Engagement is Key to Managing a Successful Remote Workforce

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Engagement is Key to Managing a Successful Remote Workforce

Managing a Remote Workforce- Part Three

 

The recent pandemic has illustrated to all of us the value of resiliency. The resiliency of any organization depends heavily on the adaptability, flexibility, and vision of the leadership and workforce. Many of the things we have historically taken for granted have been stripped away from us. Where we once gathered in person to celebrate, plan, and learn, we must now rely on technology and transformative management techniques to bring us together. All beliefs and expectations on how the world works are being broken down and must be rebuilt with creativity and simplicity. Including the relationships you’ve built with your outsourcing provider and the way your provider approaches service delivery.

As we look to the future, it’s no longer acceptable for the outsourcing firm you partner with to have the option of remote work as part of their business continuity plan. It’s vital they have a workplace plan which includes standards for remote work as part of their daily operations.

In a remote work environment, full engagement and dedication of employees are more important than ever before. Your outsourcing partner must take new steps to infuse their organization’s culture into the daily remote lives of their employees, set new goals and expectations, and follow through on commitments made to a workforce they can no longer physically see.

Since few things are more critical to the success of a remote workforce than employee engagement, when choosing an outsourcing company to partner with, it is imperative to discover the level of engagement that their managers have with their remote teams.

When employees feel engaged, they report greater motivation and employee satisfaction, provide higher quality work, are more productive, and are more loyal. It can be difficult enough to engage employees that are collocated in an office together, let alone a workforce that is scattered and may be working in different time zones.

There are a variety of ways to improve a remote employee’s engagement levels including implementing a virtual office space for collaboration, reinforce company culture, provide frequent feedback, require virtual face to face company engagements, demonstrate a genuine interest in your employees and express empathy for needs expressed by your employees no matter what those needs may be.

 

Have a “Virtual Office”

Creating a virtual office should include a cloud-based space to share work ideas and documents for projects, but should also include a means of communication. Effective communication is imperative to employee productivity and engagement but is particularly important with remote workers. With most experts agreeing that 70 to 93 percent of all communication is nonverbal, managers that are successful in engaging their remote teams, recognize that much more than just email is needed.

While email is an excellent tool for quick and concise communications that do not have any nuances, virtual meetings platforms like 8×8 and Zoom provide more effective communication where body language, tone, and eye contact can give clues on how information and ideas are being presented and received. Take note of how your employees are interacting with the tools they’ve been given; are they able to relax, or are they nervous speaking to a screen than to a person. Leadership plays a key role in helping employees understand the value of engaging video presence. Additionally, employees may benefit from company-issued guidelines on video interaction and including when video is required and how to put your best self forward over video.

 

Reinforcing Company Culture and Values

According to a Glassdoor survey, 56% of employees find an ethical workplace culture more important than salary. When employees are co-located, employees feel a sense of shared purpose more quickly, making company culture easier to build and maintain. It is important to ensure that remote workers feel that sense of shared purpose and clearly understand your company culture and values. Managers should use every employee interaction to reinforce a positive company culture and should lead by example, always adhering to company values.

In addition, many remote workers report feelings of isolation that can impede a sense of shared purpose and culture. Virtual meetings can help build rapport, reduce feelings of isolation, and drive feelings of community and shared understanding. Managers should utilize this technology for not just work-related meetings, but should also promote the use of video calls for team building exercises and socialization. Implementing virtual happy hours, game nights, or even exercise classes and challenges can help form strong team bonds that will lead to higher productivity and satisfaction.

Provide More Frequent Feedback and Recognize Superior Work

A large part of engaging with your workers is providing feedback. Employees in a traditional office environment have the advantage of being in more contact with their leadership, where feedback is happening consistently. When dealing with remote workers, it is easy to forget the basic need for feedback when, in actuality, feedback is even more crucial for remote workers. It is crucial for managers to regularly provide constructive criticism and positive feedback to their teleworking employees to clearly understand where they are excelling and where improvements can be made.

Another way to foster greater engagement is to recognize superior work formally. Employees who have their work recognized feel more appreciated and are more engaged. Some ways to do this are to send them a message that explicitly points out their accomplishments, share their successes with the entire team, and set up an online recognition platform that allows employees to recognize one another for their accomplishments publicly.

