Category Archive: Outsourcing

  1. Big Outsource: Your Startup-friendly Outsourcing Services Provider

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    Time and time again, Outsourcing is a business process or business strategy that has been proven itself as a unique solution that offers innumerable benefits to a business.

    There are undeniable benefits to outsourcing, from slashing expenditures, bringing in new cash streams, to discovering new talent at short notice, that companies are realizing from their investments in the process.

    Even brands and world-renowned companies in almost all industries right now have taken advantage of outsourcing in one form or another. Very few would complain that outsourcing is not yielding the return from their investment into this process. Outsourcing has become one of the most indispensable business practice to operate a small or larger team smartly, especially for those who know how to utilize it properly.

    Why there is Backlash?

    More recently, some quarters are criticizing outsourcing as a process that could only work for businesses that are already successful. But these claims are unfounded. These unsubstantiated rumors are what cause startups to veer away when they hear the word “outsourcing”.

    The truth of the matter is that startups, more than any other, are the ones who stand to gain the most from the right kind of outsourcing partnership, which is exactly what Big Outsource, one of the premier business process outsourcing firms from the Philippines, promises to deliver.

    When you make a quick search on the internet, you will be shown a long list of large outsourcing firms that are currently dominating the outsourcing scene. It will be remiss to notice that these BPO firms have their services and pricing structure specifically tailored to cater to clients with deep pockets. In short, any of these BPO companies is not exactly a good fit for a new business looking for cost-efficient ways to outsource processes.

    Big Outsource, on the other hand, keeps a commendable track record when it comes to helping small businesses, especially those who handle crucial projects that would have otherwise proven difficult.

    Larger BPO Firms Can be Intimidating for Startups

    When you learned about the requirements more established outsourcing service providers give, it can come off as a little intimidating and frustrating, especially for smaller and starting businesses. From the minimum staff limit to the hefty charges they give, the experience of finding the best partner can look daunting.

    Larger “mainstream” outsourcing firms, as mentioned above, are used to engaging with even bigger companies and have accordingly established their list of minimum requirements. For companies with bigger larger staffing requirements, for example, they would need quite a number of agents to outsource from a third-party outsourcing firm and assign into their project. Setting such sizeable minimum staffing requirement is common among larger BPO companies.

    For this matter, smaller outsourcing providers like Big Outsource enters. Whether your business is looking for three virtual assistants and two copywriters, or you want to hire one back office support agent, Big Outsource will be pleased to provide the assistance. In short, as long as the services requested are within the company’s scope of expertise, the company is willing to go the extra mile.

    Flexibility as a BPO Differentiator

    Another factor that could be a little off-putting among startups or smaller businesses planning to outsource from a larger outsourcing service providers is the long list of rules and policies it imposes among outsourcers.

    Bigger or more established BPOs have their standard operating procedures already set in stones that smaller companies might not be ready to meet or not yet capable of supplying. These practices only makes= sense for the target companies they are targeting to get as clients that smaller firms can only dream of.

    Meanwhile, outsourcing solutions providers like Big Outsource have terms and conditions that it and its clientele can both agree on. After all, what truly matters at the negotiating table is how both parties could mutually benefit from the outsourcing partnership, without hidden charges or costs.

    In the outsourcing industry, the more an outsourcing company is able to customize services to the specific needs of their client, which makes customers happy, the more that the industry becomes an attractive solution to the industry as a whole.

    Cost-Effective Solutions Do Make Clients Happy

    It may be a simplistic analogy but outsourcing for a startup company should be approached the same way as one would approach shopping for a bag for the best bang for your buck. It will always be a smarter choice to purchase a bag of good quality and affordability than its branded counterpart.

    But just because you are gunning to get the offered outsourcing services for a dirt cheap price tag doesn’t mean you should settle for anything less – the quality of hires or subpar performing talent.

    But the whole equation changes once there is an option to have the same kind of service or product for less but of greater quality. Of course, the no-brainer choice would be to shop or jump into the best option around.

    For startups and SMEs, getting their outsourcing processes from larger outsourcing firms are definitely costly. The prominent name alone of those service providers automatically give them the license to bring their prices super high.

    Brand names, just like signature clothing and bags, are costly even though the quality might come off as questionable or less superior to other brands. For this reason alone, it is not surprising to find the trend of smaller to medium-sized companies going after business process outsourcing companies like Big Outsource, which offers not only quality but also affordability that bring in enough return to their investments.

    Big Outsource Gives Hands-on Approach

    When you are just one of the hundreds of other client-accounts that bigger outsourcing providers are accommodating, there is even greater chance to be overlooked, if not neglected. The relationship from provider to client also tends to be too pragmatic and businesslike, sticking rigidly to the fine print of the contract. There seems to be a manifesto encouraged that as long as the agreed-upon quota is hit, the partnership is successful. End of story.

    BPO companies like Big Outsource, however, takes the reasonable route of putting the interest of their clients on top of their priorities. They want to make sure that their partners are doing well, and they would even go the extra mile just to make sure their clients are happy and content with the services being provided.

    Outstanding service in Big Outsource puts the emphasis on practices that promote client retention and making them happy. So what happens is that every affiliate’s project is overseen with keen care and effort.

    IN SUM, well-known outsourcing names and brands are not always the best options. In contrast to smaller companies like Big Outsource, which tend to offer cheaper, more flexible service packages for as long as they best suit their partners’ best interest, who knows they are the yet to be tapped hidden gems of the outsourcing industry.

  2. What Outsourcing Mistakes to Avoid

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    For every successful outsourcing project, there’s another one that gets abandoned or regretted for not yielding positive results. It is for the latter reason that outsourcing as a business strategy has gained a bad reputation.

    Worst, this in turn is hurting the whole outsourcing industry – be it BPO, global IT sourcing, and the likes – which then lead businesses to veer away from a BPO solution that could potentially help it in the long-term.

    If BPO companies will just be honest, there are firms in the global outsourcing industry that deliver subpar services. Sometimes, however, the outsourcing partner is not the one to blame — but the poor outsourcing practices by the client are at fault.

