Your Next Team Member May Be Overseas- Here’s Why and How
These days, an increasing number of companies have begun utilizing business process outsourcing (BPO) as a means of reducing costs and better focusing time and resources on the most important facets of running a business. Specifically, BPOs allow for the outsourcing of a number of positions within a company, ranging from help desk and customer support to scheduling, order assistance, accounting, and everything in between. What many founders of startup companies fail to realize, however, that business process outsourcing can be a viable solution for even the smallest of businesses.
By having a better understanding of the many benefits of outsourcing, as well as the basics of leveraging technology to maximize BPO success, founders can make better informed decisions for their growing businesses.
The Benefits of an Outsourced Team
There are countless reasons to consider business process outsourcing for a company of just about any size.
- One of the main benefits that tends to get overlooked is the fact that outsourcing can allow for greater scheduling flexibility. Getting employees to work on Labor Day in the United States, for instance, may not be feasible and can result in downtime that can be costly for the business as a whole. By outsourcing some positions (for example, to a country like the Philippines that does not have Labor Day as a holiday), there is no longer concern over getting employees to work on such days. This, in turn, allows the business to provide better service to its customers overall.
- Speaking of scheduling flexibility, outsourcing also makes it easier to fill in scheduling gaps, such as night shifts. Whereas it may be night time in the United States, it will still be daylight on the other side of the globe. This can make it possible for companies to offer 24/7 customer service without much in the way of added cost.
- Of course, there’s also the added benefit of not needing to spend extra money on additional office space for employees when you outsource these roles. As a result, companies also save on administrative and other costs. And because training and onboarding is generally handled directly by the BPO itself, this is yet another area where significant monetary savings can be enjoyed.
All of these benefits of business process outsourcing allow businesses of all sizes to not only save money, but to free up time and resources to focus on other important aspects of running a business.
Leveraging Technology to Maximize Global Resources
Today’s technology also makes it easier than ever for businesses to maximize their global resources and keep workers across the globe in close communication and collaboration with a company. Some examples of technology that can be useful for businesses considering BPO include:
- Google Suite, which allows for real-time collaboration and file sharing
- Quickbooks Enterprise, which also allows for real-time collaboration and is ideal for accounting functions
- Customized team portals for real-time video meetings
All of this cloud-based technology can help to keep outsourced workers feeling involved and “in-the-loop,” which in turn serves the purpose of breaking down barriers.
Another common concern founders have when it comes to using BPO is that of security. Fortunately, technological advancements make it easy for security features to be set up that allow workers from international offices to connect directly to a company’s local VPN so that they’re working in a secure controlled environment vs on a local computer. This provides an added layer of security and protection, as well as peace of mind.
Cost Savings for Companies of All Sizes
There is never really a “wrong” stage to consider business process outsourcing. One of the most common mistakes founders make is assuming that a business is “too early” to benefit from BPO. In reality, even the newest and smallest of businesses can truly stand to gain from utilizing BPO. The key is simply taking the time to do your research and find the right BPO partner that will suit your company’s needs. When searching for a BPO partner, make sure to keep in mind not just the current needs of your business, but future needs as well. Ideally, you should be able to find a solution that will grow as seamlessly as possible with you over time.
Structure For Success
Perhaps above all else, founders should remind themselves of the time value outsourcing can bring to the table. All too often, founders want to be too involved in their businesses and remain a part of every tiny decision that’s made. While this is natural (after all, a company is a founder’s “baby,”) it’s important to realize that it’s just not practical to micro-manage. By outsourcing some aspects of the business, such as accounting or even running the company’s social media accounts, founders are able to step back and make better use of their own time. They can spend more of their time and resources on managing other aspects of the company while also saving money on the work they need done. In this sense, business process outsourcing can be a great way for founders to let go of the reigns a bit.
To ensure it’s successful, a founder and his or her team must build and document processes so that the outsourced team knows how to be successful. What is the order of steps to take? When should they escalate? How much autonomy do you provide?
Overall, business process outsourcing can be a wise decision for companies of all sizes. The key is to find the BPO partner that will best align with your company’s changing needs throughout the process. From there, you can begin to reap the benefits of reduced costs, easier scheduling flexibility, and much more.