5 Step Plan to Creating Strategic Outsourcing Partnerships Part 1 - TELUS International Europe

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  • 5 Step Plan to Creating Strategic Outsourcing Partnerships Part 1

    Outlined below are the first 3 out of 5 remedial steps we recommend to clients as they identify the symptoms we’ve covered in our articles 8 Signs your Outsourcing Partnership is in Trouble Part 1 and Part 2 in their contact center relationship. These steps are not only designed to assist buyers in realizing value from their current operations, but may also help in situations of complete breakdown of a relationship.

    Step 1: Introspect

    Key activities:

    – Evaluate if the internal organization is set up to enable appropriate service provider behavior

    – Implement appropriate changes in behavior of internal organization that fosters a partnership environment

    Outcome: An internal environment that is conductive for outsourcing

    In a scenario where the service provider is not delivering the expected value, it is important for the buyer to introspect and confirm that they have established a culture of mutual benefit:

    – As a buyer, have you clearly articulated your vision and brand expectations?

    – Have you created an environment that encourages innovation and rewards excellence?

    – Have you constructed a “win-win” commercial contract or are you expecting a partnership from the lowest bidder?

    – Do you collaborate often to create cultural alignment?

    While it is easy to start the blame game and pin responsibility on the service provider when things go wrong, success is a two-way street. If the contact is singularly dictated by finance and procurement objectives and structured and managed as a hands-off, transactional relationship, then partnership expectations are unrealistic.

    Often, the first step to achieve strategic value from your outsourcing relationship is cleaning up the house internally, and setting the groundwork for follow-on dialog to restore confidence. Getting buy-in and commitment from internal stakeholders will be critical to future stages.

    Step 2: Establish open communication

    Key activities

    – Voice concerns to the service provider through healthy and transparent dialog by involving appropriate stakeholders from both sides

    Outcome: Understanding of key concerns driving suboptimal behavior with commitment from both sides to achieve a mutually satisfactory outcome

    If you feel that your internal environment is not the problem it is important to voice your concerns to the service provider through healthy and transparent dialog. Understand the provider’s side of the story as to what is driving suboptimal performance. Ensure that you are involving key stakeholders from both sides and create a collaborative trust-based dialog during these “renegotiations.”

    Step 3: Realign priorities to reset relationship

    Key activities

    – Identify underlying causes preventing a strategic partnership approach to outsourcing

    – Create a plan of action each of these causes with joint accountability and responsibility

    – Create a plan that identifies milestones and check points, and articulates what success looks like

    Outcome: Revised operating parameters that help align priorities and objectives of both parties and address root causes of misalignment

    During this step, it is important to focus on the root cause, and create a plan of action for each of these causes, with a joint accountability and responsibility. Identify owners for each initiative, and the key champions for the program from both sides. The plan of action should clearly identify milestones and check-points, and articulate what success looks like.

    Misalignment on the softer dimensions of core values, culture, and brand expectations is much harder to address, and takes time to resolve (if at all). In these situations, customers may need to evaluate alternate options highlighted in Step 5.

    Stay tuned for Part 2 of the 5 Step Plan to Creating Strategic Outsourcing Partnerships where we will discuss the remaining steps of the strategy.


    Everest Group. “Eight Habits of Highly Ineffective Contact Center Outsourcing Relationships” TELUS InternationalEverest Group. 2012.

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