Exclusive Interview with Akhilesh Sharma – Founder & CEO A3Logics on “Top App Firms”
In this exclusive interview, he shared his insights on outsourcing and many more things. Let’s check his success story and thoughts.
1. What are the different types of outsourcing?
There are various sorts of outsourcing available in the industry. However, they are ranging from product evolution to software development. Primarily, there are four prominent outsourcing models:
- Professional Services Outsourcing
- Manufacturing Outsourcing
- Process-Specific Outsourcing
- Operational Outsourcing Service
2. Why do you think companies outsource, what benefits does outsourcing provide them?
Well, companies outsource to reduce labor costs and to have the capability to cover business plans and goals. There are tons of other benefits that companies are getting through outsourcing patterns. I will tell you some:
- It controls IT Cost what, I mean by saying this is that you pay what you need and what is useful to you in terms of resources.
- Companies proforma increases in the level of efficiency and competitiveness
Some other benefits I would like to add are: Outsourcing helps in accessing skilled professionals and concentrating on business core values and goals. Well, the list goes on!
3. What would you say are the top risks of outsourcing?
According to me, the most precarious factors of outsourcing is “The lack of trust” The reason behind this is when you make a decision to outsource, it’s not always easy to trust someone who is miles away from you. Right? There are various other factors that are depending on the “Trust”
Some other top risks are less quality of service or control, online security threats, reduced visibility over the projects, data security, and potential hidden costs.
4. What challenges do companies face when outsourcing their call center functions and how should they minimize risk to their core business?
While outsourcing their call centers, companies face customary challenges such as inadequate knowledge of the organization and its profile. Discrepant performance levels is another hurdle. Apart from this, language barriers, violating regulatory compliance are also faced by organizations. So, to minimize the risk it is crucial to have clear communication transparency from both ends. You can also clearly define the objective to your outsourcing partner.
5. What are the top 3 questions a company should ask a potential outsourcer?
Well, there are many questions that you must raise as a company to ask from a potential outsourcer. I will tell you the top three questions out of them –
- Could You Share Some Samples Of Work That You Have Done Before, That Are Related To My Business?
- What About The Technology Do You Use To Provide Optimal Productivity And Efficiency For My Work?
- What About Your Network Security? Does It Offer Measures 24/7/365 From Cyber-attack Or Intruders?
6. What industry sector outsources the most?
Deloitte, IT, Finance, Administrative, Sales and Marketing are the industries that outsource the most.
7. What are the top 5 reasons organizations outsource?
- You can focus on your business core goals.
- You only concentrate on the important factors for developing your service or product rather than investing your time in non-core processes.
- Another reason is that there are simplified business processes and strategies.
- Instead of investing in employee’s training and development, through outsourcing, you can easily access skillful employees.
- As I mentioned earlier, outsourcing reduces labor costs.
8.What effects do legislation (e.g. DMA/FTC etc) have on the outsourcing industry and what are your views on this?
When you take an initial step for outsourcing it is important to check on legal implications and contracting services. However, according to the government guidelines, it is important to cover Contract Labour (R&A) from both parties. I personally feel that legislation impacts positive outcomes in terms of trust and authenticity.
This is mutually beneficial to the company and outsourcer. Hence, legal implications should be there while working with outsources.
9. What challenges do offshore outsourcers face that domestic ones do not?
The common challenges faced by offshore outsourcers are Culture barriers, just like communication issues, cultural differences may lead to inadequate company progress. Another common challenge is the dearth of technological evolution and competencies.
It is also seen that offshore outsourcers also face some legal challenges by not following the rules and regulations of the hiring country.
10. What are the key drivers for companies to outsource offshore?
There are various key drivers but the important factors for companies to outsource offshore are:
- Better Acquiring of Skilled Professionals
- Ensuring Business Functionality
- Diminishing Risk With The Help Of Expertise
- Better and Proven Productivity
- Dragging Your Expertise Attention On The Core Strategies
- Increased Production Capacity. Hence, your projects will get delivered in a specific time frame.
11. How have the campaigns and projects companies outsource changed over the last 5 years?
From the last five years, various industries have realized the potential of emerging technologies. As a result, organizations across the globe have increased their demand for outsourced software development partners to conquer their business objectives and models.
