The best business process outsourcing strategies and contracts

The best business process outsourcing strategies and contracts

The best business process outsourcing strategies and contracts

A business engagement becomes possible when the two parties (mostly the case) to the contract see something in it through which they will create value for their respective organizations. The value creation referred to is in the long term or eventual sense, since strategically it is possible to take short-term losses in pursuit of a vision that takes it to a golden tomorrow. Take Amazon for example. It was not always the market-shaping giant it is today. It failed to make a profit for many years, but persisted as it had a vision of a tomorrow when the marketplace would align with its vision and make it successful.

It cannot be one contracting party’s case to run the other party into the ground. If that happens, the service will also cease. Of course, this is not to deny the other party’s responsibility in ensuring the contract entered into is one that is beneficial to them.

To state the obvious, each engagement between two companies is unique, while relying on past similar engagements as a guideline and reference point. It is as true for the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry as it is for any other. Just like other industries, business process outsourcing strategies and contracts, that could differ for each relationship, are deployed by each contracting entity to the best of their knowledge and ability.

With a short runway of only eight years, BPO provider oWorkers, which specializes in data based services, has taken off rapidly to become one of the top three providers in the world.

We lay out an approach that outsourcing companies might like to consider and adopt.

 

It is a business proposal

Revenue is the driver of business in most cases. No revenue, no business. A structure of incurring costs is established once there is a revenue outlook and some assurance of realization. Otherwise, there is no merit in setting up a structure for incurring cost. In pursuit of what?

Most proposals in a company, therefore, are in pursuit of business, and driven by revenue generation. A proposal with business process outsourcing strategies and contracts at its heart, it must be recognized, is not your everyday proposal. It is a strategic proposal and needs to be guided carefully. In terms of measurable scope, it is perhaps designed to save cost for the company, but as a strategic intervention, it generally also seeks to position the company to do more with comparable resources.

Led by a team that has over 20 years of hands-on experience in the industry, oWorkers receives invitations for partnerships from companies around the world. The leadership team is able to guide the discussions to a place where both contracting parties benefit. 

 

Impact on staff

Business process outsourcing has received a lot of bad press over the years as it seemed to be taking jobs away to another location, possibly another country. And that becomes an emotional issue and is painted in a variety of hues like anti-national by impacted parties.

There is no taking away from the fact that jobs will be lost. That is one of the primary drivers of value creation in business process outsourcing strategies and contracts. And that will never be a factual discussion. Despite all the good things like people being reskilled, remaining jobs being the more important ones, etc. the bottom line is that there will be a net loss of jobs in most cases. Even though no company hires employees with a lifetime employment warranty, the loss of a job is a daunting prospect and needs to be handled with care. While it will no doubt be influenced by the regulatory environment the company operates in, it needs to be understood that it is a sensitive issue. The earlier the company can start preparing for it, the better it can be managed.

It needs to be borne in mind that commitment and involvement of staff members is important for the eventual success of the initiative. While rebadging, if possible, could be a good option for many staff members, transitioning their work over to a new company or a new set of people can be best done by the people doing it on a daily basis, not by a management team.

With the prominence it occupies in local communities, oWorkers attracts a variety of talent that satisfies the hiring requirement of most of their client projects. With their policy of working with employees, and not freelancers, oWorkers is able to transition work for all new projects in a sensitive manner, recognizing the possible issues at the client end.

 

Impact on customers in business process outsourcing strategies and contracts

Customers have choices. While in a free world even staff have choices, what ends up happening is that many people become used to a certain work routine and continue working for the same employer, hence the loss of one’s job being a fairly traumatic experience for many. Not so with customers. In the same free market, customers are the ones providing the revenue, and hence have pride of place in the hierarchy. And most customers perhaps understand this facet.

That being said, in the most extreme articulation, customers wouldn’t really care. The BPO initiative is usually designed with delivery as its core premise. The work that was happening in the engine room of the company was never really visible to customers. They only saw the output coming out of it. Whether that engine room is located in their town or state, or is located across the seven seas in another continent, they may not even know or need to know.

Not that there is an effort to hide anything, but if they do not know to know, why tell them. However, many large companies still make it a point to communicate key initiatives of the company to their customers, from time to time.

The preferred employer status gives oWorkers the leverage to hire for peaks that arrive unannounced and unforeseen. It can hire an additional hundred hands within 48 hours, when required. This takes away a lot of pressure from the clients’ bottomline as they now no longer need to maintain a bench for these situations.

 

Regulatory issues

Each company operates under a variety of laws and jurisdictions. There could be state laws and federal laws. With the expansion of BPO to anywhere in the world, the complexity of jurisdictions and legal systems that need to be complied with has only increased.

While an outsourcer is naturally subject to the laws of their land, in some cases, the laws of the land they outsource work to also need to be complied with; directly if they are operating as a ‘captive’ unit of the parent, or through the ‘vendor’ if working with a third party. As an example, many outsourcers need to comply with labor laws like working conditions and health and safety, especially when working with partners situated in geographies where labor law compliance is not the highest priority for the local government.

