Outsourcing is somewhat of a hot topic. When I first got in business I had a friend (that did much better than me) who started a company and told me that his company would never do anything outside of their “core” competency. When I asked him what he was talking about, he explained to me that his business did certain things really well and others not so well. He took all the things they didn’t do well and found someone else to do them – brilliant!
When you are looking to outsource scanning, that’s where you direct your mail to a third-party that (hopefully) are scanning experts, your partner should be highly optimized to open mail, scan and save the document in the electronic form you need. There are a few things that you need to know about the vendor before you start your outsourcing project.
Thing 1 – Hoops
Hoops are good for earrings or when it’s close to the word hula, but not with vendors. The more you make the vendor do in order to comply with your new process the greater headaches you will have to get the process up and running.
Thing 2 – Change
Great for a parking meter (I am on a roll today) but terrible for vendors and outsourcing. The type of change that I am referring to is making the vendor add or move information on the invoice in order to use the new service. I have found a direct relationship in the amount of information you make the vendor change and the length of your implementation process.
Thing 3 – The Key
The key here is preparation. The more you can get your vendor information before the change the better off they are. Now, be careful about this one, because you don’t want to give them too much information. Too much information will cause a lot of questions and a lot of confusion. I counsel people to do the smallest change first that has the biggest impact. An example of that is a change of address. If that’s all you need to do then that ‘s all you should communicate with the vendor.
Thing 4 – Options
This one is the, “out of the box” thing, but your outsource scanning will go much better when you limit the amount of paper you send your third-party. Now, your third-party won’t like this too much because the are going to be paid on volume. Having other options like email or a portal will greatly help you with outsource scanning.
Thing 5 – Track Record
Experience goes a long way. (However) Look beyond the fact that the scanning company has been in business for “x” amount of years and drill into their experience with your type of documents. Because this is an AP Automation site, your third-party knowing about the complexity of invoices is very important.
Thing 6 – All Together Now
This one might be a little cheep, but the sixth thing that won’t kill your vendor is that no hoops, little change, preparation, options, experience are check marks towards successful change. If you have a few of these that’s better than having none of these but all of them together will reduce your stress and your vendors stress, which is something I am sure you need!
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