Every business aims at providing quality and cutting cost this can be achieved by outsourcing services from companies who specialize in specific services and are thus efficient. This will ensure all services are up to standard and reports will be provided.
Business process outsourcing (BPO) is the contracting of a specific business task, such as payroll, human resources (HR) or accounting, to a third-party service provider. Usually, BPO is implemented as a cost-saving measure for tasks that a company requires but does not depend upon to maintain their position in the marketplace.
Two categories BPO is often divided into are back office outsourcing, which includes internal business functions such as billing or purchasing, and front office outsourcing, which includes customer-related services such as marketing or tech support.
Back office outsourcing offers organizations services to help manage tasks like data entry, data management, surveys, payment processing, quality assurance and accounting support. Back office tasks are integral to a company’s core business process and help keep business running smoothly.
Front office outsourcing services deal with customer interactions. Examples of front office tasks include phone conversations, email, fax and other forms of communication with customers. Front office outsourcing providers’ service lists include:
- Customer service/support
- Technical support/help desk
- Appointment scheduling
- Inbound/outbound sales
- Market research
Pros and cons of BPO
The top advantages of BPO are saved money and increased time to focus on the core business. Some other benefits include:
- Speed and efficiencies of outsourced business processes are enhanced
- Organizations using BPO get access to the latest technology
- Freedom and flexibility to choose the most relevant services for the company’s operations
- Quick and accurate reporting
- Save on resources related to staffing and training
Some disadvantages of outsourcing business processes include:
- Data privacy breaches
- Underestimating running costs of services
- Overdependence on service providers
- Communication issues that delay project completion
You should know what to outsource .Even after outsourcing followup is required to make sure the expected standard of services in achieved.It is good to do a cost benefit analysis so as to settle on the right company to outsource your service frim.
“Most entrepreneurs have great talents but many times they think they can do it all,” Sparks says. “That can really stall the growth of the business. By outsourcing the day to day back-office tasks, the business owner has more time to focus on generating income.”
Entrepreneurs have long seen outsourcing as a strategy reserved for big business, but technology has made it a more accessible tool for small businesses–and for some small firms, outsourcing has made a powerful impact on their growth, productivity and bottom lines.
When to Outsource
For every company, the right time to outsource is different. Some businesses have in-house staff to handle daily activities, but may need outside help to undertake new projects that don’t warrant another full-time employee. When you and your current employees are unable to manage the day-to-day business of your company and build the business satisfactorily, it may be time to consider outsourcing. For Tonya Thomas, president of The Small Office Assistant, the right time was when she realized that although she wanted her business to grow, she had no time left in her day to pursue that growth.
What to Outsource
Chances are you’re already outsourcing some business tasks, such as payroll administration or background and criminal checks for employment. And these days, almost any task can be outsourced, with so many qualified professionals leaving the corporate world to work as freelancers or contractors. However, just because you can outsource a task doesn’t mean you should.
“Don’t outsource something just because you don’t want to do it,” says Jim Lanzalotto, principal at Scanlon Louis, a marketing and strategic outsourcing company. “Sometimes there are things you don’t want to do but they are important to your core business.”
The types of tasks that are best outsourced fall into three general categories, according to Gregg Landers, director of growth management at CBIZ MHM, the nation’s eighth largest accounting and business services provider. They include:
- Highly skilled, or executive, expertise. For example, you may not need to pay a CFO’s salary, but you could have a CFO-level person to come in a few times each month to provide financial analysis and ensure that the bookkeeper is handling the books well, Landers says.
- Highly repetitive tasks. Accounts payable, data entry and shipping inventory could fall into this category.
- Specialized knowledge. “An example might be the IT support for your accounting system or your network,” Landers says. “You may not be able to afford or need a full-time IT person, and it is easier to change to an outsourced provider with the right skill set as your IT needs change.”
Finding the Right Contractors
Before handing over the reins, be sure you’re working with the right partner. While technology makes it much easier than it once was to find capable, reliable outsource providers, the selection process is still vitally important. A good starting place is your own network; ask other business owners or your accountant, lawyer, or banker if they can recommend a provider offering the services you need. Online networks like LinkedIn and Twitter make it easy to expand your personal networks and to ask for recommendations.
Making it Work
After you’ve found a provider, your work isn’t over yet. Even after you’ve checked references, “don’t be afraid to put a little extra time creating a specific contract that outlines exactly what performance is expected,” Resnick says. “Use incentives to motivate the outsourcer to focus on what is most important to you rather than their own preferences or their assumptions about what you want.”
Weighing the Costs vs. the Benefits
Counting the Cost
So what can you expect to pay a contractor for allowing you to rise above day-to-day tasks and build a better business? It depends on the type of work you’re buying, the skill level and location of your provider, and your own preferences.
Facing the Challenges
While outsourcing can yield great advantages for a small company, it’s not without challenges. If you choose to work with offshore providers, language barriers and time zones can be difficult to deal with. However, Walsh says that focusing on making your own communications clear can help overcome confusion for those who are not native English speakers. And “time zones create more opportunity than inconvenience, as you can extend your productive hours by handing tasks over to someone during their workday,” Walsh says. “Assign a task at night, and awake to find it complete and waiting for you.”
Sourced from: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/204652