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Outsourcing views – a checklist to make the most of your provider's site visits

In the wake of the Satyam scandal and recent attacks in Mumbai, India, companies are closely looking to prepare well for any visits to the provider’s site. They want to make sure that they are using their time and money as efficiently and effectively as possible.
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If not organized properly, a visit to the provider’s site can be just a “visit” rather than a well-planned and implemented data collection task. Your visiting team should strive to make it a form of pre-selection for pre-care and signing the contract. To make the trip more rewarding, there are several questions your team needs to answer in advance before booking flights and setting up logistics services with service providers to make site visits more efficient. Here is a checklist to start with:

  • Investing: Set your budget The first arrangement of business is to determine the amount that you wish to invest for the provider’s site visits. This will determine the place you will be visiting (locally or at a distance) and the number of people your company (and consulting firm) will attend. For example, U.S.-based companies can average an average of $ 8,000 for business class travel per person to India. In addition, other expenses include accommodation, local road transport, food, advice, passport, work visa, and medical preparation.
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    Hint: Always overestimate your expenses because you may need to adjust your schedule and extend your flight.
  • Team involvement: choose to visit the participants The chief executive officer of the project must determine who needs to participate. Representatives should include executives from outsourced positions (for example, Deputy Head of Infrastructure), career topic experts (for example, senior manager of the help desk) and business executives who will receive services that are outsourced (E.g., vice president of business operations). Keep in mind that the more you attend, the more employees will be out of the office for a long period of time (a minimum of one week depending on the number of service providers visited and the location of the site).
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    Hint: Often times, employees who have been affected by the decision to outsource travel may be reluctant, especially abroad because they may see this as a major commitment and a last step towards a change in the way they work. The CEO needs to encourage those to participate so that they can come to ask the right questions and see what the service providers can offer.
  • Purpose: to define the objectives of the visit – Your team needs to determine the purpose of these visits. The site visit team must establish at least three primary goals. This will push your entire agenda forward.
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    Hint: You don’t have a small selection group that determines the goals of the visit. Broaden your post so everyone has the result. Otherwise, for the rest of the team, it is “their visit”, not “our visit.”
  • Timeframe: Schedule the visit – Once you have completed the goals of your visit, specify when you will visit the site based on how your bidding process is organized. In some cases, customers want to visit all the service providers who respond to the RFP. In other cases, the client wants to visit only those who are two or three finalists.
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    Hint: Make sure you understand if there are any national or religious holidays that may affect your trip. Do not assume that your service providers will accommodate you at any time.
  • Locations: Specify locations to visit Each provider has at least one display site that he wants you to visit. To use your time effectively, your resource advisor must contact each applicant candidate and request a list of provider-specific Centers of Excellence (COE) for the specific industry and work that your company seeks to outsource. Once armed with this information, it’s easy to decide which sites to visit as primary and secondary candidates. The provider’s goal is to get as much time as possible in front of their clients. The theory is that the more time they have, the less time available to other providers. As mentioned earlier, these visits are costly, so you want to increase your revenue by visiting the appropriate site (s).

    Hint: To keep your costs in line, you may need to compromise and visit a non-COE provider site. These are some of the trade-offs that you will need to make to keep your expenses in line as you go through the selection process.

  • Planning, agenda and logistics: sooner rather than later – Planning as far as possible will reduce your costs (better prices on flights) and allow you time to obtain your travel documents (for example, service provider invitation letters, passports and work visas) and health requirements (such as snapshots and prescriptions), coverage Medical insurance) in order. Check with your company’s travel office early in the process to obtain the correct documentation required for the country (s) you are visiting. Coordinating business visas can be a waste of time. On-site logistics are essential for managing time effectively and achieving your visit goals. Your team must define a “visit agenda” based on the goals of your visit. This will include a daily logistical plan and specific questions for each provider.

    Hint: Check your company’s medical insurance coverage abroad. Ask if your policy applies abroad and if it covers emergency expenses such as medical evacuation. If not, consider supplemental insurance.

  • Evaluation: assessing the capacity of caregivers and culture – After each interactive session, service providers should be evaluated across three basic parameters:
    Persons – Is there a match between the cultures of our company? Can we work with this team?
    Processing Will they benefit from standard processes in industry effectively for our project? Will we have to change our methods to adapt to the provider’s process?
    Technique What technology does the project provide to the project, which will give us a competitive advantage in the market?

    Create evaluation criteria and ensure that they define the goals of your visit and every item on your agenda. This step cannot be underestimated.

    Hint: Each provider must be objectively registered after each visit and discussed in a daily debriefing session. It is best to capture this information while it is still fresh in the minds of the visitors.

  • Travel guarantees: Register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your country – It is recommended that you register with your Ministry of Foreign Affairs so that they can assist you better in emergency situations. This will help them contact you if there is a family emergency in the United States, or if there is a crisis you are traveling to. According to the Privacy Act, information about your well-being and whereabouts will not be released to others without your explicit permission.

    Hint: Leave copies of the itinerary, passport and visa page with family or friends so that they can contact you in the event of an emergency at home. Site visits are provided by only one component in the overall decision-making process. Whether you are a long or short traveler to visit a provider’s website, there are significant costs for time and money. The old saying, “What you put in something is directly related to what you get from it” is certainly true with provider site visits. When you make it right, the investment you make now will give you a good return on investment in the years to come.

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