Below we take a look at the possible drawbacks that you may face during the outsourcing process and their solutions.

1: Loss of managerial control.

With outsourcing there comes possible loss of managerial control as the control now lies in the hands of the outsourcing third party. Although the outsourcing company holds the contract the management of the outsourced product or service will have to be transferred to the third party. The relationship between the third party vendor and the company/project might not be as strong as that of a company and its employee.

Solution: Ensure your entire organization knows what is going on. Keep them in the loop in each and every step of the outsourcing process. Maintain open lines of communication and not only with the management but the entire team. At Adept we make sure to keep our clients up-to-date with what is happening. This in turn provides them with sufficient information to keep their team informed.

2: Insufficient knowledge of the organizational culture.

Since the third-party in an outsider to your company chances are that they are not well-versed with you organization’s standards, mission, vision and values that drive your organization. With this the possibility of them failing to meet your expectations are increased which might result in poor quality products or services.

Solution:  Ensure that the third party vendor is well-versed in your company’s, values, mission, vision, goals and objectives. This will ensure that when they are providing the goods or services they will be aligned with the things that drive your organization. At Adept we take key interest in getting to know our clients before embarking on the tasks. This enables us to tailor and personalize our services to fit each and every one of our client’s need.

3: Possible resistance from internal employees.

Outsourcing is commonly associated with reducing staff levels rendering it a sensitive issue that needs to be addressed with care and grace. Internal employees may at times feel threatened by outsourced employees/service. This is in reflection to concerns about their job security. Therefore a company might possibly face opposition from internal staff when it comes to outsourcing.

Solution: A company should strive to nature strong relationships with their internal staff so that when they embark on outsourcing they will not feel threatened. Invest in their development through ways such as trainings and make them feel that they are valued. Try and address their concerns as soon as they are raised.

4: Privacy and confidentiality issues.

Most of the time outsourcing calls for sharing of confidential information meaning that there is a risk that privacy may be breached.

Solution: Evaluate the outsourcing company to ensure that the shared information is protected and put in place penalty clauses should such a compromise take place.

A t Adept we have Firewall protected networks, encrypted servers, Virtual private networks and password protected systems that ensure our client’s information is completely protected.  Our employees are carefully recruited and thoroughly trained to ensure that they are only comprised of principled and trustworthy individuals.

5: Dependence on third-party financial well-being.

Outsourcing is a partnership meaning that when you take it up you will be handing over a part of your business to the third-party vendor. This in return means that you will be tied to that party’s financial well-being.

Solution: Carefully asses your outsourcing partner’s finances before banking on them. Check their previous track record and review their testimonials. You can tell a lot from their past work and reviews.

6: Quality of service/ quality control

A company might be worried that by outsourcing services from a third party vendor that is miles away they cannot be assured of quality. The other issue might come up as a result of the thought that third party vendors are solely motivated by profit and thus the only way to do that would be by cutting their expenses compromising product or service quality.

Solution: Make sure they meet the terms that are explicitly stated in the contract. Ensure that the contract clearly highlights measurable processes for quality service reporting. Also make sure that service levels are not left out of the contract in order to cut costs. At Adept we ensure that all the terms of the contract are included in our very detailed Service Level Agreements with our clients.

7: Language barrier

Many companies tend to outsource to offshore areas that speak a different language. For outsources services such as transcription this may pose a challenge due to speakers having strong accents.

Solution: Third-party vendors should ensure that their employees (read transcribers) are well versed with the different accents of the countries. At Adept our transcribers are well-trained and well acquainted with several accents which ensures issues regarding lingual accent variation do not arise. They include but are not limited to American, British, Chinese, Arabic, Indian, Canadian and French accents.

8: Hidden costs

The contract signed between a company and the third party vendor normally covers the details of the products and services that will be provided. Should anything fall through the crack and is excluded from the contract the company ends up catering for the extra charges.

Solution: Make sure that every expense is covered in the contract and in detail. Also state possible eventualities to avoid covering additional charges. At Adept we make sure that the contract is detailed in terms of covering the agreed service charges and any other eventualities.

9: Poor communication.

This might just be the biggest worry about offshore outsourcing or just outsourcing in general because of the physical distance. Miscommunication might arise both when there are issues to do with language barrier and also when there are no language barrier. This might be as a result of inconsistent, infrequent or total lack of communication.

Solution: The key to solving communication issues is maintaining consistent and frequent communication. Should either party have an issue it should be immediately communicated to the other party. At Adept we strive to provide seamless communication through and have put in place measures such as a well established chain of command and escalation procedure to follow for when any issues arise. Our employees are also thoroughly trained on effective communication skills to ensure that open communication lines are maintained.

Do you know of any other possible disadvantages of outsourcing and have an idea on how to solve them? Leave your comment below.