Employing a 3rd Party Outsourcer is a huge move, exactly like consenting to manage an Appointed Representative.
This article will offer you lots of concerns to raise.
NB: You may possibly be required to sign a Non-Disclosure agreement prior to obtaining any answers to a few (nonetheless certainly not all) of these particular questions. If you discover a company hesitates to respond to these concerns, that can tell you something, should it not?
1. Is the company 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 worked?
5. The amount of companies they have services for/are servicing?
6. How many companies there are in their group?
7. Can you get an organisational diagram clarifying the structure of the business (Ownership/Management/Staff?
8. How many companies that have used their company on a continual basis i.e., rolled over contracts?
9. The frequency of board meetings discussing company earnings and revenue projections?
10. The amount of legal claims from clients made against them/outstanding?
11. How many company board meetings have been held in last 12 months?
12. What marketing is produced 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 Client 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 compliance for complaints/escalation/quality of data?
21. Ask to talk to random financial services firms as referees and ask that they provide you some contact names and numbers?
22. When you have spoken to a business 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 particulars from their HR.
24. Is the firm 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 business have/ how strong are the competitors?
27. Is it easy for rivals to launch substitute companies? Are there entry barriers?
28. What market awareness (branding) does the firm 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 distinct or can it be quickly copied?
32. Are they considered to be innovative?
33. What innovations has the company made in business design over the past one year to stay ahead of competition?
34. Will business grow in net value as business grows or will financial debt increase?
35. Will we have the capacity to exit any agreements? What are the usual terms? What about regulatory breach issues?
36. Have there been companies who have closed their arrangements early?
37. What Business Continuity arrangements are there, physically and IT? When was this last tested?
38. What secure waste destruction procedures are used? Are there certificates readily available?
With any luck, 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.
0207 097 1434