Many businesses chose to outsource some of their functions to account for more time and effort spent on their core function. However, this can be intimidating when you outsource overseas. Whilst the costs are cheaper, there are definitely considerations with their reliability and language competency. However, a good outsourcing partnership can allow your business to flourish, and if the outsourcer specialises in one key area, they are likely to have greater expertise in that function than someone with basic knowledge from the main headquarters. Thus, with a lot of pros and cons, here are our top things to consider when outsourcing internationally.
By outsourcing payroll, IT or other non-core functions, the business can save money in removing the need to hire experts in house that would cost much more than the outsourcing. For these functions that are more straightforward in their processes, it is more beneficial to outsource. Their expertise, equipment and software are already covered, which further reduces the potential costs you would incur by taking care of the function yourself. Since they are only focusing on one area, there is a greater likelihood that the function will be more thorough and completed faster. However, it is essential to consider the quality of work when it is outsourced overseas, such as the language and quality standard differences.
When outsourcing overseas, there are a few communication issues to address. Firstly, will there be any language barriers that will slow down the process? If you cannot understand your outsourced employees, it will be hard to express what you want and solve any issues that arise. Another location factor affecting communication is time differences; will they be contactable during your business hours? Most likely, there will be a delay in replies due to opposite working hours. Moreover, there are increases in technological communication software that assists the outsourcing, such as project management applications like Hubstaff or ClickUp, as well as Google Docs and Whatsapp for instant responses. So perhaps, these issues are not as big as they once were, and are workable via these communication applications.
With the different countries involved, it can be hard to manage the conversions and payments in foreign currencies. You may need to consider this great guide from Westpac so you can receive payment in multiple currencies. This can save you money in deciding when the money coverts into another currency based on the exchange rate. This makes the swap over easier and more efficient for you if you outsource overseas.
There needs to be a trustworthy relationship between your business and the outsourcing company. When there is a trust present that the work will be completed to a high quality and on time without direct supervision from the main business, an outsourcing relationship will work. A business reputation remains important, but without results from this outsourcing, the business may be at risk of customers switching. It may be worth using an outsourcing company that someone you know has experience with, or that you have visited before to check that the quality level is up to your standards before it is too late.
When more companies are involved in your private business documents, safeguards need to be implemented. The cybersecurity level should be even better than your own to ensure maximum safety. Your business should aim for the minimum amount of data to give the outsource company access to, and confidentiality contracts should be put in place to ensure the security of your IP.
Reviewing the Work
Whilst you are outsourcing, you should consider having someone available to review the outsourced work. Particularly at the beginning whereby a trustworthy relationship has not fully been established, an in-house employee should go over the work of the outsourcing company and check the quality is up to scratch. You should never outsource something that you do not understand at all, otherwise, you may be taken advantage of and paying for unnecessary or non-beneficial services. So do your research!
Ultimately, there are benefits and drawbacks to international outsourcing. However, there will be fewer worries if you consider these aspects before committing, and develop a plan to deal with them. By doing so, you are likely to develop a better relationship with your outsourcing business, built on communication and quality expectations.