Tag Archive: business process outsourcing

  1. Non-Voice Business Process Outsourcing: Is this the ‘Hidden Jewel’ for Philippines?


    After earning a spot as the most sought after offshore destination in the voice-based outsourcing sector, the Philippines got another reason to rejoice. The country’s non-voice business process outsourcing (BPO) is seen as another gold mine for growth and opportunities.

    In the past years, the Philippine outsourcing space recorded impressive growth figures. Just last year, the whole industry generated revenues totalling to $13-Billion. According to the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP), it expects the country’s non-voice outsourcing space to add up to the total outsourcing revenues in the forthcoming years.

    An Everest Group report entitled, “Healthcare BPO Is a ‘Hidden Jewel’ For the Philippines’ Global Services Industry,” indicated the tremendous growth posted by the country’s health BPO.

    The healthcare BPO segment increased fourfold over the past two years. From the US$102-Million revenues generated in 2010, revenues of the healthcare BPO sector jumped to US$430-Million by the end-2012, suggesting this non-voice sector is one of the fastest-growing among the country’s IT-BPO industry.

    The report also indicates that the country now holds a large pool of US-licensed nurses. More than 6,000 nurses are being trained every year, which suggests that this figure makes the Philippines far ahead of the domestic demand.

    Non-voice BPO works wonder for the Philippines, mainly due to its huge talent pool. It also boasts of a high level of cultural compatibility with that of the United States. Plus, the Philippine educational system follows the US standards.

    Other than healthcare outsourcing, the Philippines command quite an impressive feat in the other areas of non-voice outsourcing. Tholons, one of the world-leading advisory firms today, sees the recent foray of outsourcing service providers in the country into non-voice areas like software development and IT outsourcing, animation and game development, and healthcare information management (HIM) outsourcing.

    Tholons expects the country to also penetrate other markets outside the US. Local outsourcing firms are offering their services to Australian small and medium-sized enterprises as well. Tholons identified Cebu as an attractive destination for both voice- and non-voice BPO operations. In its ranking, Cebu got 8th place in Tholons’ top 100 global outsourcing destinations.

  2. Business Process Outsourcing Solutions to Watch by Year 2016

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    Australian companies wishing to control operational costs often resort to an offshore service providers who perform their administrative or non-strategic support functions. The modern business is evolving and business process outsourcing or BPO is quite the latest business practice darling known for giving businesses the strategic support they need to be competitive.

    Trends to watch in BPO

    According to Gartner, a world-leading information technology research and advisory thinktank, up to $9.5-Billion will be spent on business process outsourcing by the year 2016 in the Pacific and Asian regions. Australia was cited as the largest market for BPO in 2011, piling in $4.6-Billion, which technically made this commonwealth nation’s market share even bigger than that of India and China.

    Plunkett, another global market watchdog, issued in a report called Outsourcing and Offshoring Industry Trends and Statistics 2013, that the global outsourcing markets will exceed $480-Billion in the year 2013.

    Cost remains the biggest cited factor for outsourcing but there are also commanding boom in market industries like Information Technology, Banking and Finance, Retail, Travel, and Communications in Australia due to quality factors.

    Factors that Influence the Use of Offshoring BPO

    As a way to approach business, the use of BPO by small and big companies are driven by several key factors. They are:

    • BPO services are often scalable and offer flexible options to businesses
    • Diverse, reputable companies offering wide-scale BPO offerings and service levels
    • Assured quality goods and services due to improved processes and infrastructure
    • Improved productivity over reduced liability and less-pressure of business management
    • Competition and increasing call to expand globally which demands for more workers
    • Talent shortage

    Business Process Outsourcing Service Types to Consider

    What you need right now or in the next couple of years will be dependent on several factors. However, we would like to cite some of the ideal business process outsourcing solutions that you can seek from Australian BPO support providers like Big Outsource. Here are the following that will be highly in demand:

    Bookkeeping and FinancialCertain financial matters can be outsourced to an offshore provider from the preparation of the business payroll to simple to complex tax audits. Outsourcing to a BPO provider this aspect of business can help generate more revenues for your business and give you more edge in dealing with your financial matters.

    Virtual Management – Especially for startups, certain non-strategic business functions can be delegated or sent offshore as you grow your business, especially to meet customer and business demands. Hiring an executive management team member under a business process outsourcing provider contract can remove the pressure off business owners and allow them to focus on the important side of their business.

