Are you looking at an offshore team but not sure where to start? With the budget period looming, now is a very good time to start considering how an offshore team can add value to your business.
As global competition rises and the pressure for new business increases, enhancing your capabilities by adding offshore team members is an excellent option.
However, given the significant impacts an offshore team might have, getting the planning process started early is critical.
Researching providers, assessing what tasks and functions could be offshored understanding the impacts on local employees and ultimately assessing the change in your business is important.
To help you through this, we have developed some useful recommendations on how you can prepare a business case for offshoring for your business.
We’ll be covering:
- Cost implications
- Change management implications
- Timing and duration
- Technology requirements
- Human resources
At the end of this useful post, you’ll be able to prepare a document which can be presented to decision-makers on how an offshore team can work for your business.
Your Offshore Team
Offshoring is a completely different concept to outsourcing as you have complete control over who works for you and how they work for you. It is important that you make this clear; outsourcing is engaging a provider in managing your offshore team while true offshoring is hiring an offshore workforce and managing them yourself; they’re simply sitting in a serviced workplace.
You will be investing time in developing and training your offshore team like you would your local team.
If properly implemented, they become long-term assets that are loyal to your business.
Roles that can be offshored can start at low-level functions that will help free up space for your local team. As you ease yourself into the overall process, higher, mid-level roles can also be sent offshore.
But where can you find team members to fill these roles? It is common to hear that countries like India, Malaysia and Vietnam are your best options to look for employees. Diversify has long considered The Philippines – and Metro Manila in particular – as the best location for your offshoring needs.
You have access to a deep talent pool and thanks to their 94% English literacy rate, communicating with Filipinos becomes much easier. With about 400,000 graduates a year, many Filipinos hold degrees in specialised areas, ranging from business administration to marketing and communications, all of whom would be a perfect fit to join your team.
It’s likely that when you hear about offshoring, it equates to massive savings. Not only that, you can expand your team without increasing overheads. When your workforce grows, so do fixed costs such as rent, IT and utilities. You will also spend time training and managing requirements, making it a costly exercise.
On average, the total cost in the Philippines is 75 – 80% less than the total cost in Australia. This already factors in rent, electricity, internet, salary, workers’ compensation, HR and IT support and others. Office rentals are also about a third of what they are in Australia.
An offshore services provider looks after everything. All you have to worry about is keeping your offshore employee busy.
Lower barriers to entry and more service providers have made it easier to implement offshore teams. If you are considering offshore workforces as part of your organisational strategy for this coming budget period, your competitors are most likely doing it.
Don’t fall behind.
Implementing your Offshore Team
Transition is always a point of concern in any workplace. Resistance from local team members is expected, especially when functions are sent offshore. Implementing and executing a robust and transparent change management strategy with communication at the core is essential.
Failure to communicate can impact on the potential success of your program and result in negative sentiment from your local team members. This is not good for the business internally and externally; minimising any reputational harm should be at the core of your change management strategy.
Take time to consider all of the people that will be impacted by your potential decision to offshore.
- How will local team members be affected?
- What will they say?
- What will our clients say?
- How do we communicate the rationale behind our decision to offshore?
It’s critical to review all outcomes and ensure all stakeholders are considered when designing a communications and change management program. Once finalised, be consistent and transparent in your communications approach and answer questions directly.
Your selected offshore services provider will be able to guide you through this critical phase of implementation.
Technology in Offshoring
As digital communication barriers continue to be broken down, and more and more businesses are taking advantage of cloud services to reduce their reliance on physical IT infrastructure, engaging cost-effective and highly-skilled offshore workforces has never been easier!
In many cases, you’ll find that your business is already offshore ready! If you’re using Skype, Lync, Trello, Asana or any other cloud-based communication and project management tools, your business is already ready to take advantage of offshore workers.
Engaging with workers is easily achieved with a simple webcam and headset. It’s almost like they’re in the room with you! Leveraging these cloud-based technologies means that infrastructure costs and barriers to engaging with your team members are incredibly low!
An experienced offshore solutions provider will be able to assess your readiness for an offshore team and also assist you in navigating the infrastructure landscape. They’ll have in-house IT teams that will be able to get the connections you need to manage your teams business right.
However, it is critical your business considers the location for your team very carefully. This could impact the speed of your connection and ultimately, the success of your program. Choosing well established areas like Metro Manila will mean you have greater access to reliable infrastructure. Learn more about what makes Metro Manila such a good location for you offshore team here.
Assimilating Your Teams
Working with an offshore team means getting them better acquainted with your office culture and local team. With the proper orientation, both your local and offshore teams can become more formally acquainted and aware of distinct cultural differences to avoid misunderstandings.
We touched on earlier the high English literacy rate in the Philippines. This is partly due to the American colonisation in the early 20th century, which also shaped western influences in their culture. This, coupled with cultural similarities to Australia, makes it easier to assimilate a team from the Philippines than say, an offshore team based in India or Malaysia.
Building a successful team does mean engaging with them frequently and treating them like an extension of your local workforce. You must bring them into the fold. This is done via regular catch-ups and communication pieces as well as trying to build a sense of inclusion. The most successful offshore teams are the ones that do become extensions of the local workforce.
When looking at the benefits of offshoring, some companies are tempted to let their new team handle a bulk of functions. They do this in order to free up more local opportunities. Plenty is expected from an offshore team because of the skills they bring to the table. However, if expectations are raised too high, it will impact the company negatively.
To achieve the outcomes you have set for your company, be aware of what your offshore team can feasibly do. This includes identifying potential risks that may arise via a detailed process mapping exercise. During this critical phase, your offshore solutions provider will work with you to map out all of the processes that will be handled by your offshore team members.
Managing expectations is seen as an easy task, but it is an often overlooked one that potentially can lead to more problems. Tempered expectations not only become beneficial for the company but also further develop the relationship with your offshore team.
Finding the Right Provider
Diversify is ready to help you get started with rolling out an offshoring strategy with a top-notch team. Get in touch with us today to take that next step into making your business ready for the global stage.
Still want to learn more about offshoring? Sign up today for our ongoing webinar series The Art of Offshoring to get the lowdown on what offshoring does for your business. Learn how to leverage your team properly and see why it is important to onboard them properly.