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Category Archive: Business Process Outsourcing

  1. What Are the Advantages of Outsourcing in 2019

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    The past year has been fraught with technological advances in many different markets, with the spotlight being heavily trained on Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and automation.

    During the final months of 2018, there have been many speculations as to whether outsourcing will remain relevant or not. What people fail to grasp, is that outsourcing will always remain relevant.

    The incoming technology, if anything else, will serve as a boost, contrary to claims that it will be a deterrent to growth of the Business Process Outsourcing sector. When properly developed and utilized, any new technology will allow BPO companies to train their employees in other fields of expertise, as opposed to them being stuck on taking care of menial, repetitive tasks.

    But the truth of the matter is, AI and the so-called Robotic Process Automation (RPA) are still at their infancy stage. While they may be capable of replacing some of the most basic tasks like sending automatic, recorded responses, they are however incapable of delivering in-depth, complicated responses that most businesses require.

    New forms of technologies are also expensive to acquire and maintain. As a result, outsourcing will not only remain relevant, it will also remain essential. Here’s why:
    Outsourcing is Cheaper

    Outsourcing remains the most affordable strategic option among businesses. Since doing talent acquisition up to hiring for an in-house call center is expensive, more companies belonging to different niches are turning to outsourcing to get things done.

    When you outsource, you can save up on the many different things that you would have had to pay when you manage an in-house BPO workforce, from expenses related to workspaces, electricity bills, gadgets and accessories (like laptops, chairs, tables, etc.), and more.

    Faced with these expenses, there’s little doubt that outsourcing to a third party outsourcing firm remains the better choice.

    Talent Pool for All Business Tasks

    When you are hiring locally, not only it is more expensive but there is no assurance the candidates at your disposal can fill the required staff to vacant positions in your company.

    With outsourcing, however, there is a ready stream of applicants who are experienced and experts in their field and can be tapped even at a moment’s notice.

    And because there are more options to pick for, you now have the chance to nitpick your employees of choice to your heart’s content. It gives you the power to perform a proper screening process, something that you would not be able to if the selection is too sparse.

    Allows You to Focus on Your Core Business

    Outsourcing repetitive, menial tasks takes away from you the responsibility of doing tasks that are time-consuming and non-strategic. Lighter yet repetitive tasks like doing inventory, record keeping, customer service, transcription, data entry and more are best outsourced if you have the budget and have priorities in line.

    By outsourcing to an offshore outsourcing company, you can have more time and energy to focus on the things that requires your focus and attention, like product development, customer acquisition, technology and capital management, employee satisfaction, etc.

    When you outsource, you are able to look at the bigger picture and pay more attention and resources to all more strategic aspects of your business that requires it.

    Delegating affords you power. And outsourcing gives you this power, as well, not in the sense of additional authority, but power to control your time and resources to achieve more with less.

    And many multi-million companies were built on taking advantage of this business solution. These are some examples: Google, Alibaba, Skype, Expensify, Whatsapp, AppSumo, Groove, Opera and Slack, among others.

    These are not just small named brands. These are giant companies with established systems known the world over. They are successful companies that to this day, employs outsourcing, which can then be regarded as an effective weapon in their arsenals. Why? Because they’ve already proven that it works.

    Outsourcing Results in Increased Productivity

    While it is cheaper to outsource, your business can use extra saving from this strategy by hiring more people to focus on specific projects or business processes.

    You or the in-house employees you do have would not have to exhaust in order to do everything at once, which adversely impact the quality of the output.

    When you have an offshore outsourcing team taking care of most of the workload for a fraction of the cost, you and your employees can focus on fewer tasks within a more forgiving time frame.

    Not only you can increase the quantity of your output through outsourcing, quality is also expected to come next. This process also allows you to have more than one project going on at the time, ensuring that results came in faster than they would have otherwise.

    Greater Flexibility in Managing Projects

    Project management flexibility is the ability to accommodate changes and development for the overall well-being of a project. When you have few employees, this is an aspect that usually gets neglected, resulting in many abandoned and incomplete projects.

    When you outsourced a team to handle sudden increase in the workload, however, you are assured of more successful results. If the seasonal increase in workload becomes too much for your existing outsourcing team, it is cheap enough to add more people; the risk of investing to outsourcing is minimal in the event that you need to ditch a project.

    Final Word

    All in all, 2019, like the year before it, will be a year where business process outsourcing will remain a better go-to business solution for start up companies and known brands alike.

    We also expect that the ongoing technological advances do not serve to change nor to invalidate the many advantages and benefits that outsourcing brings in to different industries. They might change the way businesses do outsourcing in many years to come.

    However, it is an uninformed sentiment, worst ignorance, to state that new technological trends will completely wipe out outsourcing. In fact, the sudden rise in AI and automation just increases the need for outsourcing jobs and projects, specially in the IT and software development sector.

    As long as there is a need for a business solution that is affordable, offers more variety in terms of employee selection, a proven track record in increasing productivity, and ushering in success, outsourcing is here to stay.

  2. Why Low Attrition Rate is Priceless for Any Outsourcer

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    Attrition rate pertains to the number of personnel that leaves a company within a specified period of time. It is also otherwise known as the “staff turnover”. There is a high attrition rate when more employees resign or leave their company for various reasons.

    Why is a high attrition rate a bad thing for an outsourcing company?

    A waste of valuable resources

    Talent acquisition is a costly and exhaustive process. From hiring to training, the time, money, and effort spent on molding applicants to become reliable and competent staff can be considered to be worthwhile investments. Hires who can perform their tasks efficiently and effectively can add value to the success of your organization.

    When these very same people leave, the toll to your organization is huge. Not only these departing employees take away with them any experience and knowledge they might have gained, the resources spent on them while they are with the company go to waste as well. All those expensive signing bonuses, online courses, seminars, trainers, allowances, free lunches … all gone, swiftly flushed down the drain.

