Why Outsourcing Doesn’t Have To Mean Losing Control Of Quality In Your Business

Having helped hundreds of companies to build their offshore teams, I’ve seen my fair share of successful efforts in businesses scaling using offshore remote teams. But the truth is, I’ve seen more failures. And it’s because of these failures being so common place that there is a lot of trepidation with business owners being willing to jump into the game of outsourcing & offshoring.

Inspired by the recent visit of a potential new client who had tried to build an offshore team twice in Philippines, & failed both times. She travelled to Philippines to investigate what it takes to “get it right”. I gave her a tour of our offices & a “behind the scenes” look at what actually goes on over here in Philippines.

In this blog, I will give you the inside knowledge into how to use offshore team, done the right way, to maintain the quality of your service & processes. Firstly, let me define the “going wrong” part. Here’s a brief list of what goes wrong –

  1. Losing the quality of the output of work when handing over to someone offshore compared to someone onshore.
  2. No control over staff. Team members not turning up to work, not communicating or even disappearing – Leaving a gaping wide hole in the output of work.
  3. Third party mismanagement. Where you engage a company who has control of the staff & they mismanage or aren’t aligned to your way of doing things.
  4. Staff not knowing who they work for. When employed by a third party BPO (business process outsourcing) organisation in Philippines, some companies do a terrible job in contracting the staff to then be “leased” to you. So you & the staff don’t know the relationship & things get messy.
  5. Hidden suprises in the pricing or costs associated with your staff. Being told about things like “13th month” or health insurance when you’re 6 months into the relationship.
  6. Technology & office infrastructure. Things like internet & office disruptions that are out of your control.
  7. Security concerns. How do you know the staff aren’t stealing your data.

There’s a bunch more, but we’d be here all day.

So what do you do about it? What’s the best practice in offshoring, outsourcing & even building a remote office to ensure you can best mitigate these concerns & maintain the quality & essence of your business.

  1. Before anything else, you need to know EXACTLY what your outcome is & do some strategic workforce planning. The number one thing I see go wrong is businesses hiring for the wrong reasons. If you aren’t 100% sure EXACTLY what & who you are hiring for, don’t start guessing, & don’t start throwing offshore staff at filling voids.
  2. Hire only for functional roles first & build up from there. What do I mean by “functional”. What is the lowest value, menial, robot, process driven tasks that can easily be delegated & require no critical thinking? If you are a design agency, you don’t get someone offshore to do branding consulting, you give a graphic designer & exact brief & they work off that. If you are an Accounting firm, put in accountants ONLY to do bookkeeping or junior accountant level tasks.
  3. Choose a BPO or offshoring partner based on your end game. If you are only ever going to have a team of 3 or 4 staff, you need a completely different type of service than if you were going to have 25. Why? Mostly because of the level of involvement from management. As a smaller business & team, you want as much taken care of. I.E You work with a company that is all inclusive of office, internet, HR, Payroll & probably even have a Team Leader built in to the service. This is what Ezy VA does brilliantly.But if you were going to build a team of 25 or 50, you’d need to start with having your own dedicated office area (or at least the ability to grow into that). You’d hire managers first & build around them. You’d have dedicated hardware & security measures in place. If this were going to be you, you’d start with the detailed planning which is exactly why we set up CoSourcer to map out the blueprint properly & ensure you don’t get caught with your pants down in another country like Philippines.
  4. Build a team for talent, not counting pennies! One of the obvious benefits of working with an offshore team are the cost savings. But you can take it too far & shoot yourself in the foot. If you want to hire freelancers from www.onlinejobs.ph for a few dollars an hour, you won’t have the capacity to scale. You might get away with a few staff, but there is so much out of your control, that it can very easily go wrong. If you want to scale your business, you need what we call an “offshore heart”. A central place where your staff are working from, or at the very least managed. You will come unstuck with freelancers scattered around the place.
  5. Have your offshore team be an extension of your domestic operation. This is another huge one. Working with people offshore who are not part of your team, is a mistake. One of the biggest things we work on in consulting with clients through CoSourcer, is making sure that processes & procedures are in place to ensure the team offshore is an extension of your local team, treated the same way, sharing the same company culture & values. When you get this right, you’ll have a loyal & dedicated team. Get it wrong, you’ll have a mess. It’s also just as important that you have your management team not just on board, but trained & using best practice to communicate with & manage the offshore team.
  6. Have your offshore team be an extension of your domestic operation. This is another huge one. Working with people offshore who are not part of your team, is a mistake. One of the biggest things we work on in consulting with clients through CoSourcer, is making sure that processes & procedures are in place to ensure the team offshore is an extension of your local team, treated the same way, sharing the same company culture & values. When you get this right, you’ll have a loyal & dedicated team. Get it wrong, you’ll have a mess. It’s also just as important that you have your management team not just on board, but trained & using best practice to communicate with & manage the offshore team.

Again, there’s plenty more, but hopefully for now this gives you something to think about. There’s plenty that can wrong, no doubt. But if you work with experts who firstly understand your business as it is now, & can help you define the pathway moving forward, there’s no reason why you can’t get it right. And when you do, it could be life-changing. You could add 10 or 15% to your entire bottom line, which for most businesses, is an entire marketing budget or sales team. Or, a lot more freedom for you as the business owner.

If you’re curious to learn more, visit www.cosourcer.com or shoot me a message or email at [email protected]. I’m looking forward to hearing about your success stories.