Creating A True Partnership With Your Outsource Partner

Now that you’ve selected your outsource vendor, it’s time to focus on building a great relationship with them.

Here are four key ways to create a strong, lasting relationship with your vendor.

Get your team’s buy-in.

The first step to create a positive relationship with your vendor is to make sure your internal staff is on board with the decision to outsource.

  • Be transparent in all your conversations.
  • Reassure team members who are worried about their positions being eliminated.
  • Have regular meetings to focus on the benefits of using an outsource partner.
  • Answer questions honestly.


Manage your expectations:

You know exactly what you want done, how it should be done, and when it should be done—but are those expectations realistic?

  • Get the buy-in from your vendor regarding your expectations; they must be fully committed to achieving the same goals that you are.
  • Be open to modifying your expectations if your vendor sees a better, more efficient way to manage it.
  • Have an agreed upon set of KPI’s and monitor the performance closely.
  • Address concerns or poor performance issues that arise immediately. Celebrate successes to show your appreciation.


Be purposeful when managing:

While you won’t be managing your vendor’s team, you need to oversee the entire scope of your project.

  • Schedule weekly meetings with their management team and key players to stay informed.
  • Don’t micro-manage! Stay in the loop but avoid hovering.
  • Address questions and concerns immediately.
  • Set clear expectations.
  • Respect their time by staying on task and ending meetings promptly. If a topic requires additional discussion, schedule a follow-up time, rather than run a meeting long.


Communicate authentically:

The key to any good relationship is in your ability to communicate in an open and transparent manner.

  • Practice active listening so you really hear what is being said.
  • Be clear and concise in all forms of communication.
  • Respect different viewpoints. You may not always agree with what someone says but remain respectful. Say, “I understand your concerns” to convey the message you are listening and respect their position.
  • Use different mediums to communicate. In this digital era, we rely on fast communication—emails and text messages. But it can be more effective to pick up the phone or have a video conference, so you can see who you are speaking with. Much of our communication is actually non-verbal, so being able to see someone smile or make eye contact with them can add clarity to your words.


When you approach the relationship with your new outsource vendor as a partnership, and follow these four tips for success, you are on your way to building a solid foundation of trust and respect.

Micah Laughlin

Micah Laughlin is the founder of Canvas IT and a leader in technology management services, supporting organizations of all sizes and helping them to thrive in spite of IT challenges and organizational changes. His first-hand experience with Service Desk Outsourcing companies led him to create a better way of doing IT outsourcing, the way he’d want it done. Today his philosophy carries on at Canvas IT as he creates a custom solution for each client just the way they’d want it done. Micah’s service desk management philosophy has supported dozens of growing businesses, adding value to the IT services they provide. Prior to founding Canvas IT, Micah spent more than 24 years managing IT operations – with 18 spent balancing the need for open, flexible systems with the restrictions of the highly-regulated healthcare industry.

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