Offshoring is starting to look appealing to a lot of businesses. Apart from the obvious cost savings accruing from it, it provides companies with benefits such as the following:
- Increasing operational efficiency
- Giving access to diverse skill sets that are otherwise unavailable in house
- Adding more value to the onshore team
- Promoting business growth
However, offshoring does come with risks and challenges. Here are some that you need to keep in mind:
While it is easy to offshore these days, it isn’t always a recipe for success. Offshoring will not magically enhance efficiency and improve a firm’s capacity. It requires careful planning and strategy. Companies will need the support of their local team members and executives and their commitment to the offshoring business model. Onshore team members will need to be informed of the role they are going to play in the offshoring strategy. In order to prevent any miscommunication, the technology and processes that will be used in offshoring efforts need to be mapped out clearly for the onshore team. It is a good idea to retain quality control with the onshore team initially, before delegating the same to offshore teams, because it takes time to fully understand and comply with the same standards.
One of the benefits of offshoring is having access to diverse skill sets across different countries. These diverse skill sets have the potential to contribute to a better product, better localization, and better troubleshooting. However, when you work with a multinational team, you are bound to face challenges with regard to culture and language. Language barriers can negatively affect a company’s offshoring strategy. Train your onshore teams with cultural training programs to bring them up to speed with offshore teams. Ensure that your interview processes for offshoring teams are detailed and plan to have periodic video conference calls in order to build better cohesiveness with your onshore team. You need to have an approach that is free of any negative preconceptions regarding offshore talent.
Burnout can hit anyone, both onshore and offshore. Identifying it beforehand and addressing it can bring down employee turnover rate. Those employees that are given monotonous, repetitive administrative tasks may experience burnout and eventually leave. A proactive measure you can take is to routinely rotate people across tasks and processes. High employee engagement will definitely help. Some members of your offshore team will be capable of higher-level work that will help them learn and develop new skills. Nurture these people, because, at the end of the day, most employees want to progress in their careers in the shortest period of time. If you provide an environment where career growth is possible, you minimize the risks of burnout.
Getting offshoring to work for you requires careful planning, time, and effort. You must train your onshore team to be able to handle offshore teams. In some cases, regular site visits between the two teams will promote mutual understanding leading to better synergy. There are costs to be incurred in such an exchange but it will significantly enhance your offshoring strategy.
When offshoring is done right, you can reap tremendous benefits from it. It can improve productivity, business growth, efficiency, and profits.