Outsourcing Offshore: Are You Ready?
By Roy Figueroa - Site Director, hammerjack
Originally published on LinkedIn
So you’ve heard about outsourcing offshore and its benefits, but haven’t moved any business functions yet or are still sitting on the fence about it. It is perfectly understandable. I’d like to help you though, by sharing a couple of insights.
I am a Filipino national and have been working in the outsourcing/offshoring industry for the last 12 years. I have played a key role in many outsourcing and offshoring projects to the Philippines for companies, large and small, and managed teams that supported organisations’ accounting, sales, collections, tech, customer service, and back-office needs. I’ve dealt with customers who get it and are a pleasure to work with, and those who weren't ready and probably shouldn't have offshored yet. I have experience and have now devoted myself to guiding businesses to avoid some of the usual pitfalls that I’ve seen over the years, and get more out of their outsourced offshore experience.
What you need to realize about offshoring and outsourcing
1. You are already outsourcing
If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be reading this now. You’d be too busy fixing your own printer, building your own house, harvesting your own crops, breeding your own chickens, etc. You get the point. Outsourcing simply means getting someone else, a specialist usually, to perform tasks that otherwise you’d have to learn and become an expert on, to get your desired quality. You have been outsourcing all your life and have saved on time from not having to do everything yourself. By outsourcing, you’ve been able to focus on what you’re good at or what you like doing.
The same goes for your business. By moving your non-core functions, you can focus on what you do best and be more competitive.
2. Your process is unique, but so is everyone else’s
Passing on a process that you developed for your business, especially to someone whose last name you can’t even pronounce, can be daunting. Add to that the fact that your process would have been tweaked over the years to accommodate a system limitation, some suppliers’ or customers’ way of doing things, or an owner’s preferences. If you’re nodding, you definitely have a unique, energy-zapping-to-describe process.
And it is understandable if this is stopping you from making the move.
Offshore outsource service providers are trained for this. We understand that what works for one business doesn’t necessarily work for others, so you’re not unique in that regard.
Understanding your business, the process-to-be moved and your offshoring goals are key. If you can describe it, we can document and execute it.
3. Business Process Outsourcing is not for everyone
The business process outsourcing (BPO) industry has enabled thousands of businesses, large and small, to reduce costs, improve product offerings, and ultimately grow faster. It has benefited the economy of the Philippines and the lives of millions and their families, including mine. (Related: The Philippines and Outsourcing: Why It Works) And while I’m tempted to say, for my own benefit, that you should jump on the bandwagon and outsource now, I won’t. Because I won’t be doing anyone a favour if you aren’t ready.
I’ve listed a few questions to help you gauge your offshore-readiness. This is not about your business, just yourself. If you answer yes to all, then you are ready.
a) Can you describe your business, your process, and your offshoring objectives?
b) Can you acknowledge that, while you’re the expert of your business, you aren’t necessarily an offshoring expert and will need help to make it work?
c) Are you ready to have conversations with your staff about changes that may need to happen within your organisation to make offshoring work?
Ultimately, it’s you, the decision-maker or influencer, who has to be ready for your organisation to eventually become ready.
Offshoring is not for everyone. But when its done well, your business will grow.
If you aren’t sure about offshoring or are just interested to know more, feel free to reach out or, alternatively, meet with our Australia-based team.
We love talking about outsourcing.