This article will look at the specific management skills you need to manage outsourced services. It’s a specific management skill that you will have to master, especially at a time when outsourcing and flexible specialization is on the rise.
What is Outsourcing?
The process of outsourcing has increased exponentially for businesses of all shapes and sizes over the last decade or more. The idea is to get the most professional services for specific business functions or tasks you don’t necessarily have access to internally. A great example is the ability of building firms to be able to outsource their construction marketing to those that have both an understanding of the construction industry and immense marketing experience and know-how.
- Offers your business access to the best expertise that there is in a specific business function
- Can often save you money as you can shop around for the best value solution
- Keeps your focus on the core business
Managing the outsourced services
Here are a few simple tips you must implement and use if your business is looking to use outsourced services.
You need to know exactly what’s being outsourced and why:- A business may have a number of outsourced services, and not all of them will have been instituted on your watch. As a start, determine exactly what is outsourced, from the photocopier service to the logistics and delivery. Once you’ve done this, you can look at each service individually and determine the cost-benefit of outsourcing.
Communicate with each of the service providers:- Open up a line and process of communication with all external service providers and alert them as to who will be managing their service for the business. There may be several points of contact and various managers dealing with the various services. Set up regular communication and updates to ensure feedback and a system of monitoring their services.
Set specific benchmarks for measuring progress:- It can be easy for the managed service to slip into decline or ease into a state of mediocrity, simply because there is not a defined level of attainment or progress that has been discussed set as targets.
Build a relationship:- Yes, it is business, but building a professional relationship with the contractor or outsourced service is the best way to get them to understand your brand and ensure that they are party to the aims and objectives of the business that they are supporting. Be it an accountant or a machine maintenance crew, they all need to understand and buy into the brand if they are to be used over the long term.
Re-evaluate the contractors’ expertise occasionally:- you need to be flexible and prepared to change things up when they aren’t working for the business. In this respect, you need to have a system to evaluate your contractors from time to time to ensure that they still meet the industry standards and have the requisite certifications and registrations.
These are the simple tips and insights that you must try to implement if you decide to outsource any business functions.