Liaison Staff

One person should be appointed as chief liaison representative for the client in dealing with the outsourcing vendor on a continuous basis. Liaison individuals should have the authority to act for their employers and should be the normal route of communications between client and vendor, particularly for complaints. Therefore, the liaison person must be knowledgeable about the technology involved, be a diplomat, yet be able to be firm in monitoring and demanding proper performance from the vendor. The liaison officer must also be of unquestioned loyalty to the clients' interests (many systems technicians may see their best future career opportunities with an outsourcing services firm), yet see that the vendor's legitimate interests are respected.

The outsourcing contractor should be asked to set up a liaison counterpart, and both client and vendor should clearly define their liaison representatives' responsibilities and modi operandi.

The liaison function may vary in size and scope depending on the circumstances. McDonnell Douglas has a group of 15 to 25 employees managing its relationship with Integrated Systems Solutions Corporation (ISSC), IBM's services branch, with which it has a $3 billion outsourcing contract. Hughes Electronics has a staff of 50 to oversee the work of its outsourcer, Computer Systems Corporation (CSC), in its $1.5 billion outsourcing contract covering 7 years, and is pleased with the way the relationship is working out.

Outsourcing Cheat Sheet

Outsourcing Cheat Sheet

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