Outsourcing to Offshore Service Providers – Need for Proper Change Management and Governance

Offshore Service Providers

It is a foregone conclusion that in order to achieve their goals and save up on costs, organizations need to outsource a major part of their non-core activities to a reliable offshore outsourcing services provider. However, before doing so, companies need to accept and work on the fact that outsourcing doesn’t necessarily mean handing over entire control to the outsourcing service providers. As a matter of fact, a retained team has to be put in place at the client end that can handle the entire outsourcing implementation and work closely with the offshore outsourcing company. This kind of change management can clearly set the roles of the retained team along with the service provider as well as the existing in-house team at the client site that has been previously involved in delivering the outsourced process.

Thorough understanding of the SLAs and post-contract processes

Generally, problems and misunderstandings crop up if the Service Level Agreement (SLA) is not understood or worked out clearly due to initial ignorance and lack of proper dialogue with the outsourcing service providers. Due importance should be given to implementation of new processes and activities arising from outsourcing of certain processes that can help create a symbiotic relationship between the client and the offshore outsourcing company.

Understanding the global culture

Usually, there is a major culture difference between the client and the offshore outsourcing company. Outsourcing companies in India, handling the bulk of processes outsourced by global organizations, have a very different work culture as compared to their western counterparts. This can be mitigated through proper understanding of the corporate as well as socio-religious culture followed by these service providers. Simple queries and interactive sessions can give valuable insight and help smooth transition of the services from the client-site to the outsourced service provider. Trust-building measures can solve any problems arising between the client and its offshore vendor.

Acceptance and adoption of change

Imparting proper training to the retained team in charge of interaction with the offshore outsourcing company as well as sending intimation to the existing employees about their current status can generate trust and an atmosphere conducive to growth and productivity. Retention policy, based on skill-set and experience, should be worked out for employees valuable for the purpose of achieving specific goals. Similarly, the client should make sure that the end-users are not affected in any manner due to the outsourcing implementation. Moreover, demands should be made perfectly clear to the service provider prior to the contract to ensure a joint planning and decision-making.

Organizations worldwide need to understand that change management and governance pertaining to outsourcing must be dealt with at the nascent stage to avoid confusion and hassles after the implementation is in place.

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