    Customer Service – As companies see the bigger picture of operating and maintaining their own in-house customer service department – time consuming and costly – outsourcing customer service continue to appeal as a viable option. In fact, it is one of the most popular BPO support side that companies are sending to offshore service providers.

    IT Support – As the search for the best IT professionals who are equipped with up-to-date skillsets and right qualifications become more and more challenging, some companies find success by hiring a virtual worker through a business process outsourcing provider. Programmers, mobile app developers, digital platform development professionals will be highly valuable and in demand and they will push for the growth of offshore BPO in the near future.

    The foreseeable future may be few years from now but the evidence are clear: companies globally searching for quality workforce from business process outsourcing providers will continue to rise. What’s best to do now is to have a regular progressive evaluation of business needs and requirements.

  3. Making Lean Culture Work in Talent Acquisition of Outsourcing Ventures

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    Lean culture is a management principle that’s often applied in the manufacturing sector. Its standout followers include Walmart, Southwest Airlines and GE Healthcare. But can Lean principle ever be applied in the business process of outsourcing, particularly for talent acquisition?

    This is an argument once popped by Zachary Misko and has even written an article at Outsource Magazine entitled “Embracing a Lean Culture in Recruitment.” The basic assumption may be around whether or not applying lean culture in HR recruitment processes will finally help find gems of talents and retain those who contribute to lifting the value of the outsourcing provider and buyer. Of course some theories are better only at staying as theories. Sometimes realities are harsher than initially thought.

    Bringing up the idea of Lean culture in resolving the shortage of high-value talent force could possibly help. Other than what’s already tested and tried by outsourcing companies in standardizing and streamlining their talent recruitment procedures, Lean principles could offer to yield more valuable talents.

    For the uninitiated, Lean manufacturing is one of the quality system principles that many multinational companies use to help identify value-creating activities, eliminate waste, and focus on continuous improvement.  So the next question is how adopting Lean principles will lift recruitment and other back-office functions to better heights of efficiency and quality. But one certain outcome is the insight that this disciplined initiative will provide business partners.

    Another valid question is, “Is Lean culture just fad?” Definitely not when this principle is taken as a lifestyle. With the practice, organizations are enabled to reduce development cycles so that higher quality services and products at a lower cost are produced. And let’s not forget, resources are efficiently utilized using the Lean principle.

    The next question is how to getting started in talent recruitment using Lean. Talent acquisition is a strategic service that can give real competitive advantage to any organization. How? The overall time to approve and fill staff positions will be reduced dramatically without the system adopted. This principle can also help HR to identify non-core, ancillary activities that occupied their time, which in the long run helps in simplifying and expediting the entire process.

    Misko cited the GE Healthcare experience in driving his point. The company sought the support of its external recruitment service provider to implement Lean culture. The result is an overhauled internal processes within GE Healthcare and its external recruitment service providers. With the success of the adoption, the global outsourcing service provider is bringing its Lean expertise to other organizations.

    It is also underscored that practitioners be able to train themselves to remain vigilant in identifying and solving breakdowns in their processes. Complacency is guarded throughout the course of the application of the principle.

    There must also be commitment within the organization to adopt Lean culture. This means executive champions, buy-in from the rank and file must be ensured along with the patience and resources to make this culture work. Finally, when executed well, the effort can significantly improve how you acquire talent.



    Embracing a Lean Culture in Recruitment

  4. How to Grow your Business with an Independent Contractor

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    The economic uncertainties coupled with rising competition in the marketplace create tremendous challenge for businesses – large and small – to cope. Some companies opt to delay hiring new staff while they wait for the “right time” for the market to stabilize. Remember that you have some existing projects and your clients are waiting for you to deliver. Plus, you obviously need to maintain certain service quality within your limited resources. Some opportunities might have already slipped past your hands if you will not act.

    Hiring or building a relationship with an independent contractor can save your days, months or years (figuratively and literally). Like your own in-house personnel, a virtual worker or independent contractor are your staff who perform duties and responsibilities albeit their own resources and could be working as part of the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector.

    Independent Contractors and Business Growth

    Why hiring an independent contractor or virtual worker good for your business? While they may work remotely for your business, generally the loyalty and hard work of your offshore staff are dedicated to you. In our experience though, some of our clients have placed some of their virtual workers with Big Outsource to an actual employee status at some point in their productive careers. Generally speaking, the BPO model offers a win-win solution both to businesses and service providers.

