Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  Which is better – self operation or outsourcing?

A.  Both.   We have no preference and have developed world class operations in each service delivery model and the combination of both models.

Q.  Do you do assessments of outsourced services?

A.  Yes.   In every way, the assessment process is like that for a self operation assessment.   The only difference is that we will closely look at the contractor’s compliance with their contract.

Q.  How much do your services cost?

A.  Our professional fees vary depending upon the specific needs of our clients.   Once the client determines their specific deliverables, we develop a “not to exceed” fee inclusive of all travel and indirect costs.

Q.  While we would like to evaluate our support service functions, we don’t want to upset our employees and community.   Can you provide your services without creating a firestorm of fear and anxiety?

A.  Yes.   We clearly understand these concerns and have successfully provided our services where un-managed fear and anxiety could have been harmful to the process.   Our open, honest and inclusive approach with all client constituencies before, during and after the provision of service not only reduces tensions but often forms higher levels of trust.

Q.  What qualifies Portolan Associates as experts in support service efficiency and effectiveness improvement?

A.  Our years of successful and unique experiences qualify us as “the” authority in the field.   All Portolan staff has vast experience as educators, administrators and operators of support service functions, in both the self operation and outsourced service delivery models.   We encourage you to review our staff biographies on our website “Staff” page.

Q.  Why the name “Portolan”?

A.  Mercator’s World, the leading map history periodical, defines a portolan as “a pilot book or set of sailing directions, which in map form was called a portolan chart” (vol 1 number 4, 1966 p. 73).   Utilizing our years of successful experience in “sailing the seas” of support service operations, we carefully pilot and safely navigate a course to improved efficiency and effectiveness.