    Decline in performance

    When people with the necessary skill-set and experience departs from the company, it leaves behind a hole that the rest would struggle to fill in. The remaining staff would, of course, have to cover all the work left behind. Even worse if the tasks the former employee used to do requires specialized technical skills and know-how that no one else in the office is equipped to perform- the quality of output would be forced into an inevitable downward spiral until a suitable replacement is found and sufficiently trained.

    Gives off the wrong impression

    An outsourcing company’s public image is important not just for the acquisition of more employees, but for attracting more clients as well. And when you see a mass exodus of staff does not exactly shine a positive light on a company’s name.

    The reasons we brought up are just some of the many nasty disadvantages that high attrition rate brings into a company. It is a curse that not just the BPO sector suffers from, but it also affect almost every other fields in business as well.

    What exactly causes high attrition rate?

    No. 1 — Low salary

    The employees might feel like they are not being paid enough for the amount of work that they are doing.

    No. 2 — Toxic work environment

    There are a few that would argue that the only thing worse than a company that hurts the pocket, is a firm that hinders personal growth. Being treated like objects, unprofessional behavior by other employees, constant and incessant gossiping, bullying in the workplace are more than enough reason to make anyone want to leave.

    No. 3 — Lack of recognition

    Another thing that might sour the employees’ affections is the fact that their successes and accomplishments are not even being noticed.

    No. 4 — Poor employee selection

    The person that have been hired might not have been the candidate matched for the position after all.

    No. 5 — Overworked

    Employees might feel like they are being made to do far more than the amount of work that they should be doing or not compensated enough.

    No. 6 — Inequality

    Being treated as less important than someone else is never a good feeling. Some might feel like this is reason enough to burn bridges and move on to a better place.

    No. 7 — Aversion to administrative and/or management staff

    There is a saying that goes “bad managers lose good employees”. Perhaps this can also be the case nearest to when there is a toxic work environment. The bottom line is that no matter how great the compensation might be, if the management does not treat its employees well, its very likely that they would look for others who will.

    No. 8 — Poor working conditions

    Perhaps the employees find that the workplace is not up to their expectations of an pro-employee company. Some of the things that might contribute to poor working conditions are the following: unmanageable stress and noise levels, lack of basic amenities, lack of security, untidy spaces, etc.

    Answers to High Attrition Rate

    There is technically no way for a company to hold people from leaving when they thought it’s game over with that organization. However, there are some preventive measures that can be put in place to prevent them from wanting to leave in the first place.

    • Optimize the hiring process — The best way to keep employees from leaving is to select the right people in the first place. Make sure that the candidates are screened and tested rigorously, to identify which ones meet the qualifications and skillset requirements.
    • Offer a competitive compensation and benefits package — If the reason your staff is leaving is due to their search for a greener pasture, imple- be the greener pasture. Make yourself the more attractive option. Keep your people from leaving by giving them a good enough reason to stay.
    • Make work enjoyable — Monotonous, repetitive tasks are boring. They stifle creativity and passion of employees, which eventually can lead to being unproductive. Make sure that the job is simulating and challenging. Jobs that are something to look forward to rather than a dread sound awesome.
    • Promote a healthy working environment — Team buildings, company lunches, recreational events, even simple parlor games all serve a purpose. They not just boost the morale, bu a healhty workplace can easily promote camaraderie and create friendship within the workforce. By holding events, your company not only promotes a healthy working environment. Even starting positive little practices like saying good morning everyday before the shift starts could contribute a lot to the improvement of the overall positive vibe in the workplace.
    • Communicate your vision — Give employees a goal to achieve or reach. A motivated person performs twice or thrice as much when there is a finish line and deadline that he or she must race on.
    • Fire people who don’t fit — It might seem like an odd thing to do when trying to keep the attrition rate down, but there are people who, instead of adding to the company, detract from it. These are the people who start trouble that can sometimes lead other employees to resign. It is like cutting off a diseased limb because it will be healthier for the entire body in the long run.
    • Provide opportunities — Give employees the chance to grow and to move up the ranks. There is nothing more motivating than the promise of being rewarded after working and spending quality time for your work. An equal-opportunity company easily surfaces a positive impression towards new recruits.
    • Engage your employees — Get to know employees and the work that they do. Gain a bit of knowledge about the tasks that they routinely perform. Ask for their opinion for important decisions that would ultimately affect them. Let your talent feel like actual people who have a say and stake in the company’s success.
    • Honor achievements — When your team reaches a milestone, show them that you appreciate their hard work. When a personnel surpasses a record, give him the recognition he deserves. When a staff attains breakthrough success, award her. Ultimately, let your people know that the work that they so hardly put in are not disregarded, ignored nor being taken for granted. Openly acknowledge every progress and accomplishments. It doesn’t have to be a trophy or a certificate. It can be as simple as a “thank you” card, a “well done” or a “good job” pat in the shoulder. Positive reinforcement works wonders.
  3. 8 Factors to Consider When Looking for a BPO Partner

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    Having the right partner for the labor-intensive Business Process Outsourcing is critical to ensure long-term growth and success. Your new BPO company partner will be a big part of your business, and this means looking for a BPO partner must be carefully undertaken as if your long-term future success hinges on it.

    From a business perspective, you and your BPO partner should understand each other well. And both parties should establish an effective and strategic transaction, ranging from negotiation, communication, and collaboration. The lack of understanding, consideration, and solid agreement could mean the end of your partnership.

    In short, choosing your next BPO service provider is a complex process. When approached without the needed professional approach, your business might suffer. To find good business process outsourcing vendor that can perform the job well, collaborate professionally, and help save money, consider these ways.

