Over the past decade, business process outsourcing (BPO) has transformed from a cost-saving tactic to a mature strategy that drives positive change in supporting business objectives and goals.
Adding a BPO partner to your business will not only help you save money on labor costs and increase your revenue, but will also allow you to focus on your core business competencies, solve capacity issues, and improve business results.
In Deloitte’s 2016 Global Outsourcing Survey, 57% of participants said partnering with a BPO provider enables them to focus on core business functions while 47% said it helps them solve capacity issues.
With so many BPO providers available today, it could be difficult to know which partnership suits you best.
When looking for the right outsourcing partner, you have to understand that all BPOs are not created equal. Choosing your BPO service provider is a complex process. You have to find an outsourcing service provider that can perform the job well, collaborate professionally, help you save money, and provide ongoing support to help manage your recruitment process, IT requirements, HR needs, and other processes that you require.
Companies looking to outsource must conduct adequate due diligence on the capabilities of any potential outsourcing partner. Some of the factors that should be considered are as follows:
People & Structure
It’s critical that an outsourcing provider has the ability to build an offshore team structure that embeds leadership, training, and continuous improvement with strong performance measurement where team members are valued.
A BPO partner should encourage personal and professional growth, support the community as a whole, operate with the highest ethical standards, and support the building of culture and engagement in your offshore team.
✓ ITEM TO CHECK: TRAINING CAPABILITY & SUPPORT
Systems & Processes
A high-performing BPO partner provides industry leading software which can help manage your remote team and provides proactive suggestions on system improvement and opportunities, as well as ongoing support to continuously improve, evolve, and embed your current processes.
If necessary, your BPO service provider should help redesign your processes including reviewing of business rules, processes and procedures, and consideration of what changes would be needed to support the BPO strategy and identify any implementation steps that are required to ensure the BPO is implemented in a considered manner that manages risk.
✓ ITEM TO CHECK: ADVISORY & CONSULTING SERVICES
Infrastructure & Setup
A suitable BPO provider supports the BPO setup and transition. This includes having a dedicated support team with experience in understanding the processes, contracts, people, and IT infrastructure to ensure there is no disruption to operations during setup.
In most cases, an outsource provider will plan to implement workflow technology to support its control of business processes and help determine the best option for your requirements. As IT can make or break your offshore success, ensuring a provider has multiple ISPs, redundant networks, and backup generators are essential.
✓ ITEM TO CHECK: REDUNDANCY OF NETWORKS and 24 x 7 x 365 SUPPORT
Recruitment and HR Support
A high performing BPO partner has the ability to rapidly hire and build an offshore team that complements and supports the onshore team and the company’s business model. They are able to achieve this as they provide an attractive place to work, have engaged teams, and can demonstrate retention.
Many BPOs have attrition rates of between 30-40% which costs time and money and can ultimately be your undoing. Look for a service provider that prioritises retention activities as attrition can be reduced to less than 10% when there is a focus on retention.
They should also help you manage all payroll and employee benefits, ensure all regulatory, tax, compliance and insurance obligations are met, and provides other HR services including time & attendance monitoring and workfloor supervision.
✓ ITEM TO CHECK: RETENTION RATES ACROSS ALL CUSTOMERS
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Global Presence and Industry Expertise
Some of the necessary attributes of a suitable BPO partner must include in-depth knowledge and expertise of the industry and best practices, experience working with other businesses and organisations, and full awareness of the of the specific concepts, terms, facts, and trends of the BPO industry in order to meet your company’s business objectives.
✓ ITEM TO CHECK: GLOBAL SPREAD OF CUSTOMER BASE
Always consider a BPO service provider whose geographical footprint suits your location needs. BPO companies that provide first grade facilities in a good location that is accessible to public transport and important transport hubs helps attract appropriate candidates, aids retention, and supports the ongoing business operations.
✓ ITEM TO CHECK: PROXIMITY TO MAJOR TRANSPORT HUBS
It will be a shock to many to find a number of BPO providers do not carry the level of indemnity insurance one would expect from an onshore supplier. Any high performing BPO will be able to provide the necessary insurances to cover all jurisdictions in which you operate.
✓ ITEM TO CHECK: INSURANCE CERTIFICATES OF CURRENCY
Embarking on an outsourcing journey and entrusting your business processes to a third party is a critical decision, which is why it requires a certain amount of research and planning before partnering with the right BPO provider.
Considering all the points described above will help you make a more effective and accurate decision in choosing a suitable BPO partner that has the capabilities to support your needs and helps the business achieve their mission-critical goals.
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