I just arrived back to the United States after another quick, but busy trip to India.
Looking back on the provider assessments from the trip brings to mind the fact that organizations should not rush head-over-heels into a new outsourcing engagement.
While it is certainly possible to sign an NDA with a provider and begin sending work over immediately, it is not recommended for numerous reasons. Furthermore, it may also be the provider’s responsibility to put the brakes on a new engagement to ensure that all of the necessary bases are covered. This is a great opportunity for the provider to demonstrate their willingness to invest in a long-term relationship with the client and not merely a string one-off assignments.
This is not to say that entering into an relationship with a provider should take eons. However, by taking the time to agree on engagement specifications before entering an agreement will allow quicker response times in the future.
Risk management is essentially planning ahead. Some of the areas that I have seen organizations skip on the outset that resulted in unnecessary challenges down the road are as follows:
- Understanding the providers true capabilities and core competencies
- Defining engagement contingencies and escalation processes
- Designing specialized queues for varying service requirements
- Designating and enabling process owners and service champions
- Implementing and integrating technology solutions
- Defining data use, sharing and retention policies
As Benjamin Franklin once noted, “A stitch in time, saves nine.”
Challenges resulting from these areas is assuredly repairable, but any benefits of rushing into the relationship will be lost or greatly reduced when dealing with these issues on the back-end.