    Establish Clear Goals

    When setting your goals, ask these questions. What are your business goals for outsourcing? Do you need outsourcing to help reduce operational costs? Do you think by way of outsourcing, you will be able to improve the quality of your service? Will outsourcing enhance customer experience? Will getting an outsourced company help retain more customer or generate revenues for the company?

    Do you give ‘yes’ as answer to all the questions above? Now, name what is your priority. By having a clear requirement, the better are your chances to achieving your desired business outcome.

    Know What Kind of Relationship

    To get the most out of outsourcing – from getting high-value talent to do stuff for you to managing costs – your relationship with your outsourced partner must be strong. Yet deciding to outsource and the process of selecting the right vendor can be daunting. Foremost when selecting is that your prospective outsourcer adopts high quality standards while still be able to be cost-effective.

    Assess carefully whether the outsourcer doesn’t cut on components crucial to you and your customers. Finally, select a BPO partner that will act more as a strategic partner with your business, than merely a vendor.

    Research What They Do Well

    One of the things to look into is the experiences your prospective BPO partner have in the past. Have they worked with your competitors or other firms in your sector in the past? Choose one with a grasp of industry-specific terms and concepts and a BPO partner whose knowledge base is in-house.

    Make sure the outsourcer is skilled at hiring qualified talents with an industry background, good phone conversation skills, and a good track record in previous jobs. Having well-trained, high-caliber performers employees will put your partner outsourced company in the right position to meet your business objectives.

    Know the Location of Your BPO Partner

    Always consider a BPO company whose geographical location your organization feels most comfortable with. When selecting an outsourcing vendor, make sure the geographical footprint of your outsourced team suits your location needs. If you are after cost-saving, there are many business process outsourcing companies in the Philippines that can provide you with services that can suit your customer needs.

    Remember that time zones can have a great effect on the work you are doing, so make sure to take that into consideration. Make sure that you can organize your workflow so that your business is not falling behind. Establish a mutual understanding so no matter what factors or technical issues you might encounter, problems are easily resolved.

    Good Track for Keeping Employees

    For BPO companies, keeping or retaining their agents is one big priority. Not only regarded as the most important asset, the pool of agents who stays longer in their companies reflect the retention programs and how they are treated. Some outsourcers implement creative incentive programs just to ensure their employees are well taken cared for while strengthening the ability to recruit new, promising candidates.

    Make Sure Outsourcing Partner is Certified

    To ensure certain performance quality is posed by your prospective outsourcing partner, request for certifications. It is a must that just like their clients, BPO companies must possess certain certifications – from employee protection, environmental safety and other anti-hazard protection regulations. Make sure your outsourcing partner understands the many different regulations and compliance guidelines, as well as knows how to treat your customers, accordingly.

    Look for Partner that Can Scale

    Make sure your chosen BPO partner can match all your core operations’ requirements. Do they have a track record in opening and operating new locations? Can they give you a ballpark figure how fast they can get the engagement moving up and running? Look for an outsourced company that can rapidly scale and align its schedule with your business. If the nature of your business is seasonal, ask your partner about their experience in ramping up and down, accordingly.

    Consider Good Communication

    Successful BPO partnership entails good communication between your organization with your outsourced partner. When your vendor outsourcer have a good communication strategy or program, this means the company has made communication its top priority. When your BPO partner is committed to good communication, you can be sure there is smooth functioning of all operations.

    You and your BPO partner must understand each other well to collaborate more effectively. You should be able to work out any possible risks or challenges you anticipate and that you can negotiate for the best solution. Without a healthy relationship and communication your partnership could end very quickly.

    Sooo, this list surely is not all there is to keep in mind when looking for a suitable BPO partner. And it is by no way a suggestion to replace your own business sense about what is the right fit with your business.

    We list this down only as a guide when making the daunting challenge of pre-selecting the BPO partner candidates and eventually deciding for the most qualified company. Take your time and do your homework and then start eliminating BPO candidates one by one until you find the perfect partner.

    P.S.

    This is important, don’t forget to ask about your BPO partner’s former clients and request for reference check. Just don’t expect this to be immediate since most companies do not publicly disclose that they outsource some aspects of their operations, such as customer care. Just be patient when the reference check do not come immediately.

  4. What Startups Can Outsource to an Outsourcing Company

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    Creating and managing a startup is a step closer to materializing the valuable vision that motivates its founder to enter the entrepreneurial landscape. Since startups need to focus on its specialized competencies – and to achieve results – it must, at all cost, shy away from doing routine and repetitive tasks at hand.

    At an early stage of a startup, a founder’s motivation should be in ensuring that its customer base grow exponentially in order to make a profitable business. It is in this light that small to mid-size companies are seeing the importance and benefits of outsourcing.
    Any small and growing company that focuses its energy and resources in minding their core competencies see strong growth and their potential realized.

    The nature of startup companies vary therefore their capabilities and specialization are organically different from one another. Multitasking at this stage is a bad idea as this would cause the company to deviate from its focus. Unfocused operation could lead to more drastic results.

    However, some startup tasks should be outsourced, particularly when the tasks are not within the range of company’s specialization.

    From here we can have a better view of which services should startup companies consider for outsourcing. Functions that can be outsourced include –

    Human Resources

    Although this specific function is considered integral to the generic structure of any existing company, small companies are short in budget and cannot afford to have an HR personnel, and more broadly, a whole department dedicated to HR at this stage.

    There are outsourcing firms that offer their assistance as regards to human resource management. Startup companies can save time and effort by outsourcing the processes involved in recruiting, hiring, and training personnel.

    Offshore companies that specialise in human resource works can provide a better job in relation to employment process than what you can do especially if the nature of your business is nowhere related to human resources.

