By Tennille Bell, General Manager: Sales at Programmed Process Outsourcing (PPO)
Going into 2023, budgets will only get tighter. South African businesses will have to dig deep to cut costs, as customers try even harder to extract maximum value at the lowest prices. In current economic conditions, companies will have even harder choices to make in order to ensure business survival. What if there was a way for businesses to ensure survival by streamlining operations to only focus on their core revenue-generating activities? What if there was a way to cut costs and optimise production, in such a way that quality and output is not compromised, but rather increased and streamlined? There is. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) allows companies to outsource specific functions within their operations in order to achieve new levels of productivity, cost-effectiveness, and resource efficiency previously not possible.
Creating an environment for growth
For most businesses, growth is not possible without the ability to scale production. This is where a BPO partner can provide the flexibility of resources and cost agility that companies need to grow. By outsourcing non-core functions, companies have the opportunity to lean into their BPO provider’s expertise and allow them to handle and streamline processes on a continuous basis. This brings down costs while boosting productivity to achieve a maximum output, minimum input environment – the perfect conditions for business growth.
Achieve efficiency through outsourced skills development
How does a BPO partner get this right? An experienced BPO provider will have the deep industry knowledge gained from having already solved a range of problems for clients across the value chain. They will bring a fresh perspective into every business and examine every inch of every relevant process to highlight concerns and inefficiencies. They identify bottlenecks, problems, risks, and staff issues. They also identify opportunities for change and efficiency. Often it takes a new set of eyes, as well as extensive time-and-motion studies to find better or faster ways to do things. Faster and better means less wasted time, which translates into more time for output, and more time to focus on quality.
Working smarter, not harder
In addition to identifying inefficiencies, a BPO provider also performs extensive due diligence and process mapping that details the changes necessary to streamline and simplify processes, while facilitating the skills development to gain the promised efficiencies. As such, a BPO provider improves productivity, but it does so in a manner that ensures the client is compliant with all occupational health and safety duties and labour law requirements – working smarter within the confines of the law. Companies can outsource their operational processes and human resource management simultaneously, either as an entire solution or by focusing on individual systems, depending on what’s best for their business.
Recognising the value
Before a business decides to take on a BPO partner, it is important to understand the immense value that decision can bring. In choosing a worthy provider, the company forms a beneficial survival alliance with a specialist business partner. This partner understands how the client’s business functions and what it needs. The BPO provider assumes non-core functions in terms of a Service Level Agreement with specific, mutually agreed KPIs, and the goals of the client company become those of the BPO provider.
Partners in growth
In exchange, business management gain back their time and the ability to return their focus to revenue-generating activities, including exploring opportunities to innovate and enter new markets. Here, a BPO partner is not an external third-party provider that operates independently of the business itself. Rather, a quality BPO provider steps into the business and becomes an extension of that business by virtue of their commitment to helping the client achieve measurable growth, based on transparency, shared responsibility and clear communication.