    If you are planning to outsource or you are already running an outsourcing project yet not seeing the results you want, you may want to consider the following:

    Be a skeptic, but not a cynic.

    Many people use these two words interchangeably. But to be skeptical is different from being cynical.

    The word “skeptic comes from the Greek word skeptikó, which means to investigate and to inquire, while the term “cynic” comes from the Greek word kynikós, which translates to dog-like and currish or quarrelsome.

    Using the modern definition of these two, a skeptical person is someone who refuses to believe something unless presented with factual evidence, while a cynical person thinks without any rational basis to reason the worst from the get-go.

    Outsourcing, like every other business solution, needs ample time to start showing positive results. But if you hold back on the project because of a conscious or unconscious bias against outsourcing, you might be hindering it from reaching its full potential and from bringing in profit for your business.

    This kind of approach will cause more harm than good. The thing is, while no one is advising anyone to turn a blind eye, keep in mind that a healthy amount of trust is vital for the well-being of any business partnership.

    Trust is what keeps the gears of an operation running smoothly. The relationship between an outsourcing client and an outsourcing services provider is not an exception.

    Have a clear plan.

    Another mistake that most outsourcing first-timers make is not having a well-drawn plan before approaching a BPO company. Outsourcing without preparation and plan is almost like running into battle without donning an armor.

    The prospect of getting an outsourced partner in the BPO sector is risky already. Without any conscious effort to plan might just harm your business. That is why even before you start looking for an outsourcing partner, draft a roadmap and explain the whys and hows you want things to proceed with a BPO partner.

    List down the tasks and the processes that you want to outsource. Make sure you have carefully laid down the number of people that you want to hire for your project and then clarify your price range.

    Determine beforehand how much you are willing to shell out and ask yourself if your outsourcing plans are aligned with your vision, goals, and ambitions. This way, you can keep track of your project’s progress, and be able to see which parts are doing great, which parts could do better, and which aspect to address.

    Finally, ask yourself: will outsourcing to my preferred partner help you achieve record milestones?

    Hire enough staff.

    One of the supposed advantages of outsourcing is its ability to run processes smoothly and produce results promptly. These are not advantages that you would be able to enjoy if you give tasks that your small outsource team could hardly handle.

    Treat well your outsourced staff from your provider as if they were your own employees. Avoid giving workloads that will burn-out your outsourced staff.

    The key would be to be reasonable when it comes to the number of people you are hiring and the tasks you are going to give them to accomplish a particular project.

    If you are unsure about how many would be needed, you could always ask you outsourcing partner’s opinion.

    Do not Set Very High Expectations

    Outsourcing is not a magical spell that can erase all your troubles away in one go. Outsourcing your customer services wouldn’t miraculously increase the number of your customers, nor would outsourcing your finance and accounting suddenly increase your ROI or ease off your taxes away.

    As a business process, outsourcing has been proven time and time again to bring in innumerable benefits, but there are still limitations to what it can do. Anticipate sensible and practical results so as not to set yourself up for disappointment.

    Avoid the Miscommunication Trap

    No matter how good your plans for your project are, and no matter how skilled and experienced your outsourcing partner is, you would get nowhere if you and your staff are not on the same page.

    Miscommunication is something that outsourcers suffer from more times than can be counted, and though this common workplace problem is often ignored or downplayed, this isn’t a something to be taken lightly.

    Since so many outsourcing providers are located offshore, usually in countries far away from where your company is based, cultural and language barriers are issues to contend with in more ways than one.

    Here is why it is imperative that you spend even more time and effort when it comes to reaching out and getting the details of your project across. Without clear communication, vital mistakes could be committed, leading to a loss of profit if not to the downright end of the project.

    Do not Micromanage

    Control is a good thing … when done in moderation. Taken to extremes, it can lead to your employees feeling held in their necks. What’s next is that productivity suffer and your investment gave no pay offs.

    Simply put, micromanaging is the act of obsessing over every minute detail of the work process in the workplace. It is detrimental to your agents’ morale, hindering them from taking initiatives, dampening their confidence, and ultimately tiring them out.

    The adverse effects of micromanaging are so widespread that it is now considered to be one of the top reasons why employees leave their respective companies. Even outsourcing providers, with their deep pool or talents, are not immune to this.

    Give your agents room to breathe. Let your outsourced staff grow into their responsibilities. Be a mentor who guides, rather than being your agents’ tyrannical boss they fear. Not only will this improve performance, but it will also encourage a positive relationship between you and the people working in your project.

    Opt for Quality Services

    One of outsourcing’s main attractions is that it is almost always less costly than running processes in-house. But truth be told, there is still a very pronounced distinction between companies that offer premium services from those who offer dirt-cheap services.

    Many first-time outsourcers fall to the trap of going for the outsourcing provider that offers the lowest rates and regret their decisions later on.

    This business process has been proven time and time again to bring in innumerable benefits, but there are still limitations to what it can do. Anticipate sensible and practical results so as not to set yourself up for disappointment.

    Finally, Outsourcing is like a Marriage

    Outsourcing gone wrong is not only costly, but it can also be said to be a dangerous mistake. With these providers, you get what you pay.

    When you sign with them, you are signing away your right to demand quality service that your project requires. A more harmful consequence when you happen to be outsourcing your company’s core processes would be you spending twice or thrice the initial amount you paid to fix the damages wrought by the cheap, subpar services you have availed. If that is the end you are project, the risks of outsourcing are just not worth it.

    Outsourcing is a two-way street and both parties must agree on mutual terms and conditions that will share the responsibilities and roles each party will play. Do not assume just because you have outsourced a particular process and are already free or have your hands washed off or cleaned off it by extra responsibilities

    Such mentality has led to the downfall of many outsourcing projects. So before you place the blame entirely against your outsourcing partner, check yourself if you are ready to submit to the fall, make sure that you are doing your part and hat you are not doing things that are detrimental to the success of your project.

    So once you plan to outsource, be sure at the very least, that you are going into a partnership with a provider that you are sure 100% will help you reap positive results for your company.