    Accounting

    Several prominent companies are known for employing third party agencies to perform their accounting tasks in order to prevent technical problems, avoid legal issues, and delays in paying payroll of personnel due to various unavoidable factors.

    Outsourcing accounting and bookkeeping roles, either by hiring a remote accountant or sending out a particular accounting job to an offshore firm, can prove to be less costly and efficient than approaching an established and large auditing firms.

    Processing tax is always time consuming and a starting company should not be burdened by the troubles involved in the tax process. It is highly advisable for startups to outsource this function. CFO service and bookkeeping can also be included in this outsourced function.

    Digital Marketing

    If the nature of your business is nowhere related to digital marketing, you are not expected to ace this function. You may know how to use social media but there are skilled workers out there who have the specialization and ken in handing digital platforms for marketing purpose, and getting their service is just rightful.

    Digital marketing involves complex and varied types of work from content ideation, producing graphics, creating videos, and community engagement. These days, companies must have online presence and this means having a website and social media counterparts to reach a massive population of internet users.

    A startup company can benefit from outsourcing to a remote worker or outsourcing firms to handle their social media presence and strategies. There are skilled web designers, social media managers, proficient copywriters, and professional bloggers who can be contracted when creating your own virtual social media team to handle these functions.

    Legal

    The legal function does not need to be a full-blown department within the company. It just needs one or two legal consultants who can process the legal aspects of the company and provide consulting services on legal matters that the company might encounter from time time.

    By outsourcing to an outsourcing company, you can focus on your startup’s core competencies in producing and distributing your products or services.

    What Are the Benefits of Outsourcing

    Focus

    By getting the service of a BPO company or a virtual worker, a startup can delegate non-core projects. When you are able to concentrate on the more complex aspect of management, strategic planning and execution concerning core products/service, you can achieve your growth targets, which are essential when you have a roadmap set for your startup before trying another business strategy.

    Cost Effective

    A startup with smaller budget can benefit from freelancers but not as much from hiring an outsourcing company. The advantages a startup company can derive from the different outsourcing options vary.

    When you are starting up, you can save from employing a full time remote staff than a local employee who will charge you a standard wage based on the labor laws of your country.

    One of the disadvantages to consider when you hire an independent contractor include delays and sometimes unresponsive virtual staff. A much safer option is to look for a reputable outsourcing company to hire, which will select and choose the best staff not only based on their credentials, but also on other factors like trust, loyalty, and character..

    Efficiency

    Online home-based job platforms that gather a pool of skilled and diverse freelancers like Upwork and Freelancer.com usually work for some startups because of the cost that is cheaper and the duration of the contract is short-lived, which is quite relevant for some projects with expiration.

    However, startups must operate nimbly and produce or ship their products or services faster. They will also need staff who can deliver flawless works and projects without spending too long a time to complete a task. An outsourcing company in this regard can be a better option since there is a contract between the two parties – the outsourcing company and the startup – to ensure that their transaction will be mutually beneficial for both.

    While it may be a little costly to hire an outsourcing company, however, it is a win-win for startup since they are informed well about the arrangement with the hires. Also, outsourcing companies usually impose policies to lessen the troubles associated with hiring individual freelancers.

    High Quality of Work

    There is high quality of work that sometimes goes beyond expectations when you hire an outsourcing company simply because their interest is to protect their reputation at all cost. They can be trusted in hiring personnel to work for your startup since they will ensure that the ones they will select are not only skilled but also efficient in producing or performing high quality works.

    Virtual outsourcing companies with good industry standing are able to attract high-value talent with impressive portfolio and work history. These offshore companies can easily find competent and highly-skilled virtual talent who can perform better than the ones startups might employ full time locally and still need further training.

    Outsourcing is Worthwhile

    While outsourcing any of your startup function can be done by a third party outsourcing firm, your startup must still have a hand in managing the outsourcing works. Startups should still hold control of the critical functions involved in the operations, particularly with quality control. Also, it is important for startup companies to identify carefully what business functions they will outsource and which functions to keep inhouse.

    Getting the service of outsourcing agencies – be it a large scale company or a freelancer – is a smart move to consider in establishing the startup’s brand. However, it is important to know how to select a competent outsourcing company. When you hire a competent and efficient outsourcing firm, you can expect it to deliver results at a lower cost than hiring an individual freelance worker.

    Startup companies can choose a specialized outsourcing company like Big Outsource in the Philippines, whose solid reputation in the business process outsourcing industry has been nothing short of stellar. The company has been serving small to large-range enterprises in the United States, Middle East, Asia and Australia.

  5. Outsourcing and the Future of the Workplace

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    Behold, the workforce landscape is changing and it has already begun. Time is changing and so does the way we work. If you are smart and knows what the future holds for businesses, you know you have to keep your company up with these changes.

    Outsourcing will further rise as a business strategy according to business experts. Also, there will be a spike in the demand for remote workers to help businesses of all sizes remain efficient without breaking the bank.

    So it’s only a matter of time until we can see a future workplace that are seamlessly intertwined with internal and third party external outsourcing partner. Such scenario is not hard to imagine, considering the number of advantages and benefits derived from the outsourcing and remote staffing set-up.

    Before going any further, let’s first take a look at present business landscape.

    What Companies Today Look Like

    Many big companies today are still made up of many departments where specified and distinctive functions are being performed by full-time workers. Generally speaking, this setup in the workplace is the result of the growth of enterprise business models.

    However, employing highly-skilled workers can be costly as they needed to be compensated well. Small businesses find this setup hard to follow. But this was then the only way to achieve cost efficient production of goods and services.

    Due to so many factors, companies today are expected to be strategic. Companies who value quality will simply not use cheap raw materials or cheap labour to survive amid an unstable global economy.

