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38 Leading Questions to ask 3rd Party Outsourcers

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Working With a 3rd Party Outsourcer is a significant move, much like agreeing to manage an Appointed Representative.

This article will offer you numerous concerns to raise.

NB: You might actually need to sign a Non-Disclosure agreement before receiving any explanations to a few (nevertheless certainly not all) of these particular questions. If you discover a company vacillates to respond to these concerns, that should tell you something, should it not?
1. Is the firm a member of any trade bodies or organisations?
NB: Membership is optional – if companies are members, it might provide a degree of credibility, nevertheless, many excellent companies are not always members.
2. Does the firm have experience in or comply fully with FCA Handbook in all regards? Is it FCA authorised?
NB: Firms do not have to be FCA Authorised provided they are not carrying out any regulated activities. We can conduct an audit to assist you in these matters.
3. Was business effectively providing services with previous financial services clients?
4. For how long has the firm operated?
5. The number of companies they have services for/are servicing?
6. The number of companies there are in their group?
7. Can you get an organisational chart explaining the structure of the company (Ownership/Management/Staff?
8. The amount of companies that have used their firm on a continual basis i.e., rolled over contracts?
9. The frequency of board meetings discussing company earnings and revenue projections?
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10. The number of legal claims from clients made against them/outstanding?
11. The number of company board meetings have been held in last 12 months?
12. What marketing is provided by the outsourcer? Samples?
13. What level of Training and CPD requirement is provided/required?
14. What level of ongoing Management Information (MI) is offered?
15. How is training and assistance supplied to new staff?
16. What is the makeup of the local management structure (more detail than 7)?
17. What are the Consumer profiles?
18. Working times (5 days a week, 7 days a week, etc.)?
19. Are shift-workers needed? If yes, what are the busiest times of each day (as an average)?
20. What warranties are provided if any, regarding service level adherence for complaints/escalation/quality of data?
21. Ask to talk with random financial services companies as referees and ask that they provide you some contact names and numbers?
22. When you have spoken with a firm get them to give a rating out of 5, where 5 is highest, 1 is most affordable about: a) Marketing support b) Level of continuous Support c) Level and quality of Training d) General satisfaction
23. Ask for staff turnover specifics from their HR.
24. Is the company planning any strategic acquisitions or expansion in the next 12 – 36 months
25. In their opinion, is the marketplace for the product or services most likely to grow soon?
26. What market share does the company have/ how strong are the competitors?
27. Is it easy for rivals to launch substitute companies? Are there entry barriers?
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28. What market awareness (branding) does the business have in their market?
29. Are they the leading player in the sector? How is this assessed?
30. What is their competitive advantage?
31. Is their competitive advantage exceptional or can it be swiftly copied?
32. Are they considered to be innovative?
33. What innovations has the firm made in business design over the past 12 months to keep ahead of competition?
34. Will business grow in net value as business grows or will debt increase?
35. Will we be able to leave any agreements? What are the usual terms? What about regulatory breach issues?
36. Have there been companies who have closed their agreements early?
37. What Business Continuity arrangements are there, physically and IT? When was this last tested?
38. What secure waste destruction methods are used? Are there certificates readily available?
Preferably, these questions made you think a bit harder about the outsourcing opportunities readily available. If you just haven’t got the time to make contact and ask all those questions, simply go to the website to sort the wheat from the chaff.
Lee Werrell
Compliance Doctor
0207 097 1434
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