In my last post, I shared an intro on how the shared economy is an extension of outsourcing. Rather than outsource anything that is not your core business, the shared economy is essentially outsourcing your core business - you better do it well.
Here are three quick tips on how to master the shared and outsource strategy.
Process design, management, and continual improvement is the only way you can provide a consistent experience at scale. Design your processes to be fool-proof. Include exceptions, reference links, a contact center number to call with questions, and quality assurance.
It doesn’t have to be fancy to start. In fact, it is best to nail down the process first with paper before implementing complex systems or apps.
Establish mutual trust, respect, understand expectations, and form a good relationship with the people that participate in your shared platform. Without trust, relationships can crumble - both personal and business.
I personally feel that face to face meetings and social gatherings make the biggest impact on trust. Get to know the people in the business. Understand their perspective. It makes a huge difference.
A few people from a partner company came to NYC from India the other week to collaborate for a project. While we had several meetings over the phone, the time we had in one week was amazing. We had the opportunity to work in the same time zone, enjoy lunch, and learn about one another.
Schedule a shared community gathering. The value to both your shared community and business will be priceless. Partner conferences are common - do the same for your shared community to establish trust.
You can have processes galore and trust the people. In the end, knowledge is the power to support your product or service. In a shared economy or outsource business model, you must have the framework and knowledge sources to train the people to properly support the product. Misguided expectations cause a ton of pain and cost your business money.
Build a single source of knowledge articles for everyone to reference - with a continuous feedback loop for people to contribute information when necessary. Create a training platform with a curriculum that re-enforces your processes, re-affirms trust, and aligns with your values. Without a shared place for knowledge, process will fall apart, and ultimately ruin trust with customers.
Training is one of the reasons Shyp, an on-demand delivery service app, will begin hiring the delivery drivers versus contracting. While it is likely not appropriate for all, it will be interesting to see which companies embrace the approach.
Here is another great article about the shift in contract workers to employees.Several of the business drivers are based on the worker to consumer ratio. What is right for one business may not be right for the other business.
In my next post, I will share my perspectives; as business operations leader , a shared community member of Closet Collective, and as a customer using a shared platform.
Do you agree with the three key tips? I would love to hear your comments perspective.
The Pukka Panda