Why shared values matter in Outsourcing
Admin is simple, right? Basic, uncomplicated stuff.
Outsourcing your telephone answering service to any old third party will suffice if they can pass on a message.
Ditto with a bookkeeping provider who can put the right numbers into the right places in Sage or Xero.
Or any social media provider who can plaster a few hashtags around and knows the difference between a Post and a Story.
Except, not quite.
Costs may vary. More expensive doesn’t always mean better. Cheapness is not equal to value. The fancier the logo is not always an indication of service done well.
We’re all dazzled by boasts of what amazing assistance companies can provide. Scratch a little deeper, and the difference can be found in the detail that shows up ‘the how’ after ‘the what’.
And if outsourcing is to be at its most effective, it’s important that your provider integrates seamlessly, day in, day out. Not just in the systems they use or the terminology deployed.
It's about a meshing of cultures and values too, an often-overlooked thread in any marriage but one which bridges the gap between a good relationship and one which is truly great.
What is Outsourcing Done Right?
To bring an external provider into your company or organisation presents a grand leap of faith.
Trust is at the heart of the partnership.
The era when, by default, businesses undertook every aspect of the operations by exclusively utilising their own staff members is at an end.
But to cede immediate control of the engine room – the back office – still demands a cultural shift for many, despite the myriad benefits offered.
Like injecting specialist expertise. Reducing costs. Underpinning long-term growth and robustness. All perks of fresh thinking.
At its best, opting for an experienced provider who will carry out the work remotely introduces better processes, removes staff turnover and absentee issues, and contributes to the bottom line.
So many companies now look to hire a remote assistant who will deliver specific functions, often with a 24/7 service.
A virtual PA organising diaries and meetings. Skilled SmartPAs acting as a potent email marketing agency or event management company. Fully-trained and legally-indemnified specialists to whom you can turn for accounting outsourcing.
Technology makes it easy. It’s like having a colleague in the next room.
But is that co-worker the source of positive energy that you appreciate when you log on each day? Or a drag on your spirits and your will to live?
Ideally the former.
Which is where values come in…
Seventy one per cent of consumers, according to a 2020 report from 5W, express a clear preference to buy from brands that align to their values. We demand affiliation: whether it’s purchasing ethically-sourced chocolate, to choosing greener products, to shopping for local gifts rather than generic global brands.
To get the most out of outsourcing, it is two pieces with no visible joins. About seeking out someone who will place their client at the centre of their own story over an agency who views this as an opportunity to regurgitate the same old tale, dusted off for the next one in line.
It requires genuine dedication from the provider, a will to not just go the extra mile but a few metres (or yards) beyond.
Will they advocate for your brand as strongly as they would their own? Do they own your needs and share similar aspirations? Will they be a constant ally with an ease of integration that goes beyond using the same customer relation management software, but also be invested enough to be a critical friend where improvements can be found?
Stating values on a brochure or website is the easy part.
Living and breathing them, through company culture, its people and its services, is how true alignment arrives. The kind that fosters trust and delights customers and employees alike.
It opens up the door to sharing knowledge and development, a worthwhile collaboration with huge benefits unleashed.
Dialogue is constant and transparent. Reporting integral and informed. Benchmarking mirrored. And every success truly shared, in unison.
Admin, done well, isn’t just a task completed or a to-do list crossed off. Seeking a better route to undertaking those critical processes can revolutionise the way we work.
Outsourced to the right partner, where ‘the how’ truly matters, the difference can be enormous.
With values shared, the rewards can be sustainable over time and the potential limitless.