Catalog data entry is a crucial part of any eCommerce site, and on the other hand it can often be a time-consuming and boring repetitive task for your staff. This is where outsourcing your catalog data entry can produce various benefits for your eCommerce business, and here we will discuss the 7 essential steps to outsource your catalog data entry.
Without further ado, let us begin.
Step 1: Understand Your Catalog Data Entry Needs
Before deciding to outsource with a data entry service provider like Oworkers, you should first understand what your business actually needs.
You may need to perform a thorough analysis, for example by analyzing all the steps/tasks performed in various business processes across various departments, especially those related to catalog processing and product data entry. Analyze carefully whether outsourcing these data entry tasks will be beneficial for your business and whether it is a scalable solution.
Your objective should be to reduce your operating cost and improve the overall efficiency of your business operations.
Step 2: Identify Your Outsourcing Requirements
Once you’ve decided to outsource your catalog data entry and the extent of your needs, in this step you should break down your requirements for the catalog data entry process. This will significantly help in choosing the right service provider, and determining what will your outsourcing contract contain.
You should consider the following factors:
- Your budget: how much are you willing to pay for outsourcing your catalog data entry
- Manpower needs: the bigger your data entry workload is, the more manpower you need. Check whether the outsourcing service provider has the capacity to handle your workload.
- Customization: your data is obviously unique, and you should assess whether the data entry service provider of your choice has the capability to cater to your unique flow and special needs if any.
- Security: make sure the data entry service provider understood the importance of data security, privacy, and integrity; and have taken the necessary steps in ensuring your business data security
- Technology infrastructure: whether you’ll need specific software and tools for your catalog data entry needs.
- Turnaround time: you might or might not need the data entry process to be done quickly.
- Customer support: your preferred methods of communication, and whether 24/7 customer support is a necessity for you
- Scalability: if you plan to scale your business and especially your catalog processing, you’ll want a service provider that can ‘follow’ you.
Depending on your business’s unique needs, you might have other specific requirements. Don’t be afraid to include all of them, and consider all the different factors carefully not to be sorry later.
Step 3: Create a Shortlist
Now that you’ve listed the requirements you’ll need from your data entry service provider, it’s time to research these potential outsourcing partners.
Obviously, in this digital age, the best approach you can do is to do online research for these outsourcing services, for example, by Googling them. Check their website to learn more about their services, and check for testimonials/reviews from their previous clients. Use the list of requirements you’ve created on the previous step to help weigh these different service providers.
Your goal here is to create a shortlist for three or four companies as your main candidates before we can move to the next step.
Step 4: Contact Your Candidates
Now that you’ve shortlisted three or four candidates, you can contact them and if possible, schedule a consultation with each of these service providers. Some of them might also offer the ability to get a (free) quick quote on their websites, which can help you in determining whether this specific service provider can fit your budget.
We’d recommend a face-to-face consultation (or at least a video conferencing consultation) if possible so you can properly discuss your requirements and also learn about their company culture. Be honest upfront about your expectation, and make sure both parties understand what the partnership will entail.
Ask clearly about their processes and how you can monitor their progress.
Step 5: Planning for Transition
Once you’ve decided on a service provider, it’s time to plan the transition process. Depending on the complexity of your existing catalog data entry process, the transition process might have unique requirements.
Discuss with your service provider who will initiate the transition and what will be needed in the process. Make sure everything is clear: what you‘ll need to prepare, what are their responsibilities, what is the expected turnaround time of the transition period, and so on.
You’ll want to minimize the interruption of your business process as much as possible, while at the same time you’d want the transition process to be accurate to avoid data loss, leakage, or corruption.
If necessary, appoint an in-house employee (or manager) to handle the transition process.
Step 6: Integration and Execution
Now that you’ve both completed the transition process, it’s time to sort out the details and integrate your existing business processes with the outsourced data entry process.
If you are working with a good data entry service provider, this process shouldn’t be too much of an issue, as typically they’ll have a system in place to ensure a smooth and seamless integration process for your benefits.
A key consideration here is to monitor data security best practices on both ends to ensure your data integrity. Also, take the time to analyze whether the outsourcing decision is actually helping your business. If the integration is not working as expected, it’s best to change to a different outsourcing service provider as soon as possible to prevent further damages.
Step 7: Monitoring and Evaluation
Last but not least, here you should still continue monitoring and evaluating the performance of the chosen data entry service provider. Ask your key personnel that is involved with the inputted data for feedback about the outsourced catalog data entry process, and forward the feedback to the outsourcing service provider if necessary. This will help in improving the process, as well as for you to make better business decisions in the future.
The key in ensuring a successful catalog data entry outsourcing is to understand your actual needs and choosing the right outsourcing partner based on your requirements. With the right outsourcing service provider, you can ensure a seamless transition and integration processes, and this is why finding the right partner is very important.
Want to learn more about how you can easily outsource your catalog data entry? Contact Oworkers right away to get a free quote for your catalog data entry outsourcing project.