Three Pillars for a Successful Outsourcing Partnership

Prior to joining CBE Companies in 2012 I worked on the client side of outsourcing in roles ranging from Operations Manager to Senior Vice President, North America Collections (including offshore vendor management).

When I joined CBE Companies to build our first party strategic business unit I was determined to build the business based on my client side experience, and we have.

Our first party operations at CBE Companies has been built with a commitment to these three things:

  1. Transparency
  2. Client/Supplier Engagement
  3. Agility

Transparency – I truly believe a transparent partnership creates the foundation for success. Our approach to a strategic partnership begins with complete transparency. Our approach to transparency assures our partners that we are committed to delivering customer insights, ideas and new ways to accomplish our goals. Transparency also enables us to confront any issues or improvement head-on as a team.

Client/Supplier Engagement – When I was on the client side of outsourcing I would regularly schedule  roundtables with front-line representatives and management so I could gain insight into what’s working well, what opportunities exist, challenges to address and to celebrate successes. That works great if the associates are open to talking about their concerns and giving their input. In my experience, chatty associates didn’t exist very often, so the round table discussions were not productive. Our operations team encourages associates to engage with our partners during roundtables and to provide their thoughts on how things are going. We encourage our entire CBE team, from the front lines to management, to make suggestions for ways to improve the business.

Agility – I have learned a lot in my outsourcing career. The two things that stand out the most are that change happens – and it usually happens fast. I have made this a priority in our first party operational culture here at CBE. I structured the departments to adapt quickly to our client needs and our systems and processes are built to allow flexibility and agility so we can change course as necessary. Our dedicated Organizational Development department works with each employee to help build a foundation ready for change, this helps us avoid breakdown when we’re moving quickly as we respond to our partners’ needs.

The list of things that go into creating a strong team to execute on the first party operations for our client is long, but it seems everything circles back to these three pillars. What qualities are imperative to running your business successfully?


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