  3. Is Your BPO Partner Committed to Ethical Outsourcing Practices?

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    Today, the mere mention of the word “outsourcing” can quickly escalate into a mini debate all for the wrong reasons. Globalization contributes to the outsourcing debate whereby one camp would assert that companies’ moral obligation extends to protecting jobs for their fellow nationalities above all else, while the other camp would oppose it.

    In the United States, for instance, there are politicians who include in their political platforms their promise to preserve American jobs and boost domestic employment. Some companies, however, flash their pro-American sentiment card in their ads to point out — lest, hammer the image of — their competitors hire huge number of foreign workers.

    Outsourcing, specifically outsourcing to a BPO company, is one of the often controversial move seen by some in developed nations as an unethical labor practice. Looking closely, is it an unethical practice per se? More specifically, is it bad to outsource?

    But simply put, outsourcing is the mere practice of hiring or contracting an outside company or an individual contractor to perform a contracted work. The selection of a third party outsourced partner is based on expertise and cost-of-labor benefits. Here is why the discussion of ethics in outsourcing can be pretty tricky.

    This blog post we will address this thorny issue of outsourcing to a low-cost country. What are the other aspects of ethical outsourcing? How do we determine whether or not a contractor is committed to the practice of Ethical Outsourcing?

    Is Outsourcing Evil?

    Remember that Google motto, “Don’t be evil”? That dictum neatly positions itself as an ethical firm. Though the search giant has subtly dropped that motto with, “Do the Right Thing”, the shift to doing good instead of merely appealing to avoid any unethical conduct is a welcome change in the corporate world, including the outsourcing sector.

    Many companies who have contracted an outsourced company to perform their non-core activities have reported increased savings on costs and improvement in profitability. All over the world, outsourcing BPO processes and non-core activities is recognized as a competitive strategy for financial success.

    Looking at it more deeply, outsourcing, more particularly the simple practice of letting a third party company perform certain components of a business process, naturally fits into the free enterprise system.

    And before we dwell on the heavy stuff, let us break it down for you. Outsourcing simply means companies of all shapes and sizes find it more beneficial to let an outsourcer perform a certain elements of the operation rather than hire full-time staff.

    Does this practice of outsourcing compromise company ethics? Definitely not.

    Let’s get real, if you are a company and you mind striking a balance between quality processes and affordability, outsourcing is a necessity when conducting your own strategic competitive planning. However, some companies have concerns about the ethics of outsourcing practices at their provider’s location.

    What Are the Criticisms Against Outsourcing?

    One of the criticisms leveled against outsourcing during high unemployment – fair or not – emerge from the wrong perception of some citizens that a business should promote employment domestically. They assert that choosing to outsource to lower-cost contractor should be shunned all at once.

    In light of how a company treats its outsourced BPO partners has ethical considerations. What you practice in your organization reflects on your associates, as well as your own company image. When you outsource, there is a pressure on your business to monitor and maintain high-quality standards.

    To be more specific, here are some additional concerns regarding ethical practice in the outsourcing field:

    • Concerns about security. The ability of the vendor to secure confidential information is one of the key ethical concerns that companies would like to know when contracting an outsourced firm. Outsourcing companies should make the setup of a security systems as one of their biggest priorities. When your prospective outsourcing vendor does not have any security protocols or measures in place, it is best to look for another partner.
    • Below Par Service Quality. Another big concern is the quality expectations that are never met when delivery time comes. If you are looking for a company and expecting above par quality, make sure to request for their track record portfolio, and better yet, seek for a third party testimonies about the company to check their technical competencies.
    • Environmental Commitment Issues. Is your partner outsourcer have in place a roadmap to ensuring eco-sustainability measures? Does your vendor company found negligent or practicing some environmentally damaging processes? Make sure your contractor conduct periodic audits to ensure compliance.
    • Hazardous Work Environment. It is vital that your outsourced partner impose stringent standards on the work conditions at the vendor locations offshore. Before signing up a contractor, make sure that you have carefully reviewed the HR policies of your prospective offshore company.

    Find Out How Big Outsource Addresses Ethical Outsourcing Practices

    As one of the leading BPO companies in the Philippine outsourcing sector while being located at heart of San Pablo City in Laguna province, Philippines, Big Outsource has always been tuned in to our clients’ concerns about ethical outsourcing.

    • We ensure your data privacy and confidentiality measures are strictly enforced. To fully ensure complete confidentiality of our clients’ customer information, we make sure have password protected systems, VPN (Virtual Private Network), encrypted servers, and firewall protected networks.
    • Clear Communication. We make sure that our line of communication with clients is clear. Full transparency is implemented about schedule on transition and pricing. We also make sure that our privacy policies and outsourcing ethics practice are defined clearly.
    • Legal Measures. Our Service Level Agreements with our partners cover all legal aspects of the outsourcing relationship. We also require a Non-Disclosure Agreement with employees and third party service providers to ensure our clients’ interests are protected.
    • High Value Employee Selection Criteria. We impose a stringent hiring measure to ensure that the talent our partner hires meet our standards. Thorough background checks of employees are conducted, which is followed by tough selection processes. The end result would be employees who are team players, honest, ethical and responsible.

    When outsource at Big Outsource, we make sure that you will be satisfied with our services. Moreover, when you deal with Big Outsource, you have a trusted partner that addresses your ethical outsourcing concerns.

  4. Staff Retention in Philippine BPO Industry is Improving – Survey

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    Less employees working in the business processes outsourcing (BPO) sector in the Philippines are reportedly quitting their job due to improved conditions.

    It has been reported that from 70 percent attrition rate in the IT-BPM sector, the figure is now down to 50%, the Manila Bulletin reported in August 2016.

    Among companies seeking to outsource in the Philippine BPO sector, high staff turnover rate is a big letdown.

    But this improvement is seen as a continuation of previous surveys on the attrition rate in the outsourcing sector.

    A case in point is the 2015 survey by global professional services firm Towers Watson, which revealed that the 20 percent drop in the attrition rate in the Philippine BPO sector reflected the lowest ever since 2007.