    The ideal uses of independent contractors and virtual workers are in the management of project fluctuations, addressing limited labour budgets, and scarce work facilities. Especially for startups, hiring a virtual worker or establishing a relationship with an independent contractor can meet the businesses’ needs for temporary contractors who can work on a limited time.

    You can grow your business operations together with an independent contractor or your virtual staff through their parent business process outsourcing company. Here are some tips for you:

    List the details in writing. While you may have tried with luck to enter into an agreement through purely verbal means, however, this time around, you have to be more careful. Together with the service provider, sit down and take the time to draft a comprehensive agreement for the service. List both you and the independent contractors’ details, including the extent of the service or work that will be performed, terms and schedules of the payments, and other terms. Make sure both of you signed the agreement and each have a respective hard and soft copy on file. When necessary, you and the service provider can agree to amend the contract.

    Identify project goals. Again, this is important that both you and your independent contractor site down to come up with a project list. Include realistic and measurable goals, milestone dates, etc. This document will serve as a fall back when all else fails, and you need to retrace or have an alternative set of options to manage the steps of your business process outsourcing strategy with your independent contractor.

    Provide access to resources. Paying your independent contractor doesn’t equate to success. There are certain project logistics that you must ensure to allow your independent contractor to work seamless with you or together for collaboration with your in-house personnel. Have you granted access to your central system to your independent contractor? Does your independent contractor already have access to your project collaboration tools to track projects and get relevant information?

    Open Communication Lines. It may be a cliché, but communication can really make or break your business. Always open your communication lines with your service providers using teleconferencing facilities. You will find this useful for quick setups for meetings to get updates and progress reports with current and future projects. You might also want to hold a regular daily or weekly meetings as well.

    The success of your business process outsourcing strategy will largely depend upon so many factors, but with the tips stated above, we are confident your business will be off to a great start.

  5. Growing your Outsourcing Business Using Brand Repositioning Tactics (Part 2)

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    During the first part of this series, I discussed about the trigger to new brand thinking for outsourcing companies to thrive and survive in the hyper-competitive market in the BPO and IT services sector.

    To sum up, the impact of the new dynamics that outsourcing companies face nowadays demand that they embrace the importance of having a strong brand. The three-fold benefit of such help providers to differentiate themselves, attract new clients, and garner fair yet higher prices than their competitors.

    To develop a strong brand is demanding. Again, let us cite here BrandTaxi’s advice to outsourcing firms keen on brand-building to cope in the new environment we face today.

    1. Create a killer brand idea. You definitely must create one. Remember that this should be something unique and different from your competitors. This is a very demanding work so make sure to devote time and energy to unmask and mine what makes your company the better choice. Once you find out your true brand DNA, make sure you make use of this as part of your communication, the how and what you communicate, and importantly how you shape customer relationship along the way.

    2. Build brand out of your DNA and culture.  Make sure you understand fully well your company’s DNA and culture because you can use these as your brand foundation. Ask yourselves, does our brand resonate? You can match your brand message out of the internal ethos, service philosophy and general behavior that you use in guiding your company when making decisions. Once you uncovered your unique character you’ve already arrived at the starting point to building your brand so use this into the final brand idea.

    3. Brand slogans, please. Taglines, man. Does our brand idea communicate what our company is, what we believe in, and what value we provide in the most unique way and in a nutshell? Make sure that you are able to express your brand idea in a language that is engaging. Make use of tag lines or primary marketing messages to pitch your brand to your customers. Some examples are:

    “High Performance. Delivered.”

    “Innovation. Benchmarking. Success.”

    “Leading the Process.”

    “Rethink Outsourcing.”

    When you have generic messages, your company get to create real opportunity to focus on what makes you special. Tag lines also help companies find a compelling expression that it can telegraph to partners about the company. Often they help lift the company up for partners to understand and engage the outsourcing provider.

    4. Be open and transparent in your communication.  Outsourcing like other industries has received a bad rap caused by the events of the past five years. Part of this was due to the growing skepticism to messaging that providers are relaying. For those who understand the market, they realized the lessons that this give: becoming more transparent in all communications. When you are more open and candid, you can easily develop strong bonds with your customers or partners. Remember that branding concept called “brand voice?” Make yours as honest and true to how you behave and conduct your business.

