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Common Language Problems in Multisourcing Operations

by: Sarah Joson

Thursday, August 16, 2012 | Outsourcing News |

Language Barriers in a Multisourced Operation

Sometimes, businesses have outsourcing operations with different service providers and they usually face a common hurdle - proper dissemination. Problems are normal in all operations, but for companies that subcontract offshore, these problems are intensified due to language barriers.

An article at Business2Community.com highlights common language problems when businesses outsource to several service providers:

Progress of the projects will slow down.

With a multi-sourced operation, new processes are harder to put into effect as providers that serve certain processes are located in different regions. There might be a delay since processes and protocols will need more time to reach a certain department because with some companies, they would have to alter the announcement in a certain way that a specific region can clearly understand the instructions.
Improvement of internal processes might be hampered.
All companies should work like a well-oiled machine, but if language barriers limit effective communication in the company internally, then growth and improvement not only of the business itself, but also professional relationships amongst employees, will be affected. Chances are problems will be overlooked because of limited feedback.

Employees might understand goals differently. 
Even in a regular operation where departments speak the same language, miscommunication usually occurs and goals are not achieved. This can be more frequent in offshore teams as they might have a different understanding of what lead generation, leads, and prospects are.

Challenges are intensified.
Internal issues will be harder to pacify and small problems will be blown out of proportion because local and offshore members might have a hard time understanding each other. They can also misinterpret actions done by the outsourced team because for them, what they did was okay, but for the local team, it could be something that does not meet the requirements.

Authority of managers may be affected.
Every department of an operation is spearheaded by a leader. For a multisourcing operation, there will be several leaders from different parts of the world. There will be instances where leader A will be asked to communicate with leader B and its team members. However, trying to explain the goal to a different team with a different culture will again be a great challenge.

For businesses that are planning to outsource functions to different service providers, they could circumvent all these language barrier issues if they acquire all their services from a single third party outsourcing provider - one that has a good track record and is multi-faceted when it comes to outsourcing services.

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