By Tennille Bell, General Manager: Sales at Programmed Process Outsourcing (PPO)
Unpredictable by nature, it can be tricky to anticipate growth or predict the direction a business will take in the future. For company founders, there are many factors to consider when evaluating the prospective survival and expansion of their business: the number of product lines, distribution channels, workforce size and Key Performance Indicators (KPI) targets. These need to be considered against the backdrop of the overall business strategy as well as economic and technological means. Building and running a business is far from easy, which is why it makes sense to bring a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) partner on board sooner, rather than later.
BPO means business growth support
BPO does not mean externalising portions of the business by handing control over to a third-party provider. BPO means bringing a capable partner into the business and trusting them to provide the support necessary to increase productivity, introduce new product lines and manage the organisation’s workforce. This single BPO partner becomes a pivotal part of the organisation and provides the flexibility required from a human capital management and labour perspective. They do this by assuming all responsibility for the administrative burdens that come with business growth so as to enable seamless development. Handing over non-core business processes to a reputable, reliable BPO provider, means that business leaders can take back their time, and spend it on more productive pursuits, such as exploring new revenue opportunities and focusing on customer satisfaction.
Timing is everything
This raises the question: when is the best time to bring a BPO partner into the business? The answer: as soon as possible. However, this isn’t always feasible so the second best time to bring a BPO partner on board to outsource non-core business functions is when the business needs to:
- Reduce or lower its costs
- Mitigate or reduce risk
- Expand teams without the hassle of recruiting and training internally
- Focus on strategy and critical business matters
- Grow fast and increase productivity output (both start-ups and mature companies).
At this point, it is necessary to weigh up the benefits and costs of outsourcing with pros and cons of continuing to insource the relevant processes by maintaining internal departments. To do this, it is helpful to understand how and why BPO will have a positive effect on the business in line with the company’s specific goals.
Shifting back to strategy
Too much time gets sucked up by the minutiae of running a business. Most people didn’t start a company so they could spend their days overseeing disciplinary hearings, approving payrolls or conducting countless recruitment interviews. They started a business to do what they love, and to make money doing it. It takes time and money to run a business, along with experience, knowledge, patience and strategic planning. No matter the size of the business, having a team of people who can translate your goals into results can make all the difference.
This is the strategic reason behind partnering with a BPO provider, and this decision will allow business leaders to focus solely on perfecting core business functions, and the work that matters most in accelerating the growth of the business faster and easier. By outsourcing to a specialist BPO, businesses gain access to immense industry expertise, from human and industrial relations to legal expertise, through to operational and financial expertise, without the need to recruit and hire internally. A BPO provider exists also to provide flexibility of labour resources to the business, without any of the stress and hassle of having the additional headcount on the books and managing the associated Industrial Relations (IR) and Human Resources (HR) processes. This gives businesses the ability to scale up and down as necessary, in order to meet seasonal and fluctuating demands.
It’s a numbers game
Bringing a BPO on board is a cost-effective means of achieving more with less, by reducing overhead costs and saving valuable time. Fixed costs (salaries and so forth) become variable costs directly linked to output and performance. The relationship between company and BPO provider is governed by Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that contain clear KPIs. What happens from the moment a business decides to outsource a non-core operational function? Their chosen BPO provider comes in to re-engineer that business function in order to streamline operations and increase output. A more efficient way of working is established by the BPO, and from there, the BPO monitors processes continuously to refine efficiencies even further. This results in boosted productivity, enhanced utilisation of resources and decreased operational costs. Better still, it results in increased profits and enhanced risk mitigation.
Keeping up with technology trends
Digital evolution shows no signs of slowing down. Technology is improving daily, and it’s hard for businesses to keep up with the pace of change. Today, every business relies on customer experience and there needs to be a seamless alignment between people and processes in order to facilitate a positive customer experience. By joining forces with a BPO, companies gain access to the latest technology and tailored solutions for their businesses, applied by trained and skilled professionals. A BPO partner worth their salt will utilise the power of technology to help businesses stay on top of trends and deliver an experience that meets and exceeds customer expectations.