    5. Architect your brand. Branding, like information, need to be organized and engineered to create customer engagement out of your clear and easy-to-understand business goals, objectives and services. This also calls for your company to reframing from the customer’s perspective how your company communicate the products and services to them. By doing so, new customers will understand you better and be willing to engage further in building a relationship. Clarity means a lot to secure new and expand your network of partners than merely assuming that your customers understand you.

    All these brand building tips cannot simply be made overnight. Ask yourself, do you think you have the need to reassess your brand? If you do, then it can be an important big step that will help you cope and thrive in the fast-evolving outsourcing marketplace. Remember, complexity is all around so stand up to bring clarity and uniqueness to engage your customers with your brand.

  6. Growing your Outsourcing Business Using Brand Repositioning Tactics (Part 1)

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    Significant changes are shaping the outsourcing industry in recent years. The outsourcing boom has brought in new entrants and of course competition. Hence, Business Process Outsourcing and IT services companies must re-evaluate their branding to succeed and achieve greater profitability.


    Yes, there is growth. If there’s one industry where the sun is shining brightest, the ray of the sun is cast widest around the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector. The BPO  and IT services industry appear all the most shielded as well from the economic slump. While other industries and markets wither as a direct result of the economic turmoil, the outsourcing industry continue to remain the single most vigorous in weathering the dampening situation.


    Fortunately, more and more new entrants are attracted to join an industry now seen as a growth market. And outsourcing companies will benefit from having a full grasp of the whole nature of what is changing, which will be of help to assist themselves in finding their niche and strong points when repositioning for their targeted market.


    Outsourcing sector’s many challenges are brought about by many converging dynamics. Staying competitive (yes, this could potentially be a burden for all of you providers out there!) is inevitable in the sea of other bigger challenges ahead. Thus, these issues are naturally shouting new brand thinking according to BrandTaxi’s John K. Grace.


    • Price War. This is one in the many issues that’ll surely arise and remain constantly so. Better deal and live with it. Nowadays, there is a heightened eemphasis on low cost and oh the buyers (you will always hear them beg) for the absolute lowest priced services. Unfortunately, the new competitors in the market are making the hurdle tougher. So for outsourcing companies, what does this mean relative to branding? It’s a challenge for brands to communicate their unique value in fresh and compelling way.


    • Greater Value. Aside from the cost that buyers will go looking for from a provider, they will surely look after their prospective outsourcing partner to offer greater value. This means offering new services and solutions that will bring greater and better value out of the outsourced process that buyers get. What for providers this mean? Outsourcing companies will need to understand their competitive edge in order to position themselves with clarity to buyers their unique attributes and to ensure understanding and secure engagement.


    • Shifting labour costs. Again, competition has brought in the phenomenon of shifting labour costs. India is the former darling of the call centre business until the Philippines emerged out of the shell. So what could earlier been an attractive source of labour may change in the future. Somehow, technology is helping enable other areas or regions to be competitive as well. With plenty of outsourcing options to go to, buyers are expecting highly of their provider. This means for outsourcing companies, however, to reassure their partners or clients about their quality and high-value service.


    • Skepticism and need for transparency. Skepticism will rise and it’s beginning to creep in now in what providers promise and actually deliver. So the plea for openness and increased transparency is louder than ever. As providers feel the pinch of this issue, they are also must learn to cope with the new set up to develop and sustain their relationships with clients in new ways. What providers can do is to use their brand assets to show how the company is committed to openness and transparency, especially in this challenging new environment.


    For the second part of this series, we’ll talk about key strategies that you can use in bringing out your brand’s unique voice and personality to grow your outsourcing business.


  7. Relationship and Talent Acquisition: Keys to Future Sustainability of Outsourcing?

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    With the much-praised bullish growth prospects cast over the Philippine Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry, it is hard not to get excited. It’s as if there’s nothing more that the Philippines must do to prove that it’s the best destination to outsource any kind of services.

    The business of outsourcing is still young in a country like ours. What we have achieved thus far speak only of few services that we can offer, particularly the ones which are non-strategic business functions like contact center, technical support, IT and back-office functions.

    Yet if there have been growth in higher-value works in the value chain local companies are getting, our share out of the bigger picture remain dismally marginal. And most obviously for outsourcing companies around the county, it’s not yet the right time to celebrate because there’s so much work to do.

