Business process outsourcing (BPO) is a booming industry. Though market volatility affected some of it and panic alarms were raised, it is back on track with new avenues opening up including specialized tasks such as drug safety test monitoring.
According to the 2015 Technology Outlook Survey by the BDO, the past two years have witnessed a doubling of tech firms outsourcing IT services to companies beyond the United States. It clearly means outsourcing is here to stay, though the same report indicates a 7% reduction from 2014 in tech firms outsourcing outside the country. This reduction is, however, perceived as a temporary trend, and means that offshore outsourcing will continue in the foreseeable future.
Do You Need Business Process Outsourcing?
Everyone talks about outsourcing, but is it for you and how can it help? Now, if your business is in the early stages of start-up, outsourcing would primarily help delegate tasks to efficient hands so you could focus on:
- Getting your business up and running
- Getting the word across
- Building up its profile, and
- Attracting prospective customers
When you reach the stage when your business is well established and attracts decent business, outsourcing serves the purpose of helping your business grow further. It can:
- Facilitate scalability
- Make your business more cost-effective by enabling you to use your staff and resources exclusively for your primary, revenue generating core tasks, and
- Ensure efficiency of the tasks outsourced
Large organizations and multinational corporations outsource a wide range of responsibilities simply because there is too much to handle. It has become a way of life for them.
Ensuring Outsourcing Really Works for You
If your business is at any of these stages, outsourcing should provide you with the respective benefits. If not, it really isn’t helping you. You need to discuss with your existing provider to change the terms of the deal or look for another BPO company.
What’s important in outsourcing is ensuring that you get quality services. This requires the right balance of costs and quality. Experienced outsourcing companies do provide various packages, but quality usually doesn’t come cheap. But the point is – getting the task outsourced should be cheaper than carrying it out in-house, without compromising on efficiency and quality.
- Go with the service provider that offers you the right blend
- Sign up for a free trial of the services, check the quality
- Ask other clients about the particular service provider to know if they enjoy a good reputation
- Inform the prospective service provider about your budget requirements and check the prices they offer
- Let know how much control you would like to retain
- Negotiate a deal
What and Why to Outsource?
Now what kind of services should you outsource? It depends on the kind of business you’re involved in.
- Back Office
Organizations typically outsource back office responsibilities such as data entry and document conversion. This could also extend to involve software and app development, web designing and the gamut of responsibilities involved in search engine optimization.
- Search Engine Optimization
Expanding online presence through good performance at the search engine ranking pages (SERPs) and conspicuous presence in the social networks are important to extend the reach of your organization. This involves:
- Making your website user-friendly according to Google’s guidelines,
- Shaping the content to ensure relevance and quality,
- Submitting blogs, press releases and articles to high ranking, quality sites for generating backlinks,
- Maintaining an active social media presence and monitoring activities, and
- Carrying out analytics of your site in terms of number of visitors, channels driving them, percentage of conversions, etc
- Customer Support, Logistics and Human Resources
As businesses grow, it would help them if they outsource customer support and sales processes. If your business involves delivering goods, logistics is a key responsibility to outsource. Even greater is the need for human resources outsourcing. That’s where staffing companies and PEOs (Professional Employer Organizations) come into the picture. PEOs generally provide comprehensive human resource solutions including recruitment, payroll, workers’ compensation, benefits management, training, and risk management.
- Medical and Legal Transcription
Transcription is one of the major branches of business process outsourcing:
- Physician practices and hospitals would outsource medical transcription along with medical billing and coding, and insurance verification, while
- Businesses and legal practices require outsourcing of legal transcription, e-discovery and other legal processes
To sum it all up, outsourcing usually involves handing over any responsibility that is not part of your main area of operation which refers to the functions that lead to driving sales, satisfying customer/client needs, and researching and developing further products or services. As we said before, the purpose behind this is to save resources for your core tasks, streamline overall functioning and make it sustainable, and ensure those non-core responsibilities are efficiently carried out.
Outsource Based on Your Requirements
You wouldn’t have to outsource all the non-core tasks to a BPO company. It depends on:
- The functioning and workflow of your organization
- The resources at your disposal
- The quality of staff working for you, and
- The amount of control you would like to exert over those tasks
So is BPO for you? It boils down to your discretion. Ultimately, business process outsourcing should enable you to improve productivity, customer satisfaction and increased earnings – vital factors that facilitate growth and competiveness.