Digital Print Management has been a long term advocate of outsourcing.
But, surprisingly very few companies experience the real benefits of outsourcing because of failure in communication.
All too often relationships along with the contracts fail to meet the expectations of the customer.
Digital Print Management have often succeeded in winning contract work because of failure by the last incumbent.
Great for us but not a good advertisement for the industry in general.
What do I mean?
The three main reasons outsourcing fails are:-
The company wanting to outsource has no process for specifying the work to be done.
Poor project management from the provider and the company outsourcing
No metrics or KPI’s for measuring success
Unless you can specify and understand what you want as the party wanting to outsource how can you possibly expect the supplier to deliver your expectations?
You don’t need a detailed document that reads like War and Peace to make outsourcing successful but you do need to know what you expect to receive from the outsourcing process.
The worse scenario is the company decides to outsource a process and hires consultants to do the work for them assuming they know better than the organisation what is required and wasting money in the process.
Tell us what you need.
We can do anything, just tell us what you need.
I’ve sat in many meetings talking with clients understanding what they are looking and hoping for when they are considering outsourcing.
Start with a blank sheet of paper, if you could have anything you wanted what would it be?
Eh voila, there it is, all the information you need to put together a specification.
The responsibility is on the shoulders of the company looking to outsource the business process.
But, the most important and missing piece is how do YOU want your customers to feel when they experience the process you’ve outsourced.
In other words it is your customer or the end user who will have the real benefit, experience or engagement with the business process you’ve outsourced not solely the organisation.
Outsourcing fails because the agreement is not properly structured, doesn’t take advantage of the outsource providers best practices, creativity and innovation.
It does not define the scope and service levels that meet your needs and there is no communication.
When it is well planned, outsourcing relationships provide and deliver substantial benefits to an organisation and not solely cost savings.
WARNING: THIS BLOG COMES WITH A HEALTH WARNING… IT’S A TAD LONG. BUT YOU’LL SEE WHY AT THE END.
Here we are the last day of 2012 and what a year its been. It only seemed like yesterday that I sat at this very desk and typed my epilogue for 2011.
The beginning of the year heralded great expectations and even the economy looked like it was digging its way out of the hole it had dug itself into.
Sadly it didn’t happen and the UK along with the rest of Europe continues to stay in the quagmire.
The onset of New Years Eve can be a time of reflection as we consider the year that has gone before.
With all the ups and downs of the year you could excuse yourself for feeling a little disillusioned at the prospect of 2013.
New Year’s Resolutions?
If you are reading this then I’ve succeeded in holding my audiences’ interest? More importantly we survived the end of the world which was suppose to have occurred on 21st December.
As I stepped on to the plane with my family to travel back from Hamburg on the late afternoon of the 21st, I would be lying if I didn’t experience a little trepidation although its only an hour’s flight back to Luton.
I held my breath as we came into land and the passenger sitting next to me actually “prayed”as he muttered something in german under his breath I couldn’t help but think he knew something we didn’t?
The maya civilisation predicted the end of the world? They didn’t of course. It is the western interpretation of an apocalyptic ending. The maya civilisation predicted that December 21st this year simply marked the start of a new calendar.
“Mayan refers to the indigenous peoples of South-East Mexico, Central America notably Guatelmala. Mayan was actually spoken by the maya people and the maya calendar was used by the mayan civilisation”.
For the Mayan people 21st December represents a joyous event, not an apocalyptic event. What is coming is the end of a calendar and the beginning of a new one.
Are we facing another seismic shift both economically and personally? Isn’t the start of any new year synonymous with change?
Isn’t that indicative of a New Year – new year’s resolutions, a new chapter, new beginnings, changes, planning and a time to be reflective on what we’ve learn’t from the year just past.
Lets reflect on what a great year 2012 has been.
We had the 2012 London Olympic Games to look forward to. The country was at last unified in one common goal and that was achieving olympic success and putting London and the UK firmly on the map. It was sixteen days of amazing sporting finesse and talent exhibited at the greatest show on earth.
Who can forget that one weekend in August! I still get goose bumps thinking about it even now!
Digital Print Management advises and guides companies on the importance of how to go about outsourcing… just about anything so we’ve taken the best of the year’s blogs and stuck them here as a reminder of what were the best and most useful to you our audience and customer and we thank you for reading and contributing.
November – really exciting month firstly because its getting close to Christmas so we in the office start to feel a tad christmassy but we spent some time on payroll outsourcing and my favourite data cleansing and what this means if you do it right.
With the business landscape having changed so radically over the last 20+ years I found researching this blog particularly relevant what’s in a business relationship? Do you feel the same way?
Next to my family I love Formula 1 Motor Racing so I knocked this one out after Sebastian Vettel won his third consecutive world championship. The importance of teamwork and why its integral to any business.
If you’ve got to the bottom of this blog without faltering then a big T-H-A-N-K-Y-O-U for reading, for liking us, following us and connecting with us in 2012.
My final note for the year:
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts” (Winston Churchill)
Happy New Year from all of us at Digital Print Management.
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I ‘m a strong advocate of the benefits that can be enjoyed by outsourcing a component of your business whether its print, payroll, billing I.T or customer services to the outsourcing of a complete department of an organisation as long as it’s a strategic fit for the company and there is utmost transparency in the way an organisation manages the process.
