Business Process Outsourcing

How a cost-effective outsourcing solution can take your business to the next level

Introduction

Running a successful business is complicated, no matter the size. There are many moving parts. It’s common for managers and team members alike to wear multiple hats. But no single person can maintain all aspects of your business, and it can be a mistake to attempt to manage everything in-house.

If an essential part of your business is falling by the wayside, it’s time to consider business process outsourcing (BPO). The fate of your brand reputation depends on it.

The #1 reason companies outsource is to reduce or control costs.

(Forbes)

In a survey, 90% of businesses cited outsourcing as crucial to their growth.

(The Outsourcing Revolution)

In 2016, the global outsourcing market amounted to $76.9 billion USD.

(Statista)

1. What Is Business Process Outsourcing?

Business process outsourcing is the contracting of specific business tasks to a third-party provider. It’s an essential part of many thriving companies.

Business processes you can outsource include:

  • Human Resources
  • Accounting
  • Customer Service
  • Call Center Services
  • Payroll
  • Quality Assurance
  • IT Support
  • Data Processing
  • Software Testing
  • Strategic Planning

Organizations often decide to assign inconvenient tasks to an outside company so they can focus on their core operations. After all, you started your business because you’re passionate about what you do—not to get bogged down in back office functions.

While cutting costs is a major reason to consider business process outsourcing, the benefits don’t stop there. Outsourcing helps companies balance ordinary operations and back-office tasks. It also increases employees’ efficiency, reduces their stress, and makes them happier. This results in less turnover and lower employee replacement and training costs.

With BPO, you’ll get the resources you need—trained experts and specialists, and better tools—to complete complex projects.

Many businesses, however, allow common misconceptions to prevent them from adopting game-changing outsourcing solutions. For example, outsourcing is not an all-or-nothing situation. There is no one size fits all. In fact, there are several options and approaches when it comes to outsourcing to suit every type of business need.

What Is Business Process Outsourcing?

2. Understanding Your Business Process Outsourcing Needs

The decision to outsource business processes is an important one. Outsourcing comes with myriad benefits—increased focus, better customer service, cost efficiency, and more. But no two businesses are alike. To ensure success, you need to understand your individual needs when it comes to outsourcing. Here’s how.

Identify Core Tasks

Identifying your organization’s core tasks can be enlightening when considering your business process outsourcing needs. Managing functions related to your primary service or business offering is where your team truly shines. It’s best to keep the heart of your business in-house.

Identify Tasks That Are Repetitive or Specialized

Now that you’ve gotten to the core of your business, you can consider which peripheral tasks might make good candidates for outsourcing. Repetitive administrative tasks, specialized tasks that require a skillset you lack in-house, or brand-building tasks like customer care are good places to start.

Define Your Brand Goals

A strong brand is so much more than a logo, or even just a product. It’s your business’ personality and set of values. If you want to build loyalty and trust, you must clearly define your brand. Customers value consistency, knowledge, and a personal touch. Can outsourcing help you achieve your brand goals?

Consider the Costs

Your budget matters, and you must make decisions that are sustainable for your business. Though outsourcing is an investment dependent on the types of services you need, it can often be a beneficial cost-saving solution. Slashing spending on in-house office space, supplies, and full-time salaries can amount to significant savings.

Determine the Amount of Flexibility You Need

Is your business growing too quickly to keep up? Do you go through seasonal ups and downs? You require scalable support. A common misconception about business process outsourcing is that it’s a zero-sum game. That’s simply not true. In-house labor is actually more rigid, while outsourcing can be supple. Determine the amount of flexibility your business needs before looking into outsourcing options.

Understanding-Your-Outsourcing-Needs

Evaluate Your Current Technology

Are you using out-of-date tech? Investing in your organization’s technological infrastructure can be a good business decision—but it can hurt your budget. Outsourcing can grant you access to all the latest technologies without decimating your bottom line.

Weigh the Advantages

Maybe you’re just starting a business and need to maintain a clear focus on your core processes. Perhaps you’ve received feedback over the years and recognize the need for new solutions. Outsourcing can help cut costs in-house, boost efficiency, and free up resources.

Weigh the Disadvantages

Whether it’s logical or not, some business owners are simply not ready to give up any control over processes and tasks. Maybe your business needs more time to define its brand and set achievable goals, or perhaps you need to crunch the numbers a little longer. Weigh the pros and cons to make sure you’re ready.

Research Outsourcing Service Providers

Though outsourcing is beneficial and cost-effective, not all service providers are made the same. You want to partner with a provider that can meet (or exceed!) all of your expectations, represent your brand to its fullest potential, scale with you as you grow, and give you a technological edge. Look for industry experience and a proven track record.