Taxation related issues also come to the forefront when navigating the twisting lanes of business process outsourcing strategies and contracts, even though bilateral double taxation avoidance agreements are in place in most cases. One needs to evaluate the implications and make choices that minimize the additional taxation liability. The choice of location, form of engagement (captive or third party) and other key decision areas could be impacted by these considerations.

oWorkers’ sensitivity to regulatory issues and issues pertaining to security and risk is evident in their operations that are ISO certifications (27001 :2013 & 9001:2015) certified. They are also GDPR compliant.

 

Contract

Eventually a contract needs to be signed for work to commence.

While we have established that business process outsourcing strategies and contracts will become a reality when both contracting parties have something to gain from it.

That notwithstanding, the contracting process itself can be tortuous as. To borrow a proverb, “one man’s meat is another man’s poison.” The more one side gains, the more the other side loses. If the rate has to increase, it will go from the pockets of the outsourcer to the pockets of the vendor. Hence, it needs to be conducted with care and in a sensitive manner.

You will probably find many sources that tell you what should be included in a contract. We list below several areas where conflict could arise and hence should be handled with care.

Pricing

As already mentioned, the vendor wants the pricing to be high while the client would like it to be low.

Hiring of staff

While the client would want to clear each individual staff member to ensure quality, it could be onerous for the vendor as it will increase rejection rate and hence the cost. The vendor would like independence in staff selection.

Training

If training is the responsibility of the vendor, he would want it to be short as it takes away from production, or revenue generation opportunity. The client, on the other hand, would want it to be long as that might improve quality.

Delivery of required staffing and adherence

While the client would like the staffing, in contracts where hourly or daily staff requirements are specified, to be adhered to and exceeded. They would like to penalize for shortages with no incentive for excess. The vendor, on the other hand, would like flexibility in delivering staffing requirements and making up the shortfall of one day with excess on another day.

Agent utilization

If the contract basis is the number of frontline workers, the client may wish to increase agent utilization in a bid to get more, while the vendor would wish to reduce it as higher utilization levels could lead to burnout.

Termination clause

Both parties would perhaps like to be able to terminate at short notice with the other party needing to provide a long advance notice. Eventually, a standard timeframe will apply to both. This would apply to increasing or decreasing capacity as well.

Performance based incentive or penalty

While the client would wish to pay purely on the basis of performance, the vendor, while welcoming incentives for good performance, would like the downside risk to be covered in the form of an assured payment for the capacity.

Whatever the nature of the contract, oWorkers is geared to provide services in over 20 languages. This way, they can support clients as they grow across geographies.

 

Governance structure

A governance system needs to be put in place by the outsourcer to ensure that once the work has been kicked off by the vendor, it is delivering satisfactorily. This is an ongoing process that serves like an early warning system for the outsourcer in case the vendor is not able to meet its commitments.

While a bulk of the monitoring is done through MIS and reports, many clients prefer to appoint on-the-ground resources who are able to keep an eye out for danger signals and also keep the vendor ‘honest.’ 

Some clients also require the provider to adopt QA (Quality Assurance) and QC (Quality Control) processes that represent the client and aim to detect and resolve errors, with a reporting line that is independent of the delivery team.

oWorkers employs an independent strategic quality team that reports directly to the senior management. It acts as the eyes and ears of the leadership team while checking the performance of the delivery team and even providing feedback and inputs. oWorkers consistently delivering over 98% accuracy across a variety of measurement systems adopted by clients with a variety of scales, is not an accident.

 

Backout plan

‘The best laid schemes of mice and men, often go awry.’

This line, based on a line in a poem by Robert Burns, perhaps sums it up well. Despite best intentions, a partnership does not work out. What happens then?

A BPO project is never a simple project. And the task being outsourced might just be one of the simpler parts of the project. It is an activity that has been done many times in the past, perhaps has a well-documented procedure for guidance. The difficult parts of such a project often arise around the softer aspects like culture and people.

Additionally, all business people are human. While the intention is to plan in a comprehensive manner, things do get overlooked, even after being reviewed by many other people many times. Unforeseen costs and issues could be encountered. The quality might not be able to match the pre-outsourcing quality, at least at the start. There could be delays in ramping up capacity, leading to backlogs building up.

While the people responsible for business process outsourcing strategies and contracts would have tried, some issues do surprise everyone. Perhaps one of the wise things that could be done is to provide for this eventuality at the time of entering the contract. If it does come to a point where it needs to be unravelled, at least it was not a surprise and there was a path laid out for the withdrawal.

oWorkers is aware of this possibility arising on occasion, even though, with savings close to 80% as confirmed by many of our US and Western European clients, they rarely pull out of a carefully constructed contract with oWorkers.

