Outsourcing is much similar to marriage. Know How?
Outsourcing is so much similar to marriage. Like marriage, outsourcing is a partnership between two entities – the customer and the vendor. Like marriage, outsourcing has its ups, downs and in-betweens and it’s a serious long-term commitment. Here are 8 reasons why outsourcing is so much similar to a marriage.
1. It’s a long-term commitment:
Like marriage, outsourcing works better if both parties agree to go the long haul. Like in all relationships, it takes time to understand each other’s vision, ethics, strengths and weaknesses. So, outsourcing is a partnership that reaps better dividends when both the customer and the vendor are prepared to work together towards common goals over the years. Both partners gain a lot from a business relationship that focuses on long-terms goals and not short-term profits.
2. Like marriage, outsourcing is a roller-coaster ride:
Don’t expect to sail smoothly with your outsourcing partner to distant shores. Like in a marriage, there are bound to be several ups and downs in your relationship with your outsourcing partner, as well. There may be issues raised due to miscommunication or financial constraints. And then, there are the highs that may include improved productivity and greater profitability.
Some of these highs can strengthen your relationship with your outsourcing partner; while some of the lows may drive a wedge between your company and your outsourcing firm. The trick to a successful relationship is to balance the highs and the lows, while focusing on your long-term goals, together.
3. Communication is the key:
This is something that every other certified marriage counselor and every self-proclaimed marriage guru will tell you. Communication is the key –in a marriage and in an outsourcing partnership, as well. It’s important to keep the communication channels open especially when you are dealing with an off-shore outsourcing partner in India. Several glitches may occur due to miscommunication, as you are dealing with two different cultures, two different lifestyles, two different time zones and two different work environments. Clear out any misunderstandings, right away and keep communication transparent. It’s a great way to build a strong foundation for your business partnership.
4. Compromise works wonders:
Most marriages fail because either or both partners are unwilling to come down from their pedestal and work out a compromise. Similarly, outsourcing partnerships work best when partners are willing to be more flexible and compromise to accommodate each other’s needs. This does not in any way mean compromising on productivity or quality. It simply means fine-tuning processes and systems to accommodate each other’s requirements.
Most outsourcing partnerships fail within the first three years and the reason in most cases is unrealistic expectations from either partners. Reaching a compromise and working together to fulfill reasonable expectations is the best way to make outsourcing a successful experience.
5. Trust is earned the hard way:
In most off-shore outsourcing scenarios, spanning continents, it takes time to build a relationship of trust between partners. Like in a marriage, it takes a lot of time and effort to reach a level of comfort where they can understand each other’s needs instinctively. Trust is built over several years of delivering quality work, on-time, every time. It’s built by going the distance and exceeding customer expectations. It’s built by working hard to improve each other’s business. Building trust is a slow and gradual process in outsourcing, as it is in a marriage.
6. Both require continuous effort to make it work:
Marriage is hard work. So is an outsourcing partnership. Both require continuous effort to make it work. Partners need to take time to address differences and grievances, re-align processes, re-focus on new goals, conduct regular trainings, and build a spirit of camaraderie between employees at both ends – in order to make the outsourcing partnership work. A successful outsourcing partnership, like a successful marriage requires constant efforts from both partners to make it work.
7. Divorce is a possibility
Not all marriages work. Similarly, not all outsourcing partnerships work. Failure is a part of life in the outsourcing world, too. In rare instances, outsourcing partners may not be able to see eye-to-eye on many issues. Expectations may not be realized. Financial issues may come in the way. Promises may not be adhered to. In such cases, the outsourcing partners may decide to go their separate ways. As in a marriage, divorce is a possibility in outsourcing partnerships, too. But it’s an extreme that should be avoided till the very end.
8. Eventually, it’s all worth the while!
May be there are a few major differences, maybe there are a few heart breaks, may be there are a few broken promises – but most couples when they look back say that on the whole, their marriage with all its ups and downs was worth the while. This holds good for a successful outsourcing partnership, too. In spite of all the differences, in spite of issues like miscommunication or differing viewpoints, outsourcing, too, is worth the while in the long run with both the customer and the vendor gaining heavily from the partnership – in terms of productivity, quality, timely delivery and greater profitability.
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