Imperative to the success of any outsourcing arrangement is selecting the right partner with which to do business. One selection tactic is simply to choose the lowest-cost vendor -- and if all other factors are equal, that may be the best route to go. However, the "other factors" frequently are essential considerations.
When selecting a strategic partner, look for one who has "a vision around improving productivity, transforming processes, as well as providing cost savings," advises Rich Bailey, vice president, communications and business process outsourcing, at Xerox Global Services. He also advises manufacturers to seek partners who:
- will work closely with the internal team to develop reasonable short-term objectives and also the long-term ideal environment;
- continuously invest in their technology and services delivery platform;
- utilize proven management tools and continuous improvement programs, such as Lean Six Sigma; and
- provide a strong change management and training program for employees.