An overview of learning business process outsourcing

An overview of learning business process outsourcing

An overview of learning business process outsourcing

Whether you are an oil and gas refinery, or an arms manufacturer, or a mutual fund, the laws of the land you operate in place certain responsibilities on your organization that need to be complied with. You need to file your tax returns, you need to provide a safe environment to your workforce, and so on and so forth.

Though these may not be statutory in nature, regardless of the industry you operate in, there are still other activities you must perform for the health of your business. One of these is training, or learning as it is now more commonly referred to as, considering that it is adults we are talking about who should be taking the responsibility for their own edification, rather than their employer sitting them down in a school environment and forcing them to learn, which was known as training more commonly.

But training is not what an oil and gas refinery or a mutual fund or an arms manufacturer were created for. So, how do we expect them to do it well?

Exactly.

Though often critical to the success of a company, training is a function generally outside the core competencies of the organization, requiring specialists to be hired. The challenge with hiring training specialists is that they are deficient in the knowledge they need to impart. The other strategy adopted is to use some of the subject matter experts for imparting training. That often delivers sub-optimal results as the personnel are not adept at handling the nuances of training, learning styles of trainees, the evaluation process and the soft-skill requirements.

This is where learning business process outsourcing (Learning BPO) steps in and alleviates the situation. It is referred to by other names like ‘training business process outsourcing’ and ‘learning process outsourcing’ as well.

Though barely eight years old, oWorkers stands shoulder to shoulder with the best in the industry. In its chosen field of data based BPO services, it is already counted as one of the top three providers in the world.

 

What is learning business process outsourcing?

What are we talking about? Getting a training partner to handle training programs for the organization? Isn’t that something that is as old a practice as corporations themselves?

Yes and no.

Yes, because the running of training programs is done by the provider.

No, because the engagement is not limited to delivering training programs, it goes much beyond that.

Is there anything more to training than delivery?

Indeed, there is. It is not just about the delivery of training. It is about managing the training process and all its components. The engagement is deeper and longer than the hiring of an agency for the delivery of a training program. Moreover, each engagement can be constructed in a manner most beneficial to the contracting parties.

Learning strategy

Strategy, more than ever before, is important for the effectiveness of the learning program or initiative. It is widely known that different people learn in different ways, like visually, through hearing, through doing and so on. Each subject also lends itself to learning in different ways. A strategy that enables the organization to pursue its goals more effectively can be facilitated with the engagement of a learning business process outsourcing provider.

The oWorkers leadership team, with a combined experience of over 20 years in the industry, provides strategic guidance to the team in all matters and projects.

Digitalization

While digital learning was an option occasionally chosen by companies, with many preferring the traditional classroom model for its effectiveness, the model has been turned on its head with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Today, more and more organizations are trying to implement digital learning solutions with the occasional classroom training thrown in.

Digital learning assets are important tools in the arsenal of a provider. While large corporations may have the scale to invest in digital learning solutions like a ‘learning management system,’ many companies may not be in a position to justify the investment. Engaging with a Learning BPO will enable the client to use digital learning tools without the need to buy them. Digitalization itself is a significant driver of Learning BPO adoption by corporations.

oWorkers operates out of Super secure facilities and protocols and is ISO (27001:2013 & 9001:2015) certified. Its GDPR compliance is a further icing on the cake.

Trainer complement

Despite digitalization, facilitation continues to be an important aspect of learning, even for adults. Facilitation could be for online programs or for classroom sessions.

Many companies find it challenging to create a team of trainers. Their subject matter experts are not good at delivery and may not fancy a job in training. Professional trainers might struggle with the functional knowledge, as well as the fear that they may not have career paths available to them. They might want to work for a training provider where they see growth and a future.

By engaging a provider, companies generally end up getting trainers of a better quality.

The ability of oWorkers to attract the best local talent also enables them to hire trainers of great quality. These trainers ensure that the quality of resources delivered to the various projects are of the highest quality.

Development of content

Content is a requirement for any managed learning activity. Many companies duplicate the work of development of training content. If there are a hundred banks operating in a geography, it is quite likely that each one would have developed their training content all by themselves. This is perhaps needless duplication, since all of them perhaps follow the same policies and laws with regard to banking. All hundred training packs might actually look very similar though one bank does not know what the other bank’s pack contains.

Learning business process outsourcing providers perhaps bring efficiency into the picture at a broader level with their perspective and wider knowledge. They are able to create reusable content with minimal changes.

With its ability to attract talent, oWorkers is able to offer the ability to handle steep, unexpected spikes in client volumes, to the extent of a hundred resources in 2 days. Whether it is a suddenly enhanced requirement of content development, or any other, this ability of oWorkers saves clients a lot of money which they might have otherwise spent on an unproductive bench.

Consultancy services

This is another key role played by the Learning BPO partner. Each company focuses on its core business most of the time. Training is generally considered to be a support function that is an enabler, hence may not always get due attention.