Liberty Source understands that engagement is key to a successful, productive remote workforce. Our leadership is experienced in and consistently seeking new exciting ways to effectively engage with our teleworking employees, guaranteeing the teams we employ for your business processes are loyal, productive, and motivated to giving you the best quality products.

Contact Liberty Source today to discover how we can partner with your company for all your outsourcing business needs.

 

Productivity Hacks for Managing a Remote Workforce

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Productivity Hacks for Managing a Remote Workforce

     Managing a Remote Workforce- Part Two

The past few years have seen an explosion in flexible remote work opportunities, with the recent pandemic accelerating this. Of course, long-term telecommuting is different from the crisis-related working-from-home that’s now widespread. However, businesses are quickly recognizing the benefits and opportunities for telework. Employees are embracing the life-work balance that is associated with remote work options, and employers are experiencing a widespread demand for flexible options, all increasing the likelihood that telework will remain the new normal.

Along with the implementation of a remote workforce comes the challenges of managing them. One potential problem can be productivity. While studies have shown that remote workers tend to be more productive than their co-located peers, consistency in productivity can suffer if not appropriately managed.

 

Combining Structured and Unstructured Working Hours

Set Expectations for Remote Employees Contrary to the prevalent ideology that strictly structured task management equals productivity, more modern managers have realized that blending structured office hours and unstructured time can increase productivity and ingenuity.

Leaders should schedule set office hours for employees to be available to work on day-to-day tasks like checking emails, attending meetings, and other typical job-related activities. Take into consideration time zones and schedule these mandatory office hours to best suit the entire team. This type of scheduling facilitates productivity by allowing time for collaboration, having clear expectations for work times, and encourage team behaviors and bonding.

In addition to structured work hours, managers should allow remote workers time to explore new ideas and work on special projects. While it can be difficult at first to get used to the idea of allowing free time, and in fact, can strike you as counterproductive, unstructured work increases creative problem solving, ingenuity, and can inspire mutual trust and loyalty.

 

Communication and Clear Expectations

Communication for Remote EmployeesAnother challenge to productivity is balancing communication- too much, and team members can feel micro-managed as if they are not trusted. Too little communication can make them feel alienated and unimportant. Managers should establish a daily team check to pass on important information, discuss priorities, assess progress on group projects, and a weekly individual check-in to provide feedback, one-on-one support, and evaluate progress on individually assigned tasks.

Communicating realistic productivity standards and expectations is key to achieving optimal productivity in your remote workers. After all, even the best employees can’t read minds, and it is impossible to be in constant contact with every member of your team, no matter if they are teleworking or collocated with you. Productivity goals should be communicated and assessed frequently to ensure employees have enough work to be engaged but not so much that they are overwhelmed.

 

Encourage Breaks and Adherence to Quitting Times

Encourage Breaks for Remote Employees         Employee burnout can be another barrier to consistent productivity. Workers in an office environment have more structure than their remote coworkers and typically take their breaks and have time to socialize with their coworkers, and when it is quitting time, they clock out and go home. When you work from home, your office is where you live, there is a lack of fundamental social interactions, and the lines between work and home life can blur.

Remote workers frequently report that they forget to take breaks and have trouble compartmentalizing life and work. Managers should encourage their remote workers to develop healthy boundaries between work and home life. Some ways to support this include:

  • Modeling behavior – Many remote team managers work remotely themselves, at least some of the time. Managers should practice the behaviors they want to boost in their employees. Be sure you are imposing work-life boundaries on your own day as well. If your employees see that you are sending emails after the established working hours, they may feel like it is okay and even necessary to be “always on call” as well.
  • Use time-tracking programs – Time tracking programs can increase productivity by not only letting you know what your employees are doing and when, but it can also help employees understand when to quit working. The act of clocking out can assist in reinforcing that work-life barrier.

 

Outsourcing for your remote teams with Liberty Source gives your business the benefits of teleworking while also ensuring skilled leaders manage that team. Liberty Source has a track record for efficiently managing remote teams and increasing productivity.

Liberty Source has a unique workforce consisting of military spouses who experience frequent moves. Liberty Source has long utilized teleworking to retain and hire the best-qualified employees, giving us the expertise needed to maintain productivity during the recent pandemic and beyond.

