In Consideration of Outsourcing

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Have you considered outsourcing your training or documentation projects? When making this decision that can substantially impact your bottom line, keep the following considerations in mind. There is a …

Have you considered outsourcing your training or documentation projects? When making this decision that can substantially impact your bottom line, keep the following considerations in mind. There is a clear difference between hiring fully-experienced consultants, less-experienced vendors and using your own internal staff.

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  • 1. I N C O N S I D E R AT I O N O F O U T S O U R C I N G
  • 2. IN CONSIDERATION OF OUTSOURCING ~ Share This! ~ Post this to your blog, Twitter™, LinkedIn® or Delicious™ accounts or email this to someone who might enjoy it. Share Remix Attribute Share Alike 11639 E. Wethersfield Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85259 USA www.michaelsandassoc.com Toll-free: 877-614-84402Page © 2010 by Michaels & Associates Docntrain, Ltd. dba Michaels & Associates Copyright holder is licensing this under the Creative Commons License, Attribution-Share Alike 3.0. For more information, check out http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/
  • 3. IN CONSID ERATION OF OUTSOURCINGI N C O N S I D E R AT I O N O F O U T S O U R C I N GHave you considered outsourcing your training or documentation projects?When making this decision that can substantially impact your bottom line, keepthe following considerations in mind. There is a clear difference between hiringfully-experienced consultants, less-experienced vendors and using your owninternal staff. 3 Page
  • 4. IN CONSIDERATION OF OUTSOURCING Experience Directly Correlates to Cost-effective Solutions Make sure that youre paying for experienced, top-notch consultants. Consultants should bring not only their own professionalism and experience to the job, but also that of the company they represent. Consultants should be equipped with methodology, processes, tools and aides that have proven successful on other projects. Attempting to find individuals with below-average rates is likely to result in relatively inexperienced people. The consequences of this inexperience can be many:  Fully-experienced consultants frequently outpace less-experienced vendors, and they are more conscious of quality in the process. While you may pay more for an experienced consultant, you get your moneys worth in deliverables design, usability, quality and effectiveness.  Fully-experienced consultants design and develop material with an eye to the future, incorporating maintainability. Less-experienced vendors are often unable to do this.  Fully-experienced consultants usually spot issues before they become problems. Less-experienced vendors may have limited awareness of potential issues and the appropriate measures to take to address them.  Fully-experienced consultants can grasp overall project goals, then ensure that their own deliverables complement and support those desired outcomes. Pulling from experience, they can generate creative solutions based on the business environment and need. Less- experienced vendors are more likely to work on deliverables as isolated items, rather than a creative piece of an integrated solution.4Page
  • 5. IN CONSID ERATION OF OUTSOURCINGEngagement vs. EmploymentWorking with good consultants with proven track records should be more economical and "sure" than using internal resources. Internal resources areusually scarce and already fully booked with work. Stretching internal resources just a bit more can be detrimental to morale, while hiring additionalpermanent employees can be expensive and time consuming. Good consultants have already been screened and are ready to work, now. Instead ofspending weeks to hire a new staff member, you can use that time on task.Abilities to pick up current technologies and new business processesquickly and to assimilate into the companys culture are secondnature to good consultants. Such acceleration provides an excellentreturn on investment. While new employees might have a longerlearning curve due to the hiring process and orientations, consultantsunderstand the urgency of projects and deadlines and are fullyengaged in the task at hand.Engaging a consultant is more cost-effective than hiring a full-timeemployee. Consultants receive a fee, with no hidden costs. Employeesalaries are just a piece of a multi-fold pay package that includesworker’s compensation, insurance and benefits, vacation and sicktime, ongoing training, and administrative/overhead costs. 5 Page
  • 6. IN CONSIDERATION OF OUTSOURCING Fact vs. Fiction When thinking about a consultant provider, separate the fact from the fiction. Target your requirements, then look for a specialist. Some companies try to be everything to everyone, resulting in watered down "expertise." However, niche specialists perform their work with expertise. At Michaels & Associates, we focus on what we do best: consultation and training development. Talk to references for firsthand accounts. Ask specifics regarding effectiveness, results, and value added in the account management process. Exuberance without backing may be an indicator of fiction, not fact. Compare account management efforts. Make sure that your source removes as much risk from you as possible, while still providing creativity and innovation. Ensure that no part of the equation is sacrificed: budgets, deadlines, project success and goals/vision.6Page
  • 7. IN CONSID ERATION OF OUTSOURCINGAsk for the process behind the estimates to ensure that your bid is as accurate aspossible. You require estimates based on fact, not guesses based in fiction. Forexample, the Michaels & Associates approach is to "chunk" the material down to onequotable estimate, giving a realistic idea of costs and effort. Our bid may be differentthan others; however, you pay no costs other than the ones actually incurred, and wedont believe in surprises.Watch out for "low-ball" bidding and its down-the-line successor "scope creep"—aseries of tactics that turn a seemingly "cheap" project into a costly, hard-to-pin-downexercise. These tactics throw estimates and bids out the window, as they are basedsimply on "getting the bid" rather than project analysis. Both clients and consultantslose when these tactics are employed.At Michaels & Associates, it is our job to honor the terms of the proposal. If we cangain economies by finding a more effective way to work in your environment, we willpass those economies on to you. 7 Page
  • 8. IN CONSIDERATION OF OUTSOURCING Success-oriented Actions Good business practices and actions support the successful completion of a project. "Due diligence" pays off to make sure that your supplier is providing you with the best talent, backed by the best protocols. Ask about processes, methodology and protocols for not only project deliverables, but account and consultant management as well. Being attentive to a supplier’s requests for review and turnaround of documents is critical to a projects timely completion. Establish upfront the availability of subject matter experts who are key players. Additionally, insist on status and budget reporting from your supplier, which can support you in making effective project decisions. Making yourself available to the account manager from the consultant provider enables him/her to afford you the best possible service. Any problematic issues that may arise can be effectively and efficiently resolved to ensure that your project outcome is successful. Expect top quality from your suppliers and insist on solutions tailored to your business challenges. Dont accept sub-standard products or services, and dont agree with generic, off-the-shelf answers. Youre paying for expertise.8Page
  • 9. IN CONSID ERATION OF OUTSOURCINGIf you are considering outsourcing, contact us. Our top-notch consultants have a proven record of accomplishment, and we will work closely with youto exceed your expectations. If you want to hear what others say about us, visit our website at www.michaelsandassoc.com.Michaels & Associates — Your business is your specialty. Improving your business is ours. info@michaelsandassoc.com www.michaelsandassoc.com toll-free: 877-614-8440 9 Page