Best Technical Outsourcing Company 2016 - Europe - Outcome based outsourcing; a way of life for Qcom Company: Qcom Outsourcing Ltd., Text Supplied by: Neil Anderson, Managing Director. Email: Neil.Anderson@qcom.co.uk Web Address: www.qcom.co.uk Address: 3 Hampton Park, Wassage Way, Hampton Lovett Industrial Estate, Droitwich, WR9 0NX.
Qcom Outsourcing Ltd. Qcom has worked within the technology industry for 40 years, starting out as a manufacturer of electronic communications equipment. Today, Qcom is a leading provider of outsourced technical support to OEMs and their channel, offering solutions across a wide range of technologies throughout the UK, Europe and beyond.
As a business, Qcom has recently adopted the new descriptor of ‘Business Improvement Outsourcing’ (BIO) - a change that has prompted some to ask: “What’s in a name?” However, this development is much more than a mere exercise in etymology; rather it reflects the dynamic in the way that our outsourced relationships are established and developed. For more than a decade, Qcom has sought to help manufacturers and resellers of an ever growing range of technical products to support their equipment more effectively. Simply put, we have been about helping such businesses to improve one (usually more) of four aspects of their service model: • To improve quality of service • To save money • To extend the range of service supply • To extend the scope of service supply Increasingly, Qcom has developed an outsourcing methodology that is based on a long term view. While the financials can be a quick gain for everybody, when we’re pitching for business we’re always on the lookout for other drivers so that we can help our ‘would be’ hosts in more holistic ways. For example, how might they sell more technology or more consumables? How can we better service their products? How can they increase service revenues by having a better serviced product? How can they extend the range of what they do either geographically or by time of day? How might they improve the soft aspects of product service in a way that is experienced by the end user? We look for these features before the relationship begins but perhaps more importantly we’re always looking for them so that the improvement due to outsourcing continues over the medium to long term. A lot of course is down to methodology. We follow a life cycle model which has now become part of BS11000. At the heart of everything lies a
relationship management plan – essentially an operational procedures manual that clearly sets out what the successful outcomes of outsourcing are, ensuring that what we’re delivering is what the client is expecting. Outcome based outsourcing has become something of a buzzword in the industry, but at Qcom it is a way of life. A big barrier for many who are unfamiliar with outsourcing though, is that they have to cross a Rubicon. Rightly, many will think that customer service is core to their business success but some wrongly conclude that they must own it for themselves. We would argue that whilst they should never abdicate, precisely because customer service is so core, it is best to seek a partner who can do it better. It is counter intuitive to some extent and whilst it can be difficult to start the journey, more and more technical companies are doing so. We have already referred to the fact that technological products have life cycles – first they emerge, they then grow, consolidate and mature in their markets. During each of these four phases, the reasons for outsourcing will be different. In the beginning all product knowledge is in house, but the problem is often how do you cover a wide area geographically? The knowledge is deep but narrow. The solution is to train up external people and having worked for a whole series of emerging technology products Qcom’s experience is universally positive provided that the hosts training programme is comprehensive. We have yet to find a product where an outsourced engineer can’t equal an in house man. The ongoing relationship is of course vital to successful outsourcing. I often get asked, ‘What’s the one thing we need to do as the outsourcing company to make sure this works on the ground?’ My answer is always the same. You have to have senior management buy in to the process from the host company and secondly you need a
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dedicated project manager to sift out the devil in the detail – not only for ‘Go Live’, but on an on-going basis too. Outsourcing fails when the contract is signed and the host sits back. You’ve got to continue communicating, feeding back and refining. Changes need to be factored in and the process must evolve in order to move on. One of the trends in outsourcing that we have championed is that hosts shouldn’t outsource entire functions – there needs to be an experienced core staff at the host who can manage the relationship once the Rubicon is crossed. What is emerging from all this is that BIO (Business Improvement Outsourcing) is not so much transactional as relational. It is about a strategic partnership, dedicated to achieving specific outcomes rather than a means to cut costs. Rather than growing tired, a good relationship should get stronger and deeper and Qcom’s desire is always to be seen as a strategic partner in a relationship dedicated to business improvement. In practice, outsourcer and outsource have become intertwined. In summary, BIO has three critical attributes. It is at one and the same time dynamic, long term and mutually beneficial. It is not about the host losing control, rather it is about a relationship of shared responsibility, one in which Qcom has to be permanently focused on the need to deliver on the objectives that have been specified and agreed with the host.