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Be more Valuable to your Outsourcing Provider

by: Sarah Joson

Thursday, July 12, 2012 | Outsourcing News |

Advice for Outsourcing Clients

The way buyers treat clients often affects the output of an outsourcing operation. Like it or not, some service providers often group clients into several profiles, and sometimes, take things personally. It is usually done across several classifications like the client’s paying habits, level of dedication to the project, and even basic knowledge about the processes being outsourced. As much as possible, buyers would want to be on the neutral side to keep operations simple and smooth, and also avoid issues that may come from the service provider.

At PCAdvisor.co.uk, Stephanie Overby wrote 10 simple ways on how you can make IT outsourcing service providers prioritize your company without having to bribe or manipulate them. It highlights simple, non-invasive ways to get more attention for companies that have chosen to take the outsourcing path:

1. Don’t push your luck during negotiations.
Providers tend to identify clients as being difficult if they always try to micromanage every single detail right off the bat and try to low-ball the standard pricing of the functions that will be outsourced. It would be better to just mention your company’s preferences during the negotiation and work on them as you go with the project since it would probably be a long-term operation.

2. Be transparent. The ideal customer will be able to provide information about the company - important details such as asset inventory, current state of the operation, and identification of those who will be involved in the process. This will help providers understand where the client is coming from and enable them to provide workable suggestions.

3. Follow the outsourcing contract. When both sides have agreed upon a contract, they should do their part and follow each clause dutifully to avoid issues. Having a well-written contract, one that favors each party equally, will also prove that you were able to work on your differences right from the start.

4. Provide tokens of appreciation.
This can be tricky but let’s face it, providers love revenues. This can come in various forms like additional projects in the pipeline, more opportunities in other departments or bonuses, if applicable.   

5. Be proud of your outsourced operations.
Outsourcing is one of the processes frowned upon in many countries, but an authentic testimonial from a reputable client is very useful. This will help providers earn trust from other businesses and gain more clients in the long run.

6. Inspire your provider.
If providers see that you are willing to learn new things with them and work on innovations that can help both of your businesses, they will likely give you more of their time and attention.

7. Have margins for your budget.  Clients need to see that not all cost estimations will be followed as is. There will be instances wherein services, even technology, will cost more as the operation develops. Review the proposed changes that providers present you and approve if the operation really needs them.

8. Keep in mind that the operation is also about teamwork. There will be instances wherein vendors will fail to meet the requirements. They may have their reasons, but it can also be caused by external factors, so it would be better to work with them in finding solutions rather than adding more pressure.

9. Be a diligent buyer.
If customers do not pay on time, the cash flow of the providers will be disrupted, which could lead to delays. Since they are depending on the money you put in their company to pay off salaries etc., it would be sensible to pay them on time.

10. Treat your service provider nicely
. In a nutshell, providers will treat you the way you treat them, but this doesn’t mean that you should let your guard down and let them take over the operation. This simply means that you have to be nice and treat them with respect.

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