With a Learning BPO partner what you get is an expert who runs it as a business; it is revenue for the partner. Hence, the partner takes keen interest in developments around the world and picking up best practices for eventual deployment. The knowledge they gain enables them to consult their clients on suitable learning approaches that could enhance the opportunity for them to achieve their goals.

The oWorkers team is a global organization, with its ability to engage with, and support, clients in 22 languages.

Learning administration

The unsexy part of the job needs to be done so that the sexy part can be sexy.

Administration of an LMS system is a time-consuming job. Courses have to be set up, trainee ID management is required, along with mapping to courses. Measurement of performance and effectiveness also needs to be carried out, for courses, trainers as well as trainees.

Classroom sessions have their own administrative challenges as companies want optimum usage of all physical assets that exist. It also requires ensuring that the material needed for conducting an effective session is available.

Vendor management might also be a part of the administration service. Even learning business process outsourcing providers may be relying on other providers for some parts of the material or service. Ensuring that the vendors are playing their part is an activity that needs to be done.

Across its sites, oWorkers is set up to operate on a 24×7 schedule, where there is a need. For administrative and support tasks, it is usually a requirement.

 

Learning business process outsourcing – partner selection

With the entire training function being in scope, selection of a partner assumes great importance for an organization.

There is one aspect of the business to business (B2B) engagement that is perhaps like any other engagement between two organizations. This relates to the process that needs to be undergone till success, in the form of the start of a relationship, is reached. It has to do with processes like identification of need, letting your requirement be known, evaluating interested bidders, holding detailed discussions and presentations to understand each other better, and eventually choosing one and signing a contract based on terms and conditions that should have been discussed along the way.

The other aspect is more learning and training specific that should enable you to establish who would be the right partner for you. Some considerations that many organizations have when looking for a partner:

Headcount or capability

Does the partner seek to provide the required number of trainers or are they going to take responsibility for the training outcomes? A BPO engagement entails a complete outsourcing, with well defined expectations as well as success (or failure) criteria. The client is doing it because they feel that they will be better served by a partner who has competency and experience in training. Hence, the partner ought to take ownership for the outcomes as well.

oWorkers operates with employees, not freelancers or contractors preferred by some of their competitors. This enables oWorkers to work with them in building competencies across domains, enabling clients to benefit from the upskilling. This upskilling also leads o the creation of a reliable supervisory cadre of resources.

Track record and specialization

Training (or learning) has many forms. Many different sets of target groups undergo different forms of learning. There is K-12 learning, there is college level learning and there is adult learning or learning for the working population. And this is just one way of dissecting the population into bite-size chunks. There may be training companies providing training to the armed forces, or to youngsters for doing well in competitive examinations.

The partner you want is one who understands the world or corporations and organizations and can work with the, often fluid, environment that can operate in such organizations. They need to have personnel competent to engage with working professionals and executives.

Digital capability

While the classroom is an integral part of learning, more and more training is becoming digital and self-paced. Apart from the fact that it is cheaper, the pandemic has forced us all to be alive to digital solutions and use them either whenever we can or when we need to as a backup. The result is that a partner without a digital footprint and capability may not serve the purpose of seeking a learning business process outsourcing partner.

Digital capability itself covers a wide range. It includes:

  • access to a capable Learning Management System (LMS)
  • competence to effectively administer the LMS
  • ability to create e-learning content in the form of SCORM and Video
  • ability to create online quizzes and evaluation systems
  • access to a comprehensive library of learning content

The strong bonds built with multiple technology companies gives oWorkers access to the latest technologies. Clients benefit as these technologies can be put to use in their projects.

Cultural compatibility

While you do need an independent and free-thinking partner for your organization’s learning requirements, the partner also needs to be able to work with the culture and ecosystem of your organization. As they grow, some organizations tend to develop fairly hard-coded processes, systems and cultures that not everyone is able to adapt to.

However, an independent thinker should be able to. The common goal for both is the success of the learning initiatives. The partner should have independent ideas but equally should also have the flexibility to operate within different organizational environments.

Several unicorn marketplaces around the world rely on oWorkers for supporting them. We hope to become a trusted partner to many more organizations.

 

The oWorkers advantage

The staff, both past and present, of oWorkers, rank them 4.6, on a scale of 5, or more, on independent platforms such as Glassdoor. It is a matter of pride for the company.

The pricing offered is the finest, as it is a result of the efficiencies oWorkers implements in its operations. Clients like the oWorkers practice of being offered a choice of pricing, between output-based and input-based models. Most from Western Europe and the US profess to saving up to 80% in terms of cost when compared to pre-outsourcing costs.

oWorkers makes it a practice to work with less advantaged communities and enable a few to gain an entry into the global digital economy. Your work will enable us to employ a few more.

