successful nearshoring strategy

7 tips for a successful nearshoring strategy

date: 14 November 2017
reading time: 5 min

Offshoring used to be a popular outsourcing strategy for many successful companies. However, benefits such as ease of doing business, cultural proximity, quality of service delivery, lower risk and similar attractive cost savings have made nearshoring a hot trend.

Undeniably, entrusting some of your key business tasks to nearshore locations has many benefits. Bearing all this in mind, IT nearshoring is surely a great idea to grow your business – but you have to do it right! There are a myriad details to take into consideration when working with your business partner, but the milestones of successful nearshoring cooperation come down to these 7 key factors that you can’t afford to forget about:

1. Communicate

It is a no-brainer that the aspect of communication is crucial for running a successful nearshoring project. Nothing valuable ever comes from hiding problems and a good communication strategy is a key to any success. The quality of the outcomes of nearshoring depends mostly on fluent and clear link between the customer and the vendor, so do write and speak regularly with your remote team! It is a good idea to asses any possible differences in communication at the very beginning of your cooperation, and then simply maintain high standards. Use video conferences rather than voice calls and ensure regular meetings with a clear agenda. Undisturbed and clear communication is essential, but it is only step one.

2. Define clear scope of action plan

Scope determination is the Achilles heel to IT project management, so make sure you communicate your needs clearly. Take time to explain exactly what outcome is desired and double-check with your partner that you are on the same page. Make sure your partner knows what the deadlines and goals are. Defining clearly the scope of action and following a rigorous plan allows smart distribution of work and ensures your satisfaction at the end of the day.

3. Understand each other

As you are cooperating to develop your business, it is crucial to comprehend each other. Help your remote team to understand the product, the goal of the project and the end result desired by your customers. Make sure to clearly articulate your expectations and project management strategy. Sharing your company’s values, your corporate action plan and your goals results in building a mutual understanding and empathy. Do not miss proper explanation of your business decisions, let the team get the sense and the rules of your game. This investment pays off quickly!

4. Establish a relationship of trust

All relationships that people build should be based on trust in the other person’s true intentions. Without trust, it is difficult – if not impossible – to cooperate towards a common business goal. If you are worried about sharing confidential information with the vendor, do not hesitate to introduce a proper NDA.
It is crucial to get to know the team and visit each other when possible. Meetings or social events build relationships and trust. This will also help you to give a face to a name and create bonds with the vendor. Not to mention an added ease of checking progress status and correcting a course of the project if needed. And since nearshoring means proximity, you can benefit from easier and cheaper travel, lack of visa requirements for the EU and similar (or even the same) time zone.

5. Develop a winning team

The benefits of cultural proximity and an established relationship of trust can all be lost without the winning team attitude. Don’t forget to prioritise people over processes and technology. At the end of the day, it all comes down to the human to human communication. Building an engaging environment is an important success factor. It will help you coordinate efforts towards a shared goal and arouse a feeling of being in this together, wanting to do well or to be the best.

6. Focus on leadership and management

The success of your nearshoring project often depends on the management factor. A responsible and reliable project management equals effective decision taking, better problem resolution, controlling the scope of the project and delivering successful products on time. This results in increased control and decreased risk factors. It also means a happy team that is not struggling to reinvent the wheel. A good roadmap supervision demonstrates time and cost-savings, leaving freedom and support, going hand-in-hand with enhanced overall effectiveness.

7. Be agile

There are many challenges to consider when nearshoring your IT project. Maintaining organisational agility surely helps mastering change, tackling problems and managing risk. It allows you to benefit from the swiftness in iterating software and from an increased productivity, making your human resources available when and where you need them. An expert outsourced IT team will not blindly say yes to everything you request, but will rather propose alternative solutions with the best interest of your project in mind. Remember – the more questions, the better. However, don’t forget to make sure they are willing to adapt. The right mix of competence and experience with energy and flexibility is what you’re looking for.

Every major business change implies new challenges and nearshoring is not an exception. Yet, it is a valid alternative to offshoring further afield. Many companies have bad experience with offshore contact centers due to cultural and language issues, so take advantage of cooperating with people in your close cultural proximity. Apply the strategy of small steps and, if necessary, start with a pilot program. This will give you a viewpoint on your future cooperation and help build trust that your team is hard at work. Focusing on the areas discussed above will ensure successful implementation of your nearshore strategy and bring new quality to what you do.

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