Popular theory has three main ideas on organisations life-cycle: they are either growing, shrinking or stagnating.
In the Accounting compliance world this is probably true, though with compliance sometimes it’s akin to watching paint dry. A bit boring, but it’s bread and butter for thousands of Australian accountants.
So what about your Outsourcing partner, should they also be under the same rules as everyone else: Grow, stagnate or shrink?
Almost certainly. And as the market matures, it’s getting harder to identify who are the good firms out there. Certainly, there’s the old saying that you don’t want to be the first one through the door – these are the adventurers, the explorers, but also these are the big idea guys.
We’re seeing in the market these days a lot of what we call the emulators. They can take an idea from the entrepreneurs and copy the idea. They’re likely to be watching the entrepreneurs (the ideas people), and copying things they do. Certainly they’ll end up with something that looks and feels like the original, but as time and practice has shown, a copy is still a copy, and usually don’t feel right.
In the market we now see people who have left entrepreneurial companies to setup, and then their staff have left that firm to set up. A bit like Chinese whisperers you can tell the message is more distorted the further it moves away from the source.
At the same time, the source is ever changing, ever adopting to new business ideas and business streams, and growing.
Whilst it might be difficult to spot the adaptations from outside, once you are in a good firm you should be able to see new things happening in the organization. Any good organization is taking feedback (direct and learned) and modifying systems. Creating new interfaces that you can see externally, or just getting better at doing their job – a result of investment in better training, better systems, better procedures. Just doing things better.
So in evaluating a great outsourcing partner you should be seeing not only occasional leaps forward but also benefits from continual improvement. It takes both of these to create a truly great Outsourcing partner.