The formula for success: achieving business flexibility and agility through a BPO provider

By Tennille Bell, General Manager of Sales at Programmed Process Outsourcing (PPO)

Times are tough and business costs continue to skyrocket. In response to global economic uncertainty, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) providers are embracing agile and flexible business models characterised by on-demand scalability with short-term, project-based engagements and customised solutions that aim to address real-world business challenges. Having acknowledged that traditional long-term contracts and rigid processes are no longer feasible, BPO providers now offer businesses something previously impossible: agility. This is the flexibility to adjust their resources and capacities in response to fluctuating demands in a manner that optimises costs while boosting efficiencies and productivity. Such project-based engagements have gained popularity as businesses have realised that these arrangements allow them to leverage specialist skills and resources on demand, without being hampered by long-term contractual commitment.

Instead, BPO providers now offer solutions tailored to each client’s unique requirements to boost operational performance. These agile and flexible models offered by BPOs signify a strategic shift in the industry, empowering organisations to triumph despite the complexities of the modern business landscape and achieve sustainable growth.

Enhancing efficiency and mitigating risk

In the face of rising costs, businesses can’t afford to cut corners or compromise on quality.  They need to increase output, but simply hiring more staff isn’t a guaranteed solution to enhance productivity. This is where a BPO provider can make a difference in achieving competitiveness through efficiency and operational excellence. This is not an easy task for businesses to achieve unassisted, especially without the right experience to assess operations, identify the key areas of risk and implement the right procedures and interventions to address risks and achieve the desired outcomes. With a flexible and productivity-focused operational model, BPO providers can give businesses the flexibility and agility they need to reach optimal productivity while effectively minimising their risk.

A fresh perspective on quality and innovation

The right BPO provider will have the operations running optimally in a much shorter time frame and with fewer disruptions than would be possible if organisations try to go it alone without the right skills. In partnering with a BPO provider, businesses will benefit from a fresh perspective on their operations. The BPO partner will examine every inch of the relevant processes and highlight the concerns and inefficiencies through extensive time and motion studies, finding better ways to do things, while identifying opportunities for growth and innovation. Better and faster ways of doing things means less time wasted and improved quality outputs.

Optimizing unpredictability

Businesses are under immense pressure, not only from rising costs and power supply instability but the unpredictability of consumer behaviour. Buying patterns have shifted and peaks are no longer purely seasonal. While trends such as Black Friday increase demand there are also periods of inexplicable drops in demand, which can land businesses in hot water if they’re not prepared to go either way. For example, although Black Friday is only in November, the ramp-up starts as early as August and without the flexibility to meet fluctuations, businesses will find their operational costs going through the roof. Depending on whichever way the demand shifts, businesses either find themselves completely under-resourced or over-resourced, without the means to rectify the problem.

Flexibility through business resource assurance

To counter this risk, BPO providers give businesses the ability to scale up and down on resources, as demand dictates. Essentially, BPO providers deliver a plug-in/plug-out operational model that is ideal to address fluctuating demand on short notice. This scalability gives businesses the option of bringing more hands-on deck only when they’re needed, without the burden of hiring more permanent employees or the risk of using inexperienced casual labour. This flexibility eliminates wasted time and resources, which optimises cost efficiency, increases competitive edge and assures businesses of stability. They can feel secure in the knowledge that when demand increases, they’ve got a provider that can, on short notice, plug in exactly the right amount of people to meet their requirements.

Choosing project-based optimisation

In further pursuit of flexibility, businesses can choose to outsource the non-core functions of their business or achieve process optimisation now on a project-by-project basis. This ensures that the costs are contained within the project, and allows companies to benefit from the BPO provider’s expertise and continue to implement these learnings once the project has ended. BPO providers are simultaneously able to streamline the organisation’s processes, which brings down costs while boosting productivity. Ultimately, BPO providers assist businesses to achieve a minimum input/maximum output environment, to create the ideal conditions for business growth.

A perfect fit for flexibility

Because no two businesses are alike, there can be no one-size-fits-all solution. BPO providers need to be able to tailor their solutions to the exact needs of the organisation seeking its services. This customisation must be achieved using industrial and process engineers who perform extensive due diligence studies and process mapping. This is necessary to provide a detailed plan of the changes necessary to streamline and simplify processes. These changes will enable the agility and flexibility required to succeed in today’s challenging and unpredictable business environment.

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