1 use an instant messenger like skype so people dont exchange too many emails and can clarify things in a two minute call
2 stick to SLAs. if someone didnt design the SLA ‘s correctly have weekly metrics report. weekly team meetings and monthly higher up review meetings help.
3 Insist on offshore quality management like ISO 9001 or Green Belt, which are the default in It services.
4 insist on an attrition or team retention clause in your SLA. team members leaving will be biggest drop in your quality.
5 Have once a year on site trips . helps the training and the bonding too. its cheaper for off shore team members to fly on site , because the have lower actual costs.
6 have penalty clauses in SLA, insist on free credits for missed deadlines or bad quality project, its only fair..
7 always have an exit clause which specifies that offshore vendor will pay for transitioning process to newer member and have a liability clause too, its mostly taken care by their insurance company
8 Having a wiki helps in documentation , insist on all codes,logs to be sent to you with comments so as to review how the project was completed rather than only when something is wrong
9 trust in god, but lock your vendor’s contract