    In 2011, the BPO sector registered 33 percent attrition rate while this reached 24 percent the following year.

    Sourcing Outside NCR

    Many experts claimed that the Philippine BPO industry are adopting strategies to keep their employees.

    According to Towers Watson (Philippines) global services practice head Vangie Daquilanea, companies are learning new strategies in talent acquisition.

    Daquilanea added BPO companies are expanding their local operations outside the National Capital Region (NCR).

    Today, it is not impossible to see BPO companies sourcing high-value talents from the provinces like Cebu, Davao, and Southern Luzon. In effect, this movement has affected the attrition activity in the Metropolitan Manila.

    Higher Salaries, Other Factors

    Another possible reason why outsourcing employees are staying with their companies – apart from training, government support and continuous education – is the increased salaries.

    According to Towers Watson, many BPO companies reward high performing employees while non-performers are given zero to less increases. For these companies, using Performance Matrix emphasize compensation principle of paying for performance.

    Unlike employees from other sectors, employees working in the BPO sector enjoy compensation mix which promises high guaranteed compensation.

    There are other Philippine BPO employees who receive a minimal annual performance bonus, which is equivalent to 1 to 1.5 months’ pay.

    BPO companies also allot budgets for the health and wellness of their employees. The Towers Watson survey revealed how employees in this industry are well-taken cared of by their employers.

    Employees in the outsourcing sector are usually offered as perks stress/risk assessment programs, health screening, counselling, fitness competitions, and smoking cessation programs.

    Another interesting observation has been how young people are exploring new career paths in the same sector.

    Beefing Up BPO Employees of the Future

    Benedict Hernandez, chairman and president of the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP), stressed the importance of continuous education to help upgrade skills and build capabilities of BPO employees.

    In the past, the business processes outsourcing (BPO) sector is only known for the following services it provide foreign companies: data entry, directory assistance, and call center outsourcing.

    A lot has changed in the country’s outsourcing sector over the years, especially on how services are offered to offshore companies.

    Today, Philippine outsourcing firms can confidently offer middle to higher-value services, including data analytics, infrastructure technology, social media marketing and more.

    Other developments include the expansion of what the voice segment of BPO entails in the late 1990s. Today, voice segment include email, chat, social media, multi-channel and omni-channel support.

    More recently, there has also been a bigger emphasis on giving improved lead generation, customer loyalty and retention, and increasing sales revenues through data analytics, and the likes.

    An IT-BPM Roadmap 2022 by Frost & Sullivan confirmed this development, as it predicted how voice tasks will continue to fall by 28 percent while mid-skilled tasks will see a dramatic surge by 7 percent.

    Companies offering complex services that require high-skilled tasks gets to enjoy the surge in demand for these category.

    Frost & Sullivan predicted a 48 percent rise in demand for high-skilled tasks.

    This roadmap showed that a mere 16.6 percent ($166 billion) of the $1-trillion sourceable work across the globe have been outsourced.

    Out of this outsourcing pie, the Philippine outsourcing providers account for $22 billion. Up this date, the Philippines remains the top global destination for outsourced voice services.

    Under the 2012-2016 roadmap, the country’s IT-BPM sector eyed for $25 billion in revenues and 1.3 million jobs. According to the roadmap, the voice sector accounts for 70 percent of the country’s IT-BPM industry.


    Why staff turnover in Philippine BPO industry is falling

  5. 10 Practical Tips on How to Outsource Effectively

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    In this blog, we’ll help you gain more insights on how to outsource effectively. Because even with plenty of successful attempts cited, confusion still abound about perfecting the process of outsourcing.

    All along, there’s been an almost endless debates and talks whether or not outsourcing is a boon or a bane.

    For the uninitiated, outsourcing is a strategy in business where you get a skilled external consultant to accomplish your work for less money. Here is where you’ll often hear familiar success stories of cost savings and efficiency.

    For example, it’s now common to hear stories of outsourcing success gained by small businesses out of their outsourced payroll processing to a Manila-based offshore firm like paying only a fraction of the cost they will be charged by a local talent.

    But it’s not all success there is to know about outsourcing. There are also risks attached to it, and a dash of confusion sometimes.

    That’s our hint to come up with this blog about smart and practical outsourcing.Our aim is to help business people avoid the hassles and confusion involved when outsourcing for the first time.

    By following our tips and learning the ropes on how to outsource effectively, you’re on your own to boost the real value of your small business, to heighten your outsourcing knowledge, and to grow your business more effectively.

    Now to our list of tips on how to outsource effectively with a third party service provider:


    1. Clarify Your Statement of Purpose.


    Clarify GoalsSet your project purpose, specify your needs and estimate a realistic schedule before you talk with any prospective outsourcing partner.

    This might come off as an obvious tip, but you’ll definitely find this need imperative during your search for a competent and perfect outsourcing partner.

    By giving clear, accurate and complete information about your project requirements, you are helping your service provider come up with a realistic proposals and a fair price quote.

    You can also cite your schedule requirements, which can draw huge impact on the cost of your outsourcing contract.


    2. Weigh All Sides When Evaluating Your Outsourcing Provider


    Evaluate Outsourcing ProviderWhen choosing the right partner to trust your outsourcing works, engage your prospects by asking important questions like you’re hiring a full-time employee.

    Experienced companies in outsourcing would tell you that it’s like hiring a full-time employee where you ask the most important questions about their capabilities and qualifications.

    Add the process of checking your prospective partner’s references and independently calling former clients for feedback. As much as possible voice your concerns to avoid encountering problems the moment you signed a partnership contract.


    3. Test Your Partner With Sample Work


    Test Sample WorkMerely hearing your vendor speaks about their capabilities and skills sure aren’t enough to rely on when choosing a partner.

    And even after you’ve viewed your provider’s portfolio and reach for references to check competence, you’re often still feeling a bit tense about trusting the work to your outsourcing partner.

    One way to test their skills and qualification is by asking your vendors to do a simple mockup design or application.

    But you should definitely not do this just to get a finished work for free. Make sure to compensate fairly your prospective vendor.


