Modern business processes in virtually every industry take advantage of the power of outsourcing. When companies can move non-core jobs to outside firms that specialize in particular functions, many tasks can be carried out in more cost-effective ways.
Onshoring describes outsourcing processes to local firms in the client company’s home country. Offshoring typically involves outsourcing to firms in other countries that are often geographically remote. Nearshoring is a hybrid type of outsourcing that utilizes firms in other countries that are geographically near to the client company, enabling cost-efficient outsourcing with firms that are culturally compatible and that work on the same work schedule as a client company’s headquarters location.
Wages in Mexico and Latin American countries have continued to trend below the average pay for many Asian countries, with a gap that is stable or growing. Labor force maintenance in Mexico and Latin America is more stable and consistent than typically found in offshoring outsourced work.
Nearshore workers are much more likely to become permanent and stable members of U.S. based teams. Managing a nearshoring firm involves some unique challenges. NearShore Technology shares tips on managing a nearshoring team.
Develop highly effective communication techniques
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One of the most important advantages of nearshoring is working with a team that can be functionally equivalent to an in-house group. The key to developing that equivalency is consistent and continuous real-time communication capabilities. Because a nearshore team will be working in the same (or very close) time zone as the local team, the nearshore team should work and be available for communication at the same time frames as the headquarters ’ work schedule.
Modern technological communication developments provide real-time communication power that email and other delayed communication methods cannot. Whether it is live chat protocols, on-demand video conferencing, or good old telephone calls, there are multiple ways that the geographic separation of a nearshore team can be essentially eliminated.
Keep the scope of action plan clear and consistent
In any I.T. project management environment, a typical weak link is a poorly defined or communicated scope of action. This problem can be aggravated by outsourcing without proper attention.
It is essential that a client company clearly convey to a nearshore team precisely what the objectives of every project are and to actively seek feedback from the nearshore to be sure that everyone is on the same wavelength. Consistent monitoring of progress and task scheduling helps protect the integrity of the expected scope of every outsourced project.
Be flexible and agile when working with a trusted nearshore team
When your company has gone through the effort of building a trusted and competent offshore team, make the most of the outsourcing relationship by using that relationship just as you would with an in-house development team. You should expect and promote suggestions from the nearshore team about changes and modifications during the course of development projects.
Let your nearshore experts know that you are not expecting unquestioning acceptance of every directive or suggestion the local team puts in the process. The key to successful I.T. development is constant modification and adaptation, and you should keep your nearshore team at the center of that process.
Meet with your nearshore team
While it may not be feasible to have your nearshore team visit your local headquarters and facilities, you should invest the time and effort involved in meeting your nearshore team at their location whenever possible. Don’t just bring ownership either. Have in-house managers and developers travel to meet with the nearshore team as well. Nothing builds team cohesion and trusts like personal interaction – schedule meetings around both work and personal activities. Social interaction is irreplaceable for developing the ideal nearshoring relationship.