3. The True Value of Business Process Outsourcing

In the new business world of evolving technology and globalization, the question of whether to leverage the potential of what outsourcing services offer can be a difficult one. The current marketplace is diverse, fast paced, and competitive, so it makes sense that businesses only want to invest in resources that provide maximum value for their time and money.

In the same way that businesses have grown, adapted, and changed in response to these times, the concept of outsourcing has also endured changes, and services have expanded to cover a broader audience than ever before.

Many industries are already benefiting from harnessing the value of business process outsourcing, including:

  • Banking and Financial Sectors
  • E-commerce
  • Telecommunications
  • Utility Markets
  • Automotive

In addition, the range of services offered via outsourcing may surprise you, such as customer service, sales and acquisition, call center technology, and more.

As the economy shifts and various industries are being innovated daily, your success might hinge on the understanding that you can’t possibly do it all yourself.

And it’s better that way! Stop losing sleep and stretching your resources thin trying to manage everything in-house when there are better, more valuable solutions that will not put undue strain on your team.

It’s time to understand the true value of business process outsourcing so your team and your entire organization can begin reaping the benefits.

Outsourcing: General Benefits

Outsourcing different components of your business will produce different benefits, yet outsourcing also comes with some general improvements that are consistent across the board. No matter which industry you operate in, here are some ways outsourcing can add value to your business:

Understanding-the-True-Value-of-Outsourcing

Cost Efficiency

Hiring in-house employees can be a significant expense, especially during uncertain times.

Outsourcing a portion of your services removes the need to hire permanent in-house staff, which reduces recruitment, on-boarding, operational requirements, and costs.

Outsourcing is also a cost-effective option for businesses with complicated back-office functions. Often, outsourcing business processes can help you perform necessary functions better and more efficiently, but at a more reasonable cost.

Staffing Flexibility and Expertise

If you have a workforce that has seasonal or cyclical demands, outsourcing offers flexibility and scalability. You simply get to bring in additional labor and resources when your business requires and then scale back when appropriate.

Additionally, services aren’t outsourced to just anyone—they’re outsourced to specialists in those particular fields. That means you can count on specialized knowledge, expertise, and tools to get the job done.

Outsourcing can translate to tasks being completed more efficiently and with higher-quality results.

Continuity and Risk Management

Weathering periods of increased employee turnover can be difficult for some businesses, adding a layer of uncertainty and inconsistency to daily operations. Outsourcing can help provide a much-needed level of continuity to an organization during trying times. It can also reduce the risk of operating shorthanded, which can result in errors, extra fees, decreased morale, higher turnover, and more.

By shifting certain responsibilities to your outsourcing partner, you are enlisting the help of an expert in the field to manage risk-mitigating factors for you. Teamwork!

Prioritizing Core Functions

So business is good. Your organization is growing and expanding quickly. Congratulations! However, this blessing can also be a curse in disguise if it’s not handled properly. Expansion means that both human and financial resources are consumed at a quicker rate and it can negatively impact a business that is struggling to keep up without the right solution.

You need to be focusing on the core activities that made your company a success, not putting out logistical fires.

Outsourcing non-core activities can help you refocus on what’s important, without sacrificing quality on the back-end.

Outsourcing: Industry Benefits

As previously mentioned, though business process outsourcing comes with a variety of general operational benefits, it also adds specific value to different industries. To give you an idea, we’ve outlined a few key value points in the following industries: Customer Support and Call Center Services.

Outsourcing Customer Support

24/7 Care

We live in the age of globalization, where people are increasingly connected at all times through the use of mobile technology. These, and many other factors, have signaled the shift away from the typical 9-to-5 workday. Offering a very limited window for customer support just won’t cut it anymore. Your customers will be expecting to receive service and support when they need it, no matter the time.

By outsourcing, you can quickly and seamlessly expand your customer support so that it's available around the clock.

Your customers can receive high-quality support—no matter their schedules, lifestyles, or time zones—in their preferred method of communication.

Expert Staff and Call Managers

When you choose to outsource, you’re choosing to partner with talented professionals and highly trained customer support representatives. All reps receive the same quality training to ensure each customer they help receives stellar support.

In addition to this core staff, expert call managers are available to quickly and efficiently resolve issues. With the help of skilled and experienced call managers, your customers will spend less time on issues and more time appreciating the products or services offered by your business.

Multiple Services

Outsourcing customer support is not simply about fielding complaints. Your outsourcing partner may offer several different services that can add value to your business, including sales and customer acquisition!

