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To Outsource or Not? That Is the Question

July 29, 2016

There is no doubt that in this article I am going to be biased. But being biased doesn’t mean I am wrong. I going to provide the overview of the outsourcing services on Salesforce development and help you to build process strategy matrix to add to ease of decision making.

You’ve already made the first move and  invested in Salesforce CRM to broaden your business strategy. Moreover, you have rethought your business processes ofmanufacturing, distribution, human resources, even sales, marketing and research according to the opportunities opened by your new CRM system. And that is the time when the topical issues arise :

  • should the maintenance and support of Salesforce be done  internally or can be offload to external strategic partnerships?
  • bring to bear third-party resources where should they be based?
  • how should they be managed?

I would suggest to start from the very beginning and build a process strategy matrix.

In fact, this matrix can be useful for developing different types of business strategies, including one that answers the classic “outsource or not?”.

As it is seen below, the process-strategy matrix consists of four quadrants. The horizontal axis reflects the strategic importance of the business process, from low to high. The vertical axis reflects the process complexity, from low to high. The thing is to assign your company’s business processes to its appropriate quadrant, and follow the guidance as shown below:

table

Quadrant 1:Low strategic importance, low process complexity.

These activities do not require specialized expertise, are often repetitive in nature and can distract from core activities. The main aim is to automate these to reduce costs and improve quality and efficiency.

 

 

Quadrant 2: Low strategic importance, high process complexity.

These demanding activities require clean opinion on your Salesforce configuration and manual intervention. They are time consuming and stand for profound knowledge and expertise of the Salesforce CRM. Naturally they are offloaded to external specialists.

Quadrant 3: High strategic importance, low process complexity.

These important activities are critical to the business and typically remain in-house. A certified Salesforce administrator will easily manage to cover all these aspects.

Quadrant 4: High strategic importance, high process complexity.

These high-value activities require specialized knowledge and judgment. They are kept in-house, normally the gaps in the talent pool are filled by means of the stuff augmentation and dedicated teams.

As long as you are ready with the matrix, it’s better to turn to a cost analysis and compare the cost of keeping the process in-house to the cost of turning over the work to a business process outsourcing provider.  

Let me speak aside and move toward outsourcing destination. India, Canada, Brazil, the Philippines are long now familiar to everybody. In this passage I would like to turn to another no less known destination – Belarus.

map

There is a number of reasons make Belarus an attractive partner for international companies to outsource their services.

Having matured outsourcing industry, Belarus is up to offer the technical talent for flawless execution. A well-built education system and cost-competitive salaries, together with a reasonably strong workforce, have enabled Belarus to develop an elevating conveyer to provide the IT outsourcing industry with the efficient human resources.

Another aspect to mention is the price. Due to the governmental support of the IT industry, Belarusian companies can set competitive rates. IT is a kind of national schtick, that the IT sector is  exempt from all corporate taxes, including VAT and profit tax, as well as customs duties. So the service-providers are eager to set lower price with no impact on the quality.

However, let’s get back on track. As long as it comes to choosing a service-provider, I would advice to determine external supplier capabilities and develop ranking. Treat the call with the potential service provider as a job interview. Think of the person on the other end as applicant for a job at your company. Try to find the following aspects:

  • Do they have expertise in your industry? Find out if the  experience of delivering services similar to the one you plan to outsource. Ask about the number of projects executed, types of clients they worked for. Feel free to ask for references and case studies.
  • Do they know Salesforce inside out?  Find out for how long the company deals with Salesforce. Check whether the company is Salesforce certified.
  • What are the company rates? It is crucial to understand  – low rates will have an impact on the quality of the product and in the end it’ll cost more. Savvy leaders will choose the golden mean to get high quality at the best price.
  • Do they understand your project mission, and are they prepared to work with you to achieve your success criteria?  Ask for experience and qualifications of the management team, project managers and other team members. If you are going to enter into a long-term contract, you should also consider a mini-interview with the  the proposed team members prior to signing the deal to make sure it will definitely fill in the blanks in your talent pool.

Trust is the essence of a successful outsourcing partnership. If you have doubts about the person you are talking to, you’d better move on without further hesitation.

And the final advice:start small and reduce risks. If you are looking to control outsourcing costs, need flexibility in engagement models, and seek senior attention, do not neglect smaller vendors. As opposed to larger players, they are not likely to charge more and will give your project due consideration.

I hope you take these tips to heart and carry them with you on your success.

Contact us to find out how our team can make Salesforce work better for you.

 

 

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