Traditionally when people think of outsourcing they associate it with big corporations who have the infrastructure and the resource to benefit from a large scale re-deployment of one of their business components.
But this is not the only way that outsourcing can be used effectively. Small to medium businesses can use outsourcing to their advantage. Sections 382 and 465 of the Companies Act 2006 define an SME that has a turnover of not more than £6.5 million, a balance sheet of not more than £3.26 million and 50 employees; a medium sized company with a turnover of not more than £25.9 million, a balance sheet of £12.9 million and 250 employees.
I’ve talked about the benefits of outsourcing in the past with particular reference to payroll and billing here!
The same principles can be levied for any business component you are considering.
6 great tips on why companies should outsource
Here are 6 things to consider when outsourcing:
What business aspects are you struggling with? Where can your company outsource to make cost savings and streamline the organisation processes for example it might be marketing, web design, payroll printing, invoice processing/printing. All of which are important to a company but are time consuming and manually intensive.
Outsource as much as you can but not the core elements of your business after all that was the main reason the business was established unless it’s some manufacturing element that you are considering.
Dont be afraid to use the same company for many different things the more services that an outsource provider does for your business in relation to outsourcing the more you are likely to see volume savings. In the same way you see in the supermarket buy two get the second for free. If you are looking to automate your accounts systems such as AR/AP or outsource your invoice processing/printing make sure the provider can manage the distribution element for example you may print, mail and electronically send your invoices so make sure that the company you choose can manage this process for you and more importantly they know what they are talking about and can demonstrate success criteria.
Investigate the market place and evaluate who you think best accommodates your requirements. Don’t think short term, think medium term at least otherwise if you get it wrong it might be painful to get of and you may well end up by repeating the exercise again six months down the road.
Don’t be swayed by the cheapest option or choose on price alone if you do you will shoot yourself in the foot. There isn’t such a thing as a free lunch! When you see something cheap what’s the first thing that springs to mind “what’s wrong with it?” or “that sounds cheap”! “What does everyone hope for but rarely gets? A great deal?” You get what you pay for and often a company that offers a service cheaply is trying to win your business with a view to a serious price hike three months later or they haven’t understood your requirements. In which case you will find yourself in trouble and the cheaper service could have a detrimental effect on your business. Can you afford for that to happen?
Finally, know what area or business function of the business do you want to outsource? Why do you want to outsource? Be realistic about your expectations. Set a time limit to achieve your objective and most importantly work with a company that has the expertise and knowledge and can offer sound, impartial advice!
Digital Print Management are leading advisors in the outsourcing process. We are committed to ensuring our customers get the right solutions for their business which in turn results in cost and efficiency gains.
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I have often been asked the following questions when it comes to outsourcing:
Should I outsource or should I keep it in-house?
Is there a process or a mechanism to help me determine how I go about this process?
When or at what point should I view outsourcing as an achievable and realistic option for my business?
The following principles can be attributed to almost any business function that you are considering outsourcing from payroll, the Accounting function, corporate print to HR.
What is outsourcing?
A good place to start is to understand what the process of outsourcing is.
Outsourcing is the contracting out of a specific task such as payroll, invoice processing, billing, credit management to a third party provider often implemented as a cost saving measure for tasks that a company requires but is now finding onerous and time consuming to manage in-house.
SME’s to large companies turn to outsourcing to cut costs and streamline their operations.
What are the key points to bear in mind when you are considering the need to outsource some or all of a business process(s).
Key Points to Consider Before You Outsource?
Where are you in the outsourcing process? What does the outsourcing process conjure up in the minds of senior management? And what are the tangible benefits that can be derived from outsourcing?
What is your level of commitment to the process? i.e. Is it a fundamental part of your business plan to relinquish some if not all of a business function? How serious are you about outsourcing as a mechanism to streamline some of your business processes?
Have you decided how much time you are going to put aside to establish this as a project and move it forward?
Outsourcing some of your business processes can save you time and money!
Who or what person will “champion” the process and will take responsibility for steering the project to its conclusion? By this I mean having the authority to make the decision outright for your organisation to procure an outsource partner.
Have you determined what areas of the business might benefit from being removed to an external outsource partner?
What impact is the process (you are reviewing) currently having on your business? In other words is the business function now taking too much time away from your core business objective?
Is it costing or adding too much to your bottom line?
Is the process too manual intensive? Is it not cost effective to make the investment to automate or mechanise the function in-house?
How many people are involved in the process? In other words has the function outgrown that of the organisation to a point whereby externalising this particular business process is a realistic alternative?
Are you able to quantify the time taken to get payroll/invoice processing complete and on time?
Can you quantify the cost of doing it in-house?
Is cost the main factor in considering outsourcing? What I mean is, are you basing your decision to outsource purely in terms of what it is costing you to do it in house? Are there other factors that might influence your desire to outsource?
Coming Next: The Benefits of Outsourcing for Your Business.
Do you have any questions you’d like us to answer?
Any anecdotes or experiences you’ve had with outsourcing that you can share?
If so please leave a comment we’d love to hear from you and we will feature your question in one of our up and coming articles!
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