    4. Price Shouldn’t Be Your Determining Factor


    Price Not a FactorWe asked some companies about their tips on how to outsource effectively and they have something against making a decision based on price alone. It’s tempting right?

    Looking for the highest-priced bidder and simply wait for the best to arrive is wrong. And don’t expect paying for the lowest-priced service will be any better.

    Top companies advised to seal a deal with a vendor that can offer balance of good value ad quality service, but never between any of the two extreme price offers from vendors.


    5. Experience Matters.


    Experience MattersWhen looking to outsource your tasks or project, it’s perfectly normal to expect them to have gained experience relevant to your line of work. For complex projects like mobile software applications, it’s highly critical factor to expect your vendor to be expert in the mobile development field.


    6. Start Small.


    Start SmallBesides giving out a test project, here is one of the tips most companies experienced in outsourcing give: start with small project with your vendor. This is especially applicable when working with a service provider for the first time.

    Once convinced of your outsourcing partner’s capabilities and process, that’s a signal you can start giving more difficult projects.

    You can start offloading your company’s more critical projects to your vendor.


    7. Negotiate Ownership of Project Up Front.


    Negotiate Ownership Up FrontWe’ll never end this collection of advice on how to outsource effectively without touching on the legal side of things. Copyright or ownership of the finished product or service must be spelled out the first moment you meet with a vendor.

    Both parties must agree on the terms of use of the deliverables and up to what extent the respective parties are accountable. Often this is more complicated when the project is bound for reselling.


    8. Tie Payments to Project Milestones.


    Pay By Project MilestoneBesides crafting a well-defined project scope, take note also that you’ll need to draft clearly defined milestones. There’s another purpose for this – having a scheduled milestone – to help you beat deadlines and meet quality assurance standards.

    You can then tie to these milestones your payment to your outsourcing company partner. If you have 3 or 4 milestones, you can use these to tie with your payment modes to your partner.


    9. Put Everything in Paper.


    Put Everything in PaperEvery bit of change or modification must be written or documented to ensure that you and your vendor have a reference point when you need to settle something or recall a decision made.

    Getting everything written comes handy everything, including changes requested by your outsourcing partner or whether or not you gave your go-signal for a specific recommendation.

    If exchanges were made online, make sure to keep a copy of your email conversations.


    10. Ask Your Partner for Support Availability.


    Ask for SupportAsk whether your service provider offers continuing technical support after your project has been completed. For your protection, this must be ensured and specified to get the most out of your investment.

    Providing technical support can be specified through a warranty or support clause under your agreement with an outsourcing company.

    This tip draws from our own collection of advice on how to outsource effectively and definitely deserves to land in our top 10 lists. The time, money and frustrations you save out of a good agreement are actually important.


    Final Thoughts


    There you have it, folks. Done right, outsourcing is a very effective strategy that small businesses can count on during difficult times.

    With more time for you to focus on your core business functions, the higher chances for you to grow your business. And you’re definitely fine if you can get all your goals accomplished for less money.

    At Big Outsource, we have the solutions to cater to every possible outsourcing problem that companies encounter. Our range of IT and call center outsourcing can help fill your talent gap and productivity woes at truly affordable rates.

    Follow our advice on how to outsource more strategically and the opportunities to seize are endless.


  6. 10 Steps to Get The Best Accounting Outsourcing Services


    There are hellish pressures facing small and big business financial departments to improve their business performance. In their search for effective approaches to ensure quality and accurate performance of financial and bookkeeping tasks, accounting outsourcing is gaining popularity.

    Decades ago, there was reluctance to delegate to a service provider this critical business function. But after big businesses started hiring accounting services from onshore and offshore locations did small businesses follow suit.

    There’s a lot that outsourcing can do when you are embarking to optimize your business performance through the timely and accurate delivery of tax and salary computations and other related financial documentations with government bureaus and agencies.

    From hiring a virtual administrative staff, outsourcing bookkeeping and payroll services, and now to accounting outsourcing, the immense impact of the strategy on the growth and productivity of small businesses are now success story examples.

    Later in this article, we’ll introduce you to this specialized business function called accounting services, the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing accounting functions and how you can take advantage of the benefits.


    What is Accounting Services?


    Accounting functions that keep businesses operational are classified as accounting services. This services include managing the accounts receivable and payable, payroll processing, calculating and filing regulatory and federal taxes, financial statement preparations, and more of the likes.

    Financial accounting processes, however, are constantly changing. This constant changes in the system or process are major concerns for companies, especially coping and responding to any abrupt change in reporting finances and income.

    Responding to such change can be done proactively or its reactively. The change can easily be implemented based on these proactive companies’ situation, timeline and schedules. And with accounting outsourcing now possible, these companies are in to seize the biggest benefits.


    What Are the Advantages of Outsourcing Core Accounting Services?


    When it comes to accounting services outsourcing, businesses have the option to outsource all or portion of the accounting processes important to keep the business operational. With a reliable accounting services provider, small to big corporations can reap the advantages associated with making the best use of resources available to their businesses.

    Below, we’ll list down the obvious advantages for small and medium-sized enterprises using accounting outsourcing:

    Smaller businesses will most often be found outsourcing simply because it’s the most cost-effective way to address limitation in resources. The practice of hiring full time accountant or bookkeeper may be too expensive to shoulder for them compared to hiring a reliable accounting services agency.

    By outsourcing an accounting services firm, small businesses will only have to pay fewer salaries and employee benefits. Even the problem with absenteeism will be a big headache buster and ease the worries of delayed posting of payments or getting payroll released in a timely manner.

    With this benefit, small businesses earn extra time and resources to focus on improving the production process or mapping through to the implementation of product improvement strategies, and a whole lot more.

    Middle-sized companies might also gain from the same benefits that small businesses can derive out of outsourcing accounting works. Other cost-cutting benefits include substantial decrease in office supplies or equipments expenses. Most outsourcing firms also hire trained accounting professionals, which can boost efficiencies and improved business bottom line.