What are the benefits of business process outsourcing

What are the benefits of business process outsourcing

What are the benefits of business process outsourcing

One does not get to become an industry estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars unless one is able to create value and provide benefits. And since industry size is estimated in terms of the revenue generated by the industry, which is the same as the amount of money spent on it by clients, the benefits perhaps mostly accrue to the clients, or buyers. That might even be a truism. In a free market, where one has choices, businesses exist, survive and thrive because they are able to create value for their customers and generate revenue as a result. Thus, being able to create value for their buyers is of the greatest relevance.

There could, of course, be other beneficiaries. People in marginalized and neglected communities welcome the industry as it generates jobs for them. The business process outsourcing (BPO) industry is a known employment generator, not at the highly educated, skilled, highly paid vocations, but at the lower end of the scale, where educational and other qualifications are limited. The industry has made a name for itself in being able to pick up ‘raw’ but trainable resources from these backgrounds, who otherwise suffer from low employment rates, put them through a rigorous process of training, and make them fit for one or more of the projects they are working on for their clients. In many cases, these skills may just be the ability to communicate properly and type quickly and accurately. With these skills, they get an entry into the global virtual economy.

With a diverse pool of employees, based on a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic ethos, oWorkers is also able to offer multilingual support to its clients.  

Governments around the world are known to have a soft corner for the industry, for similar reasons. They understand that one of the benefits of business process outsourcing is the ability to promote employment in underserved communities. Governments typically have a vested interest in the upliftment of such communities, some for genuine humanitarian work, and some for the purpose of gathering votes in the next election. Whatever be the reason, most governments welcome and encourage BPOs to set up shop in the areas they govern.

With a focus on data related services, oWorkers is the ideal company for governments to work with as most people can be trained to deliver its offerings.

This also has the effect of regulating economic disparities between different geographies, by taking away expensive jobs from expensive locations to inexpensive locations where they can be done more economically. This is likely to result in lowering demand in the expensive locations, cooling down wages, while increasing demand in inexpensive locations which might result in pushing up wages. The net result being a reduction in disparities.

With a management team that has over 20 years of experience in the industry, oWorkers is at the vanguard of the BPO industry that is making the world a more fair and equal place for all.

While all the above factors are in play and work in favor of the industry, we will examine in detail the benefits of business process outsourcing to its primary constituent, the client.

 

Focus on core business

We live in a competitive world. Every company desires success but not all achieve it. There are companies being born every day. Several survive, a few thrive, while many others fade away or die, unable to compete and make a mark.

Each company has a certain area of operation. It is often defined in their mission and vision statements. The world is too big for any single business to handle everything. That might only happen in a dictatorship where the success or failure of endeavors might not be questioned. In a free market, it is a non-starter. The biggest corporations on the planet operate in their defined area of expertise. Google runs a search engine and a few other digital technology platforms like YouTube. It does not manufacture ice cream. Facebook handles the largest social media website in the world, plus a few others. It does not run a hospital or any medical service. Kia Motors makes automobiles. It does not produce soft drinks. Walmart runs a large retail franchise business. It does not undertake software coding projects.

They do what they are best at. That is already a difficult task for many, considering the number of companies that fail to make the grade. Taking on tasks they are not even good at or have no interest in, will only tilt the scales further against them.

One of the main benefits of business process outsourcing for outsourcers is that it enables them to focus on their core business activities.

Clients from around the world, including IT companies and unicorn marketplaces, rely on oWorkers to help them stay focused on their core work by taking care of all support services. oWorkers employs quality specialists who drive process enhancements and act as the eyes and ears of the management team on the shopfloor.   

 

Access to specialists

Since we live in a civilized world, there are rules that we need to comply with. This is true for companies as well.

Running a business requires a number of tasks to be performed, with some having a regulatory angle as well.

Whether you run a restaurant, or bake bread, or manufacture travel luggage, your business will probably need to:

Hire the right people for the job, and maybe train them. You also need to ensure compliance with policies pertaining to minimum wages, retirement funding, working hours, etc.

Keep an account of the business transactions that are being done. You may also need to pay and file taxation related returns. There could be other financial information your business may need to submit to the authorities from time to time.

Hire a premises from where the business will operate. This will need to be kept clean and safe for people to work in, with a provision for facilities like toilets, water, food, etc. There may also be health and safety regulations that the business will need to comply with.

While your business could, arguably, hire resources with the right skills who will take responsibility for all the various tasks. And this may well be the case in large companies who have the requisite scale to justify such positions. Companies that do not have the same scale, could engage specialist partners and avail the benefits of business process outsourcing.

The deep connects oWorkers has developed in host communities results in a continuous flow of walk-in jobseekers. This allows oWorkers the freedom to assess and select the best, based on job requirements.

It also becomes possible to cater to short-term unforeseen volume peaks. oWorkers can hire an additional headcount of almost a hundred people within 48 hours. This is a huge cost saving for clients who would otherwise have to maintain an idle workforce or forego those volumes.

