Outsourcing Tips - When hiring or working with an outsourcer, follow these guidelines:
• Try fixing whatever's not working on your own first. You may have internal resources that can work better than you think.
• Carefully evaluate what really can be outsourced. Generally, projects that require team interaction or brainstorming don't work too well. Self-contained tasks or projects are more suited to outsourcing.
• Put in the time and effort, upfront, to find the specific expertise you need.
• Consider management costs. Sometimes services look good on paper but you end up eating the savings in training and oversight costs.
• Be prepared for challenges. It takes a while to build the relationship and synchronize the timing.
• Don't walk in blind. Start with some paid consulting, if need be, so you can ask the right questions in choosing a vendor and keep knowledgeable tabs on performance.
• If you outsource significant hunks of your operations, consider having a staff employee(s) to act as a liaison. You want to outsource functions but not accountability.
• Watch out for hidden costs. These may include paying layoff-related expenses, overtime costs for remaining employees who may now have more work to do, and telecommunications costs for remote workers.