Problems with choosing the wrong data vendor and how to avoid them
In the previous post, we spoke about the necessity and advantages of outsourcing b2b data research services. That being said, we are well aware that the process of shortlisting and selecting the right partner is a meticulous one, involving a lot of careful evaluation. During this process of evaluation, there are always certain essential factors to consider, which will make your efforts fruitful. These are the ones we will discuss in this post.
Let’s first look at the problems that can occur with outsourcing your data services to the wrong company.
1) Loss of control in the operations process:
One reason why companies outsource is to transfer some of the operational burden to another team. This pays off when the third party involves domain experts, who are doing a very good job of handling operations with lesser involvement of the client company. This frees up resources for the client company, and helps them focus on their area of expertise.
But when it comes to data, the means used to source it and privacy considerations matter heavily. If these are ignored, it could be damaging to your company’s reputation, or even in extreme cases, you could be held liable by law for the actions of the outsourcing agency.
Therefore, prevention is the key, and careful consideration should be given to the terms and conditions of the contract.
2) Loss of control in quality standards:
You can’t assume that your outsourcing provider is driven by the same mission and standards that drives your company. Not to mention, the passion for your service or product. Many vendors focus mainly on making a profit from the services that they provide to you and other businesses like yours. Besides setting up targets and reviewing them, you need to check if the vendor company has data quality control processes in place, to ensure satisfactory progress for both parties of the outsourcing exercise.
3) Hidden costs
Cost savings are the main reason most companies decide to outsource, but you need to be aware of potential hidden costs. An outsourcing contract should cover the details of the service that the outsourcing company will be providing
4) Threat to security
If you have confidential information that an outsourcing company will have access to, you risk a breach of confidentiality. If the outsourced task involves sharing proprietary company data or know-how, this must be considered. Evaluate the outsourcing company carefully to ensure the safety and protection of your data.
5) Lack of transparency
Lack of knowledge about the outsourced function creates a problem with transparency. For this it is necessary to have strong communication channels between the 2 companies. The vendor’s team needs to learn the specific company processes and workflows, through training, and then a system of regular reporting about the data gathered, to maintain transparency.
Thus we see that although outsourcing presents a variety of advantages, it could also pose difficulties if not done correctly, or outsourced to the right third-party provider. Many of the potential problems could be avoided by having a solid outsourcing contract which examines service level agreements, timeframes and measurement, penalties, rewards, regular reviews and exit strategies.
But more important than a solid contract, is choosing a vendor who is reliable and shares accountability. This is where customised data research comes in, specially with a company that works as a partner or an extended team.
Firstly, a custom data research team is aware that your data directly impacts your ROI. Therefore, custom data means you are assured that the data you receive is sourced based on your specific needs, and belongs solely to your company, giving you intellectual property rights. In other words your data is not available to your competitors, thus giving you a competitive advantage over them.
Secondly, an extended team working in partnership means shared responsibility and accountability. This allows you to be at ease about the operational as well as quality aspects concerned. It also puts you at ease from a legal standpoint where privacy laws are concerned. The problem of quality leads and GDPR privacy standards is solved through one single approach of partnership and shared responsibility.
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