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Offshore Vendor Questions

“Many assumptions that are made on European and North American projects are not true in the numerous offshore high-activity hubs. Many of these hubs are experiencing dynamic job growth. Every professional is getting several new job offers each week. In this vibrant, job seekers market, the workers are demanding. They are self-confident because they know that another job is available around the corner. Asking the right questions of the offshore vendor can help make this their problem, and not yours.”

“Finding a suitable offshore vendor requires good research, and ideally a reference from a trustworthy and experienced colleague. The following questions should be posed to offshore vendors that are included as part of the project rescue plan – preferably before entering into a formal relationship with them:

  • What national holidays do you observe?  People in different countries observe their own national holidays, some of which are extremely relevant and unmovable.
  • What statutory limitations apply regarding overtime and weekend work?  Many of the larger companies have become accustomed to evening and weekend work to make deadlines. Some countries actually have employment laws against this, or at least regulations. The amount of time that an offshore team can devote to making deadlines needs to be validated.
  • How do we ensure that communication is not delayed?  You do not want to ask a question, wait a day for a response, and then another day for the next response. Regular conference calls or instant chat sessions need to be set up to make communication more effective.
  • Who’s dedicated to our project?  What human languages can they communicate in? Try to get these answers locked down early. Offshore vendors are busy, and you want to ensure that you are getting sufficient attention.”