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Exploring Outsourcing—Challenges and Opportunities

By: Marie Alice Dibon, PharmD
Posted: June 5, 2009, from the June 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Miguel Membrado—founder of Kimind, a strategic consulting firm focused on Web 2.0— specializes in solving long-distance communication issues, with a goal toward improving how people work together.

“When it comes to the relationship with suppliers, people work side-by-side rather than together,” he says. “They are usually not well-equipped with collaborative and instantaneous communications tools. It creates delays.”

In order for people to be full members of a team, they need to have easy access to each other. It is also something that is essential to monitor and evaluate remote teams’ performance. Using chat and instant messaging tools, for example, puts additional pressure on people to get things done.

When information is produced online, rather than exchanged through e-mail, there is less loss of time and information.

“What is really fundamental,” emphasizes Membrado, “is to work with [contracted] people as if they were part of the same company as you. By using chat and online docs, you ‘fluidify’ the info and remove sources of error.”

In implementing these communication technologies, frequent updates, check- points and landmarks are must haves. Weekly communiques and deliverables should be agreed upon and scheduled to create accountability on both sides. This is a very demanding process because it forces everyone to be equally responsive and responsible. The upside is that things get done on time and everyone has great visibility in the process.

The security of online data is an often voiced concern. Security, however, is becoming less of an issue—and transferring data by e-mail offers no more secure than most online data, at any rate. As tools have evolved, so did protection systems. It is also now possible to create your own environment with controlled access points.

And the benefits cannot be ignored. With reduced delays, comes agility and an ability to react faster to changes. This is a clear plus in manufacturing.