6 Steps To Guarantee Outsourcing Success
Outsourcing tech support can transform your business.
It can change you from an also ran to a market leader—all while cutting costs and boosting customer service.
It can even turn your company into a force in your industry—but only if outsourcing is done right.
Despite its benefits, outsourcing tech support can sometimes be a challenge—one fraught with mine fields. If you stumble on one of these, the project can blow up in your face.
How can you make sure that that doesn’t happen?
The 6 steps below help guarantee outsourcing success:
1. Define the scope of the project
Identify key elements of the project. Which services do you want to outsource and which do you want to keep in-house? Also, identify what technological resources are available internally. Will you need to add to these?
In addition, identify the project’s manager and who will interface with the service provider, if not the manager. Do they have the right skill set? Determining these assignments upfront gives you time to bring in someone from the outside if necessary.
2. Develop a good business case
Successful outsourcing projects all have strong support internally. This means selling the idea to managers both on the business level and the executive level. To do this, you’ll need to develop a solid business case for outsourcing tech support.
The key here is showing how doing this can make an impact on customer satisfaction and the bottom line. You’ll also want to show current and future spending levels. And build in the ability to track the project at a granular level. This will help you preserve your business case throughout the project.
Action point: Review company business cases for projects that have gotten the go ahead from senior level executives. What key features do they have? Can they help you create a good business case for your outsourcing project?
3. Create a detailed RFP
Your RFP should have a format that forces applicants to answer questions in a way that enables you to compare responses. Build in things like the acceptance criteria for provider bids, the timing and frequency of reports and information, and key procedures in case of an emergency.
Other things you’ll need to include in your RFP are training fees and responsiveness of personnel in the event of problems. And ask providers to simply and clearly spell out pricing. You want to be able to determine what comes with their regular services and what’s extra.
4. Determine project metrics
You’ll need to develop a set of metrics to judge provider performance. They tell you if the project is worth pursuing long term. Including feedback and service level metrics can also help you judge the provider’s performance.
To ensure success, you need to engage in a process of continually assessment. This will enable you to make changes as you go along and fine-tune the relationship.
5. Make sure of compatibility
Another key to success is bringing in a service provider with a compatible service culture. Other things you want to look for in a service provider are quality of services, ability to scale up and down, and cost savings.
Action Point: Develop a list of qualities that would make a service provider compatible with your business. Afterwards, create a list of compatible tech support companies.
6. Establish checkpoints
You want to create “checkpoints” in the process that occur early enough to create a performance baseline. Using checkpoints helps ensure that the service provider is on the right track right from the start.
Checkpoints may include things like weekly status reports, regular meetings, phone calls and e-mails—in the beginning and throughout the whole project.
Managing an outsourcing project requires you to balance several factors. These include things like personnel, costs, and culture.
Taking the six steps above will help you avoid the more common minefields inherent in outsourcing projects and guarantee success. That way you can enjoy the benefits of outsourcing.
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