 

Right staffing

Each business has its own requirements in terms of the educational qualifications and work experience it expects its staff members to possess. People possessing such qualifications are not only more suitable, but have also expressed their intention of contributing to the industry by acquiring such qualifications.

One of the strategies that many companies rely on to propagate their business and increase profits is volume. If a company has perfected the process of making mobile phones that people desire and can charge a price that enables them to make a profit, the more they increase volumes the more their gross profit will increase. It is a no-brainer for most companies.

While core knowledge and skills are required for innovation and development, when it comes to replication into greater volumes, what mostly takes place is repetitive tasks. In any case companies, while promoting cutting edge research and innovation, also try to break tasks down to a level that can be repeated without possessing any significant knowledge.

Hiring and training and retention of such resources, who are able to do repetitive tasks, and might be a workforce very different from their core, requires completely different HR skills. Outsourcing these activities, and the attendant requirement of hiring and training a different workforce, enables companies to realize another of the benefits of business process outsourcing.

With its policy of working with employees, and not contractors or freelancers, which some other providers do, oWorkers is able to provide growth and development to its staff. This is one of the reasons oWorkers boasts of a competent layer of supervisors who have been groomed internally, and who can take a lot of workload off the senior management of the company.

oWorkers is regularly rated as 4.6 or more, on a scale of 5, by its existing as well as past employees. These ratings are on external platforms such as Glassdoor.

 

Process and technology improvement

Revenue generation in its line of business is generally the reason for the existence of a company. Costs need to be incurred in order that the target revenue can be realized.

The investments and enhancements that the company engages in, are likely to be business oriented; in other words, that enable them to stand out in the marketplace and generate greater revenue.

Such considerations may not apply to processing areas of its business, since they are generally not the focus for top management. It is also possible that the company may not have the volumes to justify investment in improvement in those areas.

The scenario changes completely when such activities are outsourced. What was a cost for one company becomes the revenue of another, the outsourced vendor partner. The vendor, like all companies, now has an interest in improving how it does business. This could translate into process improvements as well as technology investments which are better justified as the vendor might be handling similar work for other clients too.

Everyone involved gets these benefits of business process outsourcing.

The vendor gets more business. Its clients benefit from the vendor’s enhanced efficiencies in handling their work.

With its facilities ISO (27001 :2013 & 9001:2015) certified, oWorkers offers your business a secure environment to operate from. It is also GDPR compliant.

The strong relationships oWorkers has forged with leading technology providers gives it access to updated technologies. Its ability to use them for client work also delivers benefits to clients. Even its client base comprises 85% technology companies as clients.

 

Turnaround time flexibility

BPO vendors are flexible creatures, ever ready to adapt to the requirements of their clients. Engaging a BPO partner in business process activities imparts that flexibility to the client’s business as well.

With the help of the flexible operating hours of a BPO partner, you may be able to operate on a 24×7 basis, thereby either completing tasks faster or doing more within the same calendar time of 24 hours or 7 days.

Since BPO vendors today, riding on the backbone of communications technology, can operate from anywhere in the world, your business may often benefit from the time difference between the vendor and your business. Imagine closing shop at the end of the business day with a pile of unfinished work, and coming to work the next morning and finding that everything has been done, as if by magic. It was actually a BPO vendor on the other side of the world who was opening for the day as you were closing, who picked up the unfinished work, and completed it while you were sleeping.

That is magic, isn’t it?

All delivery centers of oWorkers, in three different locations around the world, are equipped to operate on a 24x basis, should clients have a need for it.

 

Cost saving

Eventually there is cost saving that results from an outsourcing engagement and is still considered to be one of the main benefits of business process outsourcing.

Not only does the partner work with staff that are more suited for the type of work, they are also more reasonably priced. In addition, the vendor, as it does not need to attract customers to its premises, has no need of locating its workplace in the expensive downtown areas. They can work pretty much from any place that has the internet connectivity and a suitable talent pool.

On top of this they are able to create efficiencies as they keep trying to do the same thing better and better as it is their business and brings in revenue. While clients may be trying to save cost, the providers are trying to generate revenue. The result? Better processes and technologies which yield further efficiency to the client.

oWorker’s unique pricing model is well known. They give the client a choice between a dollars per input unit model and dollars per output unit model. Clients can choose what they prefer. Many clients talk about saving up to 80% of their pre-outsourcing costs when they partner with oWorkers.

The many types of business process outsourcing

The many types of business process outsourcing

The many types of business process outsourcing

When talking about the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, some tend to take a view that it is a ‘dependent’ industry. In other words, it depends on other industries for sustenance.

But is that a surprise?

Do these people not know that as an interconnected society, we are all dependent on each other and all industries, not just BPO, dependent on many others, some more and some less. Automobile makers are dependent on the steel industry for material for the car body, apart from the glass industry for the various parts made of glass and the technology industry for the gadgets and gizmos, and several others. The steel industry is dependent on the mining industry for the iron ore it needs for making steel. And the list goes on.