Managing a Remote Workforce – a Four Part Series

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Managing a Remote Workforce – a Four Part Series

Part One – History, Benefits, and Challenges 

The recent Covid-19 pandemic has emphasized the absolute need for businesses to have the agility and capabilities for employees to work from home. Remote work is quickly becoming the new normal, permanently changing the business landscape. We’ve now moved out of the grieving phase of this pandemic and are settling into accepting the virtual-first environment. Businesses who are resistant to shifting to permanent remote workforce options will likely be left behind. As remote work gains popularity leaders must understand the unique challenges that go along with managing that workforce and the approach that will enable success.

A Brief History:

Throughout most of history, almost all work was remote work. A person farmed, created goods, wrote, and more from their homes and consumers came to them. It wasn’t until the industrial revolution that work shifted from homes to factories as the work necessitated physical labor consolidated in one building.

Shortly after WWII the US economy was gaining momentum. There was an increase in corporate office buildings; the cubicle was invented, as well as the eight-hour workday. At this point, remote work came in an unexpected form. Women, who had been active in the workforce during the war, were now expected to be regulated back to their roles as housewives. Brownie Wise, a former sales person for Stanley Home cleaning products, recognized this as an opportunity and created the “patio party” to sell Tupperware, empowering women with flexible jobs and creating the in-home sales industry.

The advancement of technology once again began a shift in the workplace, including the business services outsourcing industry. Typically, traditional outsourcing firms require employees to commute to a service delivery center(s) and work from home options are only available for top executives. The buzz that ‘the future of work’ will revolutionize how the sourcing industry operates gained momentum over the past five years, with businesses slowly overcoming antiquated ways to conduct business. However, COVID-19 accelerated this and we are now in a virtual-first era. Automation has made jobs less physically demanding, and personal computers have increased the number of careers available in office based work like data analysis, project management, and finance and accounting. The invention and unprecedented mass access to reliable internet and Wi-Fi has given workers the flexibility needed to do their jobs from home, at the local coffee shop, while traveling, or even while relaxing at the beach.

The Benefits:

Savvy businesses have been embracing the idea of a remote and flexible workforce. In fact, in 2019, 66% of companies allowed remote work and 16% were fully remote. That statistic is now much higher. Leaders are recognizing the many benefits, including lower costs, increased productivity, higher employee morale, and attracting and maintaining more highly skilled workers.

  • Lower Costs – One of the most enticing aspects of having a remote workforce, and is the lower cost of doing business. On average, by remote outsourcing your key business processes you save up to 70% on overhead costs like office space, utilities, and equipment.
  • Increased Productivity – A recent study from Stanford showed a productivity boost among the telecommuters equivalent to a full day’s work. In addition, employee attrition decreased by 50 percent among the telecommuters, they took shorter breaks, had fewer sick days, and took less time off. Employees who work from home are more likely to work a true full-shift versus being late to the office or leaving early. Employees also reported there were less distractions and found it easier to concentrate at home than at the office.
  • Higher Employee Morale – Employees who are able to telecommute report higher levels of job satisfaction, feelings that they are important to their organization and have their voices heard, and a better work-life balance. By cutting out commute times employees have more time to spend with their families and actually save money, creating an overall better quality of life.
  • Attracting and Maintaining More Highly Skilled Workers – According to Pew Research, millennials recently became the largest segment of the workforce in the U.S., surpassing Gen Xers in 2016. While older generations tend to see telecommuting as a perk, millennials are increasingly demanding flexible work schedules to achieve a better work-life balance. According to a study by Owl Labs remote workers surveyed said they’re likely to stay in their current job for the next five years 13% more than on-site workers did.

In addition, a remote workforce can address and make positive changes to social and environmental issues. Female teleworkers tend to have higher salaries than traditional office workers as well as more opportunities for promotions, narrowing the gender pay gap. Having remote teams removes the barrier of geographical location, creating opportunities for a more diverse workforce. Teleworking also eliminates the daily commute, reducing carbon emissions and decreases the amount of paper used in favor of digital platforms.

The Challenges:

While teleworking has many benefits for both businesses and employees, managing a remote workforce also has unique challenges that must be addressed to be successful.

One of the most problematic challenges of managing a remote workforce is lack of engagement. Remote workers can feel left out of company life and culture. It is important for leaders at all levels to make sure employees feel part of the team and it is even more crucial for remote workers who do not have the opportunities for the day to day interactions that normally occur and create bonds that would encourage teamwork.

