How to start nearshoring

Nearshoring improves flexibility, allows you to focus on what you do best, but first and foremost gives you access to talent. You might also be able to lower your development costs in the process. But, there are risks involved when you don’t do it right.

So, let us help you to do it better by giving you a few steps to follow when you want to start nearshoring.

Shortlisting

Your nearshoring journey should always start by shortlisting potential providers. There are a couple of things to do while making a list:

  • Normally sight visits but let’s stick with Zoom, Teams, or Meet for now.

Physical visits help with grasping the company culture and to establish a personal connection. Unfortunately, this is probably not possible in the current situation. Use platforms like Zoom to replace physical meetings, but take your time. Plan multiple calls until you feel comfortable and feel like there is a personal connection. (You might not know it, but you're already nearshoring if you think about it.)

  • People, capabilities, capacity 

Look for a company that has a mix of junior, medium, and senior developers. It will enhance the quality of the deliverables significantly when the company has a diverse pool of developers. Also, a good overview of the capacity is necessary to grasp the scaling capabilities. 

  • Look at the tech-stack

What is the core tech-stack of the providers you are considering? Not every solution is suitable for every programming language. Also, it’s a strategic decision to look for a provider that offers a future proof tech-stack. Although no programming language is 100 percent future proof, we think Python, Golang, and Javascript are  safe bets. 

  • Keep it at 3

It’s called a shortlist! Make sure to select a maximum of 2-3 companies to evaluate. A choice of 1 is not a choice, but a choice out of 4 will become too complex. 

  • Ask for a quote

Figure out what the project would entail and request a quote from the companies on the list. If you don’t have a clue about the requirements, it’s probably wise to check if the nearshoring partner offers a service that will help you with that. 

So if you’ve followed the steps, you’ll probably have a whole lot of material to evaluate.

Foto of a person making a list in a notebook
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Assessment

After receiving the offers, it’s time to assess them and make a decision. If the companies on your list are quite similar, it might be a tough decision. 

Of course, price is a factor. It’s always tempting to go for the lowest price. But is that everything? A lower price will probably reflect in the quality of delivery. Flexibility and quality often have a price, but with nearshoring, it’s always cheaper as in-house. If you are just after the price, then you might be better off going for offshore development (in countries far away). 

Besides price, we ask you to use your gut feeling. A business decision isn’t always pure business. Never let your emotions get the better of you, but use a mix of business and gut feel to determine who you are going to work with. It’s probably a company that is going to work with you for a decent amount of time, so the right feeling is also important. 

Room for flexibility? The right feeling? Well priced? Well, let’s go then. Make that choice and stick with it.

The pilot

After deciding which partner it’s going to be, we’d advise you to not jump in with the full project. Choose a part of the project that is substantial enough to let the partner show their potential. 

Keep in mind that this is an important step for both companies. For you, it’s crucial to confirm the potential and quality of the nearshoring provider. For the software partner, it’s good to get a feel of the project, your company, and potential developers you have in-house. 

Taking your time is crucial. It’s not strange for the pilot to go on for 2-3 months. It’s also the time in which you establish a way of working that suits both of your companies. We prefer scrumban. Scrumban lets you focus on parts of the project based on priorities, not on duration of a task. It will help you get the most important components of your project done first. But don’t just take our word for it. You should figure out what works best for you. 

Reflect

Reflection is an essential part of the business in general. After the pilot is over, you should have a feeling if the partnership is going to work in the long run. Look at the pros and cons and try to discuss them with your nearshoring partner. Maybe some of the cons can be addressed to improve cooperation.

Also, reflect internally:

  • Are the cons something we can live with? 
  • Is the feeling still good? 
  • Is the product of the preferred quality? 
  • Are there cons that need to be eliminated before we want to continue? 

These are some of the questions you can ask yourself while reflecting. 

Finally, be prepared and able to let go of the partnership if the pilot didn’t turn out to be a success. You might have to start over with a different partner or start with in-house hiring, but that will always be better than sticking with a partner that doesn’t fit your needs.  

Do or do not, there is no try

Go or no-go, the final step in the process. If everything points in the right direction, go with it and continue with the rest of the project. If things aren’t like you thought they would be, pull the plug and go in a different direction. Do or do not, there is no try.

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

It's not something you have to do on your own

It might be a big step for you to choose nearshore development as a solution. You are aware that it has benefits, but the risks are still too high. 

That’s where we would like to come in. We are a team of experienced and young professionals who manage the relationship between you and the potential nearshoring partners from start to finish. You communicate with us as a single point of contact in The Netherlands and we’ll take it from there.

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