Whether it’s spearheading a telephone or internet survey to gain crucial feedback for your business or building an online knowledge base to help customers feel more self-sufficient, outsourcing can help you offer a more sustainable and well-rounded customer experience.

outsourcing Call Center Services

Outsourcing Call Center Services

Whatever comes to mind when you think of a “call center” is probably outdated. Call center technology and services have grown and expanded for the better. But with growth and expansion comes the need for additional support—that’s where outsourcing comes in.

A Multi-Center Strategy

Perhaps your call center has only a single location and is struggling to meet the expanding needs of your business. Partnering with a larger outsource call center might help. With multiple locations, it can offer the size and scalability your business needs.

Additionally, it can be a struggle to offer around-the-clock service to your customers without any help—especially if you want to expand your reach and cater to customers globally. Outsourcing call center services provides access to a multi-center strategy that allows your business to make use of several different locations and time zones, for both recruitment and continuity purposes.

Money Savings

Investing in a high-functioning call center might be necessary, but it’s not always easy. Hiring staff for the center, investing in up-to-date technology, and keeping up with changes and innovations is a lot to manage. It’s likely why many call centers are operating inefficiently and with outdated equipment. The overhead is simply too high.

But there’s a solution. Outsourcing is a cost-effective solution to your call center needs. Your outsourcing partner can provide more flexibility in staffing, which creates more room in your budget to invest in your core operations. You don’t have to worry about being either understaffed or overstaffed—there’s full scalability potential to meet your business demands.

Outsourcing also makes it easier to implement the latest technologies at a much lower cost.

Your outsourcing partner likely offers services to more than one client, so it is able to distribute the high cost of technology required for operating an effective call center among multiple clients.

Bottom line? Your call center will benefit from significant savings when investing in outsourcing.

Outsourcing: A Valuable Partnership

Whether you’re looking to reap the general benefits mentioned above, you’ve set your sights on improving your customer support or call center services, or you want help with managing your business processes or accounts receivable, outsourcing is a valuable solution for you.

4. The Benefits and Cost Savings of Business Process Outsourcing

What makes a successful business owner? Is it an eye for innovation, a flair for multitasking, and a willingness to get involved with all levels of operations?

Sure, these are all incredible qualities to have. But sometimes the sign of a true leader or successful entrepreneur lies in the awareness that a single person can’t do it all.

In fact, trying to wear too many hats can actually be risky for your business—there are too many moving parts. Everyone has strengths, and everyone must play to them. A business owner is no different.

It’s safe to say most business owners and managers don’t go into the office every day excited about data processing or other administrative burdens. And just because they’re the heads of the organizations, it doesn’t mean they’re certified in IT support or software testing either. The good news is they don’t have to be.

It’s time to stop trying to juggle everything yourself and overwhelming your employees by expecting them to do the same. It’s time to restore balance to your business and leverage your team’s unique strengths—not squander them by redirecting their efforts to inconvenient tasks.

Stay competitive, remain forward thinking, and maintain your sanity. Play to your strengths and regain equilibrium.

How? The solution is business process outsourcing and it’s an integral part of many successful, thriving businesses. Rather than keep every single task and project in-house, you can save your valuable resources by outsourcing a vast array of tasks such as customer care, data processing, payroll, IT support, and more.

A good outsourcing partner will also ensure the right strategy is implemented according to your particular business needs, keeping your brand identity in mind.

There are many benefits to be enjoyed from business process outsourcing, along with valuable cost savings. Don’t stretch your budget—or your people—thin. Your business will provide the destination, and your outsourcing partner will provide the right itinerary for success.

Benefits of Business Process Outsourcing

Refocusing Your Efforts

Along with balance, your business needs focus. Scattered leaders and team members attempting to manage all aspects of the business can lead to chaos, confusion, burnout, or a frustrating level of inefficiency.

It’s also difficult to move forward when all your energy is focused on maintenance. If all your in-house resources are poured into all the secondary tasks involved with selling a product or rendering a service, you can never have an eye on the future. You will never be able to innovate or set an incredibly high standard of customer service. Your brand identity will suffer or be non-existent.

Partnering with a business process outsourcer can help you stop diverting and refocus your efforts where they count. BPO can encompass everything from processing applications, data entry, data cleansing, quality assurance, lead follow-up, and more.

You’ll not only be getting these tasks off your plate, but you’ll be handing tasks and projects over to experts who have been specially trained to complete them thoroughly and efficiently in adherence to your brand identity. BPO is like a strategic extension of your in-house team and company culture.