    Today, companies are no longer limited by this workplace setup following the rise of business process outsourcing from low-cost of labor offered by companies in the Philippines, India and China. Hiring a virtual worker to do non-core functions can be an effective way to boost profit growth without sacrificing quality and delivery of customer demands.

    It is already impasse to see outsourcing sector that offer dirt cheap services because premium outsourcing services are becoming more attractive among middle to large enterprises. Today, even small businesses consider outsourcing from a low-cost BPO company in the Philippines that offer premium outsourced services. The game has changed tremendously over the last two decades.

    The Future Workplace

    The 21st century’s key workplace has shifted. And there is a 2015 article published by The Guardian that sees five trends that will define and shakeup the world of work in the future. They are:

    1. Managers, who worries about the health of their staff, would want to keep track of their health;
    2. Many companies will employ freelancers or remote workers, fueled by the innovations and advancement in cloud computing. As technologies become more accessible to low-cost countries, the pool of freelancers who are available to work on demand from remote locations will also increase.
    3. Even today, automation has already become increasingly prevalent. When companies use them, the purpose is to seize the cost-saving advantages offered by these technologies. Enticing to use, artificial intelligence are marvelous to behold as they boost convenience and productivity. But this trend can also be destructive — the worst case scenario would be the replacement of professionals working in companies.
    4. Shift in workplace structures, if not its collapse, are a trend now and will continue in the coming years. Loyalty to management will no longer be the basis for promotion. As corporate structures become more diverse, combined with technological advances, there will be an increasing need for employees to collaborate and companies will adopt a more flexible working environment. Flat management will increasingly be adopted.
    5. Retirement will gone extinct as employees in their senior years will continue to stick around for longer period of time rendering their experience and service.

    Where does outsourcing come in

    Technological innovations are seen driving the shift in the way companies will conduct their operations and business. When companies outsource, collaboration is possible between their internal and staff from an outsourcing company in India or the Philippines, for instance. In the coming years, these countries will remain as top suppliers of competent workers in BPO industry.

    Startups in the coming years will more and more need the help of third party outsourcing companies. Companies can either choose and combine from the two types of outsourcing setup.

    First, outsourcing firms with their own in-house staff such as the Big Outsource in the Philippines; second, websites or virtual working platforms that pool freelancers and remote workers. Depending on the nature of a business, the two are designed to suit various business setup and requirements.

    Startups and established companies can become more efficient when they entrust their non-core operations to external vendors. Companies can have more room and time to focus on their core operations and for its improvement.

    In a survey conducted during the Global Leadership Summit in London, it was revealed that 34 percent of business leaders who attended the event believed that companies’ workforce will completely absorb the outsourcing structure by 2020 and will create an “out-of-office” production as a business trend.

    The outsourcing landscape will experience a boom for promoting flexibility and offering low-cost services. Businesses of the future will more and more embrace how the outsourcing landscape create values to their bottom line.

  6. What Startups Can Outsource to an Outsourcing Company

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    Creating and managing a startup is a step closer to materializing the valuable vision that motivates its founder to enter the entrepreneurial landscape. Since startups need to focus on its specialized and core operations – to achieve results – it has the natural tendency to shy away from doing the routinary and repetitive tasks at hand. And it should because what is important at its early stage is to ensure that its business and customer base grow.
    It is in this light that small to mid-size companies are seeing the importance and benefits of outsourcing.
    Any small and growing company needs to focus its energy and resources in minding their core competencies. Multitasking at this stage is a bad idea as this would cause the company to deviate from its focus. Unfocused operation could lead to more drastic results.

    The nature of startup companies vary therefore their capabilities and specialization are organically different from one another. However, some startup tasks should be outsourced accordingly, particularly if the tasks are not within the range of company’s specialization.

    From here we can have a better view of which services should startup companies consider for outsourcing. Functions that can be outsourced include –

    Human Resources

    Although this department is considered integral to the generic structure of any existing company, small companies are short in budget and cannot afford to have one at this stage.

    There are outsourcing firms that offer their assistance as regards to human resource management. Startup companies can save time and effort by outsourcing the processes involved in recruiting, hiring, and training personnel.

    Also, offshore companies that specialise in human resource works can provide a better job in relation to employment process than what you can do especially if the nature of your business is nowhere related to human resources.

    Accounting

    Several prominent companies are known for employing third party agencies to perform their accounting works to avoid technical problems and delays if inner management conflict occurs.

    Outsourcing accounting and bookkeeping roles, either by hiring a remote accountant or sending out a particular accounting job to an offshore firm, can prove to be less costly and efficient than approaching an established and large auditing firms.

    Processing tax is always time consuming and a starting company should not be burdened by the troubles involved in the tax process. It is highly advisable for startups to outsource this function. CFO service and bookkeeping can also be included in this outsourced function.

    Digital Marketing

    If the nature of your business is nowhere related to digital marketing, you are not expected to ace this function. You may know how to use social media but there are skilled workers out there who have mastered the using digital platforms for marketing purpose and getting their service is just rightful.

    Digital marketing involves complex and varied types of work. These days, companies must have online presence and this means having a website and social media counterparts to reach a massive population of internet users.

    A startup company can benefit from outsourcing to a remote worker or outsourcing firms to handle your social media presence and strategies. There are skilled web designers, social media managers, effective copywriters, and professional blog managers who can be contracted when creating your own virtual social media team to handle these functions.

    Legal

    The legal function does not need to be a full-blown department within the company. It just needs one or two legal consultants who can process the legal aspects of the company and provide advice concerning legal matters that the company might encounter from time time. By having these tasks attended by outsourcing companies, you can focus instead on your startup’s core competencies in producing and distributing your products or services.

    Smart Benefits of Outsourcing

    Focus

    By getting the service of a BPO company or a virtual worker, a startup can delegate non-core projects, and then concentrate on the more complex aspect of management, strategic planning and execution concerning core products/service.

