If you’re considering business process outsourcing (BPO) for your financial services firm—whether for the first time or as a seasoned pro—there are plenty of things you’ll need to consider. As you mull over your next move, consider these four tips to get the most out of your BPO.
1. Think about Flexibility
The goal for any business is growth, and financial services firms are no different. You want to grow your business, and when you outsource business processes, you want to be sure you’re making a deal that can scale with you through that growth.
Getting bigger might not be the only change in your situation, however. As your business grows, you’ll have changing needs. But changing markets and regulations might also affect your business. So could a changing business plan and strategy—are you now moving into other markets? Perhaps you’re offering new services or opening up your business to new demographics.
In any case, you need to know your business process outsourcing partner has the flexibility to grow and change with you.
2. Know Your Goals
In most financial services firms, there’s a lot of talk about goals. You probably discuss financial goals with your clients all the time—what exactly do they want out of their agreement with you? Before you sign on the dotted line to send any task out of house, you need to think about what your goals are.
Do you want to free up your staff by sending non-core tasks out of house, allowing them to focus on their work? Are you hoping to streamline your processes and find new efficiencies? How do these goals play into your larger strategic vision for the company?
Knowing what you want to achieve will help you find the right partner for your firm when you send tasks out of house.
3. Maintain Realistic Expectations
Will BPO save you a billion dollars? Probably not—at least, not in the short term. Maintaining realistic expectations is another key component of your business process outsourcing strategy. Much like knowing your goals—what you hope to achieve by outsourcing—you also need to know why you’re outsourcing.
In most cases, businesses outsource to save time and money. In many cases, they also realize additional benefits, such as having more streamlined processes or improving their customer service. Sometimes, they need to outsource simply to tackle a unique project they don’t have the in-house expertise to complete.
Maintaining realistic expectations also lets you measure your success when you move to BPO. If you think BPO will solve all of your firm’s problems, you’re likely in for an unpleasant surprise. If you have a more moderate projection of how much money you hope to save with business process outsourcing on an annual basis, you’re more likely to be able to measure—and meet—those expectations.
4. Choose the Right Partner
Perhaps the most important—and difficult—part of business process outsourcing is for financial services firms to choose the right partner. In fact, choosing the wrong partner is the cause of most firms’ outsourcing troubles.
How can you choose the right partner for your firm? Well, you need to keep in mind what your goals are, what your needs are, and how you expect those needs to change. Then you can compare vendors against their competition and determine which partner is offering your firm the best deal.
Keep in mind each vendor’s expertise as well. If you have an IT task to outsource, you probably shouldn’t send it to the HR specialists. You may start out needing one kind of business process outsourcing and later need another. If you think you may have shifting needs across departments, look for a well-rounded firm that can service all of your current and future needs.