In Concept & Design, Practices for Thought

CD_Article02_1Depending on its offering and scale, each service provider would have its own contractual agreements. Some may be as simple as ad-hoc ordering with minimum order and cash-on-deliver y while contracts may be a regular when the provider is engaged with a client that consistently requires the products. Such agreements may also vary according to a client’s needs but if they are agreements with the service provider you select, things that you can look out for include:

What Services To Expect
Using the example of outsourcing restaurant cleaning, you have to be very specific with the items you want done. Although some jobs such as changing the disposable napkins might look like common sense to refill, its better not to take things for granted. Cleaning companies pretty much offer ser vices which are broken down according to area of the premise which can comprise:

Dining Area – sweeping, sanitising tables, mopping, dusting, washing walls, ceilings and windows.
Kitchen – usually the area most restaurants would outsource to be cleaned as it requires lots of elbow grease to handle exhaust fans, floors and walls, filters and ducts and even equipment like ovens, broilers and stoves.
Restroom -scrubbing and sanitising toilets and counter tops, sweeping and mopping floors, removing trash and refilling soaps and paper products.

Delivery Timelines – Decide which days and times they would come in to clean the particular areas. You will need to arrange for someone to open the doors; if cleaning is done before opening time. Also, highlight to your staff to take note of depleting disposables and refill them; even though your contract provider may have done so at the star t of the day. It irritates customers to walk into a toilet without tissue or hand-washing liquid.

• Payment Terms -Pricing is dependent on factors such as restaurant size, where you want the company to clean and how dirty the place gets. Some companies charge by the square foot while some go by the hour. While it is easier to gauge the costs of light cleaning work, you may want to enquire few quotes for kitchen cleaning although heavy-duty cleaning is only necessary few times a year in most establishments.

• Legal and regulator y compliance (if any)
• How to monitor and report services
• Termination conditions (if any)
• Flexible agreement that can be adapted as your business needs change.

Outsourcing is not simply a matter of the supplier dropping off the products. It is important to have constant communication; much as the supplier is responsible for ensuring you get your products, customers should keep contact with the supplier on the process and expectations. Internal communication is equally vital especially when you are giving his/her task to an “outsider” thus make sure that the staff understands your reason has nothing to do with their performance and that you have also made arrangements for them to work on other things. In most things, a long-term relationship would work out better as switching suppliers might disrupt your workflow or product consistency. Having said that, if you are outsourcing from small operations that work from home; you may consider having more than one supplier in case of unexpected circumstances. Last but not least, think about measuring the benefits of outsourcing beyond finances. There might be reasons that do not get tabulated by numbers such as customer satisfaction when food stays consistent and service is improved through speed and less errors.

Eileen Chanhow to ensure EFFECTIVE OUTSOURCING?