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The article aims to discuss how Connext Global Solutions Solves Outsourcing Mistakes #1: Lack of Clarity About Objectives.

Lack of Clarity About Objectives

As with many things, it is important to spend time upfront explicitly defining what a company wants to accomplish by building a remote team or outsourcing services.  Business strategy is about aligning multiple operational aspects of the business. Think of Southwest’s original strategy with low cost service to smaller markets, no assigned seats, no business class and so on. These operational decisions were clearly aligned with the business strategy.

When building a remote team or outsourcing, it is no different.  In fact, when thinking about the list of mistakes above, one can see that all of the decisions should really be interrelated.  However, starting with clear objectives creates a framework for the other decisions.  Some common reasons for outsourcing are:

  • Reduce administrative complexity
  • Increase caliber of talent of local staff
  • Improve customer service by expanding capacity and/or hours
  • Reduce capital outlay (office, equipment, etc.)
  • Access to employees and rapid growth
  • Reduce costs to a given target

None of these alone are really a strategic objective for business.  Rather, it is a list of benefits of outsourcing, most of which accrue to any company.  Clarifying objectives needs to start even further upstream with the company’s business strategy.

  • What are the factors limiting our growth?
  • How do we compete?
  • What is our vision for meeting customer needs and supporting business operations?
  • What real or perceived limits do we have?

This is somewhat abstract.  It is helpful to use a more concrete example.  Consider a state or regional scale company competing with national scale organizations.  The very large companies have the capital and scale to create very efficient supply chains and automate many processes.  However, those companies do not have local relationships, management presence and the ability to provide highly differentiated services.  The state or regional scale company needs to maintain this market differentiation, while simultaneously finding innovative ways to remain cost competitive.  These state and regional scale companies fit the profile of most Connext Global Solutions clients.  Their objective with outsourcing becomes something like:

Work with a trusted, long-term partner such as Connext Global Solutions solves outsourcing mistakes by developing a remote staff that supports our customers and our business operations across multiple functional areas with our quality, customer service and flexibility expectations.

Once an objective like that is defined, several things become clear:

  • Control of quality, processes, systems and staff time is essential
  • The long-term credibility and trustworthiness of the partner is paramount
  • Piecemeal outsourcing of different functions is not aligned with the objective

For these types of companies, the solution lies in some form of staff augmentation or creating a virtual captive.

Connext Global Solutions helps companies build custom, dedicated support teams in the Philippines.

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