Automated outsourcing? How would that work?

Too much of outsourcing follows the model of choosing an unreliable company and relying exclusively on them. This leads to you not getting what you want, and them getting fired. Many companies are swift enough to con you into signing a contract. They’ll be very nice to you and tell you what you want to hear until you sign a contract obligating you to a certain amount of money per month for an ambiguous quality and quantity of service normally measured in hours.

You have no idea if they put in the required hours, or if they gave quality work during those hours. Many companies will give you their worst guy who is completely unqualified, or cheat you out of the amount of hours you paid for. Even if you hire a reputable company, if they give you the wrong worker, your project is finished. If a company hires purely reliable workers, it doesn’t matter as much who you get. But, most companies hire 30% decent employees and the rest are disasters — at least in most outsourcing companies I have dealt with. It is so bad, that you might consider hiring in-house people to help you out — unless you can find reliable help overseas. There are good people, but how to find them? So, what’s my solution?

Choosing Workers
What if outsourcing houses offered you the right to choose your own workers on an online module? What if you could sample their work, read their resumes, and communicate with them on your own without needing to involve a busy manager in setting up an uptight appointment. What if it were like a dating site with photos of the workers, and information about the types of projects they had done and wanted to do along with their employment history at the company. Most outsourcing companies have employees coming and going every several months. If you have a serious project, you need someone who has a track record, and dumping your job every three months is exactly the type of track record I want to avoid.

Choosing Deadlines
What if you can submit job descriptions online for bids, including deadlines and detailed specifications. You could specify who at the company is to do the job, how it is to be done, and how fast.

Rapid Response
The average outsourcing company takes around 48 hours to answer an email. But, what if there were companies that made it a point to get back to people within minutes? You could get your project moving in a flash. If the workers you chose would personally get back to you within minutes, or if they were off duty then within hours, even if they were at home — wouldn’t that be amazing?

Quality Monitoring
What if you and a project manager could regularly monitor the quality of the work being done. At most companies, the work is a deeply guarded mystery enshrowded by a veil of secrecy. You never hear where they are in the project or how it is going. Finally after far too much waiting you get the finished product – a bunch of code filled with so many bugs you can’t possibly use it. You are far behind schedule and handed a pile of junk after the salesman assured you that you would be fine if you would only sign the contract. But, what if you could check on the work daily, and what if you received an email with progress daily even if nothing had been done? At least you would be informed.

The key to automated outsourcing is partly that people are cooperative (which rarely happens in real life) and get back to you quickly. The second key is that you can choose who you use and how fast things get done even if you have to pay extra. I like being in control of my projects, don’t you?

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