Outsourcing can provide many opportunities for organisations, but it requires thought and planning. Alan Long provides some pointers to getting it right
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Outsourcing enables organisations to focus on their business by using the specialist expertise of outside business for matters such as repairs and maintenance, as well as IT, asset management and health and safety. It has the added benefit of spreading the risk.
Whether it provides cost savings depends on your baseline, what services you are looking to outsource, to whom you are outsourcing and your timescales. Real cost savings come in the longer term.
Consider early on what your outsourcing goals are, both in the shorter and longer term. Is the company you are outsourcing to going to add value to your own expertise?
Make sure the cultural fit is right. Sometimes an organisation that on paper may seem right, may have a very different working culture to your own, which can be a hindrance in the longer term.
Spend time with the people you are going to be outsourcing to.
There are a range of different models that you can choose from when it comes to outsourcing, and it’s important to find the one that’s right for you, whether that’s a joint venture, outsourcing everything or just part, or a managed service.
Consider what services you want to outsource: do you want to hand everything over, or work with one contractor or several, which can help with risk management.
It is really important to be clear about governance, once you have found the right outsourcing partner.
Establish how the contract is going to be managed by setting long and short-term goals.
Incentivise the right behaviours and outcomes and make sure the provider reflects those outcomes all the way down the organisation.
An annual refresher is vital: treat each year as a new tender, and ensure that there is a process in place to put new ideas into the business plan the following year.
Inside Housing, in association with Mears, has published a guide to outsourcing.