4 Key Steps to Outsourcing Offshore Success

Written by Nicholas Hastings, CEO and Founder, hammerjack

The global skills and labor market has never been more accessible. Here at hammerjack we have seen the outsourcing industry grow consistently throughout the last five years, despite the various peaks and troughs the global economy has endured. Business owners feel as though there are more clear pathways than ever before to engage with offshore programs and capital. However, as with implementing any new program, there are some pitfalls to avoid, and tricks to pick up to save money, time, and hassle.

I would like to share with you some key ideas that you should be considering.

Get the WHOLE TEAM On Board

It starts from within the existing business structures you’ve established. The imperative is to move forwards as one, even as you bring new capital into the fold. Internally you must attempt to create a united front, a team who are all on the same page with regards to what you are implementing, and how. The new offshore team will be an extension of your business now; a part of your working family.

As such, we see the nomination of an internal ‘champion’ within your business, to liaise with the offshore team, as being a key piece of infrastructure. This champion drives and maintains the excellence of your workplace culture within the offshore team, creating a cohesive unit, running activities and maintaining strong lines of dialogue. This is one business that you’re operating, and the teams must coexist as happily as possible.

To wit, your existing team members also need to remain consulted and valued, so as to prevent any fracturing, double handling of work, or potential for miscommunication. In order to achieve this everyone needs a clear concept of what is being achieved. Consider taking the time to review your objectives, on both a macro and micro level. Do the goals of your domestic workforce align with those of the offshore team you’re bringing in? Clear, concise objectives that resonate across the full scope of your business usually result in better cohesion and outcomes.

If management and leadership staff all the way down the chain of command become enthusiastic about the same vision that you have, then your ability to draw in the whole team increases. They can be your internal sales team, bringing all of their troops into line with your goals. Get your chain of command to buy in. This may also help stress test the goals you’ve set, providing perspectives that you might not have considered.

Process DOCUMENTATION, Get It Up To Scratch

We understand.  The concept of having all of the appropriate paperwork up to date, and in order, is not the most exciting idea ever. However, the difference it makes cannot be overlooked. To begin with, try focusing on documenting the technological requirements and infrastructure required. Make sure you have the tools to facilitate easy payment, bookkeeping and communication. As you incorporate offshore capital into your business you may need to update some existing systems to extract the most value.

To ensure cohesion between all levels of the business it is also useful to create process workflows and points of accountability. Document exactly how you’d like various tasks to be completed and outline the personnel responsible for their oversight. Make sure your team understands how any offshore capital logistically fits into the mix. This helps establish a code of best practice across the board for your workforce. In tandem with this, a carefully considered risk register, together with the appropriate mitigation strategies, ensures that your management teams understand how to react to any potential negative outcomes.

The more procedures you have documented, typically, the less room for miscommunication and confusion. In fact, you could look to document a full communications strategy to ensure the highest levels of synergy across all of your team, together with guidelines on how to manage change and growth. Standardize your practices to ensure consistent levels of professionalism and output. With everyone on the same page, so to speak, you’ll be setting yourself up for potential success.

Have a GAME PLAN, Not Just A Strategy

In many ways we’re still talking about paperwork. However, this is with an eye to the future, to game planning and strategizing, which is a little more fluid. What do the next 30/60/90 days look like? Not just in terms of the overarching goal, but the step-by-step process of executing it. Be SMART with your planning (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Based). What can you accomplish tomorrow to move you towards a successful implementation of your offshore program? Write it down and get the team on board.

If you’re looking to capture greater market share and customer numbers through your use of offshore talent then give yourself a roadmap for how you can scale most effectively, without costs blowing out or the team losing its way. Perhaps your offshore team will be taking up the slack from an existing team within your business. In this instance ensure that any knowledge and skills transfer, as well as transitional procedure, is clearly documented and understood by all parties. In this way you can attempt to prevent any critical misunderstandings and transfer holdups.

If you seek to work with an outsourcing supplier, such as our team at hammerjack, then establish the non-negotiables for your business that may guide the selection process and nature of the relationship. All parties involved should understand the performance expectations and procedures that will dictate the dialogue between business and vendor moving forwards.  By doing all of the due diligence appropriately you are mitigating a lot of the potential hassle that can hamstring and delay business owners from achieving their goals.

Final Flight CHECK

If you’re seeking to take advantage of the supply of offshore resources from vendors such as our hammerjack team, be sure to complete all of the appropriate customer reference checks. We have a proud history of delivering for our clients and that gives us the confidence to continue to maintain the highest levels of service, technology and communication. It’s important for you to understand whom you’re working with, as it should be a mutually beneficial arrangement for the duration.

With these steps in place, you’re establishing a framework of clear guidelines and structures that allow you to bring your team with you, as one, as you implement an offshore program into your business. Hopefully, with the right moves, profitability will increase, company practice and culture will be strong, and you will establish a pathway towards even greater success.