8 Key Criteria For Evaluating Providers
You’ve determined your needs.
You’ve developed an RFP.
You’ve created a vendor short list.
Now it’s time to select your service provider.
Make no mistake. Finding a good service provider is critical. It can make or break your project no matter what you’re outsourcing.
Some say it’s the most critical step in outsourcing.
But finding a good service provider isn’t enough. To succeed, you need to find one that fits your needs.
Develop A Framework
A proven method for choosing the right provider is to develop a framework for evaluating the vendors you’re considering.
The key to building this framework is to first develop a checklist of provider criteria and then assign a “weight” to each element. You can then use the checklist to evaluate the vendors on your list.
The 8 criteria discussed below will help you develop your checklist.
1. Industry Knowledge/Experience
Its importance changes depending on the industry you’re in. In industries that require special knowledge or that are heavily regulated, it will carry more weight. It will also carry more weight in industries subject to legislative changes. For other industries, the criteria will have less importance.
2. A Methodology For Transition
Making a good transition of services when outsourcing is vital—whether it’s outsourcing tech support or customer service. You don’t want too many bumps in the road when transitioning. Instead, you want a smooth, seamless transition. A well-defined but flexible methodology helps achieve this.
3. Worldwide Scope/Presence
Globalization is the key to surviving for many SMBs. A provider with a global reach has advantages. This criteria carries slightly more weight when outsourcing tech support, but it’s critical in both cases. The key is what global experience and resources does the provider have that can benefit you.
4. Organization’s Staying Power
Outsourcing is a risky business. It requires a marriage between two partners. So you’ll want to know whom you’re getting in bed with. A thorough examination of a provider’s corporate structure, strategic plans, and history is vital.
5. Strategic Alliances
Successful providers usually have helpful alliances. So you’ll want to know what relationships the provider has with other parties. A provider’s alliances may include disaster recovery companies, testing houses, marketing firms, and methodology companies/consultants. These alliances can prove beneficial in the future.
6. Insurance/Litigation Issues
These issues tell you what mistakes the provider has made and what they’ve learned from them. Key are things like bond history and insurance policies. You may also want to check out the provider’s criteria for selecting new clients.
7. Previous Clients/References
Current clients and references are the most telling evidence when determining if the provider is right for you. Providers with a strong, diverse client base are a plus. Having clients with long-term standing is also a plus.
8. Commitment To Technology
How committed is the provider to technology? You’ll want one that’s willing to invest in the latest technology, but doesn’t value technology over the human. Also, how compatible is its technology and yours?
Finding the right provider is critical to outsourcing success. But you need one that fits your needs. Developing a framework with the right criteria can help you find that provider.
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