    Cost Effective

    A startup with smaller budget can benefit from freelancers as as much as hiring an outsourcing company since they are more cost effective. The company can save much than employing a full time staff that usually demands a standard wage and above. However, there are also some disadvantages to consider such when considering hiring an independent contractor from a reputable outsourcing establishment.

    Efficiency

    Online home-based job platforms that gather a pool of skilled and diverse freelancers like Upwork usually impose deadlines to ensure the efficiency of each freelancer.

    Such approach to ensure timely delivery of output has been found to be favorable for their clients, particularly for startups which have to operate nimbly and produce or ship their products or services faster.

    When the virtual worker is ineffective, the company can easily look for other freelancers with a more impressive work history and qualifications that match with the client’s requirements.

    Also, third party platforms usually impose policies to lessen the statistics of delays and cancellation of projects.

    High Quality of Work.

    Quality of work is high standard and sometimes goes beyond expectations since freelancers are inclined to protect their reputation by producing/performing high quality works. Virtual outsourcing worker attract clients by building an impressive portfolio and work history.

    Also, startup companies can easily find competent and highly-skilled outsourcing staff who can perform better than the ones they might employ full time and needed further training.

    While outsourcing functions can be done easily, managing the workframe involved in the outsourced functions must still be considered by the company.

    They should still hold control with the critical functions involved in the operations particularly with quality control.

    Also, it is important for startup companies to identify the core business functions and never outsource them. Getting the service of outsourcing agencies, be it a large scale company or a freelancer, is a smart move to consider in establishing the startup’s brand. It also shows your support and commitment of empowering the virtual staffing market and BPO industry.

    However, it is significant to determine a competent or incompetent outsourcing services. A competent and efficient outsourcing firm can deliver results at a lower cost than hiring an established and big agency.

    Startup companies can choose a specialized outsourcing company like Big Outsource in the Philippines or hire freelancers to do the outsourcing works.

     

  7. 3 Benefits of Outsourcing After-Hours Answering Service

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    Maximizing business opportunities is one thing that small to large business owners consider paramount to generate sizeable revenues and retain customers. There are so many factors that could lead to businesses losing these opportunities, such as slow contact center that could lead to frustrated customers.

    Hence it is important to consider having a call support not only during your day to day operations but also after you close down for the day. Admit that it is not only during peak hours or seasons you need quite a reinforcement to your full time staff who work during normal business hours.

    Calls missed during after-office hours and calls improperly handled during peak hours are a no-no when it comes to running business that involves sales especially to customers. Thanks to the availability of call outsourcing services because you can now avail from these companies after hours call answering service to ensure that there are full time staff who your clients can call even after your business closes for the day.

    Why Outsource After Office Hours Answering Service

    Many companies outsource in Philippine BPO companies today due to their growing customer base and for practical reasons – it is cost effective to outsource to a high-value talent from Manila, Cebu or San Pablo, Laguna than pay a local talent I their countries.

    And one of the most often outsourced customer services is this, which can take away from you the routinary and non-core side of your business, namely handling call overflows with ease.

    With an After-Office Hours Service, you can experience business improvements across all fronts. Notwithstanding the shapes and size of your company, using this call center operations service can have a huge impact in giving a satisfying customer service experience to your customers.

    Here are the top three known advantages that you can get from outsourcing this service:

    • Customer Satisfaction Rating Will Increase. For companies projecting that they are professional and client-focused brand, it helps that all incoming customer calls are managed well. One sign that the customers are satisfied with the call support is the rate returning customers are peaking. Creating and maintaining a client-centered brand image is crucial as it helps stamp a very positive impression to your clients. Ensuring this to be correct in the minds of your customers can help increase customer satisfaction. When you have satisfied customers, the direct result is returning customers. And we all know what returning customers guarantee right?
    • Operating Cost is Lowered. Outsourcing this component of your call support can help trim the expenses attached in running a business. You can then lower the amount you invest in more equipment, cash you allot for salaries of additional employees, training, headhunting and other related facility costs. An outsourcing company in the Philippines can handle all your after-hours support needs at a low price.
    • Higher Sales and Profits. Through outsourcing an After-hours Support, your company can have someone handle your customer management 24/7, even on public holidays. Once you reach all your prospective and loyal customers, you are assured with improved profitability and revenue growth. Your company can avail of this service through Big Outsource After-hours Support solution.

    After-Hours Answering Service vs. After Hours Voice Mail Answering Service

    The main difference between the two outsourced services lies in what they use in responding to the after hour call operations support needed by their clients. An After Hours Answering Service ensures that there is a live person – even outsourced – dedicated to work after the full time staff during normal business hours sign off in a day.

    Meanwhile, an after hours support that relies on voice mails to take messages or uses call agent avatars to dispatch messages received from your clients to your company’s staff does not provide a personalized way of answering and processing the importance of calls. Who anyway still wants to talk to avatars or automated systems?

    You will notice the tremendous benefits you gain out of replacing the old system of allowing your customers to merely leave messages for you through voicemails. In fact, should you shift to the use of after-hours answering service with live person, there is no doubt your customers will notice the huge difference – in turn, bringing in sales growth for the change.

    Why Choose Big Outsource?

    Big Outsource, a leading call center outsourcing company based in San Pablo, Laguna, can help companies of all shapes and sizes with after hours call center support needs. For nearly a decade in this business, it helps proactive businesses ensure all their customer calls are attended to earnestly. Outsourcing this service can help enhance your brand reputation across all fronts of business.

    When you sign up for After-Hours Answering Service with Big Outsource, we will ensure that you are provided with customizable template that our live operators can use to reply or answer your customers, what information you would like your outsourced call center agent to gather and collet, and how you want the information delivered to you.

