April 15, 2019
10 things

10 Things I Know About ... Outsourcing

Anupam Koul

10) Always be prepared. Buyers should exercise care in determining what they do, who they approach and how they conduct themselves. The need for outsourcing should be well recognized, fully understood, properly analyzed and clearly articulated.

9) Go for a custom fit. Each organization has a distinct persona and personalized needs. A generic solution provider may not provide the best fit. A more congruent solution would be to find a provider delivering a tailored solution.

8) Anyone can do a great dog-and-pony show. Buyers carry the burden of being able to discern between the doer and a sayer. An authenticity test of DWUSWUD (do what you say, say what you do) should reliably help discern between the two.

7) Look for a partner. In an act of self-aggrandizement, buyers often treat themselves to lop-sided empowerment. They forget they should be looking for a partner and not a vendor.

6) Don't lob it over the wall. Outsourcing is simply a means of fulfilment through use of non-owned resources. It is not a license to pass the burden of results fully to someone else. Buyers ultimately own responsibility of final outcome.

5) WYSIWYG. Accomplishing goals is magical, but requires unison of word and action. Goals have to be well defined, unwavering and being pursued with relentless, consistent and persistent effort. Success in such cases hinges on each party living the "what-you-say-is-what-you-get" mantra.

4) Is the dollar truly almighty? Outsourcing, like all business, is subject to dollar norms and boundaries. One needs to be conscious of preserving dollars. However, cost needs to be looked at more holistically.

3) Quantity versus quality. Higher quantity does not always result in better productivity. Quality of output is a more effective gauge of output efficacy. Delivering solutions expediently is good, but significantly better when delivery is effective and efficient as well. Quality should be the focus as it helps avoid expensive wastage and thrashing.

2) Ownership or task orientation. People are at their best when they are fully vested in collective success. Team dreams do make dream teams! Look for a partner with an ownership orientation mindset opposed to one with a task-oriented demeanor.

1) Outcome certainty. Trust needs to be earned and not given. Each party should endeavor to earn trust of the other. Partners should be truly empowered. Buyers should be responsible for ensuring outcome. Both parties need to be motivated to attain final outcome through appropriate risk-reward sharing.

Anupam Koul is founder and CEO of Marlborough engineering solutions provider Envisage, Inc. Reach him at 508-386-9648 and akoul@envisageinc.com.

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