    In the past years that we’re into the business of outsourcing as provider of high-value virtual talent and value chain-based services, we are deeply looking into the key challenges that would limit further growth to our business. We have seen a lot of risks, threats and many impediments to deliver a really satisfying outsourcing experience to a partner.

    Let us focus on two key challenges as well as how we could bring out the most out the resources at our disposal.

    Partner relationship. An outsourcing partnership does not stop the moment the buyer and provider signed the contract for engagement. It’s the starting point of busy times ahead any outsourcing partnership to ensure they maintain their cooperation, collaboration, and co-developments to achieve their goals. Competitive advantage that is sustainable is achieved when the partnership are mindful of their short- and long-term relationship. When trust and commitment is established, both parties will benefit from improved performance. Hence, as Alessio Ishizaka and Rebecca Blakiston posit in their article, Look After Your Outsourcing Relationship to Make It Successful, the partnership between an outsourcing buyer and the provider of outsourcing service to be successful lies in just how much they give serious and continuous attention to their relationship. One proven solution is maintaining and establishing personal contacts and open communications between both companies.

    Efficient talent acquisition

    Engaging the best talents boost your organization’s competitive advantage. Yet finding, attracting and finally hiring high-value talent will also need to be sustainable in the long-term. As volumes of jobs continue to increase, the demand for high-level, skilled and expert talents will surely surge. While there may be many candidates, but the key remains to be in quality not quantity. Talent acquisition processes must be efficient to bring out the better from the merely better. It will also be uniformly necessary that the engagement of new hires contribute to the overall value of the company. According to Ochre House director Paul Dalley, proactive sourcing must be ensured. The future demand for talent acquisition speaks of shifting the gears from being reactive to creating a proactive talent sourcing. This means in part partnering with specialist consultancies to deliver this capability.


    While many literatures abound offering answers to questions around how to stay relevant, competitive and sustainable, for the time being, we can simplify our problems by focusing only to relationship and talent acquisition. There is no denying that the strength of the service buyer and provider’s relationship will propel their business from short to long-term growths. Talent acquisition is also a challenging new field that would create public conversations in the future.

    At Big Outsource, it is our motto to always go beyond delivering the most appropriate in order to satisfy our client partners. If outsourcing companies will commit, they will invest in making sure that partnership with clients last and that the processes in acquiring talents do not merely end at supplying the demand, it is the role of the provider to enterprises to engage them as well in sharing their goals that would encourage the development and deployment of strategic skills among their staff.



    Look After Your Outsourcing Relationship To Make It Successful

    Recruitment challenges in Asia Pacific: the sustainability of talent acquisition?

  8. Philippine Outsourcing Sector Piles 18% Revenue Growth in 2012

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    An interesting data released recently showed once again the relentless growth of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry of the Philippines. Here’s the takeaways from the report:

    • The industry posted 18% revenue growth to $13 billion in 2012 from $11 billion in 2011.
    • There is a workforce growth of 21.8% to 780,000 in 2012 from 640,000 in 2011.
    • The fastest growing sector is Healthcare BPO, which generated $430 million by end-2012
    • There were 200,000 nurses employed to work in medical transcription, data management, medical coding and billing, and pharmaceutical benefit management
    • The voice sector employs two-thirds of the entire BPO industry
    • The voice sector is seen generating $14.7 billion in revenues

    Coming from the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), this must be big news.

    The growth target of the government is $25 billion in revenues and 1.3 million workforce by 2016 and the latest figure shows the sector is well on its way to beating the target. Workforce is projected to rise to 926,000 this year where 816,000 jobs will come from the voice sector.

    Another key sector that’s eyeing revenue growth this year is the information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) sector. Its 2013 revenue target is $16 billion.

    The IBPAP conducted a survey among 154 IT-BPM executives cited as the bigger risk factors to the industry are the tight labor market, peso appreciation, and competition.

    The strong BPO industry growth last year is an indication of the positive outlook and stronger-than-ever investor confidence to the Philippines. Large enterprises and SMEs from North America, Europe and Australia proven time and again the benefits of outsourcing beyond cost-reduction.

    The ability to focus on core competencies and the higher-value functions, beside access to talent and innovation are often cited reasons companies outsource or send their back-office operational jobs to countries like the Philippines, China and India to achieve efficiency.