    You can also depend on us to classify whether the calls received after hours are routine or urgent messages that calls for immediate forwarding to your company on how to handle the message.

    Through the years, Big Outsource customers have experienced top of the line call center outsourcing services. The location of your customers is not an issue since we have thoroughly invested in high-end call center operation platforms that can meet customers’ after hours inbound and outbound call answering channels with your very own customers or other constituents in the business.

    As our valued customers, you can leverage our call operations expertise and multi-channel platforms to help manage your after hours customer handling and customer technical support anytime of the day. Concerning our staff expertise, Big Outsource ensures that it hires the best talent around – competent, professional and trained in customer service best practices.

    Big Outsource also ensures that its services are scalable to your clients’ after hours call support requirements. We are aware that change is inevitable when your company is reaching its business objectives and sales targets. For its part, Big Outsource makes sure it invests in sophisticated technologies and equipment to support the requirements from our headquarters of your outsourced after hours call support services.

    Lastly, the Big Outsource after hours call support services are reasonably priced and very friendly to our clients’ outsourcing requirements for a 24/7 hour services, from handling order taking, inbound and outbound customer and sales calls and others.

    Usually, our clients from a wide variety of industries avail of our After-Hours Support Services whenever they need support once they close their businesses daily. Some of our clients are lawyers, medical professionals, real estate and property management companies, trade service firms, and retail companies, among many other business categories.

    With an After-Hours Call Support from Big Outsource, you will never miss an important call from your customers.

  8. Key Parameters for Evaluating Your Future Outsourcing Partner

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    Enterprises look into outsourcing specific business processes to Philippine BPO companies for the primary for the main reason this strategy is a more efficient means to achieve operational improvement as well as cost efficiency.

    However, there are still risks to consider. Hence, it pays knowing what to look for from your outsourcing partner when outsourcing for the first time or the when signing up a vendor for the first time.

    We, at Big Outsource, have listed some of the thing to check about your possible future outsourcing partner in order to reap the benefits and achieve optimal worth of your investment.

    Check Online Repuation

    Check the company background of your potential partner. The first step is googling for your prospective partners but should not end there.

    Then look for the company’s LinkedIn brand page to see the basic list of their experience and how their clienteles regard them. Go check for recommendations and skills your prospective outsourcing vendor has been endorsed for by their clienteles.

    If the clients of your prospective outsourcing company provided their contact details, reach out to those mutual contacts and ask for reference.

    Ask for References

    Your chosen outsourcing company should be able to provide you with solid reference. Don’t be afraid to reach out these clients and ask whether they were satisfied with the results accomplished? Do they have an existing contract with the company?

    Some of your prospective companies have a solid list of references and case studies on their website which you can use to understand the process of the company.

    It is still helpful to contact their roster of clients to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of your possible future BPO partner.

    Check Experience

    Look into the qualification of your outsourcing vendor in terms of similar services you plan to outsource. Ask the numbers of completed projects, clients they have worked for and how intensive the projects were.

    It will also help you make the right decision by asking for the management team experience and their qualifications in executing their projects. If you can go a step further, interact with team members prior to the signing of the outsourcing deal, do so especially if you would enter into a long-term contract.

    Check for Samples of Their Work

    One way to assess the quality of your potential outsourcing vendor’s work is to ask for their sample works and portfolio. This approach is helpful when you are hiring a virtual staff who will do some creative work for you, like website design, logo design, content articles, and the likes.

    Usually you could get assess by looking at your potential vendor’s sample works the amount of time and effort they pour into assembling their portfolio and that only their best output has made the cut.

    If the potential business process outsourcing vendor is digital marketing company, ask for their previous marketing campaigns as sample. Go check the originality of their idea, how well they executed the project plan, and well receive they got people to appreciate their work.

    Ask for A Simple Task

    There are some jobs that are more technical-leaning like IT, engineering and project management. In many cases, it is difficult to get samples due to the confidentiality agreements or contractts signed by your potential partner. Try to ask them do a simple task in order for you to test knowledge.

    Make sure the test to be given to your potential partner will only entail a short period of time to complete in order to need to get a little insight on how your prospective partner handle tasks, and then ask what exactly your potential vendor is looking for.

    Final Thought

    When done right, outsourcing – which can be a very daunting effort – can be a potential time and money saver. If you do check upon your potential partner’s track record, references, and credentials well, you can expect your partnership to go as smoothly as possible.

    While our tips above can help you get started whn looking for an outsourcing partner, the decision will have to be yours, however. Remember to sign only a long term contract with an outsourcing partner who you believe can provide you the best assurance of future success and worth of your investment.

  9. Should You Outsource from an Overseas BPO Company or Hire A Remote Worker?

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    We guess by now, other than costs, you’re quite familiar with a few pros and cons of outsourcing to a remote staff or overseas BPO company.

    But this article is not meant to convince you on what is the right or wrong way to outsource because there’s no ‘standard’ really to outsourcing.

    We’re here to help you decide on which option is the best for your company based on the advantages and disadvantages that we’ll tackle here.

    So sit back and relax, as we give you some of the common differences between hiring a remote staff and outsourcing from an established overseas staffing company.

    Advantages of Outsourcing from an Offshore BPO Company

    Cost. When you might get from an offshore outsourcing company the same work done locally for a quarter of the cost, or less, this is something of a game changer, isn’t it?

    Nevertheless, the burden of paying health insurance, week-long vacation leaves, and other remuneration will no longer bother you. Then, you could invest the cost savings for other operational expenses.

    There are, however, some opinions that suggest on the extra time outsourcing entails, such as the cost of managing and preparing an offshore project before you turn it over to the outsourced company.

    So you need to account these factors before signing an outsourcing agreement with an offshore firm.

