By Tennille Bell, General Manager of Sales at Programmed Process Outsourcing (PPO)
Although technologies such as artificial intelligence, business process automation and machine learning have developed at a rate faster than we could have imagined, we’re not yet at a point where we can say with certainty that machines are going to replace all humans in the workplace any time soon. We are still exploring the potential for technology to supplement and augment human capabilities in the workplace to significantly increase efficiencies, reduce wastage and drastically improve safety and working conditions. A clear trend is emerging in the business world – those that embrace automation and innovation are the ones that will thrive in the future. To ensure relevance and survival in an increasingly digital world, it will be necessary for businesses to shift from manual processes to technology-driven workflows. A Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) partner can play a catalytic role in helping organisations to find the right combination of technology and human skills to streamline their operations, reduce costs, and enhance overall productivity, readying them for the next step in the evolution of the workplace.
The power of anticipation: proactive businesses avoid falling behind
Transformation is easier and less disruptive when businesses are prepared for it. That’s where a BPO partner can play an instrumental role in helping organisations ensure a smooth transition to emerging technologies when the time is right. By collaborating with a BPO partner, businesses can seamlessly shift from manual processes to technology-driven, human-assisted workflows, enabling them to stay ahead in an increasingly automated business landscape. The right forward-thinking BPO provider will ensure that the organisation is future-ready by streamlining existing workflows, identifying bottlenecks, and implementing solutions to increase human efficiency. Such a BPO partner will help the company shift from a reactive to a proactive mindset, which helps the business to achieve agility and adapt quickly to changing market dynamics.
Prepare to innovate or continue to stagnate
Contrary to popular belief, business automation does not mean that operations become fully machine-run. While automation is intended to reduce operational costs, it still requires the human touch to be effective. Businesses can spend a great deal of money on automation technology, but without the skilled labour to match machine output, efficiency goals cannot truly be achieved. Here, a BPO provider can ensure that the business reaches its efficiency targets by ensuring that workers have the skills and experience necessary to sync to the production machinery and achieve the outputs required.
Transformation demands efficiency first
To avoid a situation where they’re playing catch up at great cost, businesses need to set the foundation for excelling at their core competencies. A BPO provider can assist with instilling a productivity-focused approach across operations. This is essential to ensure that once processes have been optimised using technology, the human component of the business can embrace the change and match the new pace. This requires a complete mindset shift from complacency to one that is focused on driving efficiencies.
Efficiency drives competitiveness
Optimisation measures ensure that technology is used to increase outputs, but humans need to be quick enough to assemble, handle or package what’s coming off the conveyor belts. The right BPO partner can bridge the gap between machines and humans by ensuring that specific expertise is in place to support the optimisation drive and streamline operations. By increasing efficiency with automated processes supported by the right human skills, business operations are run optimally. This results in reduced operational costs and better turnaround times resulting in increased quality of outputs and quicker delivery of goods to customers. Once operations are running smoothly, the business has more time to focus on its core functions, which allows them to focus on creating a competitive edge.
Choosing the right BPO partner
Being prepared to adapt to change means choosing a forward-thinking BPO partner that becomes invested in the success of the business. Such a BPO provider must have the right skills and expertise to achieve the desired productivity outcomes. Such a partner must provide access to specialised individuals such as process and industrial engineers, who are essential to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of automated processes. In making their selection, businesses must establish whether the BPO provider is financially sound, with a track record in increasing performance through a visible productivity-focused approach. Such a BPO provider must have an innovative mindset, without losing focus on the importance of regulatory compliance.
Agility ensures future relevance
Furthermore, efficiency isn’t a once-off achievement, it is attained over time. The right BPO partner is focused on continuous, incremental improvement to ensure that people and processes are repeatedly refined for greater results. There is little point to increasing technology capabilities without the ability to maximise investment and that is exactly where a BPO provider can help businesses to gear up in preparation. By streamlining operations, it becomes easier for businesses to integrate with new AI-driven technology as it emerges, which ensures a smoother transition into the workplaces of the future.