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Making Offshore Outsourcing Work

Although there are plenty of obstacles to offshore outsourcing, it doesn't look like the trend to outsource is slowing. According to Gartner (see note), "some 150,000 to 200,000 people are employed offshore in the call and contact center business, predominantly in India, the Philippines, Ireland, and a host of emerging destinations across the world." This does not include all of the software development that is also being done offshore.

NOTE

S. Chohan, J. Roberts, R. Scholl, "Backlash Will Not Stop Offshore BPO Trend," Gartner, 3 April 2003 (subscription required).

To make offshore outsourcing work for you, define your strategy before moving forward, and recognize that outsourcing is about more than just costs. Achieving the right balance between local sourcing and outsourcing for your organization enables you to focus on the critical issues and leave the repetitive or commodity services to the outsourcing provider. Be sure to secure solid service-level agreements, meet as many key people in person as possible, and institute a process of regular communication between you and the provider. Above all, keep in mind that your customers want to have a seamless, helpful experience—and no matter how much you're saving, if customers are unhappy, they'll go away.

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