Implementing an Off-Shore Business Support Team
A technology infrastructure and resale services client was looking to address increasing resource demands via off-shore business process outsourcing. The sales support team that researches, identifies and executes cost reduction programs from vendor partners was experiencing a 30% annual growth in demand, and the end goal of this initiative was to increase processing throughput with lower cost resources while maintaining the same or improved service levels.
This was the first time the organization had undertaken a business process outsourcing initiative or worked internationally. As expected, there were several risks involved, which Kenway identified early and managed to closure over the course of the project:
- Cultural Impact – The concerns of current employees had to be considered as is the case when any new group is brought on board, let alone when the team was located in another country! Furthermore, common practices and processes needed to be modified to fit the new multi-national environment.
- Current Demand – The team played a critical role in the sales process generating millions in cost reductions directly impacting the client’s bottom line, and as stated above their demand was growing 30% annually. Needless to say, current production could not slip due to the project. The team had to manage the transition to the new model while continuing to provide the services that business partners had come to expect.
- Management Process Changes – As mentioned above, this was a new undertaking for the client. Management procedures had to be altered to take into account the new resources, both in a cultural sense (communication, expectation setting) and logistically (time differences, points of contact).
- Business Buy-In – Without proper sponsorship by the business partners, the project would be a failure as assimilation would be hampered and would ultimately hurt the organization.
Kenway assisted in developing the business case, designing the structure of the end solution, and managing the implementation. After laying out the value and risks of undertaking an outsourced business support model, Kenway set upon the path of our transition methodology to implement the new program. The team began with a current state analysis taking care to capture current baseline process metrics allowing for future tracking of benefits realization.
Once the current state was well understood and documented, Kenway moved to the planning phase of the project. Here, we finalized the business case, gained an understanding of the options, and laid out how the new support team would fit into the current organization. This careful planning allowed the client to confidently choose a business outsourcing partner based on requirements and key success criteria.
Once the partner was chosen and contracts were signed, the team began managing the execution of the initiative. Using project management methodologies to plan, track, and address risks, Kenway was able to successfully partner with client subject matter experts to transfer knowledge and responsibilities from the on-shore team to the new off-shore organization. Finally, Kenway set up an infrastructure to allow for continuous improvement through planned assessments, performance reporting, and procedure improvements and training opportunities.
The client was thrilled with the overall effort. According to the project sponsor, “Kenway provided a set of experts to present the business case, set the expectation, and build up the knowledge base of the team. So although it was a completely new initiative, expectations were clear, and the ROI on understanding what they were up against was hugely impactful. Their experience level really brought to light the pros and cons, ROI, and reasons ‘how’ this would work. That is phenomenal help.” Furthermore, Kenway provided “a high level of structure and ownership to the project. Day to day, Kenway managed all the details related to the project…and the amount of work to coordinate the amount of people across organizations is enormous.”
Utilizing business process outsourcing and project management methodologies, Kenway was able to guide the client to completing the initiative. After a brief training period, the new team officially launched in late August 2014. Soon after the launch, the team was meeting their goals by processing 3400 to 4000 active bids daily, while also meeting or exceeding the business’s expectations for accuracy, approval ratio, and productivity. Not only was the client pleased with direct quality and productivity achievements, but they also benefited indirectly by having on-shore resources with capacity to work on more strategic projects.
In regards to the client’s experience, they stated that, “Kenway brought an inordinate amount of focus and governance to the project. The stress and amount of time to do this without Kenway would have been through the roof if not for Kenway’s assistance… The structure and rigor of the project was consistently managed, even when legal complexities were faced. Risks were mitigated timely and allowed the business to continually focus on the challenges of ongoing operations.
The business process outsourcing assimilation of the companies has gone well. Every service level that has been set out to be measured is being met or exceeded. Kenway nailed it!”
For more information on this project success story or to inquire about a business process outsourcing assessment, please visit us at: www.kenwayconsulting.com.