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Nearshoring

The relationship conundrum

date: 1 July 2011
reading time: 2 min

Recently I read a blog post by Martyn Hart, chairman of the National Outsourcing Association in which he reported on a conference he had attended where the speaker purported that “ in the outsourcing market there tends to be two types  of client.” One is a company that is experienced in outsourcing and the other is new to the market and therefore needs more of a partnership approach with their

Recently I read a blog post by Martyn Hart, chairman of the National Outsourcing Association in which he reported on a conference he had attended where the speaker purported that “ in the outsourcing market there tends to be two types  of client.” One is a company that is experienced in outsourcing and the other is new to the market and therefore needs more of a partnership approach with their outsourcer. I have to say that I feel this view is a bit narrow. It seems to me that there is also a third type of client that sits somewhere in the middle.

For example a procurement manager or IT manager experienced in outsourcing may leave a larger company to join a start-up or even launch their own business.  He or she has a very good understanding of how outsourcing works, how to get the best outcome from your supplier and also the importance of a joint-effort in making the relationship work.  Quite a few of the clients who choose to offshore their software development to us are this type of customer. Just like the mature client, these start-ups may have a great product but unlike the larger company, they are very fragile and may go under. If the start-up decides to outsource then there is equal risk on both sides making the relationship not only more equal but also more important to both parties.  The success of the project depends on both sides trusting each other and that depends on building a strong relationships. The relationship built at this point can actually improve the outsourcing for many years to come.

Despite what the speaker at the conference referred to in Martyn Hart’s blog may have said, in reality for all types of outsourcing clients a partnership-type relationship is key. Clients need to be able to accept and trust that their outsourcers as focused on the project’s success as they are and the advice they give is with that intention.

What do you think?

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