Tuesday, August 7, 2007


Hello Guys,

Everyone of us must be having some big-little, good-worst experiences about the project(s) at their college or work place! So lets pen your some experiences to let us all enjoy as well as grow in life!!

In Short , If you use offshore outsourcing, what challenges did you face and how did you solve them?


Anonymous said...

The biggest problem I have faced is finding people who are able to get work hours to align with our software team in the US.
Also the biggest Challenge: communication - getting your points across and making sure that they are on time and on target.
Solution: daily monitor - this was done through Skype, NetMeeting, and email.
We work with a variety of clients on the development, deployment and maintenance of large and high risk IT projects. The most common problem with offshoring (and outsourcing in general) relates to defining the terms of the engagement parameters such as scope, acceptability, staffing, coverage, change management, communication, availability, conflict resolution and vendor management before onset of the engagement. Offshore providers have vast experience writing these engagement contracts – their client companies usually are doing it for the first time. The second most common problem occurs when the terms, are not monitored and enforced. Finally, one of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen is assigning the outgoing service provider to conduct the knowledge transfer to the new service provider.

The answer to all of the above is to design, document, perfect, practice and periodically review all aspects of the process to turned over to the offshore provider. One cannot offshore a bad process and expect the additional distance to make it better.

Archana Mestry said...

I kind answered these questions in my paper: NINE offshoring advices.

1. Always take care of your local workers.

2. Focus on core competencies.

3. Work with big established companies.

4. Offshore projects that require minimal interfaces.

5. Do not overemphasize process.

6. Focus on communication.

7. Test offshoring team with some pilot project

8. Read some offshoring articles.

9. Conclusion and evaluation using eSCM.

Anonymous said...

I work for an outsource program management company in the call centre sector. We place our clients work all over the world with call centre vendors. We have well over 500 that we have audited and can potentially use - we use currently about 250. So the challenges:

Time zones is an obvious one. My clients might want to make rapid changes to script approach. Potentially the call centre could be + 8 - 10 hours ahead of UK time. The IT Dept. for the call centre could be based somewhere completely different even 4 hours behind UK time. So coordinating can be a headache. Simple communication with all parties via a conference call can at times be difficult.

Solution - make the call centre work UK hours, particularly the management teams.

Accents - a great many UK companies that went offshore have come back on shore. Why? Accents - or the perception from their customers that they were saving money by going offshore whilst still charging their customers a premium for the same service. Also poor first call resolution when compared to a UK call centre. Many other accent related issues which companies feel can distil their brand image. Hence key services coming back on shore.

Solution - Only outsource non esential call centre functions offshore. Sales calls are fine offshore because a company will only ever get a certain percentage take-up anyway and the cost savings made make this sensible and viable.

Cultural assimilation - many offshore locations just do not get the culture of the country they are making or taking calls from/for. And why should they. The outcome can be that the customer feels alienated and terminates the call. An example of this would be dealing with a bank who has call centres in the home country and offshore. As a customer you might ring them up a number of times until you are routed to a home country operation (I actually do this myself) and then you have a proper conversation/interaction - like did you see the football last night, or when is ever going to stop raining etc etc. An offshore centre could never interact like this with a companies customers - sadly the effect is poor call resolution, lower sales, less satisfaction.

Solution - better cultural orientation training or RIGHT SHORING - choosing the best location for the company or least risky location for call making or taking. Due to the exchange rate of the £ to the $ the US is a very attractive place to put work offshore right now. And, there is a high degree of similarity between cultures (UK and the US), even more so with Canada (we share the same queen) and English is our first and in the case of the UK only language. South Africa also rates fairly high. Currently the Philippines is emerging as a prime outsource location - accents are American and the culture is more aligned with the US than the UK but more Uk companies are now trying this region as an option instead of India. India has been the UK's prime offshore location, because it is cheaper than the UK, there are millions of English speakers available and a well educated workforce but it has suffered recently because of a backlash from UK businesses customers. They do try on the UK cultural alignment side by watching UK sport, UK soap operas etc but it is still a give away - local regional UK accents and regional slang are never understood - you then know you are being handled in India.

There are many more challenges. The overall solution however in my industry is Right Shoring i.e. picking the correct location for the client based on the service to be provided and whether it is critical or non critical.

Hope that helps.



Anonymous said...


This question posed to me by many in the past which triggered me to write a book which will be released next month. Please see the link