    In other words, accounting outsourcing can free up your valuable time while getting accurate, timely and reliable financial information about your business. But, no matter how good the benefits may be, outsourcing to a third party provider can also be counterproductive.


    What Are the Disadvantages and Risks of Outsourcing Accounting Services?

    Best accounting outsourcing services


    Most of the disadvantages of outsourcing your financial and accounting services may have something to do with carelessness, laziness and sloppy decision.

    If you fail to conduct a careful research of your prospective outsourcing partners and still decided to outsource to sub-par accounting firms, you will be in for some big troubles.

    When you hire an incompetent agency, expect late delivery of financial information and calculation of employee payroll, taxes and benefits. Worst, you are simply waiting for federal tax agencies to hound, haunt and penalize you.

    In turn, you are not only wasting valuable money to receive unsatisfactory accounting services, you will soon lose the trust of your very employees and your clients might transfer to your rival agencies.


    How to Hire the Best Accounting Outsourcing Services


    By this time, you might already be convinced that outsourcing accounting services to a third party provider can elevate your business performance. Here then are some qualities to look for the best and top quality accounting outsourcing companies:

    1. Industry Experience and Certified Staff. Make sure you are hiring an accounting and payroll agency with expertise and specialized knowledge of your industry. Keep in mind that some of your functions may be unique only to your sector and when an inexperienced accounting services will be asked to perform would take longer to accomplish at low quality standard. Your accounting services provider can only provide what you want if they have trained and certified bookkeepers or accountants.
    2. Cloud or Web-Based Service Architecture. Find an accounting agency that can provide you with immediate access to your own financial data anytime, anywhere using any devices. Remove from your shortlist the offshoring firm that does not offer this capability because you never can be sure what else they’re incapable of doing to perform for modern businesses like yours.
    3. Metrics for Quality Assurance. The main reason you are hiring a third party accounting outsourcing agency is that they offer core functions that you lack. Take for example staying current on best practices in finance, accounting and payroll or the most recent tax law and regulatory changes. Look for an agency that can fill the gap for your financial and payroll accounting needs.

    Beside the three mentioned above, there are other conditions that you should look when qualifying an accounting services outsourcing company. Among others, the agency should be flexible to match their clients specific requirements.

    The point of contact is another important consideration when you hire accounting outsourcing because this will be helpful in addressing concerns that need urgent response or answer between you and your outsourced agency.


    Final Thoughts


    Accounting outsourcing is one of the best ways to obtain accurate and timely financial information but it can also fall short when you hire the wrong offshore agency. By knowing what qualities to look for when engaging a third party service provider from the Philippines, you can be sure that you’re spending your money wisely.

  7. Unbelievable Strategic Sourcing Success Stories

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    Strategic Sourcing has been around for a couple of decades, helping organizations in their purchasing and procurement smarts. Yet over and over there are those who complained that this is not at all necessary even with the presence of success stories to back up that this approach help in improving an organization’s bottomline.

    Using success stories, there are reasons to believe that sound strategy applied in sourcing can bring much-needed boost in productivity, efficiency and sustainable growth for any company. Building capabilities in purchasing and procurement practice will also be discussed to shed important light on issues that hound the practice of organizational strategic sourcing.


    First, Let’s Define Strategic Sourcing

    With so many definitions floating around in the market today about strategic sourcing, it is but helpful that we look into one definition that echoes the context of the present era and responds to what is basically a process in procurement.

    So without falling into the trap of giving business jargons or its theoretical underpinnings that only confound and confuse readers, we’ll first look what the popular definition of the word means: “a process involving the identification, evaluation, negotiation and implementation of optimal mix of resources of goods and services geared toward supporting an enterprise’s objectives.”

    But we have seen and observed so many changes in recent memory that a contemporary definition would reflect the context of contemporary business situations and environment. Here follows two suggested corollaries.

    First, that sourcing programmes and strategic sourcing, which are converging to mean the same thing together, should be able to embed all enterprise sourcing, even if this means including the management of large, multi-functional strategic and tactical projects.

    Second, that the enabler of strategic sourcing in this era should incorporate the adoption of eSourcing and other supply management technologies (if possible) like spend analysis, contract management and supplier performance management. The purpose is not altering but enhancing an organic sourcing strategy.


    Sample Strategic Sourcing Success Stories

    It’s classic strategic sourcing success story that IT services provider get lauded for helping public sector customers cut operational costs. It is a common scenario that customers would want their next procurement process to include buying the cheapest solution that matches their expectations.

    Sometimes, the client proposal is not the cheapest in the market but they get chosen because of the value proposition that differentiated the client from competitors. Proposals offered may be regulatory-compliant and low-cost bids, but they are often not selected because they often lack a key differentiator – incremental value. Following and observing convincing strategic sourcing guidelines influence a customer’s expected decision.

    Another success story that is popularly passed on is about this manufacturer of a simple, low-cost food ingredient. Strategic sourcing was the key why even how hard a key account customer wanted the manufacturer to drive the purchase prices down, the latter didn’t offer a discount as requested even when the customer could purchase the product from rivals who offer the product at a cheaper amount.

    And the manufacturer retains the account yet grew it significantly. The use of strategic sourcing saves the day for this manufacturer, enabling it to argue that reducing the price of its product would be tantamount to losing the value in other areas that could have undermine the business strategy for growth of its customer.

    Unbelievable success, isn’t it? These success stories in strategic sourcing may be fictitious or they may be real. But the bottomline is that that when real value is at stake, no matter how attractive or tempting some drastic measures may be offered, a measurable model or approach must be considered.


    How to Build Superior Capabilities for Strategic Sourcing

    What Jack Welch has once argued about purchasing strategy rings some important lessons for business owners to learn. What the legendary General Electric boss perceived back then about the purchasing function as a necessary evil in business, must be correct.

    Most causes of operational failures may be accounted to a company’s underinvestment in its purchasing team’s capabilities, leaving sourcing out of decision-making processes and giving focus instead on manufacturing and sales, which are the viewed as the only obvious drivers of revenues.


    Identification of Specific Capabilities

    To turn strategic sourcing a high-functioning strategic asset, a company must have a clear idea which specific capabilities can ensure the most value.

