How to Select a Global Outsourcing Partner

Sandesh Joshi, President & Co-founder, Indovance Inc.

How to Select a Global Outsourcing Partner

As CEO, you are charged with maximizing corporate profits. This mandate involves streamlining operations, seizing opportunities, and steering company growth. As markets become increasingly global, companies face the challenges of expanding their product lines and services, changing consumer demands, rapid delivery, and more complicated logistics. Traditionally, there have been two ways to overcome these challenges.

In the captive model, a CEO makes large capital investments in real estate and headcount. New facilities are constructed, more people are hired and trained, additional suppliers are contracted, etc. This approach allows for precise control of the process and results in an increase in assets, but traditionally takes a long time to implement, is very expensive, and there is no guarantee that the investment will prove profitable.

In light of these risks, outsourcing selected processes has become an increasingly attractive choice for many CEOs. Outsourced teams can be tasked to handle repetitive detail work such as pre-assembly, customer-facing departments such as technical support, back-office procedures such as accounting or other data entry, and much more. While cheaper and faster to implement than the captive model, the following are some key attributes to consider in potential outsourcing partners to ensure a successful relationship and best results from investment.

1. Training/Certification

It should be obvious, but make sure your potential outsourcing partner is an expert in your field, with current training, familiarity with the newest guidelines, the most recent software suites, and awareness of any legal considerations.

2. Flexibility

Can your outsourcing partner increase and decrease the number of team members as needed per project? Are they able to handle many different aspects of production? Do they offer specialties you need in order to be able to expand your service offerings? How do their pricing tiers reflect this?

3. Matching Values

This includes ethics and culture. However you label it, it is vital that the work performed by your outsourcing partner is informed by the same corporate values that your customers have come to rely on, with the same commitments to quality, deadlines, etc.

4. Clear Communication

Nothing is more frustrating than having to wait for an answer or update. Make sure that your potential partner will be available when you need them to be, whatever your time zone or work hours. Know the chain of command, the project heads, and all necessary means of contact.

5. Security

With server breaches becoming more common, ask your potential partner what methods they have in place to protect your valuable IP and data. Who will have access to it? Under what circumstances?

By asking these questions, you should be able to quickly narrow the field of potential outsourcing partners to those that are the best fit for your product, your management style, your employees, and your customers.

About the Author

Sandesh Joshi is the president and co-founder of Indovance Inc., one of the leading CAD and drafting outsourcing service providers in the world. Prior to founding this premier outsourcing service, Sandesh worked at SolidWorks Corporation as a senior R&D member. He has a bachelor of mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India, and a Master of Science from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC, with a specialization in CAD.