Working with Outsourced Suppliers

Communication and Clear Expectations are Key

Clear communication is key.

© iStockphoto

More and more companies are assigning people to roles in outsourcing management; and whether you work with an offshore supplier for IT technical support or a company closer to home for payroll and accounts receivable, outsourcing is a growing trend.

The leading motivation for outsourcing is cost reduction.

However, there are other advantages, including more efficient use of resources, improving service, and the ability to work with true experts in non-core business operations.

Regardless of why you're using an outsourced supplier, managing the ongoing relationship with that supplier is crucial. From the moment the contract is signed, you want to make sure your organization maximizes its benefits.

So, how do you best manage an existing outsourcing contract? How can you build a strong relationship that protects your company from unnecessary disagreements and conflict? And how do you avoid wasting valuable time and resources – and, perhaps, avoid losing some of the benefits of the outsourcing arrangement?

This article identifies some tactics to help you work toward a healthy relationship with your outsourcing partners.

For explanations of common outsourcing terms, see Words Used in... Outsourcing  .

Understand the Contract Details

The contract with your supplier is an essential reference that allows both parties to be clear about their obligations. So it's important that you're completely familiar with details it should cover such as:

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