In view of this fact, organizations realized the importance of expanding their development projects across the various parts of the globe. Hence, it changed the outlook of various campaigns and project companies towards outsourcing.
12. What would you say are the top 5 questions a company should ask a prospective outsourcer?
As previously said, there is a list of questions that you must ask from an outsourcing company. However, I will tell you the top five out of those queries.
- What sort of work you have done before, and what are the industries for which you work? Could you share your portfolio?
- What are the tools you use for collaborations? What about the instant communication between us during the project?
- What makes you special from other outsourcing companies? What are your competencies?
- I would like to foretaste testimonials or reviews from your past and current clients.
- How safe would my business network? What are your precautions against data breaches?
13. Do you feel that a client of an outsourcer should have unrestricted access to agents/reps working on their behalf and why do you believe this?
I believe there should be an agreement beforehand mentioning all guidelines. Unrestricted access to working could be a clause only if it doesn’t hamper agent/reps’ performance and data security
At the same time, it could also help streamline deliverables as there will be constant monitoring and communication between the client (outsourcer) and agent/rep. I highly recommend clear and periodic communication about work progress to avoid confusion.
14. What industry sectors tend to outsource more than others (e.g. financial services, utilities etc)
It has been seen that Software and Hi-Tech, Pharmaceutical manufacturing, Knowledge Process Outsourcing, Engineering Services, Healthcare BPO, and Call Center Outsourcing are on the list to be likely to get involved in the outsourcing ecosystem. Hence, these industry sectors tend to outsource more than other industries.
15. What management and motivation challenges do outsourcing companies face with their staff?
There are several challenges that both the parties face simultaneously, I will try to tell some:
- There is a poor decision-making process in terms of understanding the contracts.
- Another major challenge is the lack of knowledge which results in impoverished efficiency of service delivery.
- There is also a failure to complete a pent-up demand for services from the staff.
16. How can outsourcers and clients ensure a fair partnership agreement?
To ensure a fair partnership between the outsourcer and clients, it is important to take some prominent steps. I will tell you some simple steps to manage fair partnership agreements.
- Ensure credibility from both the parties.
- Maintain transparency. It is important to have clarity regarding the projects you are delivering to your clients. However, some transparency must be maintained from the outsourcers.
- To attain a fair relationship, make sure to take out time for your client for better communication. The companies must be clear with their thoughts and questions for the outsourcers.
17. What are the main advantages of using brokers when considering outsourcing some, or all, of your contact centre functions?
The foremost advantage of using a broker is that they can help you in identifying the best outsourcer for your company. As previously mentioned there are several risks that outsourcing services own. But when with the help of brokers everything gets simplified and there is no further risk associated with potential outsourcers.
18. What would you say are the top 5 questions a company should ask a prospective outsourcer?
I will tell you the questions in an upfront manner:
- What is the list of technologies you generally use? In which technology you are specialized in?
- What files and folders I can access during the project?
- What about the cost? What do they include and exclude? Are there any hidden costs?
- What makes you best from other outsourcing companies? What are your competencies?
- What is your time frame for my project? How much time will you take to deliver?
19. What is the role of service standards when outsourcing?
Setting the service standard works extremely well when you are outsourcing to elevate performance and client retention. You can start the process by sharing RFPs with prospective clients to evaluate them in the starting.
Once the RFPs are carried out, there will be another factor where the client will ask about the risk and factors with different services. Through this client will understand each aspect from the outsourcers. Hence this is the major role of service standard when outsourcing.
20. What role do associations play in helping companies select and use outsourcing services?
Basically, associations start by ensuring the reliability and experience of current or past clients from the outsourcing service. Apart from this, there is also a question-related to access to internal communication, infrastructure, and technology being asked by the association to the outsourcers. Hence, associations close the bridge between the company and the outsourcing service.
21. Have you seen any trends in your area on the type of outsourcing companies that have established themselves in your area and what would you attribute this to?
Yes, there are various trends that can be seen in the ecosystem of outsourcing companies. Now emerging technologies are proven a boon to the various sectors that outsources. Currently, automation, cloud computing, innovative software, and social media are rising in the BPOs to lessen the cost and elevate the growth. This is a booming trend for 2021 too!