It’s becoming easier than ever to access outsourcing services, which offer the promise of drastically reduced operating costs and the ability to free up onshore staff from menial and repetitive tasks. But as with any other industry, there are vastly different standards of service available in the outsourcing world. So what’s the difference between a reasonably good outsourcing provider, and a really fantastic one?
The first big question with any outsourcing strategy is – what should I outsource? Very often outsourcing providers offer little guidance on what can be successfully outsourced, but getting this right is one of the most critical factors in a successful and sustainable outsourcing strategy.
A great outsourcing provider will be able to help you systematically identify processes suitable for outsourcing by documenting and testing activities particular to your business. They should be able to guide you through a decision matrix, mapping the activities that are least crucial to your business’ competitive advantage, against process maturity (i.e. processes that are well-understood and technologically stable) and resources available in the candidate market.
A great outsource provider will work with you to develop these processes into position descriptions, team structures and reporting lines. When it comes time to review candidates, a great provider will provide you with endorsed candidates who have already undergone a resume review, reference, police and medical checks, skills assessments, personality testing and a number of face-to-face interviews before they’re presented to you for video interviews. You should be provided with an adequate number of candidates for interview to allow you to make a meaningful selection.
Once you have chosen your dedicated staff, a good provider will conduct extensive onboarding and training processes. In the finance industry it’s critical that staff are trained in the Australian Privacy Act, loan packaging and tracking functions, and the ApplyOnline and customer relationship management systems used by your business. The provider should conduct regular, one-on-one performance reviews during the onboarding process and report back to you, with adjustments made as required. Access to HR systems showing staff attendance, leave balances, overtime etc., should also be made available to you.
Staged Knowledge Transfer
Meanwhile, your outsourcing provider should be assisting your business with a managed transfer of activities. Tasks should be bundled from simplest to more complex, to ensure each one is bedded down by new staff before more complex processes are tackled.
This staged approach has a far better success rate to avoid staff becoming overwhelmed and making errors. A staged approach also offers more structured performance expectations and each stage can be reviewed before moving to the next one.
Good outsourcing agencies will also provide advice on communications structures, such as developing a workflow allocation system, setting tasks and expectations, monitoring meetings and the required level of detail in guidance and task setting.
Excellent Staff Conditions
Good outsourcing providers are good employers and you should ask to check their staff retention rates. Just as in Australia, great staff are in demand and working conditions should not only meet local legal requirements, but should also offer an inclusive and supportive work environment, competitive salary package, good staff leave and benefits. Even better if there are perks like sports programs, medical benefits, staff social activities and performance bonuses. The facility, too, should offer excellent standards in infrastructure, such as high-speed internet, IT support, enterprise-standard virus and firewall protection, and late model hardware, including webcams and VoIP headsets for communication.
Australian Standards of Compliance
Finally, it pays to work with an outsourcing provider that specialises in your industry. A lending and finance specialist should be compliant with ASIC, APRA and Australian privacy requirements, such as storing personal information in Australia rather than overseas. You should look for a provider who has ISO27001 Information Security Management Systems accreditation, encompassing industry standards in data security, privacy, business continuity and risk management practices.
Want to outsource some of your back office tasks?
Loanworks broker support solutions will streamline your sales, loan processing and credit support processes, leaving you to focus on writing more loans and increasing your margins.
To learn more, please call Jason Goodacre, our Customer Relationship Manager on +61 498 112 056. Jason has worked on designing and delivering customised solutions for many clients, and has the expertise, creativity and commitment to find the right one for you.