It is to the credit of the BPO industry that it has grown to encompass such a wide variety and types of business process outsourcing solutions within its ambit. If an industry has a need for getting something, generally a standardized task done with human intervention, done again and again, with the highest standards of quality and at a low price, chances are that the BPO industry has a solution for it.

The plethora of services the industry offers include some deeply entrenched ones that could be classified as sub-industries and some upcoming ones based on the changes that keep happening in the marketplace.

As a young company, oWorkers has clearly identified its niche and has risen to the rarefied heights of being identified as a top three provider in the world, in the space of data based BPO services.

Let us look at the various types of BPO services that are out there.

 

Data entry

We will begin the discussion with data entry BPO, which is often considered the first step of the ladder on which the complexity keeps going up as you climb the higher rungs.

With gradual digitization of the world, the scope for data entry may have reduced, but it is nowhere near finished. Large volumes of legacy data still remain undigitized. Some current transactions and processes also go the manual route, creating a need for data entry. For example, prescriptions issued by physicians continue to be handwritten or, at best, done on standalone systems. In fact, medical transcription used to be a huge volume business a couple of decades back. Despite tools like Natural Language Processing (NLP), for greater accuracy, manual intervention still has no peers.

oWorkers has been supporting clients with simple data entry and enrichment processes for over 8 years. We consistently deliver accuracy rates in excess of 99%, measured across varying client scales as well as complexity of projects.

 

Content moderation

“The Times They Are a-Changin’” sang Bob Dylan in the sixties.

This has never been more apparent than in the emergence of content moderation in a discussion on the types of business process outsourcing. The rise of the internet followed by the social media platforms have created a powerful force for the propagation of free speech.

So much so that it is now having to be put on a leash of sorts as it has become apparent that some people abuse the privileges for spreading their own agenda of hate and miscommunication or communicate in ways that are not acceptable in a civil society. Additionally, with corporations riding on the popularity of the platforms and creating their own ‘spaces’ on them, are also mindful of the conversation not turning inimical to their interests.

This has given rise to the need for content moderation. BPO providers have risen to the challenge and stepped up to provide this form of support to those looking for it.

oWorkers is actively engaged in moderating content on the internet and managing communities on social platforms in order to protect the interest of the sponsoring company. Since offensive content can emanate from anywhere, anytime, its ability to provide support 24/7 in 20+ languages makes it an ideal partner.

 

Human Resource Outsourcing (HRO)

Hiring the right talent, retaining them and managing them during their career is a critical need in many companies. And this is only the marketplace perspective. As one goes deeper, it translates into a requirement for many processes to be handled, such as compensation, incentives, leave management, grievance redressal, etc.

When a company hires people, it also comes into the ambit of the laws that most jurisdictions have enacted to ensure reasonable treatment of the hired workforce. This results in laws such as those that govern minimum wages, workplace conditions including safety and the company’s contribution to the retiral benefits of the individual. Additionally, there is also a need for the company to file regular returns with the authorities.

This combination requires specialists, adept at handling both the sides.

Many companies, unable to handle the sensitivity and care required in this job, seek out HRO providers, now well established among the types of business process outsourcing services on offer.

As a preferred employer, oWorkers has attracted a consistent inflow of candidates interested in working for it, in all its delivery locations. Not only does it give access to a deep pool of talent, it also keeps hiring costs low which eventually gets passed back to clients through the pricing arrangement. With a stable HR management, oWorkers is able to impart a similar sense of stability to the clients for whom it undertakes HRO activity.

 

Sourcing and Procurement

Procurement and sourcing of input materials are key requirements for many manufacturing industries. As they are costs for the business, the effort, in many cases, is on reduction rather than creation of efficiency.

Outsourcing has the potential to release this function from the vicious cycle. This is because it is a revenue generator for the partner who will be interested in creating efficiency, and make the investment required. Both stand to benefit from the arrangement and the inherent incentive structure.

Apart from being GDPR compliant, oWorkers offers the comfort of operating from super secure, ISO (27001:2013 & 9001:2015) certified facilities.

 

Finance & Accounting

Of the many responsibilities an organization has to fulfil, either as a way of staying competitive in the marketplace or for fulfilling the duties laid down by the laws of the land, the ones related to finance and accounting are found challenging by many.

Finance & Accounting works with money, a classic business function. By recording money transactions that have taken place, it seeks to create a picture, which can keep changing as more transactions get recorded, for the business that it can base its decisions on.

It is now accepted that qualified specialists in F&A can create value that goes beyond the recording and reporting. It can cover compliance, risk management, track receivables and manage payables, all designed to provide greater financial assurance and comfort.

Clients of oWorkers, especially those based in Western Europe and the US, routinely note savings of almost 80% in terms of cost. They are also enamored by the unique pricing model of oWorkers that offers them a choice between input and output-based pricing

 

Customer contact services

Contact Centers

Contact Centre solutions have been among the earliest to assume scale in the BPO industry, supported by the continuous development of technology that supported the service and made it fairly transparent.

