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Ten steps to effective outsourcing engagement

There are many different reasons to use outsourcing as a business, and the varied nature of outsourcing companies means there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution for ensuring that you engage effectively with your business outsourcing partner. However, there are a number of top tips which can be followed that should put you on the way to a highly successful business relationship.

Start as you mean to go on

It is vital that your outsourcing solutions process gets off to the best possible start. Think about how effective engagement can be tested during the tender process – through client references or scenarios to evaluate teamwork.

An enabling contract and objectives

Contracts and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are still the backbone of an outsourcing partnership but should build in flexibility to deal with inevitable change. Consider both parties’ overall organisational objectives and create a win-win framework.

Promote ’one team’

Maintaining a ‘them and us’ approach to outsourcing will always limit the ultimate success of a programme. You may need to adapt your usual way of doing things – as either a client or a provider – to create one team.

Have an open door policy

Ask anyone who has been part of a successful outsourcing company and it is almost certain they will tell you the importance of open and honest communication between both parties.

Develop real understanding

Even more essential than your working relationship is the understanding you develop. While it is important to get on well as a team, the most important factor to consider is, would your partner make the same decision as you when faced with an important issue?

Embrace change and improvement

There are few constants in today’s ever-changing economy. As long as flexibility is considered at contract stage, adapting to change is down to the people involved and the organisations’ mindset.

Build trust over time

When outsourcing clients talk about trust, it doesn’t just mean trust in a provider’s ability to deliver KPIs but a commitment to seek and do what’s right for the partnership.

Go the extra mile

Providers should demonstrate a willingness to deliver and step beyond contractual agreements to try fresh approaches or amend priorities to deliver real value.

Controlled flexibility

The ability to define, deliver and then re-define success in a continually evolving business makes the difference. But this needs to be managed to be effective.

Don’t be too rigid

Rather than sticking religiously to what’s in the contract, a trusted partner will deliver results and focus on what’s right for the partnership in the long-term.

By following these steps and working together properly, the outsourcing solutions you provide should be highly successful and form part of a long lasting partnership.

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