Governance Isn’t Just Pretty Charts!

We pride ourselves in our PowerPoint presentations to our clients monthly, quarterly and annually, pimping out how many things we did and how accurately we did them.

There is nothing better than that productivity and unitary cost line going in the right inverse directions, especially when you have cool 3-D effects and nice color schemes to match your client’s logo.

However, after a few of them, that is no longer enough to satisfy either of our needs.

At Cognet, we also pride ourselves in the real art of process improvement, but not just flow charts and graphs. We may pride ourselves in knowing the standard deviation of your payroll runs is 74 and that on every other Tuesday we need 10.28 bodies to run the show, but that doesn’t make our teams work harder together to make your customers insanely happy.

Enter slide seven on Communication and Culture.

We look to the process of being partners and try to point out in our governance sessions the things we can do better, and those are not limited to the Statement of Work. It is critical to have consistent communication and attention to detail when folding two unique and different cultures together. That is exponential when you consider the number of sub-cultures on both sides, in addition to the normal ones. It only makes them more important.

We are unafraid to say we suck at communication, and from start to finish may suggest a Newsletter or Update Board to ensure that everyone knows the score. There is nothing worse than the “big secret offshore project” to scare your employees, and poor communication is gas on that fire for sure.

We work with our partners to suggest new and innovative means to communicate effectively, from engagement to live production years later, it is paramount to keep talking.

Culture can’t be ignored either. We recently invited a long-term client to come to India, who had never been. And even though they thought they understood the differences, they didn’t. That visit has opened new processes and tool sets, just based on understanding the other side of the world a little better. You think your traffic is bad, just come on over and drive on the left side for a while and you may change your perception of the daily commute.

We are different, and the little things can’t go ignored. We constantly guide our partners down a path to go global and know what that actually means, and how to best integrate that experience into their companies and lives.

Who says governance can’t be fun?

If you are interested in bringing documentation, measurement and process improvement into your company without hiring another person, call us today.

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Domain Expertise with Benefits

In most organizations, you can count on one hand the employees you have that, from the first day, were different. They came in and not only did their job, but found ways to fix several problems and just keep getting promoted up the chain to fix as many problems as you can find for them. That handful runs your company, so you discuss how to get more of them in the management meeting, but the game remains the same.

Imagine if you had a collaborative outsourcing partner who acted just like that, but had a whole mess of people that fit the bill. Hello Cognet!

We have, and continue to build, a unique value proposition for our clients. Cognet is a boutique BPO servicing only the HR Services industry, where we grew up. We invest our time in not just building productivity in places you need it most, but also in growing our team members into experts in their field. There are vendors with plenty of capacity who can save you money, and that is fine for some folks. However, it is our mission to master the process to a point where we take it to another level beyond cost savings.

We are an ISO 9001:2008 shop, which most people have to look up, and we did at the start too, so don’t feel bad. What the heck does that mean? It means we are always improving processes, both yours that we manage, and our own in how we do it.

It isn’t enough just to show you how many units and at what cost we are providing them every year. It is nice, but not the goal. We strive to also show you how we changed the way we collaborate with you, and never accept sitting still as the norm. We know from years of experience that communication, culture and many other pieces of the puzzle can always be improved to impact our client success.

Many offshore BPO vendors will tell you they have a “patented system of transitioning clients and lowering cost” or some smack like that. It is easy to take Indian know-how and culture and weave it into a fixed way of doing business, but not easy to take that to the next step and get out of Six Sigma land for a moment and listen to your clients and their ever-changing needs.

Our clients’ requirements change over time, not just in the existing processes, but due to their business changing along the way. We listen and adapt, never sitting still to bore you with more of the same graphs in the next governance meeting. That’s a vendor, not a business partner.

We are listening, learning and paying attention to both your fixed and shifting business requirements. We develop new solutions when needed, and improve the existing ones with new tools and approaches when possible. We are about value-add and meeting long term business objectives, not a Service Level Agreement in a contract.

“Outcoming” is a new term in outsourcing. It is realizing that client requirements change over time, and that you must follow them and adaptively deliver what they need with unique practices and solutions.

