Usually, the two main reasons organizations have decided to outsource are to reduce costs and to have the ability to focus on core business goals and planning. But the research shows a shift in industry thinking. Outsourcing is not just about saving money anymore. It’s seen as a critical tool in innovation.
Outsourcing a specific business process can help you keep up with the demand for workforce and services for your business, but you need to have your strategies clearly in focus. Even more relevant today, outsourcing sees a very critical future at hand. Outsourcing companies are successfully continuing their operations remotely, and providers will increasingly use digital approaches to offer faster, smarter, better and cheaper services.
Among other benefits, hiring an external team to care for your most labor-intensive tasks while avoiding expensive overhead costs will give you an advantage in time management, flexibility and speed. It can also have its challenges such as communication, slow response times and language barriers.
The best way to overcome these challenges is to have a clear-cut understanding about the work you want to outsource and have realistic expectations about the outcome. It is a very productive exercise to start making lists and organizational charts showing the tasks that are part of your everyday processes. You will most definitely find that there are tasks that are using up internal resources that could easily be outsourced.
Business Process Outsourcing is the most common type of outsourcing. It refers to contracting any business process to a third-party service provider. This type usually deals with repetitive tasks such as customer support and administrative roles. In short, BPO services are conceptualized and practiced for businesses to save on costs or gain in productivity.
BPO services mainly handle two kinds of processes, back-end processes and front office processes. The back end process includes data entry, management, payments, surveys, accounts & finance, among others.
On the other hand, the front office processes include customer management services through social media, phone, email, and even live chat. It can include customer care or customer service, Help Desk / tech support, inbound & outbound sales, and even market research. Basically, after deciding to outsource for your specific needs, it is important to have a complete understanding of your customers’ preferences and behaviors because the right Contact Center you select will be the one taking care of them, business to consumer (B2C), and their questions, needs, and complaints.
In other cases, tasks can be too complex for entrepreneurs or their small team. It either requires additional training or a professional license to accomplish, professional outsourcing can be a viable option there. It can help you save on costs while getting a high-quality talent for your own operation.
Every business, whether it is a start-up or a large corporation, has IT needs as it deals with technology on a certain level. Offshoring IT services are among the common types of outsourcing these days. However, outsourcing offshore and nearshore customer-facing services are also popular as there are more daily repetitive tasks in your enterprise than contract work.
Offshoring or offshore outsourcing simply means contracting a part of your business process in another country, which is a strategy to lower labor expenses. Other significant advantages that offshore outsourcing offers is uninterrupted workflow, access to staff, control and ultimately business growth. While there are companies that find hiring offshore labor a cost-effective move, some find it the opposite and they start to bring back offshoring activities. One disadvantage is that it has small to no cost savings since salary will also be relatively similar to in-house staff.
Nearshoring lies between offshoring and onshoring business functions. Instead of bringing back the outsourced services from a far-away country locally, some companies choose to move their business operations to the geographically close countries. For the US, Latin America is an obvious choice as it is not only located in the same time zones, but also can benefit from the cultural influence, similarities in behavior, knowledge and diminished English accents.
The outsourcing industry has improved its competitive edge in recent years and has proven to be very reliable. If maximizing the budget is your priority, then outsourcing to countries with lower production costs may help you reduce expenses.
Your goals and strategies should be clear, and you can work closely with your Call and Contact Center or provider to develop a good understanding of what processes you will outsource.
To find the right fit, research companies that provide the outsourcing services you need, but also focus on proven excellence, talent and effective communication, remember to research also about working conditions in the country where the BPO company you choose is located.
Security is very important, i.e. certifications (such as PCI and HIPAA) and making sure you understand the way a nearshore partner can work in the exact way you want them to communicate with your customers.
It is important that communication and coordination skills allow the in-house and outsourcing teams to synergize and perform well.