BPO Bulletin

Finding Your Ideal Outsourcing Partner

by Ken Neal
January 23, 2017

Swipe left, swipe left, swipe right…if only finding your ideal outsourcing partner was as easy as Tinder.

According to my colleague James Allen, Director, BPO for Canon Business Process Services, finding the right outsourcing provider is like finding your true partner in life. Do you work well as a team? Do you have the same goals? Is there a solid foundation of trust? In the rest of this post, James offers some insights based on the idea that many questions relevant to your personal life are also important to ask before selecting the outsourcing partner to whom you are going to entrust your business.

When people first start dating some look for a casual relationship; others want something long-term.

A vendor provides a service for a fee but not much more. A partner may also provide the same service but offer more in terms of a long-term commitment that includes taking an interest in how your company works; its priorities and plans for the future. Such a partner would want to align its service with these and other objectives. In essence the partner wants to help your organization meet challenges now and continue to grow in the days ahead.

Much like when you are starting a personal relationship, effective communication is critical. Ask your potential outsourcing partner questions about the company’s business culture and how it works. Ask for references; understand the firm’s approach to implementation and what technology capabilities it has. Do these match your organization’s vision for what it needs to grow? Does the potential partner appear credible and is the chemistry positive based on your initial interactions and communication?

James adds that if he had to pick two key elements that are vital to building a strong relationship with an outsourcing partner those elements would be the existence of mutual understanding and trust.

To help ensure success, consider establishing a joint team that has an open rapport and can openly communicate any issues that need to be addressed. Additionally, try to ensure that there is a clear understanding of what responsibilities apply to each side of the partnership. Remember to treat each other as a partner and a client, both of which need to benefit. If your outsourcing partner is successful then chances are that you will be successful.

Building such a relationship does not happen overnight. Often successful relationships start with small wins. The small wins bolster credibility and generate a comfort factor so that more work can then be trusted to the outsourcing provider.

Are you ready to invite your outsourcing partner to meet the family? If your partner is providing thought leadership, proactively providing process improvements, demonstrating technology and keeping you abreast of industry trends, then the answer may be yes. It might be time to invite your outsourcing provider to key business meetings and departmental strategy sessions because at this point, they have earned the right to be considered trusted advisors.

Please feel free to visit the Business Process Outsourcing page of our website for additional insights in the form of white papers, case histories, research reports and more.

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