5 Step Plan to Creating Strategic Outsourcing Partnerships Part 2 - TELUS International Europe

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  • 5 Step Plan to Creating Strategic Outsourcing Partnerships Part 2

    In our previous article on the topic “5 step plan to creating strategic outsourcing partnerships” we touched upon the first 3 of the 5 steps in the strategy. To remind you these steps were:

    – Introspect – where you evaluate and implement appropriate changes in behavior of internal organization that fosters a partnership environment;

    – Establish open communication – where you voice concerns to the service provider through healthy and transparent dialog by involving appropriate stakeholders from both sides;

    – Realign priorities to reset relationship – where you create a plan that identifies milestones and check points, and articulates what success looks like;

    For more details on the first 3 steps please review the article here

    Now let’s continue with the remaining 2 steps of the strategic plan that would help you realize greater value from your current outsourcing partnership.

    Step 4: Evaluate progress along stated goals

    Key activities:

    – Ensure that the initiative retains executive and track progress along the defined plan

    – Adjust operating parameters as appropriate in run-time

    – Ensure robust governance that creates ongoing collaboration and communication

    Outcome: A mutually beneficial strategic partnership

    While the previous steps represent the “planning and reset” phase, it is Step 4 where it all comes together and it can be determined whether or not the changes will work. Ensure that this initiative retains priority and attention and track progress along the defined plan. Adjustments to the plan may be required as you go along, but tracking progress and celebrating success will be critical to creating the desired outcome from the process.

    Even when steady-state is achieved (i.e., the stakeholders believe that the relationship is delivering the desired value), it is important to ensure a robust governance mechanism that creates ongoing collaboration and communication to prevent a relapse.

    Step 5: Let go when it’s not too late

    Key activities

    – Implement a plan of action to terminate the relationship if the service provider is unlikely to meet customer experience objectives despite remedial action

    – Identify sourcing approach that rebalances the portfolio (e.g. add new provider or distribute scope across incumbents)

    Outcome: Potential to transform a tactical relationship to a strategic partnership

    As indicated earlier, some issues are easy to fix whereas others, related to culture and values, are not easily addressable. In these cases, it is important to know when to cut losses and decide to let go.

    The contact center outsourcing market is unique vis-à-vis other BPO segments because the performance of the service provider can have a direct impact on company revenue. While operational issues can be remedied, misalignment in core values, gaps in understanding of the brand identity and the inability of a provider to adapt to changes in the buyer’s customer experience strategy are very difficult to resolve. In these situations, it may be prudent to part ways.

    In order to be fair, it is important to give the relationship a chance and go through the preceding four steps, but knowing when to cut losses is important. In some cases it is not prudent to wait till the conclusion of Step 4 to initiate this process because the misalignment becomes very evident in the way the service provider engages in the Steps 2 and 3.

    While this approach is painful and costly (increases costs due to transitions in the short-term), the change can yield disproportionate longer-term rewards if your new strategy allows you to successfully enhance customer experience.

    Check out all the articles from the series of managing strategic outsourcing partnerships:

    8 Signs Your Outsourcing Partnership is in Trouble Part 1

    8 Signs Your Outsourcing Partnership is in Trouble Part 2


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

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