    To identify which capabilities have the greatest potential, conduct a bottom-up assessment of the company’s technical and leadership capabilities. Benchmarks must be used to measure success.


    Adoption of Real Work Principles

    Corporate trainings are said to be ineffective when undertaken by organization as part of their capabilities-building efforts.

    What researchers found to be effective is tying up adult-learning principles with real work and specific activities that an individual must complete because new skills are developed incrementally this way, and the impact to their day-to-day responsibilities is greater.


    Scale Up First, Institutionalize Next

    The next strategic sourcing step in capabilities-building involves scaling the new way of doing business across the organization. This is especially helpful if the company has a long-term vision to be sustainable in the long-term.

    Following this capability-building effort, next is creating a culture whereby strategic sourcing professionals are proud of the value they add to the company. They must also be confident of the leadership role they possess in finding and delivering new sources of value.


    Final Thoughts

    Finally, there must never be an iota of doubt when considering capabilities building efforts to achieve growth targets. There are convincing support that companies who invested in developing their purchasing capabilities have doubly improved the margins over those which have not.

    As capabilities can be means to achieve optimal results, the first step of identifying your organization’s capabilities must be followed by building the same around real work situations using adult-learning principles before institutionalizing them. Done right, organizations can create business improvements.

    All these, strategic sourcing success stories and capabilities-building approaches, have something wonderful to offer and learn from. The success stories are connected by the change of attitudes and views that organizations have over purchasing products and services that are driven more by value than price.



  8. 5 Critical Points in Choosing the Best Outsourcing Partner Company

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    As well as the internal and external challenges, there are myriad pressures when you are just starting to run your business. Some may not admit the harsh impact of operating in a globalizing world where the dynamics shift and expand relentlessly. To some, the consequences include inability to do all business processes well at the expense of their core competencies. For both doing what they do best and meeting service level required by customers, outsourcing has become a boon for many smaller to larger-sized enterprises.

    But outsourcing is complex. From learning the ropes how to outsource, looking for the right solution and to finding the best one out of the multitude of solutions vendor courting your business are all daunting tasks. Hence, you will need to give your head and heart in your search for the right outsourcing company. The selection must be strategically fit with your present and future road to success that will benefit your customers as well.

    Here are some considerations or steps that you can take to ensure the right decision in your outsourcing company partner.


    1. Validity of Outsourcing Business Process Needs

    The first step is identifying whether or not it is outsourcing that you need. Quite tricky to some but if you are sure about the tasks and processes you need outsourced, you are in the right direction.

    After defining your needs – be it transcriptions, data encoding, payroll processing, and the likes – then what’s next for you is digging the specifics for each of the business functions that you want outsourced. It also helps to identify your goals or objectives for outsourcing.

    Upon starting talks with vendors, let them know how you want the business functions done, what you expect to see when the results are submitted, how much your budget and the amount you are willing pay, as well as turnover time and all other important details of your outsourcing agreement.


    2. Researching On Outsourcing Partners

    Following the first step is coming up with your list of functions to outsource. Having this step taken will help you cut the chase in finding for prospective outsourcing providers quickly and wasting valuable time of vendors who cannot offer what you need in the exact same way you need them.

    Then around this stage how to outsource, you should be able to pare down to four or five your vendor candidates. If you would like to be sure of your choice, request for demonstrations, and if possible, talk to existing client and ask for references. This is also the stage when you should already be speaking and asking questions directly to executives and not merely salespeople from the firm.


    3. Preparing an RFI

    Organize a special team who will conduct the evaluation of the outsourcing company and then let this team represent your company during negotiation. Once you have selected three or four solutions providers, prepare a plan for RFI or request for information.

    An RFI is a standard procedure that client firms request from the outsourcing company to gather basic and essential information. Critical information for the project development such as availability of technology and resources, cost estimation, project implementation challenges are what typically comprise an RFI document.

    The client company determines out of the RFI the feasibility of pursuing the outsourcing investment with the solutions provider. The client outsourcer must right away inform the outsourcing company if their data match the present and future needs of the client company to avoid wasting each other’s time and effort. Next step is …


    4. Developing the Request for Proposal

    Remember that the RFI must complement your RFP or request for proposal, which is a document that exhaustively list the details of your company objectives, profiles of providers, employee information, vendor approach and approaches to work, and their infrastructure to ensure the successful implementation of the outsourcing agreement.

    What you have in your RFI comprises the segments relative to solving the client partner’s needs. Only after your shortlisted outsourcing providers have submitted the RFP, you can begin you evaluation.


    5. Determining the Right Partner

    Closely and carefully evaluate the solutions providers who pre-selected for the outsourcing project. Now, with all important and essential information in your hands, make your decision. Choose the outsourcing company that comes closely compatible with your outsourcing objectives. Then sign a contract.

    As the client company, keep in mind that the success of your partnership with the right outsourcing company hinges on the successful implementation of your outsourcing project without problems. After the rigorous and long selection process, watch out for another cycle of hard work to make the agreement work for both you and your outsourcing company.

    The next step in our how to outsource list is for you is to follow through and ensure that the arrangement runs smoothly as planned. Communicate well with all the parties involved in ensuring the successful transition of such outsourcing arrangement.

    Internal staff may initially feel threatened by the participation of a third party so they must be well-informed that this is a decision that needs their support and cooperation for the integration to materialize successfully.


    Outsourcing in the Philippines

    The Philippines is an undeniable favorite outsourcing hotspot, taking the crown from former BPO darlings like India and China. Foreign investors and companies leverage the perks and infrastructures that support outsourcing in the Philippines. From small businesses to big established brands from the United States, Europe and Australia in almost all major industries, the Philippines is an obvious choice for the cheap labor and quality.

    The leaps and bounds of the business processing outsourcing sector in the country were made possible through the help of massive government support. Nonetheless, other inherent assets of the Philippines are contributing to the boom. US or Australian-based companies leverage outsourcing in the Philippines for its people primarily. The Philippines boast of a generally-English speaking population, Westernized culture, high regard for education, and Filipinos’ resilient, hardworking and passionate behavior.



