By Ernie Philip, Vice-President, New Business Development, Xerox Services
Outsourcing isn’t a new concept, but in today’s business world, finding a trusted partner can offer a lot more to your business than simply cutting costs.
So why outsource? Typically companies outsource to take advantage of a partner’s scale and lower their operational costs. But it’s more than that: There are many benefits to be had from a trusted partnership, from improving business processes to enabling transformation and developing a roadmap for continuous improvement.
Outsourcing is more than technology. It’s about finding a partner that can help you to transform your business and take you in new, innovative directions
Most companies don’t want to continue to invest in non-core infrastructure to run their business. They want to use the resources they already have to focus on their core strategy — rather than spend those resources on low-value back-office tasks, such as document management.
This is particularly relevant in today’s world of “big data,” where companies have more data than they know what to do with and aren’t able to glean any meaningful insight from it. A partner can help to sort through this data, find meaning and insight, and even provide competitive advantage.
Trying to sort through all of this data on your own can be a monumental task, requiring expertise and resources that may not be available in your IT department. A partner who specializes in document management can help tackle this big data challenge by sorting through documents, extracting relevant information and converting that data into meaningful reports — ones that store managers can actually use in their day-to-day operations.
A partner can also provide a roadmap for continuous improvement, using centralization and automation to improve overall workflow. We’ve found this process can result in up to 30 to 50 per cent savings in labour head count and associated manual processes.
So what should you look for in an outsourcing partner?
• The partner you choose should have extensive industry expertise and intellectual property in the area you are outsourcing. Have they worked with similar companies in similar industries? And what is their continuous improvement infrastructure?
• Stability is another factor to consider. Is the partner financially stable? What is their longevity in the business? Do they have a proven track record?
• Consider whether the partner will be a cultural and ethical fit with your organization. Does the partner do its best for employees in terms of career opportunities, learning and development, and coaching? Is the partner process-driven in its Human Resources processes in terms of employee engagement?
• Ultimately, decide if you want the partner’s DNA in your business. Can they help improve your bottom line and/or your revenue? Do you get excited about the talent you will now have access to in their domain? Do you see the partner being able to continually improve and invest in your business? And, do they share the same values as you when it comes to both the employee and customer experience?
Outsourcing is more than technology. It’s about finding a partner that can help you to transform your business and take you in new, innovative directions. And in today’s world of big data, that’s more important than ever.