While there is no end to the level of specialization one could achieve, at the top level, Contact Center work is divided into two categories:

Inbound – This refers to the handling of customers calling in for service or problem resolution or prospects calling in to know more about the products and services offered, which could even be carved out as a Sales function. Another common type of inbound call is the one that seeks technical support. 

Direct interaction with the customers of the client (outsourcer) is a sensitive and challenging task and requires utmost care. It not only requires understanding of the products and services offered but also an alignment with the company’s philosophy.

Outbound – When the call is initiated by the BPO provider, it is known as an outbound call. There are many companies that set up outbound calling services that make repeated, unwelcome calls to many prospective customers. They do a disservice to the industry and earn a bad name for it.

There are many other legitimate reasons for making outbound calls such as for reminder of something like a loan repayment falling due, or to make a collection call if it has become overdue.

Other customer interaction services

Contact Centers are not the only method for customers to contact a company, or vice versa, though it is the most commonly used one and perhaps employs the most manpower. This is perhaps the reason it stands in a category of its own when types of business process outsourcing are being tabulated, as it just as easily be a part of customer interaction services as a type.

There are many others. And as critical. The only difference is that they have some breathing space between the customer asking and they responding which can come in really handy when dealing with complex queries or difficult customers. Supervisors and colleagues can be consulted, literature can be perused, and help sought to ensure a great response.

What are these?

Representatives could interact, and be interacted with, on different media such as email, website queries, online chat or, nowadays, even a chat in social media.

With a leadership team that has over 20 years of hands-on experience in the industry, supporting clients in interacting with their customers in a tried and trusted manner is part of the DNA of oWorkers.

 

Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO)

Among the types of business process outsourcing are some that are based on specialized skills and knowledge, such as LPO or legal process outsourcing. Many companies like to contract out legal requirements such as writing contracts, drawing up documents, brief drafting, patent related services and many others.

While LPO is more commonly used by mid-sized organizations that cannot justify a full-time legal resource, it is not uncommon for corporations with in-house counsel to also resort to LPO for specific support, especially where an onsite physical presence might be required, such as court appearance.

With three global centers in different geographies, oWorkers is able to provide the capability of business continuity to its clients.

 

AI enablement services

AI enablement services could be considered as one of the newer kids on the block. Though it may not have been even a distant dream or vision when BPO started growing aggressively around the world in the nineties, today AI enablement is a major driver of adoption of BPO by many companies.

In fact, AI enablement appears to be tailormade for BPO, as well as built for a model where the voluminous manual processing is done by a BPO partner while a technology company at the frontend drives the creation, testing and implementation of the AI model. LIDAR segmentation or polygon annotation, audio or image files, telecommunications or automobiles, BPOs providing AI enablement services can do it for you.

As a recent entrant, oWorkers does not carry baggage of historical processes and has hit the ground running in adoption of current requirements of clients like data annotation. With its strong partnerships with technology companies, oWorkers accesses the most advanced technologies for deployment in client projects.

 

Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO)

While standardized, bulk processes were the ones to be initially identified for outsourcing, as confidence levels have gone up, so has the complexity of the work identified for outsourcing. Processing activities that are complex in nature and require knowledge in a particular sphere, such as market research, or analytics, or data management, are classified as KPO or Knowledge Process Outsourcing. Even LPO could be called a type of KPO, though it has now assumed the critical mass to stand in a category of its own. A wide range of industries such as financial services, health care and real estate could be clients for the KPO industry.

With its model of working with employees, and not contractual or freelance resources, as some of their competitors prefer, oWorkers is able to retain employees for longer and build a repository of knowledge that is helpful in projects like those of KPO. It also enables them to build a supervisory layer of staff with whose help projects are ably supervised.

 

Recruitment process outsourcing

Though it is a part of HRO (Human Resource Outsourcing) solutions offered by BPO providers, RPO, or Recruitment Process Outsourcing has become big enough to command a separate place in the types of business process outsourcing.

RPO addresses a big challenge faced by organizations, of recruiting the right resources and retaining them with the help of the right expectation setting and onboarding processes. RPOs take away at least a part of this worry from organizations.

oWorkers has done a commendable job with its own employees. Firstly, it operates through employees, and not freelancers and contractors like some of its competitors. This gives the company greater control and flexibility and the employees loyalty and stickiness with the company. It is no wonder that oWorkers continues to receive satisfaction scores in excess of 4.6, on a scale of 5, from present as well as past employees.

 

Other types

While many other forms of BPOs might be in existence, the above covers the various common types of business process outsourcing services.

This does not, however, mean, that there is no other way to look at the spectrum of BPO services available. There are many. Such as:

  • Based on the industry they work for
  • Based on borders
  • Based on distance (or shore) of delivery from source of work
  • Based on ownership of the delivery unit
  • Based on channel of service
  • Based on the development index of the provider location