    Commitment. Outsourcing offshore can free you up from signing up an employee for far longer period of time even when he or she has already accomplished the project or task. You’re eased off of paying the associated costs when you hire on a per project basis.

    Corporate Processes. In most cases, offshore companies which have been existing for a decade or two have already established a strong corporate culture, efficient work processes and the resources to scout, hire and train talent. When you hire from these companies, skills matching to your business needs will not be too difficult to achieve.

    Disadvantages of Outsourcing from an Offshore BPO Company

    Quality. Although hiring an offshore company would be a promising deal, quality-wise, there’s no 100% assurance that quality will be delivered, however. There are some factors why this is comes off as an often-complained of issue, such as language barrier, internet-based miscommunication, and how invested the employees are to your success.

    But in many established and experienced offshoring firm, the issue on quality has been addressed through the adoption of a couple of strategies to mitigate this risk. Some would even hire and send someone local to visit the offshore company and spend some time there as consultant and trainer of offshore staff.

    Language Barriers. Although Filipino workers are educated well in basic English – which has been mandatory in primary schools up to tertiary level education – there remains a few challenges. Relaying instructions for certain projects or tasks prove to be a hurdle when English is not the first language of the staff.

    Some industry-specific jargon or American slang may come lost in translation in some cases, but this is light considering how Filipinos embrace American culture like it is their own.

    Attrition Rate. The issue of workers leaving their work for bigger pay has been one of the persistent issues in the BPO industry, recent data, however, shows some positive developments.

    Many established outsourcing companies have learned this the hard way and now matured enough to address the issue with strategies geared to retain employees, such as giving employees more perks, bonuses, health and social benefits, and more.

    Advantages of Hiring a Remote Worker

    Cost. There’s no denying that there’s hefty cost savings from hiring a remote or home-based workers individually than singing up an agreement with an offshore virtual staffing company. There’s a clear cost advantages from no longer minding the legal cost of hiring a full-time staff from your area, such as expenses out of employee benefits and taxes.

    Access to Diverse Talent Pool. This is one of the big advantage from hiring a remote workers that are not from your area. Sometimes local employment pool may be limited only to what is your area’s focus industry, whereas you can find the right individual for your needs from anywhere across the world.

    In the Philippines, for instance, you can hire remote workers who are not only adept at producing impeccable graphic designs, motion graphics and superb outbound call center service. For a quarter of cost you pay a local employee from your area, you can find someone from Manila, Cebu or Southern Luzon a virtual staff who can manage social media presence or blog for your business.

    Efficiency and Productivity Advantage. Entrepreneurs operating a 24-hour business, the idea of having an international worker provide customer support by the time the locals in your area are having their breakfast in the morning sounds appealing. Managing your remote staff efficiently albeit time zone differences can prove to be helpful in impressing to your customers your care and consideration for their needs.

    Disadvantages of Hiring a Remote Worker

    No Meet-up in Person. There’s a pretty big chance you held your interview with your remote worker via Skype. You let your prospective independent contractor tell you about his previous works, asked about the software he or she uses and strategy behind SEO, but that will never get you as far as knowing other crucial things about the employee.

    There are instances that you will need/want your staff, in a physical sense. Not just for anything fancy or what. But come to think about the times when you need to have your staff during company meetings or grand scale corporate events.

    For some companies, they try as much as possible to book a flight to visit their VA or remote contractor for quite sometimes. Others, with bigger budget get to the point of bringing their VA over their home countries.

    Reliability. Some remote staff are not home runs and can simply disappear without you being informed of their plans or whereabouts. This can be undeniably frustrating when you’re about to launch a client website or have to have someone fix a grammatical lapse on your Facebook brand page.

    There is no assurance of complete availability from a work-at-home worker. This does not mean that your staff have to be present or available for 24 hours to be there for your needs. It just means that your staff may be juggling multiple works similar with yours and they may not be focused to you – and you alone.

    Another challenge to consider when you have an independent contract worker employed come in logistical terms – when you need your staff at a time when they wouldn’t be in their best shape to work – middle of the night.

    Communication Barriers. Poor communication habits or low English-language proficiency can hamper the success rate of your project for yourself or your client. Always remember that when your remote staff only uses English as a second language, be prepared to encounter a few debacles translating some instructions about a particular task.

    Being proficient in English is not enough to understand some subtleties and complexities associated with Australian’s or American slang, and without discounting from the equation some industry-specific business jargon.

    Then there is also the challenge of the local knowledge that an overseas worker will not have as when you have a staff in your own room or building. Since your remote staff have never been ‘there’ with you in your community or country, some tasks that you will assign may come off too late, if not slower.

    The Deciding Factor

    As an entrepreneur you want the absolute best of your business. To seize every advantage there is to outsourcing, it is best to base your decision on the current stage you are in with your organization.

    If you’re just starting a new company, it can be helpful to have a remote staff doing some virtual assisting you in your daily operations. This can also be particularly helpful for tasks that demand hours and hours of repetitions, even if you’re already grown. Some of these tasks do not require extremely skilled employees to complete.

    So the rule of thumb though is to have a list of what job you will outsource to your overseas staff or outsourced BPO company. Ask yourself whether the job you will outsource is something that you deemed best done in your office or building or not.

    There’s simply no right or wrong thing way to hiring overseas workers for your startup or your business.

    What you deem is the best for you should be your criteria when choosing to outsource. Whatever your reason, think a hundred or thousand times over if it is cost savings you are after or quantity, quality or long-term sustainability.

    Some overseas companies like Big Outsource, which has been around in this business for years, offers some flexible, affordable and reliable solutions for companies seeking a quality BPO company.

    We hope that you’ll let us know your own experience so we can tell you ours to help you make up your mind about what outsourcing option is the right way to go for your business.

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