A lot of businesses struggle with understanding what systems and processes they need to start their offshoring journey on the right foot. They feel they don't have the time or expertise to choose and integrate the right solutions, and they often don't feel it's a very high priority.
When most of the work is done by a handful of people, everyone's very familiar with how things are done. They know their own processes inside-out, and they've been working together long enough to learn each other's processes too. So there's no perceived need to formalize, document or automate any of it.
If you're planning to offshore, it's better that you consider your systems and processes now. Because once you hire your first offshore employees, they'll have little to no prior knowledge of your business, and they'll immediately need to know what to do and how to do it.
Clear systems will help them do their jobs effectively, and you'll see a quicker return on your investment which will mean:
Everyone works more efficiently
Better job satisfaction
Better staff accountability & KPIs
Better quality control
Consistent products, services and brand representation
Consistent customer experiences.
High-speed internet has made businesses and employees more connected than ever before, especially for teams that work remotely or offshore. The most noteworthy advancements are:
This means using an integrated offshore team is easier than ever before. And innovative tech companies are developing new solutions all the time, so it's only going to get easier.
So where can you start with systemizing your business? It really comes down to knowledge: getting it out of your head and into a format your offshore team can use. There are three basic steps to systemizing your business.
Let’s go through some of the factors you can use to compare different partners. This will give you a clear understanding of your business needs and how to match those needs up with a suitable partner.
If you're looking to offshore in a specific location, you'll need to find a partner that's established in that area. But regardless of where you offshore, you need to make sure your partner's facility is located ideally for:
When comparing offshore partners, discuss their recruitment process. Find out how they source talent, whether they have an existing database of qualified applicants, how quickly they can fill roles, and how involved you need to be in the hiring process.
Generally, 'managed offices' include all the furniture, IT and facilities your team will need to do their jobs. Your offshore partner should provide internet access, computers, a desk and a chair. And a clean, comfortable and professional work environment.
It's important to also ask about the ongoing support you're entitled to, for your staff. To succeed offshore, you really need your partner to be a black belt in operations.
Stability is an extremely important factor when it comes to choosing your offshore partner. After all, you're at the start of what will (hopefully) be a long and profitable relationship for your business. While offshoring is a strong and growing sector, especially in the Philippines, sometimes things can happen that may rock the boat if your partner isn't prepared.
To gauge the stability of your service provider, ask them questions about:
Overseas labor costs mean offshoring has the potential to save your business a significant amount of money, but labor costs aren't the only cost consideration. Your choice of offshore partner will make a big difference to your bottom line, because they don't all offer the same savings, inclusions and set up.
Every offshore provider has its own unique approach to fees. Before signing up with an offshore partner, it's critical to find out exactly what they include and how the fee is broken down. That way, you don't end up with any unexpected costs. And just as importantly, you'll know your staff are getting a fair wage.
When it comes to choosing your offshore partner, you want to ensure they’ll deliver consistently good outcomes for your business. How will you know if they can do this? Analyze their infrastructure, tech, equipment and their internal management structure.
When you're comparing your options, make sure you are clear on what you’re responsible for and what your partner is responsible for. This will extend to the recruitment process, the infrastructure, who staff report to and how your offshore team will spend their time.
It’s common for businesses to perceive outsourcing as a set and forget strategy, however, this isn’t the case at all. Outsourcing is an ongoing partnership that requires efforts from both parties, the provider and you.
It’s one of the many reasons why it is so crucial for you to explore your options so that you understand how each provider works and which provider will be best suited to you and your business.
Businesses that don’t set up their offshoring solution successfully from the get go and maintain them are more likely to experience significant repercussions to business productivity and end up believing offshoring to be a waste of money. But it doesn't have to be. So let's talk through the mistakes some businesses make and how you can avoid them.
Both your onshore and offshore teams will be more effective if they collaborate and communicate with each other.
How to avoid it
Your overseas employees are not 'out of sight, out of mind'. No matter where they're located, you need to be responsible for ensuring your team achieves good outcomes.
Your offshore team are real people and a very real part of your team, just like your local staff. Treat them as valued team members and you'll get the best outcomes.
If your staff don't have the resources they need, they'll be less productive and feel like you don't understand or value them, which will reduce morale and loyalty, and increase staff turnover rates.
How to avoid it
Consider the resources your employees need to get their job done well, and make sure they've got access to those resources. As a minimum, ensure all team members have:
You should also consider things like access to transport, parking, food, shops and their commute distance.
If your offshoring location has extreme weather or unreliable infrastructure, you need to have a business continuity plan. Otherwise it's just a matter of time before you suffer some significant and very costly downtime.
How to avoid it
Plan ahead and ask yourself these questions:
For example, your provider will need comprehensive contingency plans for natural disasters. This ensures that staff can continue providing services in a nearby location with minimal disruption.
An offshore team requires significant time investment - up front and ongoing. Businesses that compromise in this area will miss out on achieving the best possible outcomes.
How to avoid it
From the very start, you need to:
You need to train, mentor and speak with your offshore team on an ongoing basis. This will improve the quality of service for both you and your customers, and consequently lead to a stronger return on investment.
If you want to learn more on the above topics, including how to transition tasks from onshore to offshore, creating your offshore strategy, how to get your onshore team onboard and how to manage your offshore team effectively, then download the full version of our ‘Everything you need to know about offshoring Part 2’ eBook today. Just fill in the form below.