Outsourcing is a very common business practice these days and despite coming under its share of flak from certain quarters, it continues to be the one business strategy that most western companies zero in on as a bailout option. However, while the world may be a stage where outsourcing service providers are jostling with each other to net maximum clients, choosing both, the vendor and the destination, calls for a careful selection procedure. In fact, the right choice of the outsourcing destination is half the battle won.
Here’s a handy checklist to choose the right offshore outsourcing destination:
Does it have a known track record for outsourcing?
Obviously you don’t want to be stuck in a destination that is just about starting off in this industry. You want someone who is an ‘old hand’ at it, so to speak. For instance, India is the leading outsourcing destination whereas the Philippines is still relatively a new entrant in the field. While India has professionals who can be hired in every domain and industry, the Philippines has made a mark mostly for its call centers.
How is the overall infrastructure and satellite connectivity?
Does the destination boast a great infrastructure setup, modern technology, and excellent satellite communication links? Fast, high-speed Internet connection is at the very core of any outsourcing success where work is conducted over PCs, laptops, and Internet. Slow connections or frequent disruptions in the satellite connectivity can severely hamper the outsourced work.
Is it a politically stable destination?
Political strife, ethnic violence, breakdown of law and order – you don’t want to go even near such a destination even if it is very low-cost. There is no guarantee that your work may ever get completed or see the light of the day if service providers are forced to shut shop due to incessant curfews and violence.
Is it relatively insulated against natural disasters (tsunamis, typhoons, hurricanes, tornadoes)?
Close on the heels of the above-mentioned consideration come natural disasters that can threaten to completely derail the outsourced work. A country at the mercy of unpredictable natural calamities like hurricanes, typhoons can leave its businesses extremely vulnerable to losses, both financial and physical. Naturally, such destinations cannot inspire confidence in potential western clients who are looking to hand over a part of their precious business into the hands of strangers.
What is the size of its talent pool?
The logic here is simple. Wider and deeper the talent pool, the better and bigger your chances are of finding the most suitable resources to work on your outsourced projects. A limited talent pool automatically narrows down your options and forces you to accept what might be “second best.” To illustrate, India boasts one of the largest technical talent pools in the world and a western client can hire just about anybody in any domain or profession. With impressive educational statistics (India produces about 3.1 million graduates each year), it is small wonder that Indian professionals are in huge demand the world over.
How English-proficient are its professionals?
Let’s face it. Proficiency in the English language is one reason why call centers in the Philippines have taken off at such a rapid pace. It is also the main reason why Indian IT and software professionals (as well as those in other fields like content writing, web designing, finance, and law) are coveted the world over. English is the language for international communication and a country whose professionals lack proficiency in this language may not “fly off the shelves” as easily and as quickly as their counterparts in destinations where English is commonly spoken.
Make sure you have the above boxes ticked before you outsource your work to a particular destination.