The basics of BPO’s / The nitty gritty of BPOs

by | Aug 14, 2018 | BPO | 0 comments

BUSINES PROCESS OUTSOURCING

The basics of BPO’s / The nitty gritty of BPOs. Well in a nutshell it's outsourcing, Duh, but more than that it’s the outsourcing of the specific functions and processes of your business, Rocket Science I know right.

In most cases a firm, agency and or general third party does specific supportive work and in very rare occasions core functions of your business process. Essentially with Business Process Outsourcing your third party service provider will fill supportive functions of your business, in short the mundane stuff.

The type of services that a Business Process Outsourcing agency or firm can provide may range from something that requires a special skill like IT troubleshooting to anything that can be easily taught like chat support.

When you think of the work that a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firm/agency does it mostly boils down to two main types, back office and front office.

Back office services in essence deal with your internal business processes like billing or purchasing while front office services are the things that have to deal with your business’s customers for example the marketing and tech support in short a BPO can handle everything that happens behind the curtains as well as everything your customers see.

When you think of the BPO industry as a whole it can be simply divided into 3 distinctive associations depending on the location of your business, Offshore, Nearshore, and Onshore.

The terms are self explanatory and need very little explanation so here we go. Offshore is when you outsource your work anywhere outside the country where your business operates like Accenture in the Philippines.

When you outsource your work to a nearby country like Technogi in Mexico, that’s identified as Nearshore. Lastly when you outsource to a neighboring state within the country in which your business operates like Onshore Outsourcing in Missouri that’s refered to as onshoring.

So now that we’re familiar with what BPO’s do when it comes to customer or technical support the next thing we have to discuss is how they provide these services which are either through voice and/or non-voice services.

This is too easy and you probably already know where this is going but let’s break it down for good measure. Voice services are in short the incoming and outgoing calls that your BPO agents handle, for example over the phone sales or customer support.

Non Voice is fundamentally everything else that doesn’t include being on the phone with your customers like managing emails.

Ok, so who needs BPO’s

Here we go. Now that we have a general understanding of what a BPO is, the next logical question would be who needs these types of services.

Hmm, well if you’ve had to wait on the phone to talk to a representative of your overpriced cellular service provider, chances are that representative at one time or another is an outsourced call center agent on the other side of the planet.

Let’s take a brief look at some of the sectors where a business might need the services a BPO provides.

Businesses that handle back office functions: So in short this is all the stuff that happens backstage. You know the things we the customers don't necessarily see. Weather its banking institutions handling check, credit, and debit card processing or bookkeeping tasks that involve collections and receivables.

Even businesses that deal with purchasing services have outsourced workers that perform direct and indirect procurement of various services and/or supplies.

Businesses that are contracted to do various IT and software operations: Okay, even though this one does include a little more of a technically savvy expertise, it does not exclude it from services that BPO’s provide.

Everyone is familiar with the apps we use on our devices, some recreational and others utterly functional but before it became what we know now there was and still is a huge need for technical support especially when were talking about app testing and application development.

Yes ladies and gentlemen your favorite app was probably tested and developed by some one in China.

Businesses that provide financial and accounting services: Now we're cooking. Yeah yeah I hear you, turbotax can't be outsourced, its do it yourself taxes right?, very true but that doesn't mean other large financial and accounting firms aren’t outsourcing their work to other countries.

Everything from billing services to general accounting is quickly moving from stateside to places like the Philippines. But don't worry turbo tax isn't outsourced.

Businesses that supply HR Services: Well that sounds kind of strange but the fact remains a task such as workforce training can basically be done virtually, and if it can be done online through services like skype of other virtual communication software, then it can be outsourced.

Even things like the recruitment process or payroll services are moving from a couple floors down to places like Mexico.

If you think about it when a major corporation or a small business has processes within the business operation that happen daily but require very little knowledge or skill, outsourcing is there to save the day.

Now it might not be clear but it's easy to say that almost every business needs outsourced workers in one way shape or form, but the real question is why would I need a BPO.

The Big WHY

Save me some Money: It goes without saying that if you want to run a successful business then it's gotta make cents. Your financial edge is what will keep your business above water. The right BPO can offer your business a financial position that can cut cost without giving up on the quality of service/product you provide.

Focusing on the bigger things: When you're running the show it's hard to keep your eye on the prize when distractions are in the way. A business is more than just one man, one show, it requires a team.

BPO services can offer your business the help it needs allowing vital employees previously performing non-core functions of your business to areas of the business where they can be more efficient.

Maximum Effort: All the know how means nothing if you can’t deliver. It doesn't matter what it is, if you can't provide your customers with the goods then what's the point.

That's the beauty of BPO companies, they make the processes in your business that aren't considered vital their primary focus giving you the efficiency, quality and improved customer satisfaction your business needs to be a winner.

The Tech Stuff: While we no longer live in the analog world, our modern industrial revolution is the tech revolution. In our modern society tech rules the world. Your business is no different. BPO companies have a sole purpose in adapting to the most recent technologies and latest practices to provide your company with the support you need.

