What to Expect From Your Offshore Vendor


If you have never utilized the possibilities of Global Services, the concept itself can be overwhelming. Deloitte sums up the evolution of Global Business Services as “(using) specialists from multiple functional areas within a mandate to provide the business with a compressive set of services.”  Deloitte’s article provides thought-provoking reasons why a company should consider Outsourcing, especially within the shared services area of a company. For those companies who have already surpassed those challenges, the next logical level of cost-savings and efficiency measures can be achieved by Offshoring. To protect your data and manage your SLAs, selecting an offshore vendor requires a due diligence process that is quite comprehensive.

Understanding the efficiency and transparency of hiring an offshore vendor can be a challenging commitment. Not only does it take a lot of trust to partner with a vendor that’s outside the US, but there’s a substantial amount of homework to do beforehand. This blog will highlight the main concerns and expectations of moving a piece of your business offshore.

Investing in an offshore vendor can be difficult for any business. In addition to placing confidence in your offshore team, it is critical to make sure that they are qualified and meet your expectations. To achieve successful collaboration with your future offshore vendor, there are numerous factors to consider beforehand.

Why Outsource?

  • Refine company focuses
  • Collaborate risks with a partner corporation
  • Utilize external resources
  • Allocate internal resources to focus on key responsibilities
  • Monitor operating costs
  • Reorganize and expand productivity for time-consuming tasks
  • Realize an advanced approach to superior proficiencies

 

 5 Basic Fundamental Competencies of An Offshore Partner:

  1. Operational and Production

The first consideration of engaging with an offshore vendor is to evaluate the size of the company and its bandwidth to take on additional work. For instance, a strong Subject Matter Experts (SME) to agent ratio of 1 to 12 employees is necessary to support a structure that enables a stronger knowledge base. The ability to quickly disseminate knowledge across all aspects of your project is critical. Quality training, along with optimal SME to employee ratios, ensures that employees are up to speed on the latest Operational and Production best practices. Be prepared to discuss the type of services you seek and inquire about any additional types of services provided by your future partner.

  1. Length and Quality of Training Time

Every business wants their offshore vendor to be efficient and well trained. It is important to get all your questions answered before investing in alternate ways to handle your volume. The basic mortgage domain training should take around two weeks for every resource assigned to your project. It is necessary to make certain that your offshore vendor understands all your expectations and is qualified to meet your needs.

Trusting your new partner is imperative. Asking the right questions to ascertain if your offshore vendor is qualified to produce the results you are looking for is key to a successful relationship. Before committing to your offshore partner, consider asking questions pertaining to quality, availability, and responsibilities. In any good partnership, both sides have responsibility for effective communication to ensure outcomes are achieved.

  1. Certifications

In the Mortgage Industry, it is necessary to look for an offshore vendor certified with the proper US mortgage fundamentals. Some offshore vendors host courses or provide employees with offsite vendors to make certain that their resources are up to date on all the latest certifications. Some of these courses include Six Sigma, Robotic Process Automation, Design Thinking, How to Build Bots, Time Management, Conflict Resolution, and many other fundamentals.

Company-held certifications surrounding data security are crucial when any resources are working outside of your own controlled environment. Review the offshore partner’s accreditation to ensure your data will be protected. Look for things such as ISO certification, SOC certification, and secure data centers monitored 24x7x365 for physical, bio-metric, and UTM network security.

 

  1. Talented and Up to Date

When considering joining forces with an offshore partner, it is mandatory to trust that they are educated and equipped to fulfill your needs. Some small to medium companies are utilizing offshore teams of up to 200 quality trained resources a month. These teams offer a seamless production environment for a global client. In addition to this, Compliance regulations are continuously being updated in the mortgage industry. Working with offshore vendors that require employees to receive continuous refresher training should be mandatory. When new updates are made available, and the Subject Matter Experts (SME) are aligned to each process or subprocess, it should be ensured that the rest of the team members receive training on the changes. This progression should be performed without any adverse impact on the processes.

  1. Background Checks

Trusting that your offshore partner obtains professional and highly skilled employees is a big factor to consider for your future partnership. Managing your organization’s risk is another factor that cannot be overlooked in the mortgage and banking industry. Astringent background and reference checks should always take place for any new resource assigned to your project. A thorough internal reference check should be carried out on the cited credentials. An accredited third-party agency is empaneled to conduct background checks on Experience, Address, Criminal checks, OFAC, education checks, and, if required, drug screening.  Any additional checks for offshoring organizations with specific requirements can also be processed with turnaround times not exceeding fifteen days.

  1. Data Security Checks

After you have done the above, due diligence checks, the most important assessment is data security. Risk, specifically data compromise, is the #1 concern of financial services companies today. Ensure the offshore provider you are researching has the best protocols available for IT security. Ask for the vendors’ most recent SOC2 audit report if they are using the cloud environment.  Make sure and review their ISO 27001 Certification and that all issues were resolved. Ensure they use a cloud-hosting firm with no less than 4 separate geographical sites hosting redundant data. Ask for their most recent Penetration Test and make sure any issues were resolved.  Also, review their Data Access Management policy to see how data access is issued and monitored.

For physical security, review their policy for building access and access to areas where data is stored. Ask to see their visitor’s log. Make sure visitors are logged in and out and accompanied by a security person while in their building.

Ask how the vendor issues and monitors equipment used by employees. How are laptops secured, and what is the frequency of screen-locking? Are all USB ports blocked, cameras, and cell phones banned from workstations with access to customer data?

Is there annual training and testing on phishing and malware attacks? What are other measures taken to mitigate risks caused by human error?

Other areas of security that are sometimes overlooked: Password change frequency, access to company Wi-Fi, access from remote locations, two-factor logins, antivirus software kept up to date, and control over downloaded software packages and APS that may contain malware and viruses.

Conclusion

Utilizing offshore partners is a prevailing practice for companies that are seeking ways to become more competitive. Relocating one or more of a company’s business processes to other partners abroad is a growing practice due to the ease of accessing qualified vendors at a lower overall cost. Offshore vendors identify your specific needs and provide various solutions by offering additional resources, access to technology advances, and streamlining your processes.  Credibility, Reliability, and Security are all factors that need to be in the overall decision-making process.

If you agree that the criteria mentioned above are important to your company, consider what Nexval can offer as your offshore partner.

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