Another challenge facing remote workers is productivity. Even though overall, productivity is increased when employees work from home there can be issues keeping productivity consistent. Managers need to make sure employees have clear guidelines regarding productivity standards and expectations.

Lastly, remote workers may lack the tools for success that are available to traditional employees. From a dedicated workplace to time management and access to standard office equipment as well as opportunities for training and team building, it is vital that leaders take the time upfront to equip their employees with all the tools needed to be successful.

Implementing and managing a remote workforce can be a time consuming venture. Your business may decide to partner with an outsourcing company that is already experienced in managing a remote workforce. Liberty Source has proven its ability to leverage a remote workforce. Our skilled employees are motivated, engaged, and productive. They have the tools needed for success at their disposal and are eager to put their skills to work for you. Part two will go in-depth into each problem that managers and leaders face and how to effectively remedy the challenges in a modern and unique way.

 

Read part two here.

Leveraging Automation + Machine Learning for Data Extraction

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Leveraging Automation + Machine Learning for Data Extraction

Despite the recent growth and popularity, automation and machine learning are not new concepts. In fact, they have been around for decades. The 1990s marks a time of significant advancement in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and business process automation. Long before the new wave of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) term was coined, computer programmers wrote and utilized their fair share of automation scripts. As technology advanced and continues to evolve, process automation and machine learning is no longer reserved for ‘only’ the computer programmers within an organization. New and easy-to-use software tools that support task and process automation now allow organizations to more widely unlock the full business benefits of this advanced technology such as recognizing patterns, extracting pertinent data, and making informed decisions.

The volume of data, both structured and unstructured, currently collected by businesses is so massive that many already struggle to extract and make sense of such vast information efficiently.

Leveraging automation and machine learning for data extraction allows your business to efficiently isolate the vital information or the indicator within the chaos needed for a competitive advantage in today’s marketplace.

Machine learning utilizes algorithms and neural network models to assist computer systems in progressively improving their performance. Some of the ways leveraging automated machine learning give your business an advantage are:

Eliminating Manual Data Extraction and Entry – The amount of time it would take to extract data from a database, or any unstructured environment manually then structure it in a format that is suitable to your specific needs in and of itself would be extensive. You also run the risk of data entry errors. Thus, automating data extraction and data entry avoids mistakes and saves valuable staff-hours. Inaccurate data is one of the most significant problems faced by businesses today. Machine learning makes these processes better by using the discovered data to take specific actions while also suggesting new insights and actions. 

Customer Lifetime Value Prediction – Customer lifetime value is the metric that leading companies use to understand their customers’ purchasing habits. Machine learning can assist businesses in accurately predicting customer behaviors, purchasing patterns, and help in making smart marketing decisions based on customer data like browsing and purchasing histories. This reduces the cost and the amount of time invested in managing customer relationships while reducing customer churn.

Competitive advantage – Data curation and analytics are changing the way businesses compete. Leading companies take advantage of insights hidden in their data to reach consumers quickly with a product or service the consumer desires. By leveraging machine learning their decision making is more accurate and timely. Businesses that are not on the cutting edge of this technology will be at a distinct disadvantage in today’s data driven markets.

Companies looking to gain an advantage through automation and machine learning but don’t have an advanced data analytics process in place should consider outsourcing their data extraction needs with Liberty Source as a partner. Liberty Source has the infrastructure and experience needed to leverage automated machine learning to help your business stay ahead. We will tailor a solution to meet your specific needs – harmonizing our workforce with the right technology. Our highly skilled staff is eager to help you get the most out of the data your business holds.

Why a High Degree of Human-Judgement Matters in an Outsourcing Partner

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Why a High Degree of Human-Judgement Matters in an Outsourcing Partner

Alignment with an outsourcing partner plays an integral role in the cost structure and competitiveness of businesses of all sizes. However, when choosing an outsourcing partner, cost alone should not be the deciding factor. When creating a lasting outsourcing strategy, the need for innovative thinking and cultural empathy, combined with cost, creates a robust model. There are times when partnering with an outsourcing firm to complete very tedious and thankless processes is needed. However, today there is a greater need than ever before to incorporate higher-level thinking and judgement-based decision-making into the operations of your outsourcing partner.

