Choosing a Nearshore Partner? 5 Questions to Ask First…

Contract workers, freelancers, and outsourced teams have been on the rise for a while now, due to changing preferences, growing availability of cloud-based technology, and more reliable access to WiFi. As remote collaboration becomes a fixture of the modern workplace, American companies increasingly view outsourcing software development as an opportunity to extend their development talent without exhausting their budgets.

That said, not all outsourcing companies are created equal, and knowing what to look for in a partner can make or break your ability to innovate faster, cut costs, and ensure a high-quality end-product. Working with a nearshore partner helps companies avoid the pitfalls of traditional outsourcing like incompatible time zones, language barriers, and cultural differences that make it hard to collaborate.
However, because the outsourcing business is growing so fast, navigating this space poses some unique challenges. Here are five big questions to ask a software development company before committing to an outsourcing provider.

1. Is the company headquartered in the U.S.?

While it might not seem like a big deal, a domestic liaison between you and your talent usually means fewer bumps along the way. For one, working within the same country means you’re operating under the same laws and using the same currency.

Working with a nearshore company based in the U.S. also makes it easier to get in contact with the company and eliminates the issue of communication barriers. This means organizations can easily find and hire the talent they need, ensuring more clarity around expectations, deadlines, and target outcomes.

Overall, finding a U.S.-based nearshore partner is the first step toward a smooth, Agile development process that gets the right results.

2. Are they big enough to scale, but small enough to care?

An overlooked answer to the question, “how to choose a nearshore partner” is, you’ll want to partner with a company that’s the right size. What we mean is, an ideal nearshore partner should be large enough to scale and support your business as it grows.

Because the industry is booming, new outsourcing companies are launching every day. Many of them are still growing and may lack the resources necessary to support your team’s efficiency. At the same time, your nearshore partner shouldn’t be too big. Larger outsourcing companies often have less time to spend getting to know the unique and individual needs of each of their clients.

You’ll want to partner with a development team that will act like an extension of your own. That closeness requires partners to gain a deep understanding of your company’s mission, customers, and goals.

3. Are they an established business that won’t disappear?

One of the best tips for hiring nearshore developers is making sure you do your due diligence. Here’s the thing, as outsourcing adoption continues to grow, so, too, does the number of companies operating in this space.

As with any boom, an influx of development outsourcing businesses means that you’ll often see companies take off virtually overnight, only to vanish just as fast. The challenge is, researching businesses from afar isn’t always easy.

Not sure how to choose a nearshore company that won’t take your money and disappear? Here are a few things to look for:

  • Make sure you can get in touch. Do they have a working phone number, email, and an established web presence? If so, you’re off to a good start.
  • Find out how long they’ve been in business and what awards they’ve won. Make sure you can verify this through a reputable, third-party source.
  • Look for testimonials and positive reviews from real customers. You might even try reaching out to past clients to learn more about the experience.
  • Ask for whitepapers and case studies for more proof that your potential partner can deliver results.

But don’t stop there. Get more specifics so you know exactly who you’re dealing with and how they can support your agility and bottom line.

  • Have they grown steadily over time or has business declined in recent years?
  • What does their client list look like?
  • Who are their largest clients? 
  • What industries do they specialize in?
  • Can they confirm how long their current client base has been working with them?

4. What does their onboarding process look like?

You want to find developers who can build software. However, when it comes to answering the question “how to choose a software development partner,” you’ll want to dig a bit deeper to learn about their specific methodology.

Before you make a move you should know exactly what your potential nearshore partner’s onboarding process looks like, and more importantly, how it aligns with your internal processes, expectations, and goals.

Not sure what to ask? Here are some questions that will let you know if an offshore partner can position you for success from the start:

  • What is the company’s methodology to empower a development team to deliver innovation?
  • How do they handle broad projects that are often complicated while still delivering a powerful end-user experience?
  • On governance, how well can they document their processes and commitments, and what assurances are in place to ensure your results are accurate, reliable, and repeatable?
  • What are the performance indicators they’ve established?
  • How are they connecting with your team and keeping them informed at every stage of the project?
  • Finally, where’s the proof (i.e., case studies, testimonials, and client references)?

5. Does this Potential Nearshore Partner Follow an Agile Development Model?

While evaluating prospective nearshore partners, ensure you team up with a company that can get results fast. As you put together a shortlist of potential partners, ask if they use an Agile development model.

Agile breaks software and app development projects into smaller functionalities, or “stories.” Stories are then organized on a central storyboard before the IT team tackles each functionality (one at a time) in order of priority.

Unlike outdated development models that can take a year or more to start delivering a return on investment, Agile’s bite-sized deliverables mean you’ll get to market sooner and start generating profits right away.

Bottom line, if a company isn’t using Agile, your best bet is to keep looking.

Tiempo Development: A U.S.-Based Nearshore Partner that Gets Results

Tiempo Development makes software development easy and affordable with our nearshore business model, advanced talent management, and a commitment to the Agile methodology.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can fast track your software development projects and make an impact on your bottom line within weeks.

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