There is no fit without cultural fit when it comes to an outsourcing partnership

A successful outsourcing partnership comprises of several equally important parts and the presence of each is essential for the success to come. From appropriate level of knowledge and experience, to healthy and developed economy of an outsourcee’s country, with good reference letters and recommendations, cost-effectiveness, and culture. Do you think a flourishing cooperation is possible without an effective communication? Unfortunately not. Regardless of how affordable, or skilled the partner may be, the partnership, and thus your project, will suffer if communication is inhibited by a cultural gap. 

Cultural fit may turn out to be a vital catalyst for a successful outsourcing relationship. So, what are the most critical factors of a perfect cultural match:

1. Lack of communication barriers

When talking about culture, communication barriers at the forefront. Generally, nearby countries share a similar cultural context, which is of high importance in business relationships. For instance, cultural mindsets in Europe are so similar that, if you are based in Europe, a European partner is quite likely to almost guarantee you no major misunderstandings, since you both have a fairly identical workflow and clear communication. This will allow you to effectively and calmly control the progress of your project without any possible risks caused by failures resulting from miscommunication.

2. Location in a close time zone

 It may sound trivial, but if your and your partner’s clocks are out of synch, there is a risk of a serious mishaps. Different time zones limit the opportunities for arranging meetings and phone calls during your regular office hours. In addition, it will be harder to get immediate feedback on urgent matters regarding your project if your outsourcing partner is deep in sleep. Different time zones are obviously a consequence of distant working locations, which may turn out to be a barrier to regular face-to-face meetings.

3. Similar customs, holidays and current affairs

Most European countries share a cultural heritage and quite a similar holiday calendar. They often have a common history, take part in similar sport and cultural events and are concerned about closely related political and social affairs. Sharing holidays has a very practical aspect, namely, both you and your outsourcing partner will be out of office on the same days.

4. Cultural alignment of the partner and the client

This one requires a mix of cultural similarity and soft skills of the outsourcing team. From the client’s perspective, this may even prove to be the X factor. Only a partner who understands the needs and the mission of their client will be able to effectively fulfil their expectations.

5. Setting up a relationship

The last factor is about the business bond between you and your partner. They must be able to establish and manage the relationship. This ability combines all the above factors and is becoming a trend in the outsourcing industry. We observe it every day looking at long-term partnerships with our clients.

If your outsourcing partner can provide everything but an adequate cultural model, they may never become a good fit. Luckily, a nearshoring cooperation with a company from a nearby country opens up the possibility of a perfect cultural match. If you are looking for information about other aspects of successful nearshoring, visit this website for further reading.

Jaroslaw Czaja is CEO of Future Processing

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