The key to offshoring success is knowing what you want

A 2010 report issued by the World Bank entitled “Doing Business” ranked India 133rd in “ease of doing business”. Equally, Brazil ranked just right in front of India at 129, while much worse in “employing workers” at 138 to India’s 104. China, the other powerhouse of the developing world who will surpass Germany soon enough as the third largest economy, ranked 151 in “starting a business” and a dismal 180 in “dealing with construction permits”.

Like all things, these only have meaning when in context or relation to other things, and the most important fact to know is that there were only 183 countries in the survey. According to this survey, Singapore is the easiest place to do business and New Zealand is the easiest place to start a business. The United States ranks fourth in ease of starting a business and tied with Singapore for first in employing workers.

So what does all of this mean to a mid- to small-sized company? It means that the large corporations can access global markets like India with their clout while you struggle to keep your business afloat by having to deal with high costs and productivity issues. But what you may not know (and what the big companies don’t want you to know) is that you too can enjoy the benefits of doing business with emerging markets. It’s time to level the playing field.

At first, companies came to India for the cost reductions, and stayed for the quality. Now research and development and innovation lead the way as reasons why companies such as Cisco, ADP and IBM are in
India to stay. The key is knowing what you want to do in a market that matches the skills available, not simply being there because it is cheap.

If you are a services business, learn from the mistakes of those before you. We learned these lessons as a provider in the HR services industry and will guide you carefully through what to do, and not to do in an offshore operation. Believe it or not, we don’t like reading scripts and not having the answers to that phone call from an irate employee in Texas. Know what you are good at and do it!

Match skills with location! You wouldn’t open a steel mill in San Jose, so choose wisely the processes or portions of them you move offshore.

Consider benefits administration for a moment. Your offshore vendor can easily download the invoice, perform the reconciliation and make the necessary changes in the system(s) of record. Imagine, you come into work the first of the month and your Inbox filled up overnight, remembering that time difference can be in your favor. Now, your highly trained benefit experts can spend their day talking to participants and employees on the tough questions, or maybe help out your sales associates with closing a deal, instead of being buried in spreadsheets. That benefit subject matter expert is now the face of your company’s service, while your offshore team supports them with their best foot forward.

We built the condo on the beach for you and staffed it with ISO experts to make your business better, and this is fractional ownership. You can skip that annoying ownership association meeting and let us do the governance for you. We formed Cognet to provide small to mid-market service companies with access to global resources without the hassle.

So, do you want to deal with the 175th hardest country in the world to get a building permit for that shiny new office? We already did the work, you enjoy the benefits.

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