The idea of one company providing services to another company is as old as industry itself. In fact, it’s a fundamental part of logistics and supply-chain economics. At its most basic, business process outsourcing (BPO) is a subset of the broader concept of outsourcing. More specifically, BPO is the contracting of non-core business functions and responsibilities to a specialized third-party provider. Driven by considerations such as cost-savings and skill set and other resource availability, the BPO trend began in the late 80’s and early 90’s, when multinational companies such as General Electric, Citibank and General Motors sent some of their processes to be completed in foreign countries. In 2016, the market size of business process outsourcing amounted to 24 billion U.S. dollars.
BPO services are generally split into two types: front-office and back-office. Front office includes. Front office outsourcing services are focused on customer interactions and can include:
- Help Desk Support
- Customer Service and Customer Product Support
- Order Assistance
- Research and market analysis
Back-office BPO services focus on internal business functions such as billing or purchasing and include tasks that are integral to a company’s core business process to ensure business runs smoothly. Examples include:
- Payroll Processing
- Benefits Administration
- Human Resource Management
- Accounting Functions
- Data Entry
- Data Base Management
- Quality Assurance
BPO Pros and Cons
From overhead cost reduction to improved productivity, there are a lot of reasons to choose BPO.
- One of the key advantages of choosing BPO is the fact that business risks and responsibilities can be shared with BPO providers. Since these vendors are experts in their fields, they are able analyze any risks and plan accordingly.
- Because of BPO companies’ expertise, they are able to produce work in quickly and at affordably. While utilize state-of-the-art techniques and expert staff, they can provide excellent output with controlled cost.
- BPO also eliminates the need for businesses to hire employees and maintain required infrastructure, such as offices, furniture, phones, etc. In this way, operational and recruitment costs are reduced.
- Outsourcing non-essential work to BPO allows more time for employees to focus on core business activities, which can create additional revenue streams. Back-office outsourcing can also free up staff to spend more time on customer care, sales and marketing.
- Because BPO services are flexible, they can quickly meet the needs of a changing market.
What to Know
Before signing a BPO contract, make sure you understand any hidden costs, which can quickly negate savings benefits. Also pay close attention to BPO providers’ data security and reliability. Finally, consider what mix of BPO functions is best for your business.
For more than 40 years, Ansafone has been evolving and adapting to emerging technology, customer service demand and contact center processes. This has allowed us to break into new markets and keep our clients on the forefront of multi-communication channel management options and best practices in several areas:
- Inbound customer service
- Full service outbound contact center
- Market research and seasoned sales experiences
- Chat, email, and social media response
- Multilingual contact center
- Automated (IVR)