So you have started outsourcing some of your non-core business functions to an virtual employee provider somewhere in India. It was only after you were thoroughly satisfied with the vendor's credentials that your company entered into these unchartered waters. A few weeks down the line, everything is still good. Still, others may not be as lucky. Since outsourcing is the new buzzword in business today, everyone wants a share of the meaty pie. So, how do you know if you are getting good outsourcing services or not? |
Here's a handy checklist that should have all these boxes ticked.
1. Is it really cost-effective? In other words, it was economics that drove the decision to outsource. Are the results now justifying the actions? Is the work being delivered satisfactory or does it need a lot of 'reworking', in which case, the cost factor may not be all that you thought it would be.
2. Is your remote employee accountable, reliable, efficient? This again depends upon the kind of outsourcing services that you have chosen. If it is a freelancer, then this box may not get ticked at all. On the other hand, if you have selected a remote staffing company that provides you with a dedicated, full-time employee as well as the equivalent of your offshore office in that country, then, yes, you have a good deal in your hands.
3. Data security. Often the prime concern for many companies who are outsourcing, and a factor that can make or break a client-vendor relationship. Data security is often the index of how good and reliable an outsourcing service provider really is. Does he have stringent security measures in place for safeguarding precious and confidential client information and data? These factors should, ideally, be discussed at the time of entering into a working relationship with the vendor.
4. Accessibility and communication. If the outsourced work requires your regular intervention with your virtual employee, then are there efficient channels of communication in place? This could mean anything from a telephone with the local number of your country of residence, or internet-based communications (email, Skype, VOIP, instant messaging). If this is somewhat 'bumpy', then it could well create disruptions in work flow and movement of work-specific instructions from your end.
5. Are the lesser nitty-gritty of outsourcing equally smooth? Say, you have opted for a virtual employee (also called a remote employee) instead of a freelancer. What about pesky issues like employee leave, work-related matters that require a third person intervention (like Human Resources), technology glitches, or worse, wanting to replace the current employee? A remote staffing office ought to be able to step in and take care of all these matters on your behalf since they actually function as your representatives in that country.
6. Do you enjoy the flexibility of scaling your work? This could mean scaling up or down. A good outsourcing vendor will always provide this kind of freedom to the client (that is, you) and you can either have your full-fledged offshore office, employing several employees from various disciplines or have just one dedicated employee working for you. The choice is yours.
So, be sure to measure up the outsourcing vendor against these criteria to check whether your work is in the right hands or not.
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