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Four Questions to Ask When Vetting a New Outsourcing Partner

Working with the right outsourcing partner can help you streamline operations, optimize costs, and tap into specialized expertise. Finding the right partner, however, can be a daunting task. When you start your search, it’s essential to ask the right questions during the evaluation process. Doing this upfront empowers you to confidently embark on a partnership that brings your business efficiency and enhanced value. To get you started, SEBPO’s Chief Strategy Officer and Forbes Technology Council Member, Lauren Kochan, provides her top four questions to ask when vetting a new outsourcing partner:

  1. Will they be a true partner?

At SEBPO, we value a people-first approach, so this is usually where we begin. Kochan says the first thing she would do is talk to the outsourcing partner’s other clients and ask: 

  1. Who is managing the transition process?
  2. Who is managing the success of the project?
  3. Who is managing daily governance? 
  4. What kind of data and insights will we receive?
  5. Has this company acted as a true, consultative partner or are they just out to make a buck?

“Partnerships with outsourcing companies go south when they take things for granted or they are not really interested in making the partnership successful,” says Kochan.

  1. Does the company have experience with this service?

Outsourcing companies may stumble when they haven’t offered the service. You’ll want to make sure they have successfully provided this service before. Look for a company who can walk you through live examples of the requested task or project.

Related: Tips to Set You Up for Outsourcing Success in 2023

  1. Do they understand my business?

Some outsourcing companies may present you with a qualified team, but do they really understand what you’re doing and why you need outsourcing? Ensure the partner truly understands your: 

  1. Requirements
  2. Business
  3. Processes 
  4. Workflows
  5. Challenges
  6. People
  7. Clients

“If you aren’t confident in the partnership during the RFP process, then they definitely can’t execute the transition process,” adds Kochan. 

“If a potential tech vendor meets the necessary requirements, a key factor to consider is how the partnership will be managed. What analytics, reporting, and data are provided for monitoring the tech and ensuring success? What standards or terms are in place to ensure responsiveness? Vendors who clearly address these questions are establishing a foundation for long-term success.”
-Lauren Kochan for Forbes
  1. Are they a legitimate outsourcing company?

Your outsourcing partner should have all the necessary requirements in place. They will truly be an outsourcing company—not someone who is just going to fill seats—with proper credentials and certifications. 

Beyond that, how stable is the company, how are they funded, and have they had major legal trouble? Looking ahead, what happens if the outsourcing company gets acquired, shut down, or purchased? How will your business be affected?

Kochan says people are often too afraid to ask these big questions, but they’re crucial to address at the outset of a partnership. 

“A successful outsourcing partnership can make a world of difference, and greatly impact a company’s efficiency, productivity, and overall success.”
-Lauren Kochan

By asking strategic and relevant questions at the start of the relationship, you can gain a deeper understanding of a potential provider’s capabilities and expertise, foster transparency, and build trust. 

Investing time and effort in the vetting process will pay off. It ensures a mutually beneficial and long-lasting partnership that drives growth, innovation, and competitive advantage.

Have more questions about outsourcing? Check out SEBPO’s FAQ right here, which is filled with answers, and get in touch today to see how you can leverage a SEBPO Team.

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