Outsourcing manufacturing is a big step. When you have worked on a project from its infancy and have a clear vision for its future, handing over control can feel overwhelming. One of the biggest fears that holds businesses back from outsourcing is the concern that the manufacturers customer services won’t be adequate, communication lines will become blurry and the original vision will get lost.
Yes this is something that can happen, but it doesn’t have to. If you find a manufacturing company that has an experienced customer services team with strong and established systems of communication then the benefits of outsourcing are significant. It is well worth the time it takes to research and find the right company for you.
In this post we will outline 3 potential communication problems with outsourcing manufacturing and what you can do to avoid them.
The prices of outsourcing abroad can initially seem quite appealing but the language barriers can be costly. The first and most basic step to provide good customer service is that both parties understand each other clearly. When language barriers and cultural differences get in the way of this then the misunderstandings that result cause frustration and inevitably impact on the outcome of the project.
You don’t have to manufacture abroad for the same problem to arise with communication. It can be equally troublesome to navigate when the tech speak the two businesses use are as different as two countries. Those who work in the manufacturing will use the language bespoke to their industry on a daily basis and if they bombard their clients with this, it can leave them feeling overwhelmed and confused. In some terrible examples of customer services, tech speak is used in explanations for why progress is being delayed or expectations are not being met; when a manufacturing company makes excuses using blinding techy language they are actively trying to avoid accountability and further uncomfortable questioning.
To avoid issues with language barriers, make sure you have direct conversations with those who you will actually be working with you. Specifically ask to be introduced to the project manager who will be the key person responsible for you and will make sure your priorities are met. Speaking to this individual and establishing a good relationship from the offset has will have a significant impact on your projects success.
It is one thing to have a good relationship with your project manager but another to ensure you can logistically communicate effectively. This process can be hindered by several factors.
We often assume that technology gives us the tools to communicate with anyone across the globe and while it is true that it has transformed the world and brought people and businesses together, when it doesn’t work properly, it is nothing but a hindrance.
If you are choosing a manufacturing company in a different city or country test out the practical lines of communication before you sign any contract, and make sure both parties have high enough bandwidth to hold a video conference.
Also before you sign a deal, be aware of other practical factors such as time zones, procedures and access, you need to be know how you can communicate to your manufacturers and when. It is advisable to have clarity on these issues before any work begins or contracts are signed.
Once again we come back to the importance of having one key project manager who is highly experienced, overseeing each client and project. Without this person in place then an inconsistent approach is adopted.
As a business, you want to have confidence that you can speak to the same person who you can build and understanding relationship with. You want to know that your requirements and priorities are being heard and that they are being implemented as agreed. You don’t want to have to keep explaining yourself or raising issues because progress in not being made within agreed parameters.
An Nexus IE Project Manager is Dedicated to You
For each of our clients, we allocate an experienced project manager. It is their responsibility to make sure that time scales are adhered to and the plan is executed as you expect. We strongly believe that communication is key to a successful partnership and our project managers actively strive to ensure that all of their clients priorities are maintained.