Running a business is complicated, but BPO Services is making your life easy. Your company has a product (or service) that it knows which can be alternative or that it delivers exceptionally well, and that know-how makes you invaluable. But that’s not all you have to worry about—you’re managing a company after all; you have to manage documents, track employees, manage the processing, make sure invoices are paid on time, and all sorts of work that keep an operation moving, but aren’t the focus of your organizational expertise. And the more resources you dedicate to these functions, the less you’ll have to invest in what makes you great.
In past days, businesses had to run entire accounting, administrative, and human resource departments internally. Over time, with improvements in inter-connectivity, and digital office solutions, it is now possible to delegate these tasks to other specialists and focus more of your resources on value-added work. We do that with business process outsourcing. Developing industries can stay in breakeven/ lean and competitive, and how established ones can cut costs and improve efficiency.
BPO solutions are ubiquitous in today’s economy, but given its broad reach, plenty of people still don’t fully understand what it is or how it all works. In order to provide some precision, we have put together some facts in this post to explain the different types of BPO, why companies outsource, and how it can help your business.
Digging Deeper about Business Process Outsourcing Company
If we define this simply, BPO services are the act of signing a contract, or it is an external third-party provider to handle specific work procedures, which may not be cost-effective to handle on your own. Commonly speaking, many BPO services handle additional or non-core business functions, ranging from something as simple as data entry to those as complicated as IT, customer support, and marketing but occasionally extend into core functions depending on the needs of the business.
Providing the range of service industries, it should be no wonder that businesses of all sizes and stages from stock market behemoths to mom and pops, startups to legacy companies outsource or have the potential to outsource at least one, if not several, of their processes.
Types of Services
Generally, BPO services fall into two categories: the first would be the front office, and the second is back office services. Front-office service areas are usually customer-facing, such as customer support centers, tech support centers, or even marketing area. In contrast, back-office services frequently handle internal departments’ operations, such as claims processing, human resources, etc. Although there are generally two different BPO services, plenty of businesses employ both or may even blur the line between them to get the most out of outsourcing.
While outsourcing is generally perceived as an out-of-country process, it really refers to a third-party handling specific work operations, regardless of where they are based. However, it’s still categorized in one of three ways
- Onshore Outsourcing
It simply means that a third party obligated to do the work exists in the same country as the client who hired them, and the respective proximity reaches border to border. For example, a business based in Austin, Texas, would be using onshore BPO if they contracted another Austin-based business or one based in Spokane, Washington.
- Near-shore Outsourcing
Near-shore outsourcing is when business contracts work out for a business in a neighboring country. When a U.S. business outsources to Mexico, Canada, or a minor outlying island, it is considered near shore.
- Offshore Outsourcing
This happens when one business contracts business processing services in other countries. When most people refer to “outsourcing,” what they’re referring to is offshore BPO.
Why Industries are Adopting BPO Activities
Nearly every company may have inter-departments to handle operations, but this doesn’t guarantee that those departments are actually efficient. Most companies have organizational expertise centered on their product rather than complying with regulations or sorting the mail. This could proceed with dozens of employee-hours a day for a company to receive, process, and circulate the documents flowing through its mail-room. But on the other side of the corner, skilled strategists working with the right tools and software can handle it much more efficiently.
As we know, BPO services assure such a massive array of processes, it is nearly impossible to nail down every single use case for every business. However, there are a minor reasons and we can see that most businesses choose to employ these types of services.
Increasing Transparency in Process
Practice in good business process businesses will have a clear Service-Level-Agreement (SLA) that makes it easy to see what types of results clients can expect to see and when and remediation procedures for unsatisfactory performance. And while that’s not to say internal departments don’t have high standards to meet, outsourcing critical work guidelines should include clear deliverables, turnaround time, and quality levels.
There is another thing to note is that BPO enterprises can supplement your procedures with services like document management software and workflow tools, enhancing visibility and giving you greater control of your work. For instance, document scanning doesn’t simply digitize documents. Most can provide document management software for digital storage and instant access to your files. On top of it, they can incorporate workflow automation software to process documents for you as well. Some of these services can even digest data to provide business insights and a vast improvement in overall transparency and control.
Managing Business Risks
Businesses are all run differently, and outsourcing parts of your company’s processes can be risky; change one part of a working machine, and you risk disrupting inter-linked processes and functionalities. That’s why your outsourcing partner, whoever they may be, should be ready to dedicate time to learning your business and offering a solution specific to your needs and business, in addition to making sure that the outsourced processes deliver improved functionality that integrate seamlessly with your in-house systems.
If you understand and plan for the risks, engaging with a good BPO partner could actually strengthen the security of your information by removing information channels from your internal network, and transferring them to a company with better security protocols.
Get It Started
To get it started with business outsourcing, start your task by assessing the state of your business processes. Are there areas where your resources are strained? Once you have at least a broad picture of where you can improve your business operation efficiencies, you can start to look at solutions. The mailroom is a prevalent pain point for companies; it takes much labor to receive, open, sort, and route incoming mail.