Lately more and more companies consider outsourcing not only the means to minimize expenses on implementation of incidental tasks, but also a strategic step, aimed to reorganization and increase of business efficiency. Therefore, there is no surprise that at increasing efficiency demands many companies make a choice to the advantage of outsourcing, directing their administrative potential to the key business lines.
If, responding the challenges of today, you made a decision to request assistance of outsourcing companies, e.g. hire dedicated developer, you will face the problem of outsourcer selection, able to render services, which meet the needs of your company optimally.
So what is the first thing to pay attention to while choosing the outsourcing company?
1. Determination of outsourcing aims and tasks
Cost minimization is still the foremost reason for handing over processes and projects to outsourcing. But there are certain peculiarities. It’s rather difficult to estimate the real cost of in-house process or project realization and compare it to the cost of outsourcing. The task complicates even more by the fact that you need to compare the services of different level. Therefore, it’s inappropriate to say that outsourcing will necessarily result in cost reduction. It’s more proper to consider the optimization of price and quality correlation as well as the possibility to manage this correlation flexibly the aim of outsourcing.
2. Experience of the company, consumer reviews
This criterion is the index of company’s credibility as well as its experience. The more clients the firm has, the more is the probability that problems, similar to yours, have already been solved by this outsourcing company.
Take into account, that reviews on the website of the company-outsourcer are always published only with author’s consent. Nobody can outline the service and quality of company’s work more honestly and objectively, than the client using these services.
3. Comparative analysis of candidate companies
On the next stage it is necessary to conduct the comparison of candidate companies, preselected for cooperation. For this purpose it is necessary to draw up and direct the RFI (request for information) to these companies. It should be noted that this document has no legal value; it’s just a query, demonstrating the interest of your company and a wish to receive the additional information regarding the services of your concern, rendered by outsourcing company.
On the grounds of responses to RFI received from candidate companies, you need to conduct their comparative analysis on the most essential criteria and determine the top outsourcing vendors.
4. Final choice
No matter how thoroughly you analyze the companies without seeing, the final decision regarding cooperation can be made only after holding negotiations.
During the preparation for negotiations it is necessary to draw up RFP (request for proposals) for several (usually 2-3) most appropriate companies.
During the preparation of RFP special attention should be paid to SLA (service level agreement), which, in fact, is the principal document, consolidating the relations of supplier and consumer of services.
In SLA it is necessary to describe expressly all parameters of contract, in particular:
-scope and parameters of services;
-exact quantitative criteria of service quality;
-possibility for the customer to manage the outsourcing process;
-supplier responsibility for the result (including financial remunerations for default in obligations performance);
-procedures of withdrawal from partnership.
If you plan to hand over a large IT-project for outsourcing to dedicated team of developers, you can stipulate the execution of a small test project at first.
5. Congeniality of corporate and cultural mentality
During the negotiations do not forget that your personal mutual relations with outsourcer are very important. Remember, you choose a partner, not just an employee. Pay attention to how comfortable it is for you to communicate with the future partner. Considering, that for the success of any outsourcing project close collaboration of customer and service-provider is necessary, it is desirable to choose a service provider with similar corporate culture and mentality. Mentality of company-outsourcer personnel is an important feature, which considerably influences the cooperation quality of the specialists of your company and company-outsourcer.
It is very important to support the mutual outspokenness of the parties and preserve partner relations while making decisions regarding all arising questions. Subject to these conditions, outsourcing can bring maximum benefit to both parties, as well as provide mutually profitable cooperation and development.