    There is no simple and short-cut rule how to outsource your business functions with a third party vendor. Reaping success out of your outsourcing journey does not depend on your investment budget. One critical factor is getting the right solutions provider to perform the tasks and work for you.

    Follow the steps mentioned above to help you find the right outsourcing company and follow through until the achievement of your outsourcing objectives. And by outsourcing in the Philippines and finding a suitable company there might offer you a lot more than you desired for.



  9. What the World Would Be Like if Call Center Outsourcing Didn’t Exist

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    It’s precisely a hypothetical question to ask. And if you are already outsourcing call center services, you’ll quickly get the picture of a world where call centers are plucked out and help is not arriving any sooner. Chaos! Fast forward to our era and it’s barely impossible to ignore how the role of call center outsourcing has evolved. From its humble beginnings of performing the tasks of receiving calls and passing them on, call centers now play some really big and critical roles in the super-charged global market space.

    So what is the point that we’re driving at? The fact that outsourcing call center services remains up to this day, there is no doubt it will continue to carry on in the future, especially in delivering outsourced call center services for businesses across different industries. In a world that is gradually succumbing to the tempting offer of digital connectivity (e.g., emails, voice mails, texting, etc.), the human toll was huge: the dearth of direct human contact. Thankfully though, call centers preserve the sound of human voice albeit face-to-face contact, and can be a significant business asset in rendering customer support during business transactions.

    A powerful advantage for anyone starting up or established, outsourcing customer support services is truly the next best thing for any business in today’s digital landscape. For client credit card companies, for instance, outsourcing call center services allow for the efficient conduct of credit and transaction services. Among small and large enterprises, hiring and outsourcing their call center operations to a vendor from the Philippines, India or China is seen returning their investments in the form of value propositions of service, convenience and trust.


    Call Center Outsourcing, Where It All Started

    The Internet boom in 1990s was the spark needed to bring outsourcing to the attention of the world. But do you believe that even as far back as the early ship building years of America, outsourcing was already in use? Historically speaking yes, and we will no longer dig into the details about how the initial salvo of outsourcing in the eighteenth and nineteenth century era of America was like back then. Over the years, companies consider outsourcing as a business strategy that is suitable in increasing profits, as well as extend corporate base or market share offered by the ‘economies os scale’. Not until the rapid development in transportation and technology that outsourcing that we know of today was finally born.

    During the 1970s and 1980s, business competition has gone global, which as a result brought along major challenges for active businesses. Different organizations from many industries found that their management strategies are no longer enough, worst, it was exhausting their flexibility. What started out as a crises of sorts eventually convinced these organizations to shift their focus toward their business core processes. Technical advancement in the 1980s finally paved the way for offshore outsourcing but it was only in 1990s when companies shift their focus on cost-savings and want the real value of handing-off non-core functions that are indirectly related to the core areas of their business. Eventually, this opened a big door of opportunities for the customer support outsourcing sector.

    And the rest, so they say, was history.


    Should You Outsource Call Center Operations

    Before we proceed farther, let us first define what call center outsourcing is. Simply put, it is a business practice that involves the use of resources like a third party outsourcing firm to handle a specific task that’s essential for your business. In business parlance, it is the use of telesales or telemarketing company to handle a company’s inbound or outbound call center project.

    Call center outsourcing vendors that offer outsourced inbound and outbound call centers provide access to skilled telemarketing professionals, account management expertise, remote call monitoring, market testing capabilities and more. Outsourcing call center services are also cited for delivering the following support: improved market coverage, faster ramp-up, launch, and roll-out of campaigns, experience with programs similar to yours and many of the likes.

    In the great design of things of everything customer support outsourcing, there is little doubt you’ll reap the following benefits:

    • Improved sales and profit targets
    • Reduced operational costs
    • Improved operational efficiencies
    • Increased customer base and lead generation
    • Higher qualified leads and closed sales
    • Customer retention and loyalty
    • Increased market share


    How to Measure Call Center Outsourcing Success

    If your business is customer service-oriented, outsourcing call center services is one of the best options available for you. Choosing the right call center is important then. Consider especially if you have a high volume customer interaction where your call center representatives might handle hundreds of inbound or outbound calls on a regular basis from a variety of different companies.


    Here is a guide on choosing the right call center outsourcing vendor to help you make the most of your investments:


    Profitability – Always consider that your investment must be measurable. Often you can measure the profitability or feasibility of customer support outsourcing based on the volume of customer service that your business handles. Consider preparing a realistic feasibility study of just how much it will cost you to create an internal call center department and compare it with the cost of outsourcing. Include the following factors when preparing this document: employee compensation, training cost, equipment and supply purchases, as well as construction or rent costs and maintenance.

    Complexity – While it’s true you’ll be able to save out of customer support outsourcing, but it doesn’t mean also that such strategy won’t cost you money in the long term. If your company takes or expects to receive customer calls regularly on technical or complicated issues, an in-house call center who will handle your customer service needs may be a better idea.

    Time – If you consider outsourcing call center to third party vendor, weigh the impact that it will bear around your day-to-day operations. Will call center outsourcing free you or your management’s time from responding to customers that will require frequent expert answers? If you realize you or your employees’ time are better spent on other projects, offloading this aspect of your business process might be a smart move. So when examining the costs of outsourcing, include the benefits in your decision.

    Customer Needs – Your decision must be anchored on your resources as well. So if you find that your current resources are very limited and meeting or responding to your customer demands and requests become highly impossible, it’s high time to decide in favor of outsourcing customer support services. To make a better decision, crunch the numbers, draw up a comparison, and map out business goals.


    Final Words

    Call center outsourcing has plenty of benefits for any business who knows the trade, finds the right strategic sourcing vendor, and are conscious of the obvious risks and opportunities. Getting a third party to handle call center services requires higher degree of oversight.

    This means, the business which forges a partnership with a provider must allocate time or manpower to monitor the progress of such arrangement. Done right, outsourcing can make the business but disaster awaits those who played it all wrong.