Outsourcing comprehends all those tasks that either you don’t want to or it just doesn’t make sense that you are the one doing.
WSIWorld is a Digital Marketing Agency Franchise Network launched back in 1995 and currently with hundreds of offices in more than 80 countries, that provides services ranging from on-line lead generation to consulting and building Websites plus online Marketing, so basically supporting all the scope of establishing an on-line presence.
Besides having internal own resources, over years of working with hundreds of suppliers the company has established the “e-marketplace”, which is a private pool of trustworthy suppliers whom to outsource needed services with a mitigated risk of non-compliance, delays or headaches.
Justin explains that the highest value WSIWorld delivers to its clients consists of strategic and operational expert consulting whereas a task such as effectively building the Website for that client (although important and requiring expertise) is better off being outsourced to a skillful expert provider than performed internally by WSIWorld own resources.
Outsourcing is not just about direct cost reduction, it needs to be about assuring quality and expertise while buying it to a 3rd party at a cost that is lower than if doing it ourselves.
Which are your geographies of election?
WSIWorld has providers all over the world and price although being a relevant one, it’s not the leading decision making factor. Justin explains that, in some cases such as consulting (where initially one should invest time and effort in building rapport with the client) or creative work, proximity to market is key as in other cases (where more “standard” work is involved) it may be just as effective while much cheaper to hire from an offshore geography.
Having the right people by your side, gives you leverage. Like Henry Ford stated many years ago, while being provoked by lawyers over a litigation process: “I do not need to know that because if I need to answer it, I have an army of Ph.D. experts one phone call away”.
How does the franchise promote and support brand posture?
WSIWorld has spent years developing work processes that prevent new people who are coming onboard from running into past mistakes and that is conveyed via several weeks’ worth (on-site as well as remote) training supported by extensive and detailed documentation. Additionally, the entire franchise is retrofit by process improvements from the several offices.
When you face a client need, asking the right questions helps both you and client to save money. A clear definition of WHAT is to be done enables you to assertively budget your effort and therefore present a tailor-made price, while if neither you nor your clients have clearly defined goals and expectations, that may either mean they will end up facing a humongous price tag or you will end up running into financial losses in delivering the project.
1st and foremost one needs to understand the project (What is it about) by asking all the relevant questions (and that accounts for building rapport, because the client will perceive that you are an expert), document everything in detail (no forgotten topics).
2nd clearly define required portfolio elements (Which technology and skillset will have to be applied to accomplish posed requirements/ goals) and there are likely to be surprised, like 3rd party integration needs which are potentially painful topics, because you will be depending on a 3rd party demonstrating a supportive attitude.
3rd give constructive feedback both to your client as well as to your provider.
Any “Horror Story” coming to your mind?
For one; people wanting to implement something but not understanding the full scope involved. Another potential disaster consists of “assumptions”; when you assume that something will happen and not bother to ask the question (no matter how basic it may seem), you can run into very bad surprises involving unexpected costs.
Justin uses a unique expression to qualify the attitude one should undertake: “micro-sourcing”, a mix of micro-assessment while outsourcing. In his own words “a graphic designer is not just a graphic designer, some are experts in logos, while others in book covers or the business component of creating a banner”, so in all specialties, there is no single “one fits all” expert.
So, although it creates a heavier structure to manage, Justin strongly advocates creating a team of micro-experts who can tackle appropriately the several aspects of a given project.
Avoiding such mistakes while becoming a provider of excellence implies to document everything (mainly when you do it for the first time); not getting trapped in the details (you love design, yeah … outsource it) and hiring a great project manager who will make sure things are properly tracked and moving forward.
The vital role played by documentation is that if you don’t, you won’t have any grounds to based your position on.
The tough call.
At this point we have the “traditional” role play tough call simulation, with an interesting dispute clarification over “assumptions” that impact the project budget.