Below a look at the outsourcing process as explained by Rajesh Bhat working as a production manager in an Indian outsourcing company. We thank Rajesh for spending the time to submit his views:
Has anyone who is involved in the day to day outsourcing process and is working on files ever thought about the reason behind their companies outsourcing activities. Why do companies outsource their jobs? Is it just because of the cost? To save money?! Is it to get rid of the pain of hiring people, investments in the resources required? What is the logic behind this outsourcing business?
For our discussion purpose from here on let me call an outsourcing company as an “Outsourcer” and the receiver company as an “Outsourcee”– (Employer and Employee concept). Nowadays, the outsourcing has turned out to be a business partnership. So the companies rather search for their partners who can really add up values to the services the Outsourcer provides. The Outsourcee should be able to provide a Quality product at a lower cost so that the Outsourcee can add to their profits.
When companies think of outsourcing their jobs to Asian countries, apart from the saving of costs there are lots of benefits. What are those benefits? Well, let me list some:–
- As mentioned above, the labor is cheaper and hence the overheads are reduced.
- On the other hand Outsourcer reduces his fixed cost – this does not mean that the Outsourcer will have to go for cost cutting by reducing his staff.
- Outsourcer can concentrate more on the development of the company and focus more on getting in more business.
- The benefit of the time difference.
The outsourcer takes the time and makes efforts to find an outsourcee and form a partnership. What efforts? What does a company do before a partnership is formed? What are the initial steps that one company goes through before outsourcing a job?
First of all the outsourcer tries to remove all the subjectivity from the processes that are involved and creates a process document so that it helps the outsourcee. Most of the companies have the process documents these days, as they are a part of their standardization of processes. The jobs can be templatised in this industry. Next the Outsourcer will list the tasks that the Outsourcee will need to work upon, creates a list of resources, bandwidth, etc. which will help in transferring of files. The outsourcee will have to fill in these lists and the one who has better infrastructure and capabilities will be shortlisted. On the other hand, “Outsourcer” will research about the “Outsourcee” before sending the files, viz. the background of the company before handing over the files.
Now the Outsourcer will send through some files for testing the job quality of the Outsourcee.
The outsourcee completes the file to best of his capability and sends back the job. Once the files are to the satisfaction of the outsourcer, the pricings are mutually agreed, the timelines, benchmarks (time within which a job can be completed) the TAT, etc. is all agreed to sign a Service Level Agreement (SLA). Sometimes the outsourcer also sends a trainer to train a team of guys at outsourcee.
So outsourcer as well spends his quality time and money before an engagement begins. Do you all agree with me?
Now starts the live jobs.
Live jobs! Here is where the actual live actions starts. All the basic requirements are in place now, the required templates, digital assets, guidelines is with outsourcee.
The outsourcee makes sure they have the required man power, process and resources in place. The outsourcer sends all the inputs required to process the job.
The outsourcee now will have to understand the brief to complete the job. Most of the time there is a gap in communication as cultures in both the countries are different. The outsourcee has problems in understanding the brief as the jobs requirements are partially briefed or the requirement is not properly elaborated. This is because the people who bring in the jobs do not understand the jobs. This is the most common problem in Pre-media Industry. How to brief a job as it can be understood by the operators becomes a issue. Sometimes the inputs gets corrupted during transfer at the Outsourcee end; the same holds true at outsourcer as well and this leads to duplication of efforts when transferring data, which in turn might lead to delays. Sometimes the transfer of data becomes a problem – Bandwidth issue. The list might go on…
Even with these problems, Outsourcing ventures are enjoying a boom and join different regions into one group and turns the whole enterprise into a Global Venture. This is all thanks to technology which has helped to present Outsourcing as this Global Venture – as someone involved in this exciting enterprise I look forward to additional success in future.
Author: Rajesh Bhat
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.