Feng Shui-ing your resources: When it comes to business there will always be a time when reassigning resources will have the possibility of expanding the main, profit generating portion of the business drastically. By finding a BPO partner that has your goals in mind you can easily cut cost on tasks dragging your bottom line to the floor.

Now that we've got that covered you might be asking yourself “well where do I find BPO’s”? Don't worry I got you covered.

Where are these BPO centers

The following does not really follow a specific order but here are some of the countries who are taking the lead in the BPO industry.

1. India

Around 1.1 million people work in the Indian BPO industry. 500 companies in India offer outsourcing services to over 66 countries. Job roles in cybersecurity, mobile app development, social media, data science mobile app development has reduced the economy’s reliance on call centers.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has begun to taken over simple jobs. Foreseeing the increase of RPA, the Indian BPO sector has prepared to re-skill their workforce.

Emerging skills that will be in high demand include robotics, big data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning. Digital adoption will help increase the subsectors in the BPO industry.

2. Malaysia

Malaysia is the 3rd most desirable country for BPO locations due to it’s strong business environment compared to its counterparts – India and China.

Business Process Outsourcing will surpass Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO) in the next few years. He adds that there is a growing investor interest in Malaysia’s shared services market and the local industry would have to quickly adapt to this demand.

Malaysia’s business process outsourcing market is predicted to reach 1.4 billion and grow at a compound annual rate of 7.9% by 2021.

3. Philippines

The Philippines has overtaken India as the leading call center country. This sub sector contributes around 10% to the country’s economy.

Expanding BPO operations outside of the capital Manila to other provincial regions such as Cebu and Davao was a key factor for the country’s recent growth.

After BPO, the emergence of KPO (Knowledge Process Outsourcing) sector can cater to new demands and offer more specialized roles such as equity research, market research, web design, and development, etc. This will be a sector to look out for in Philippines in 2018.

Experts predict that by 2018, BPO services may become the primary source of revenue for the country.

The BPO industry has seen its fair share of players. With southeast asia and india controlling the majority of the work when it comes to outsourced labor, major companies are looking at other nations to grow the expansive future of BPO’s.

1. Bulgaria

Due to the emergence of cloud computing, Eastern and central Europe has seen a 13% growth in the data center market in 2014. Among eastern European countries, Bulgaria is currently the 12th most desirable outsourcing location in the world.

Why would Bulgaria be prime real estate for BPO’s: Having the lowest salary amongst EU nations of around 235.62 Euros per month. Availability of workers speaking all major European languages. Having a large talent pool of developers with deep technical expertise. Top BPOs in Bulgaria – HP, IBM, Sutherland Global Services

2. Romania

Romania is currently the fastest growing economy in the EU with 5.7% growth rate. As a result, BPO companies have Romania in their sights for their future expansion. Romania is currently the 13th most desirable outsourcing location in the world.

So what makes Romania so special: Fastest internet connection amongst EU countries. 54% of graduates have a background in science and technology. It has the second lowest salary of around 321.17 Euros per month.Top BPOs in Romania – Genpact, Accenture, Wipro

3. Egypt

Asian, European, and American companies have chosen Africa and the Middle East for their BPO locations. Egypt is currently the 16th most desirable outsourcing location in the world.

Why Egypt?: Government offering tax incentives to outsourcing businesses.
Booming infrastructure including Silicon Waha’s technology parks.

Skilled labor well-versed in European languages such as French, German, English.
Top BPOs in Egypt – Satyam, Wipro, Sutherland Global Services

4. Mexico

Latin America has seen a 1644.3% growth in internet usage over the last 15 years, hence uncovering a huge talent pool for outsourcing. Mexico is currently the 8th most desirable outsourcing location in the world.

What do our down south neighbors have to offer: Proximity to Silicon Valley.
Huge talent pool of around 500,000 IT professionals working in the BPO sector.
Political and economic Stability. Top BPOs in Mexico – Sitel, PwC, Accenture

5. Colombia

Despite having the lowest number of bilingual professionals in Latin America, Colombia is currently the 20th most desirable outsourcing location in the world.
Last but not least Colombia: Government sponsored technical training.

Minor time zone differences between US/Mexico. Investment growth due to depreciation of the peso. Top BPOs in Colombia – Sitel, Convergys, Atlantic International.

When should someone get into BPO’s

If you are asking yourself when would be the best time to get into the BPO Industry, the answer is right now. According to the Oxford Business Group, the global BPO industry will be worth $250 billion by the year 2020.

That's some serious cash floating around. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings you'll be able to stuff directly back into your business.

With wages going up with the increase need for outsourced workers, it will be only a matter of time when we hit a period of normalization when it comes to wages and it will be then that you wished that you would have gotten in early.

Conclusion

The BPO industry is far from over. With the appearance of new industries sprouting everyday and the increasing demand for skilled workers to fill those new industries, we are going to be entering a time where we won't be able to keep up with the demand.

Producing skilled workers to handle the tasks of tomorrow is where outsourcing will shine. No matter what advancements are on the horizon, our businesses will always need a helping hand.

Sources

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