Automation can and should be used to reduce the number of tedious tasks your organization must perform daily. Automation can also unlock the raw data your business needs to solve operational problems and accurately identify signals and trends in your data. However, it is the human-powered critical thinking tasks that will increase the flow of strategic insights into your business.

When automated processes end, human judgement becomes the most crucial decision support tool. A high degree of human judgement should be utilized for more intricate business processes.

Critical thinking skills are necessary to investigate, research, and make decisions for analyzing financial markets, grant writing, US retail data insights, accounting and finance, and other commonly outsourced processes.

             Keep in mind that historically, outsourcing vendors were tasked with strictly completing a task/process, and it is highly likely that those same vendors do not use independent decision-making. Processes such as document management, time tracking, order filling, inventory management, shipping, purchasing, and billing can be more readily automated. In contrast, higher-level processes require a partner with the ability to automate processes along with the cultural alignment, creative thinking, and judgement needed to complete more complex tasks.

Liberty Source is a woman-led, flexible outsourcing firm whose services are tailored to meet your organization’s unique needs. We promote human-in-the-loop interactions that allow your business to achieve your highest quality output through our highly skilled workforce. Our harmonization of a human and digital workforce enhances our ability to provide flexibility, guidance, and support while evolving with your needs to be a valuable, long term, culturally aligned partner.

Your BCP is activated: Now What?

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Your BCP is activated: Now What?

Many organizations that engage in outsourcing, whether that be as a buyer, provider, or consultant, are experiencing significant impacts as a result of COVID-19.

Despite documented and tested Business Continuity Plans, those who rely on a BPO partner for everyday operations are racing to fill gaps in their service delivery model and are suffering the consequences of supply chain disruptions that cannot be easily remedied.

The expansive reach of this virus has increased international lockdowns forcing offshore service delivery centers to close, oftentimes without the ability for employees to work from home. It’s estimated that 50% of India’s $38 billion BPO market has stopped operations due to the nationwide lockdown and inability to transition to a work from home model. If delivery centers stay open in an attempt to meet client needs, they’re often doing so at the expense of their employee’s families. Employees may be forced to make the decision to stay safe at home with their families, or forgo seeing their families for an unknown number of weeks while they report to, and stay at, their place of employment. While the decision to work may secure their wages, it exposes them and those around them to the impacts of the virus; not to mention the emotional toll of not seeing their families for weeks on end.

However, not all is lost. As you build your roadmap to recovery it’s important to take a moment to reflect on the reasons that drove your company to engage with an outsourcing partner(s) from the outset. Regardless of the impact COVID-19 will have on your operation, it’s important to stay calm and intentionally develop a successful path forward.

To help you cut through the chaos and build a clear path forward, we’ve outlined a few areas of focus:

Evaluate the current state of your business.

Determine what problems your business is encountering and how your corporate strategy will evolve in the coming months. Can your current sourcing model support you through further change? What are the future implications if they cannot? Do you see a considerable increase in the cost of operations, supply chain disruptions, a gap in service delivery capability, or a full-stop in critical processes? Understanding where you currently stand and issues you are facing will help to provide a framework for evaluation and help you guard against similar disruptions in the future.

Digitization of the workforce.

In an unprecedented event that closes schools and forces brick and mortar businesses to close, you need an actionable plan to minimize the impact on productivity. The answer may lie in deploying a digital transformation initiative. Modernization through automation will allow your workforce to focus on critical human judgement tasks, while ensuring the foundation of your business experiences very minimal disruption.

Prioritization and selection.

Once you’ve evaluated the current state of your operations, document and share what’s important to you in a post-COVID operating model. While cost will always play a role in any decision, think long and hard about cost being the number one priority. How do risk mitigation and cultural empathy fit into your new strategy? Is it important to have a partner that can maintain operations during any crisis, that can be creative in finding new ways to transition work no matter what the socially accepted norms evolve to and that has a broad reach to hire/recruit/onboard/train new staff?

The coronavirus will change the way consumers interact with your company’s product or services. How are you changing the way you interact with your partners and key stakeholders as a result? Now that your BCP has been tested to the greatest extent, where are you planning to go from here?