Here are some areas of your business you should (re)focus on:

  • Brand Building
  • Business Strategy
  • Learning & Development
  • Digital Fluency
  • Goal Setting
  • Knowing Your Competitors

Here are some BPO tasks you can and should be handing off:

  • Processing Paperwork
  • Scoring Calls
  • Data Maintenance
  • Data Entry
  • IT Support
  • Quality Assurance
  • Warm Lead Call Transfer

As you can see, a wide variety of non-core or supplementary tasks can be delegated to a business process outsourcer.

In addition, it’s important to debunk a common outsourcing myth—that it’s an all-or-nothing type of scenario. That couldn’t be further from the truth!

When your business partners with a BPO provider, you’re not at all required to cede control of your entire back office. Rather, you can sit down and figure out which tasks are the top candidates for outsourcing, depending on the unique needs of your business, and proceed strategically.

Freeing up Resources

It’s inevitable that your business will end up with projects and tasks that it simply cannot handle in-house. Businesses experience growing pains when they’re developing quickly. When your business has been gifted with employees who possess highly specialized skills, you cannot afford to waste these talents on merely keeping operations afloat. You must allocate your employee resources just as carefully as you allocate your financial ones.

BPO can help. Your employees can prioritize their strengths, while outsourcing will provide your business with highly trained specialists who can accomplish additional non-core tasks with precision and expertise. Nothing falls by the wayside—everything is accomplished efficiently with fully optimized resources.

When it comes to financial resources, you’ll also find yourself with a surplus when engaging a BPO. If your business acquires a project or series of tasks that no one in-house is equipped or available to handle, you will have to invest a lot of time in finding and hiring someone suitable.

We all know time is money—and hiring is expensive. Consider this simple equation by entrepreneur Scott Allen: If you want an idea of the investment required when bringing in a new employee, calculate the cost of training (including materials) and the time required of managers and team members to train the new employee to sufficiently complete the project. Even this calculation is generous, as it doesn’t take into account how much time it can take to actually find the right candidate or group of candidates.

The reality is that staffing a project can be neither simple nor cost-effective. This is one of the reasons why outsourcing can save businesses a lot of money. By benefiting from BPO services, your business gains instant access to a slew of talented individuals who are already highly trained and immediately capable of completing the task at hand.

Business process outsourcing frees up both your human and financial resources and reduces the costs tied to hiring for specific projects.

The-Benefits-and-Cost-Savings-of-Business-Process-Outsourcing

Implementing the Right Infrastructure

We live in the age of globalization and e-commerce. With advancements in technology and the increasing prevalence of mobile devices, borders and time zones no longer limit businesses in the ways they used to. There’s the potential for more unity and global expansion than ever before—if your business is willing to take advantage of it.

However, it’s still no walk in the park. Opening and operating multiple locations in different countries can make it difficult to achieve cohesion. It will take the right infrastructure to make it work. If you don’t already have this infrastructure in place, it can be expensive to invest in it.

Business process outsourcing can provide the right infrastructure without all the budgetary constraints.

BPO providers make use of cloud-based systems and advanced communication infrastructures to ensure your business operates as a completely unified, 21st-century unit.

In fact, many outsourcing partners have outposts all over the globe, from Canada and the US to the UK and the Philippines, to serve all the needs of your business. How will this benefit you?

  • Cost savings (You don't have to hire new teams all over the globe!)
  • Access to seamless 24/7 services and support
  • Project deadlines more easily met
  • Increased flexibility
  • Scalability with cloud technology
  • 100% uptime
  • And more!

Cost Savings Where It Counts

The valuable, high-priority parts of your business are likely the costliest to maintain. A prime example of this is customer support, which is essential to building your brand and ensuring your continued success. Yet often managers will do one of three things:

  • They will cut budgets and resources to other departments
  • They will allow customer support to suffer
  • They will try to do everything (such as manage business processes) on their own

Unfortunately, these three solutions are not the way to go.

If you truly want to build your brand and offer an elevated level of service to your customers, you must invest in the right solution.

That solution is business process outsourcing.

An investment implies that you must thoughtfully spend money. BPO has an incredibly high ROI. There are multiple ways outsourcing will save you money—without cutting corners. Here’s a recap:

  • Access to a complete staff of workers without the cost of hiring or training
  • Businesses do not directly pay for the salaries or benefits of outsourced talent
  • Significant reduction in overhead costs
  • Infrastructure and communication technology overhaul with associated operating costs

BPO and Your Business

By partnering with a business process outsourcer, you are investing in a flexible, scalable, and sustainable solution for your entire business. Refocus on performance, free up resources, benefit from the right infrastructure and technology, and build your brand all at the same time.