As a result, here are a few things we know:

  • We collaboratively learn together as a team. There is no such thing as global expertise, and nobody knows your business better than you. We simply combine our hard earned domain expertise with your local knowledge and specific expertise to make a powerful combination in serving your customers. Imagine going to Scotland to play golf for the first time but not getting a caddy to guide you through the local rules and bumps. When combined, it is a powerful approach.
  • Start small! We encourage our new clients to avoid the T-Rex project first and pick some bang for your buck. Pick a localized need and solve that problem specifically, then move along the value chain with a win.
  • Desired outcome defined first! We make sure your transitions match your objectives, or tell you not to do them. If you know you want to save so much money in a defined amount of time to deliver on a budget or project, then set that goal and tie it to reality.
  • Solve end-to-end, not just labor arbitrage! We seek holistic solutions for our partners. If we can develop some in-house software and combine it with a great project plan, we do it. The processes we take on touch many parts of your company, and we like to stick to the elegant-but-simple solutions until we have the whole problem licked.
  • We know we have a lot of access to skills that can solve problems from many perspectives, so we use them. If Cognet is your collaborator, then we listen to you and ensure you know we have programmers, accountants, math wizards, process black belts and all kinds of talent to solve problems. Your problems constantly evolve, why shouldn’t your workforce support it?

    That is the true power of combining domain expertise with broad skill sets!

    Best of Both Worlds: Two Worlds Await your Business

    We have all heard of “The Best of Both Worlds”, but that has a whole new meaning as the world continues to revert to flatness in many ways.

    Until the advent of the Internet, the thought of using the most talented people available in the world to work on a project involved getting them on a plane and, for most small to medium businesses (SMBs), that wasn’t even on the radar.

    You also have to be honest with yourself and realize that the skills around the world are different, and that no one country has the best of them all within its borders. Each country’s education system, culture, regulation and natural resources lead them down different paths.

    Some businesses will benefit from this, others may not. But the HR Services industry is right in the thick of things for sure.

    While the big organizations were able to pioneer and set up shop in some exotic and far away locations, the SMB had little choice but to watch their competition change their business models. They increased their capacity, lowered their price and heightened focus on selling and servicing stuff to their customers.

    Things are changing to even that playing field. Small to mid-sized service providers have begun to partner with vendors who have already set up shop elsewhere, overcoming the obstacles of opening their own captive operation and providing local market know-how that is a lot harder than you think.

    So you have access to global talent, but are not sure how it works. There are several vendors out there now, just Google them. However, you want one that actually understands the industry from both the U.S. and offshore perspectives. Oh sure, there are a host of vendors who will tell you “yeah, we got that” but have never been in the business you are in today.

    That is where Cognet is different! We started the company with a team that has literally lived in both worlds. We have been in local markets in the U.S. providing HR Services, and at the same time we navigate one of the hardest markets to do business in, with the most talent, India. We know both worlds!

    First World: Our owners and managers are local. We have started up, turned around, managed, off-shored and done about everything you can do in the HR Services industry in the U.S. market. We know your pains, goals and objectives. We understand the culture of your workforce and can predict all the obstacles before they happen, and tie it to your five-year strategic plan for your investors and board of directors.

    Second World: We have been on the ground in India since 2007 servicing ONLY HR Service providers in the TPA, PEO, HRO, ASO and any other acronym you can find in the space. We build domain expertise, not just data entry skills with a bunch of process maps. We have also done it for you in the 151st ranked of 180 countries in “starting a business” by The World Bank. We beat those odds by being local and experts in the India market, knowing how to operate and staff the best HRO for service bureaus ever to build collaborative business models.

    Our model allows you to live in both worlds with leadership who understands how to help with your business plan and all the trimmings, coupled with offshore expertise that reaches across the world. We help you manage not only the transition of your business locally, but also build your global team to be Subject Matter Experts and not transaction jockeys.

    It is also critical to note that the Second World must be the right one, not just some place with cost advantages and people. Consider the following points:

  • A “Skilled BPO Resource” in India costs 21.2 percent of the same labor in the U.S. market. Oh sure, you can pay double that in the Ukraine at 43 percent, but do they know English well and have an education system based on the skills you need to run your business, like math?
  • India produces 3 million college graduates a year whose main focus is science and technology and who speak English.
  • There are 467 million people in the workforce, more than the 309 million people who live in the U.S., and outsourcing is a focal point with more than $47 billion of business. No lack of the talent you seek here!
  • Cognet picked the right place to meet and exceed all of your needs, and you only have to board that 24-hour flying adventure because you want to see us, not to plop down that ten month deposit on your first office space.