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Topics: Outsourcing

As the business world evolves, organizations must keep pace with change. The companies that don’t will quickly be left behind. Those that manage to keep up or even innovate will be the leaders of tomorrow.

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The way businesses operate has changed over the last few decades. One major change has been the push to get leaner. Big, clunky organizations tend to fade away, while smaller organizations with nimbler infrastructure are more suited to the demands of today’s business environment.

Becoming leaner often means outsourcing some functions, especially those more routine operations. This is known as business process outsourcing. It’s been evolving alongside businesses for the last little while, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

In the Beginning

Traditionally, most businesses kept their operations in-house. You’d have an accounting department, a human resources department, a customer service department, and so on. Small business owners asked their employees to wear many hats. The marketing manager might also be the head of customer service and the CEO might also be the bookkeeper.

Larger businesses hired experts and created separate teams dedicated to one function or another.

Even these expert teams sometimes had trouble, especially if a new project came up or new rules were implemented. Even big businesses sometimes couldn’t keep up with the pace of change.

Specialists Replacing Generalists

One of the problems arising for most businesses was the need for specialists rather than generalists. In the past, it was easy for businesses to hire generalists. These people could perform most functions needed to keep the business going on a day-to-day basis.

As business has become more complex, a need for more specialists has emerged. Tax compliance must be monitored at all times of the year now, not just when you close your books. Similarly, IT support is a constant, ongoing need, as is IT security.

The result has been businesses needing to keep specialists on staff. These people have one dedicated job. They aren’t generalists, as they don’t perform many different tasks within the company. Instead, they fulfill one specialized role.

The Issue

The problem should be immediately clear: Now, instead of one person on staff, you need five or six specialists to manage all aspects of the job adequately. This is an expensive proposition for most companies!

Luckily, as businesses began to search for a solution to the problem, one became available: business process outsourcing. As time had gone on, some businesses developed specialties in certain areas. For example, a firm selling computer software became an expert in delivering IT support. Another became an expert at delivering customer service.

These “specialist” companies began offering their expertise to other businesses. Instead of trying to do everything themselves, business owners could lean on these specialist firms to take care of business tasks.

Solving the Problem

Why does business process outsourcing resolve the issue? Wouldn’t it be just as easy for a business to retain its own team of experts?

The outsourcers are experts at what they do. They hire and train specialists, and they maintain a team of specialists dedicated to performing specific functions. In some ways, hiring an outsourcer to take care of your accounting is like hiring a specialist accounting team. The difference is they’re your partners, not your employees.

The key difference, then, is BPO is available when you need it. Unlike employees, partners don’t necessarily need to be working for you constantly. In fact, they have other clients to keep them busy. If you happen to have a bit of a lull, there’s no concern.

Continuing to Evolve

Business process outsourcing is continuing to evolve as more specializations become available and as technology improves. Outsourcers can address many more areas of your business than ever before, more quickly and more effectively.

As BPO continues to evolve, it becomes an ever-better selection for business owners looking for a competitive edge in today’s tough market.



David Rae

David Rae

David started with Bill Gosling Outsourcing in 1983. As CEO, he sets the future direction of the organization, develops services that help with clients’ pain, while ensuring that the strategic direction is aligned to the shareholders’ requirements. During his tenure, the company has expanded internationally, opening offices in the United States and the Philippines. Also known as Razor, David is a drummer extraordinaire and his favorite bands include Blue Rodeo, Lighthouse, Supertramp, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, and The Guess Who.

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