“The question is, how do you know when to hire internally versus outsource, and how to plan for that. So most people who aren’t doing it, don’t think they’re ready. I haven’t met someone who’s not [outsourcing] who says I am ready right now. So there’s always a feeling of risk and uncertainty associated with it. And so I think, if there’s a business reason to do it, it’s never too early to get started.
But what’s important is to de-risk it and be careful to do it strategically. So find an entry into it, that’s in a lower risk category of support or business or a small share, and then let it grow as the outsource competency is demonstrated. So that’s kind of the way our algorithms work at ArenaCX, for example, is you can start small. If that BPO proves itself relative to others in the network, then it can earn more share and grow into it.
I would say, starting safely is a smart way to do it. And grow only as you achieve competency. But don’t think that you’re too immature as a business to do it. Most companies start before their training is fully documented before they have the kind of robust infrastructure that they might want. And oftentimes, it’s the outsourced service provider that can be utilized as a deliverer of best practices in the first place. So instead of thinking of them as a staffing agency for you, that’s doing everything according to your dictates, think of them as a true partner that wants to sit on the same side of the table with you roll up the sleeves together, and collectively solve problems.
And these companies do business with dozens of other companies and can bring ideas to the table as well. And that’s what they specialize in, so you can benefit from that along the way.
As far as planning for it, there’s a lot of factors involved. So your your demand growth matters, the volatility of your demand would matter. Timing it, you probably wouldn’t want to outsource the day before a pretty new product launch. Or a very volatile period in terms of demand uncertainty, and so start when it’s a smart time and your product and customer lifecycle or company lifecycle as you mature.
And have an exit plan. It’s possible to make a false start and I’ve met some companies who would say, I’ll never do that again. They did an RFP they picked one company put all their eggs in one basket and got burned because the PowerPoint was so good. They were persuaded by it. And then they learned it wasn’t the right fit. And so there are literally 1000s of outsource providers. Finding the right fit one does, in fact matter and being resilient and agile to be able to adapt if you realize you’ve made a misstep, rather than giving up on outsourcing. Using agility as part of your outsourcing strategy matters as well.“