Achieve Competitive Advantage with a Focus on High Quality Data

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Achieve Competitive Advantage with a Focus on High Quality Data

As more businesses adopt data-driven business models, establishing a data governance strategy that focuses on attaining high-quality data will be necessary to achieve a competitive advantage. According to a study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Marketing Evolution, 21 cents of every media dollar spent by organizations in the last year was wasted due to poor data quality, resulting in inaccurate targeting (35%) and lost customers (30%). This study is just one example of the real cost of poor data quality that can be prevented through accurate data, including customer acquisition, quality management, and even hiring.

Your business will create an advantage over competitors by leveraging the insights gleaned from higher quality data analysis to target consumers more effectively, make better-informed decisions, and increase productivity.

Targeted Marketing – Leveraging high-quality data enables your business to curate a tailored marketing campaign, optimizing the customer experience. Targeting only consumers with a high probability of purchasing your products or services will reduce costly wasted marketing dollars and give your business the edge it needs to gain and retain customers while increasing brand awareness. Better data, better targeting.

Decision Making – The accuracy of the data used in internal decision making is crucial and can make the difference between success and failure. By analyzing, interpreting, and visualizing high-quality data, your business can more accurately determine competitive pricing, product innovations, scaling, and much more, giving your business a distinct advantage over competitors. Clean data unlocks the keys to success.

Productivity – Using high-quality data also improves productivity and operational efficiencies in your business, increasing its profitability. Utilizing data analytics, you can identify and reward your most productive employees and create strategies to improve performance for the less productive team members. Your data can also help identify and resolve gaps in your processes, and can even predict the productivity of new employees. In addition, data can help streamline business processes and increase sustainability by reducing the amount of waste created during product development. Conclusive data enables high performance.

Many companies are outsourcing their data solutions to professional organizations that have the skills necessary to ensure the reliability, integrity, and viability of their data. Liberty Source prides itself on its commitment to quality. Our proprietary methodologies enhance data-driven decisions giving you the competitive advantage your business needs to succeed.

5 Reasons to Outsource your Retail Data Services

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5 Reasons to Outsource your Retail Data Services

There is no doubt that data collection and analysis are essential to the success of every retail business. Customer data is incredibly valuable to all businesses regardless of size, location, and distribution channel. Insights from data analysis can reveal shopper patterns and trends, consumer sentiments, and are vital to the development of strategies for a competitive advantage.

However, just collecting data isn’t enough. Data must be accurate, cleaned, enriched, and optimized to be of good use. This process can be costly and involved, leading many retailers to choose to outsource their data service needs.

According to Grandview Research, the global data analytics outsourcing market is expected to grow at a CAGR exceeding 22.8% from 2018 to 2025 and was valued at USD 2,006 million in 2017. This data showcases that companies are more widely recognizing the benefits of choosing to partner with an outsourcing company for their data solutions needs rather than allocate the time, costs, and resources to develop their own systems. Here are five reasons why you should too.

Accurate data analysis – Retail data is only useful if it is correct. By outsourcing your data analytics needs, you can avoid costly mistakes. Data solution outsourcing providers are equipped with tools necessary to aggregate, validate, curate, analyze, interpret, and visualize data. They also have the expertise and skills to undertake data-driven solutions with accurate data analysis and relevant insights.

Retain focus on your business – Data is generated at an unprecedented rate. Outsourcing the most important stages of your data lifecycle allows you to focus on the day to day operations as well as strategic activities for growing your business rather than spending valuable time developing platforms to manage your data.

Access to talented professionals– Hiring professionals with the skill set and expertise needed to aggregate, clean, and analyze data is time-consuming and expensive. Partnering with a service provider will grant your business access to talented teams of experts with the experience tailored to your data project needs. Outsourcing means there is no need to spend resources for recruiting, training, and staff retention. You can instead use those valuable resources to focus on your organization’s strategic growth initiatives, customer service, and enhancing your brand reputation.

Flexibility and scalability – By choosing to outsource to a third party, your organization will have the scalability and flexibility to grow and manage increased demand without needing to allocate more resources and infrastructure.

Time and cost savings – Cost is typically one of the main reasons corporate executives choose to outsource their data needs. The time and money required to create and maintain data analytics solutions are usually more costly than partnering with a third party who already has the expertise, infrastructure, talent, and technology required.

Many businesses simply don’t have the capabilities to manage the immense amount of data generated effectively. Deciding to outsource your retail data services to Liberty Source will allow you to apply data insights seamlessly, support decision making, and give your business the competitive advantage needed in today’s marketplace.

