With A BPO Vendor, Focus on Your Core Offerings
Companies are working with business process outsourcing (BPO) vendors more and more every day. What is it, exactly? BPO is a cost-effective method for businesses to take advantage of third-party service providers in order to spur business development. On top of the potential cost-savings, it can also bridge certain talent gaps at the company. Most notably, turning to BPO enables business’ to use their existing resources more efficiently -- boosting overall productivity in their business’ core offerings.
BPO has great potential to benefit the entire company and can be used across a variety of departments, but it’s most frequently used for back-office operations or menial tasks. These can include paper-heavy tasks like transportation brokerage, freight forwarding, and warehouse management.
The truth is, not all businesses have the required resources to administer all their required processes. In today’s market, continually working to adapt your supply chain processes to new technologies is vital. Customer and industry expectations are mounting every year, so it’s important to focus your resources on optimization.
In addition, the cost of outsourcing certain tasks is always lower than spending capital on hiring, onboarding, training and retaining employees to work in-house. All the while, you’ll be freeing up your team to work on adapting and optimizing your supply chain management.
For businesses in the supply chain, logistics, and operational fields, working with a BPO is a particularly valuable resource. Afford your team more time to work on specialized tasks or higher-level strategic initiatives within your operations.
BPO providers can be separated into two options, depending on their geographic location:
Offshore vendors are located outside of the company’s own country. Many offshore BPO providers are based in Asia, such as India or the Philippines.
Nearshore vendors are typically in neighboring countries from the contracting company’s own country, with fewer time zones in between. For example, a North American company may work with a BPO provider based in Mexico or Canada. There are also nearshore BPOs based in the United States, serving US businesses.
Choosing The Right BPO Provider
Of course, choosing a provider to support your business’ needs is a task that should be treated with special care. It is ideal to take a formal, structured approach when interviewing potential outsourcing companies.
Here are a few key steps you should take as you consider BPO vendors:
1. Define your needs: Similar to a business plan, it is important to define your objectives, risks, and overall scope for the potential BPO provider. Typically, this step will take the most business resources to produce, as it will require a comprehensive overview of your whole business process.
2. Prepare a Request for Proposal (RFP): This document solicits proposals through a bidding process, sent to potential providers. Beyond your baseline request for services, the document should include a detailed outline of your business operations as well.
3. Evaluate the proposals: At this point, you should have a clear idea of what the BPO provider will be able to provide you, and how your business might change by working with them. You may also gauge the risks and benefits from a shortlist of BPOs.
4. Phase the vendor in: Once you’ve chosen, the complex phase-in process will need to be handled with care. A proper transition plan will be instrumental during your transition into this new business model (this can be created in collaboration with the BPO provider).
5. Performance monitoring: Of course, it is key that you plan to conduct performance monitoring, to verify that the business is truly reaping the benefits of working with a BPO. The first six months are key performance indicator which can estimate overall success of this partnership. Create clear metrics for performance, including data gathering for accuracy, turnaround, or volume of documents processed.
Businesses across all industries are looking to do what they can to stay ahead of the competition. The success of a supply chain business hinges heavily on how effectively it can build a strong, responsive supply chain using a network of reliable partners. Working with a BPO vendor to streamline your processes and focus on high-level operations may be the right option to bring your business to the next level.
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