Nearshoring has undergone quite a revolution in recent years. Once it was seen as little more than a cost reduction exercise, a way to send business processes to a remote location that simply offered lower costs. Now it is a much more strategic business tool that can be applied to improve the way a business operates.
Whether you are seeking greater innovation or an improved supply chain, there are now nearshore solutions that can help you. The focus now is on working with a partner that enhances your business, adding skills and new thinking and creating value by improving what your business does.
Although the emphasis has shifted away from just slashing business cost, this has not made the process of nearshoring much simpler. In fact, now that it is a more strategic action, one that involves creating a very close relationship with a remote team, there are even more questions to ask. The cost focus allowed the selection process to focus on two questions: can the partner deliver and what will they charge? Times have changed.
For any business seeking a nearshoring partner today I would recommend five key questions or areas of analysis to explore:
Scope: you must define the scope of what you want to be done. However, this doesn’t need to be just a formal process definition; it can include preferred outcomes and vision too. Why does your company do what it is doing and how can the partner help you with this today and into the future?
Volume: can you define the volume of work that the partner needs to handle and is this likely to change? Are there any possible business shocks around the corner that could change volumes dramatically, causing business spikes?
Language: if you are focused on customer service then it is likely that your business needs to serve customers in many languages. Is it possible to explore a multilingual hub strategy so all your customers can be supported in all languages from a single location?
Recruitment plan: how will your partner find the people you need, both in terms of how to scale up to the required volume and also with the right skills and languages needed? Does the partner already have the capacity to start immediately or do they need a significant period of recruitment and training?
Business cases: any reputable partner will let you visit their facility to see how you are servicing other clients and will be able to provide case studies and examples of similar projects. You may feel that your business is unique, but there is likely to be an example of a similar nearshoring operation, even if it is a different industry. Go and take a close look to see what worked there.
Finding a great nearshoring partner is one step towards making your business more successful. You have the opportunity to add a great new resource to your team so ask the right questions and make sure you take the right steps on a journey to nearshoring success.