This is the second chapter of our BPO from A to Z series, and here we will go deeper into the BPO world to better understand all the benefits and risks in outsourcing, before taking a look at the future of this ever-growing industry in the next chapter.
BPO providers now are able to support a number of services and help fill many gaps within companies, these are some of the services a BPO company can provide.
Types of services you can outsource:
Some of the thriving industries that are partnering with BPO companies are: business services telecommunications, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, energy, retail, e-commerce, automotive, banking, supply chain, capacity solutions, and HR management.
The growth in BPO companies and the excellent results helped advance the creation of some BPO subspecialties, including:
Customer interaction services:
These types of BPO companies would execute business’s functions like: customer support, email services, appointment schedules, voicemail services, marketing, telemarketing, surveys, payment and order processing and customer feedback.
Information technology-enabled services BPO:
This form of BPO handles information technology over the internet or data network to deliver services. Here are some examples of jobs in the ITES BPO area: service desk analyst, production support analyst, and IT analyst.
Knowledge process outsourcing:
KPO has changed BPO, because it helps companies execute functions that are considered part of their core functions. KPO companies offer more than process expertise and efficiency; they also provide business expertise. Some examples of KPO services are: research and analysis. These outsourcing partners only hire people who are competent in a specific field and are usually linked to the business’s value chain.
Legal process outsourcing:
Legal process outsourcing is a subspecialty of KPO and provides a wide range of high-level legal work. LPO providers can execute patent applications and legal agreements, as well as perform legal research. Some of these companies even provide legal advice to their clients.
Research process outsourcing:
Another subset of KPO, research process outsourcing specializes in research and analysis functions. The RPO specialized companies perform research and analysis work that help and support business, investment, biotech, and marketing companies.
This BPO subspecialty includes all the operations a business needs to support its travel logistics, from hotel reservations to vehicle bookings.
Travel BPOs’ goal is to save money for the company; they lower costs while increasing customer satisfaction.
Airlines and travel companies also partner with BPO companies to take care of their front- or back-office processes.
Each BPO company will specialize in different services, such as back office transactions like check, credit, and debit card processing, payment collection, direct and indirect procurement; transportation, logistics and dispatch and even warehouse management.
IT and software processes:
These focus on technical support functions that include: application development and testing and technical support. Some examples are: automated data capture, this increases data intake and reduces cycle time.
Finance and accounting services:
These BPO services and functions can include: general accounting, billing services, accounts management and auditing.
Human resource services:
BPO companies can help your company overcome workforce challenges. They can also execute other tasks such as: payroll services, healthcare administration, hiring and recruitment, training, insurance processing, and retirement benefits for all your employees.
These BPO services are of a higher-level. Some of the processes may include data analytics, data and knowledge management, internet and web research and customer feedback analysis.
The Risks of Business Process Outsourcing
For U.S. companies, India and the Philippines perform a large portion of the outsourcing services. India in particular is a leader in BPO for the United States because its labor force is highly skilled, trained and English-speaking, and the companies get all of this with a lower cost. Latin America is ready to become a powerhouse in the BPO industry, as technology and infrastructure provide more comfortable nearshore bilingual options that share U.S. time zones and culturally relevant lifestyles.
Hiring any outside partner to perform business processes for your company comes with an inherent question of the level of efficiency and quality that the BPO partner can provide.
Potential breaches and vulnerability in data privacy are a real threat, particularly with the current prevalence and increased risk of hackers.
These are 3 important factors you should evaluate before partnering with a BPO company:
The Costs of Services:
Companies that partner with BPO vendors often disown the running costs of the providing services. These hidden charges can be done especially during upgrades or contract renegotiation. Other hidden costs can include: decrease in individual worker productivity, hardware and software upgrades, layoffs and currency fluctuations.
Once a company designates a partner to execute some of their business specific processes, the BPO partner becomes a part of the workflow. If a BPO partner replaces veteran employees for less experienced workers to keep costs down the cost will not be modified but the quality of the service will suffer as a result.
Language barriers can harm the effective execution of the tasks and functions.
When outsourcing your processes and functions of your business, your company faces a significant amount of risk; this depends on the type and structure of your company.
These are other possible risks associated with outsourcing: quality control, political instability, data breaches, strategic alignment, changes in technology and hacking.
Now that we have covered all the services and processes a BPO partner can provide and execute for our company and the risks we can encounter, it’s time to take a look ahead and see into the future of this thriving industry and the way it can evolve to create new niches of service.