Take advantage of the opportunities for global expansion and consistently outperform your competition’s in-house teams. There’s no task or project that can’t be tackled with precision and care when you partner with the right outsourcer.

5. 15 Tips for Choosing an Outsourcing Partner

Are you looking for an outsourcing partner but don’t know where to start? Here are some expert tips to choose the right outsourcing partner that will take your business to the next level.

Choosing an Outsourcing Partner

1. Ensure They Offer the Services You Need

If your business wants to outsource customer care and support, or customer acquisitions and sales, find an outsourcing partner that can deliver services you require while exceeding your expectations.

2. Look for a Variety of Service Offerings

After you’re sure your outsourcing partner can deliver the high-quality services your business needs now, research any additional offerings they offer. Some partners also offer contact center solutions, accounts receivable management, and more. If you’re thinking of your business’ future, it can be desirable to have a variety of options down the line.

3. Go for Experience

Green is not the way to go when it comes to selecting an outsourcing partner. Outsourcing works efficiently with attention to detail. Superior care requires many years of knowledge and experience in the industry. Seek a partner that has been around the block.

4. Read Testimonials

If you want to get a good idea of the kind of partnership you’ll have with an outsourcing firm, see what other businesses have to say! Reputable partners will proudly display client testimonials, have high ratings online, and come recommended by other satisfied businesses.

5. Check out Awards and Certifications

A stellar outsourcing partner will boast a roster of awards and certifications to prove they can take you to the next level. You want to trust that you’re partnering with a provider that can protect your business, wow your customers, and surpass basic requirements.

6. Investigate Their Technology

One of the key benefits of a good outsourcing partnership is the access your business gains to state-of-the-art technology. You can get an edge in the 21st-century market without having to overhaul your infrastructure—that is, if your outsourcing vendor is innovative and tech savvy, too.

7. Assess Their Flexibility

If providers you’re considering are rigid about their service offerings or want to lock your business into a long-term contract with no wiggle room or opportunity for growth, take it as a warning sign. A good outsourcing partner will create a supple, scalable relationship with your business. You should never feel trapped.

15-Tips-for-Choosing-an-Outsourcing-Partner

8. Make Sure They're on Brand

Your business should have a clearly defined brand and brand-related goals. When looking for an outsourcing partner, you want to ensure the firm is aligned with your values, mission statement, and quality of service. Your partner will be an extension of your brand, after all.

9. Prioritize High-Level Communication

A lack of proper communication practices can severely jeopardize your outsourcing partnership. If there’s a lack of clear communication between your business and your outsourcing partner, there will likely be a huge disconnect with your customers as well.

10. Evaluate Costs

Partnering with the right partner provider should save your business money—you shouldn’t accumulate hidden costs. Cost-efficiency is key, so ask questions to discover any hidden costs related to implementation, testing, connectivity, infrastructure, etc. Always keep your bottom line in mind.

11. Probe for Expertise and Competence

It’s crucial that your outsourcing partner possesses the technical knowledge and project competencies to meet your business’ requirements and exceed your expectations. Looking good on paper is one thing. Having an advanced understanding of your organization’s processes and methodologies is another—it’s the difference between a good experience and a great experience.

12. Choose a Partner That Can Help You Grow

Does your business simply want to maintain the status quo? Probably not. Partner with an outsourcer that is as forward thinking as you are. Innovative partners will help your business craft a strategic plan for success and foster an environment of constant development.

13. Avoid a Language Barrier

It’s important to reiterate that communication is of the utmost importance. An outsourcing partner from a non-English speaking country is not always ideal due to the language barrier. Miscommunication should not be something your business gets used to. When it comes to brand building, it might also feel impersonal for your customers to interact with associates working in a completely different time zone.

14. Choose a Company over a Freelancer

Freelancers can be great under different circumstances. When it comes to an outsourcing partnership, finding a motivated, long-term partner is key. You want your partnership to be streamlined and consistent. It’s a less risky move.

15. Choose an End-to-End Solution

Leave no loose ends—ensure your partner can provide end-to-end solutions and has a comprehensive process when it comes to completing tasks. You will be surprised what the right outsourcing partnership can do for the health and development of your business.

Conclusion

Admitting you can’t do it all is not a sign of failure. In fact, businesspeople need to realize this in order to succeed. Delegating certain tasks to a qualified outside firm will help you focus on core responsibilities and take your company where it needs to be.

There are only so many hours in a day. By investing in business process outsourcing, you can get back to your core functions and focus on growth, development, and other areas of potential. You should feel poised for success instead of stuck chasing your tail.

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