I got involved in a conversation to outsource a few of the HR processes for a large client. The client listened to our team for about an hour and agreed to look at the option of outsourcing. We went back saying we need to understand more about you organisation before we can provide you with a quote. The client is in a tremendous hurry to outsource so they wanted something quick. We sent in a template asking for some basic information. The client refused to provide any information due to lack of time on their part.
I got into a call with the HR head who could not understand why we wanted all this information when no other company which was in the process was asking for. In his opinion since we were doing this for lot of clients we should be able to provide a quote from our experience. I went into the process of explaining why we needed each bit of information and the role it played in our framing the proposal. The conversation ended kind off with the client saying since we were the only ones asking for such information and also the fact that they did not have time to do any data collection hence it was deduced that we were probably not interested in their business. Now you may probably not see a logical way of arriving at that conclusion but thats how it was.
The most important lesson that I have learnt all these years is that if you want to get into a successful outsourcing relationship do your homework first. Wherever we have got into situations where the client was not prepared, we have burnt our fingers badly. Once you have got a client who is unprepared and you have a committment to deliver the client most often only wants to talk about your committment not their part of the deal.
My simple thought hence for all outsourcers is look for clients who have thought thru their decision of outsourcing you will have a easier life.