In itself it all seems pretty simple but the 'transfer' of work to other countries has is more difficult than you would think in the first instance. The following is a list of topics which you can think of:
- Language. Working with people who speak a different language is not easy. Firstly the intelligibility and the accent/dialect on both sides. From my own experience I know that a conference call with (a group of) people from India can be difficult. This means such a meeting not only take considerably longer but also all sorts of problems by not understanding each other.
- Culture. In some cultures it is hardly possible to say 'no' to the other person. As a result, you'll have to continue to ask for the status of an activity, for example, good in picture (especially delay). As a Project Manager, you run an extra risk and here you need to be on alert.
- Work Together. Collaboration with people in India from the Netherlands and China requires that one of the parties, and sometimes even both parties, working outside the usual office hours. This often fits the supplying party itself. This may, however, have adverse effects on their private lives and it is possible that the people have to work from home at certain times in which the question is how good is the quality of the Internet connection.
- Legally. Especially when outsourcing of 'sensitive private information', as with public authorities, great caution needs to be exercised! It's not just legally allowed to store such data on environments outside the home country. Within the European Union there are agreements but outside the European Union, this is an extra challenge! Think of the American 'Patriot Act' with American Government legal access to all data which are stored in environments which are operational within America. I think this is not so requiring much further explanation (National Security Agency-NSA and Edward Snowden).
If you as a supplier of services to a public authority take as a starting point that your services from other countries, in principle, this should be transparent for the client, and you need to have this arranged well in advanceto prevent great risk. Firstly, legal and secondly in terms of costs because the cost model is entirely different when you perform services in a relatively expensive country such as Netherlands.
- Location. One option is to bring the activities to the people ('offshore') and the other option is to bring the people to the activities ('landed resources'). This has a number of important benefits (such as access to client network being much easier to regulate) but also a series of additional challenges. This includes arranging for example: work permits, housing (with insurance for damage to property) and initial reception/guidance (does this person alone or with family?). Don't underestimate the consequences of a culture shock. In addition, a travel allowance for this person will also need to be agreed to by both in the country where he/she currently is working and also if this person goes home every two months for example.
- Transition Costs. The cost of a transition project (the assumption is that the services one-on-one pass to the Delivery Center) should also be taken into account. The cost of such a project will be considerably higher if this is the first client is whose services will be transferred for example, the 10th where this client is.
- Costs. The Delivery Centers (DCs) are 'cost centers' which means that all costs are charged to the requestor. In addition to the hourly rate of the one who performs the actual activities, and in not all cases there are often costs other than purely the 'human' costs not included in the hourly rate which may include:
- Computer cost of the computer that the person using it.
- Office expenses.
- Internet connection.
- Software licenses.
- Health insurance.
- Telephone costs (in particular because of conference calls, it may not be possible or allowed to use Skype).
- Training (can also cost extra time for the party providing the siphoned 'activities').
- Transfer of knowledge (also costs extra time for the party providing the siphoned 'activities').
- When multiple people will also engage in activities then a manager must be appointed which, including all facilities, will be charged.
- In several countries the standard work week is 44 hours per week and not 40 hours. This means 10% extra in charges. Keep this in mind in the planning of activities of these people.
- Travel expenses. This is especially the case when a person works with the client and goes home once every two months, for example.
- Housing. This happens when the person works in the country of the client.
- Per diem. This happens when the person works in the country of the client.
- Visa. This happens when the person works in the country of the client.
What is forgotten is the cost of man hours by the supplier within the framework of arranging all kinds of issues and guiding the people and that are 'normal hourly rates!