For many years, businesses have been taking advantage of various forms of outsourcing in order to gain a competitive advantage. Nowadays, it is not uncommon for companies to outsource elements of their operations, whether that involves outsourcing an entire product line to another company or using a third party to manage a single project. However, it is this very familiarity with outsourcing that could potentially be the greatest challenge that businesses face.
Many businesses have adopted the practice of outsourcing at some point in time, and generally follow the same procedure: a meeting is arranged with the outsourcing provider in order to discuss and agree on the responsibilities and timeline. Once set, the supplier is held accountable for fulfilling their duties in line with the predetermined schedule. This approach has proven to be successful for many years and continues to be a viable strategy. However, it does not mean that it cannot be improved in some way.
The advances in technology have made it possible to assist with virtually every aspect of running a business. This is particularly true for the practice of outsourcing. One powerful tool that has the potential to revolutionise outsourcing, whether it is to a company in Latin America specialising in software or to an Asian factory creating products, is Big Data.
Despite the widespread use of big data across numerous industries and applications, many organisations have yet to explore the potential of incorporating it into their outsourcing strategies. Could your business be one of them? If so, then this article will provide an insight into how harnessing the power of big data can help to improve your outsourcing practises.
Why Outsourcers Should Make Use of Big Data
At the commencement of each outsourcing project, a comprehensive strategy is developed in order to ensure all parties are in agreement. This strategy needs to take into account conflicting priorities, such as the need for the hiring company to receive the final product as soon as possible and the outsourcing partner’s established methods of working. Thus, the resulting timetable is a balance between the two, representing a compromise that is acceptable to all.
In addition, unforeseen occurrences may arise which could disrupt the planned timeline and necessitate alterations to the overall approach. Ultimately, the process of outsourcing may have developed to such an extent that it is no longer as effective as it once was. This is where the use of “big data” could be of great benefit.
The application of big data techniques during outsourcing can significantly enhance the operational transparency of the process. This will enable both parties to enhance communication and collaboration by making decisions based on evidence and working in a transparent, real-time environment. With the data provided by big data, both parties will be better equipped to identify potential production problems, identify potential bottlenecks, plan sprints more accurately and develop a technique of outsourcing that is both agile and effective.
The greatest advantage of utilising big data when outsourcing is that it allows for the whole process to be tracked and data to be collected which can help to identify areas of improvement. In order to make the most of this, it is recommended that three key elements are monitored closely, since they will have a major impact on the value that is derived from the outsourcing agreement. These are: monitoring the whole process, collecting data which may reveal what is and isn’t working and altering areas which the data indicates a need for.
Representative for Contracting Outwork
It is essential that you select an individual who is adequately qualified, experienced and has the necessary authority to serve as your primary liaison with your outsourcing partner. This individual should possess a deep understanding of the outsourced processes, and the power to make decisions swiftly and without hesitation in times of difficulty.
It is of critical importance for those working on outsourced projects that seek to incorporate big data into their operations to be aware that there is a vast amount of data available today. Therefore, it is essential to make sense of such data, analyse the results obtained from advanced analytics, and take the necessary action.
For successful outsourcing, it is essential to carefully consider who will be the point of contact between your organisation and the external vendor. It is not advisable to simply appoint any member of your in-house staff to negotiate on your behalf. Instead, it is advisable to evaluate whether the employee responsible for the work being outsourced is the right person to represent the company. As working with an outside vendor requires a different approach than working internally, it may be beneficial to designate a third party to monitor the outsourced process, ensuring it is managed effectively and worked on collaboratively.
Technologies Used in Outsourcing
When selecting an outsourcing partner, here at Works we consider whether or not they possess the necessary technologies for effective communication. Having the necessary tools, such as reliable communication channels and project management software, is a necessity for this process. It is expected that these tools are standard equipment for any respectable outsourcing firm. However, the use of big data has changed the landscape in this regard.
Despite not all outsourced partners utilising big data to inform their processes, there is no guarantee that they have the necessary capabilities to support an approach to outsourcing that is heavily reliant on big data. Without access to the right big data technologies, it is difficult to have faith in your outsourced partner to provide you with the necessary data and insights.
Consequently, it is crucial to have a system in place that can increase the transparency of the process by capturing data at all the important points. To ensure that the analysis provided by such a platform is accurate, it can be beneficial to ensure that it includes a set of predetermined benchmarks, service level agreements and metrics. Lastly, the system should be able to provide real-time information through simplified reports that won’t take away from your main business operations.
The Co-Management Approach
Finally, implementing a co-management strategy is something that may not have been considered before, but it can be essential when introducing big data into outsourced operations. Even though many organisations choose to outsource some or all of their operations in order to become more agile and to focus better on the value-adding components of their business, there are numerous potential advantages to being actively involved in the externalisation process.
By aligning your business strategy and objectives with your outsourcing partner, you can create even more value in the final product. However, this should not be a one-time occurrence. Establishing an ongoing partnership with clear boundaries and underpinned by data analysis will encourage dedication and provide the basis for better decision-making through greater mutual understanding.
Having the correct links and the necessary technology is essential for the successful establishment and maintenance of this partnership. Without one or more of these three components, it would be impossible to create an effective big data outsourcing strategy, which would in turn reduce the ability to make informed decisions quickly.
To Alter The Tempo
If you are looking to incorporate big data into your outsourcing strategy, simply finding a vendor that employs a big data solution is not enough. To ensure successful outcomes, it is essential to become more actively involved in the process. By outsourcing your activities through a big data method, the quality of the outputs can be significantly enhanced, even if you are primarily focusing on your core tasks.
It is essential to consider the possibilities beyond the traditional solutions in order to unlock the full potential of outsourcing. In today’s digital age, this requires the implementation of a data-driven strategy that provides greater insight into the outsourcing process and helps to ensure optimal results. Adopting this approach will give you the visibility you need to make informed decisions and increase the likelihood of achieving your desired outcomes.