Mitigating Risks with Third Party Partnerships

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Mitigating Risks with Third Party Partnerships

It has long been proven that engaging in outsourcing as part of your business strategy increases the strategic value of your firm. Whether you seek to save time and money, gain access to the expertise you don’t have in-house, or identify new ways to support your growth. Understandably though, depending on a third-party to drive critical processes exposes your company to additional risks.

Take for example, the current novel coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe and affecting every organization, no matter the size, market, or location. The breadth of how this pandemic will adversely affect your business operation will vary based on the importance you placed on risk mitigation planning before the pandemic hit. Thorough preparation and planning will help mitigate risks when and if they present themselves.

Contingency planning should go far beyond what you are experiencing today, and your company must be resilient to adapt swiftly to changes in the marketplace and conditions of the economy.

As you think about the future of your business, performing a risk mitigation assessment today will help strengthen your operating model to ensure you remain afloat while the current pandemic washes over us. As you eventually begin to plan for a brighter day, consider the following approach to mitigating risks with your third-party vendors:

  • Analyze how operations will be affected in each location an outsourcing vendor resides. The geographical location of service delivery matters as much, if not more, during a crisis as it did during your initial location assessment.
  • Place the most critical processes with a vendor whose own risk mitigation plan has been well tested and proven. The current pandemic is identifying craters in many offshore vendor’s business continuity plans. Those who did not have a multi-tier plan in place have significantly suffered as social distancing forced the closure of offices around the globe. Luckily, many US-based, onshore vendors have continued to have great success in meeting the demands of their clients, while ensuring the health and safety of their employees.
  • Understand your vendor’s cyber-security protocols and limitations. Ensure your vendor has adequate security to support both an onsite and remote workforce environment. Cyber-security protocols must heighten during a time of crisis, not relaxed due to failure to plan.
  • Develop an internal infrastructure to support a remote workforce effectively. The infrastructure includes the type of relationship you have with your vendor, their corporate culture, as well as access to the tools needed to work remotely (laptops, communication devices, access to power and internet).
  • Calculate the actual cost of offshoring, including what you may end up losing if service delivery centers are forced to close. Are the benefits of sending work offshore (typically lower cost) worth the potential loss of service during a crisis?
  • Explore how deploying a digital workforce increases productivity levels and the potential impacts on productivity if you do not implement a digital transformation initiative.
  • Consider investing in an independent risk assessment to uncover potential disruptions to business operations you may have overlooked.

Investing time into a risk mitigation plan will safeguard your bottom line in the unfortunate event that a global crisis hits again, or the current pandemic continues for longer than currently forecasted.

Never Miss Insights Buried in your Data Again

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Never Miss Insights Buried in your Data Again

The data that an organization like yours holds, accumulates at an incredibly high speed and at large volumes. If not dealt with quickly, you risk missing out on many valuable insights that the data sets can present. According to PWC’s CEO Survey, one of the fastest growing skills/positions needed in the enterprise are data engineers to build and maintain data warehouse infrastructure along with data analytics experts to parse through the data finding actionable insights. (2019). This is due to the importance that technology and data have on the strategic direction of a business. How can you ensure that you never miss insights buried in your data again?

Analyze the right things. If you are making correlations in your data that don’t serve the greater organizational purpose, you’re wasting time and money. Take the time upfront to understand and define the best and most valuable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your enterprise. These KPIs should align with the key business objectives and Critical Success Factors within your strategic business plan. Understanding this alignment will unlock valuable correlations hidden within your data which are critical in making strategic decisions.

Segmentation. Using data effectively through segmentation uncovers the behavioral difference across those segments resulting in holistic business decisions. The goal is to allow the data to come across in an objective and statistically accurate manor instead of driven by our own biases. Context is key when understanding how the data should be used and which correlations are important to highlight./p>

Visualization. The way in which data is presented will either encourage or discourage quick and effective decision making. We are no longer in a world where report writers spend hours sifting through data in order to present a set of numbers and words on paper, attempting to culminate in a meaningful data report. Telling the right story and in the right way through visually appealing graphs and charts provides an in-depth storyline for all to follow.

Liberty Source’s harmonized approach to automation and human capital discovers the underlying pain points that are impacting your organization and curates a personalized data analytics strategy to uncover insights that may have never been possible before.

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