How to Outsource LIDAR Annotation

How to Outsource LIDAR Annotation

How to Outsource LIDAR Annotation

Before we discuss LIDAR annotation, let us spend a few minutes understanding LIDAR.

LIDAR is an acronym for Light Detection and Ranging.

Light Detection and Ranging is a remote sensing and surveying technology that emits a pulsed laser that travels to an object and back to the emission point, creating a three-dimensional image as a set of dots or points based on the time taken for the light to travel as well as the angle of the reflection.

Though the future cannot be seen, LIDAR has already proved invaluable in many applications and is expected to become an even more integral contributor to the automation we will experience in our daily lives in the days to come.

Some of the present-day applications:

Augmented Reality – LIDAR enables 3D mapping, enabling other systems to create data based on the high-resolution map created. Enhances the AR experience.

Surveys – Compared to traditional surveys done manually, LIDAR surveys can be done rapidly and much more accurately. Think construction of a building. Think town planning.

Environment and Conservation – LIDAR provides aerial 3D views of the Earth’s surface based on which scientists can estimate land-use patterns and change over a period of time to estimate, for instance, deforestation.

Archaeology – Again, a logical application for LIDAR. It helps in reconstruction of models without having to assemble them piece by piece and also running the risk of damaging artefacts. LIDAR does it faster and with great accuracy.

Autonomous Vehicles – Everyone’s favorite AI example, also depends on LIDAR for creation of high-resolution images based on which the vehicle identifies objects and navigates its way around them. If you see a camera mounted on an autonomous vehicle, you are probably witnessing LIDAR at work.

So, where does LIDAR annotation come into the picture?

What LIDAR annotation does is to assign meaning to the 3D images created with the help of LIDAR technology in a language that can be understood by a software program through its ‘computer vision.’

LIDAR annotation solutions identify objects in the ‘point cloud’ created by LIDAR and annotate it based on the requirement of the project, using one of the several annotation techniques available, like Bounding Boxes (or Bounding Cuboids since we are dealing with a 3D image), Semantic Segmentation or Polygons.

 

Benefits you should expect when you outsource LIDAR annotation

Outsourcing LIDAR annotation solutions is now a well-accepted practice. That being said, as an outsourcer, you must be conscious of the benefits such an arrangement could deliver to your business, so that you specifically evaluate potential partners on the basis of those expectations.

What do we need to look for when we look for a partner to outsource LIDAR annotation to for our business?

Modern and relevant Tools and Technologies are deployed

The data generated by LIDAR is voluminous. For example, taking the oft-quoted example of an autonomous vehicle, if we decide that a minimum of a thousand kilometers worth of training data is required to train our model so that it becomes independent, it means that the set of frames that correspond to the journey will run into millions. And each frame will need multiple annotations. Human annotation of this data could take months and years and even decades, perhaps obviating its need by the time it gets completed. Besides, there will be the cost of continuing human effort.

The annotation of LIDAR data, hence needs to be done through tools and technologies that are getting increasingly accurate and sophisticated. When you outsource LIDAR annotation, the partner that seeks to do this work for you should be able to demonstrate access to such tools and technologies.

oWorkers has forged a slew of partnerships with providers of the best tools for LIDAR annotation. This enables us to deploy these tools for your projects so that you get the benefit of the latest in technology. 85% of our clients being technology companies not only makes this possible but also ensures we use the relevant and current technologies.

High level of quality and accuracy should be delivered

Impact as they do on the models that are being built to train machines to be smart and independent, when you outsource LIDAR annotation, the quality of work produced is of great importance. If the work done is of shoddy quality, the AI engine that gets built will be ineffective, making the entire exercise meaningless. If it needs LIDAR annotation, it needs good LIDAR annotation should be the motto. Deploying modern tools and technologies should not only make it faster, but also produce better quality and consistency.

oWorkers has referenceable clients willing to testify to our delivery capability. We also have an embedded Quality Analysis (QA) and Quality Control (QC) process, that is independent of delivery so that their accountability is not compromised. They keep the delivery teams honest and provide regular input to top management on team performance.

Responsiveness and quick turnaround in delivery

Outsourcing to vendors halfway around the globe has made the benefits of overnight processing a reality for many organisations. Work is sent to the outsourcer at the end of the business day when the outsourcer, halfway around the world, is just beginning his day. He processes the input and produces the agreed output which is sent back at the end of his day to the outsourcer, who is just starting the next day. As if, by magic, the transactions got processed while they were asleep. The same facility should be available for LIDAR annotation services.

oWorkers operates from three global locations and runs a 24×7 operation. If your business will benefit from a 24×7 turnaround, we will be happy to offer that to you. We realise it is in our interest to deliver a quick turnaround as it frees us up to do more for you.

Ability to handle processing in many languages

We know the world is getting smaller day by day. The biggest businesses are household names in the US, in Argentina, in Ethiopia, in France, in Turkey and in Malaysia. When a business takes on a vendor, it is in the expectation that the vendor will support its wide reach and coverage and not be a hindrance to it. Equally, volume and standardisation being key advantages for a large business, they would not like to either design new processes for a different geography nor go looking for a new vendor. One skill over most others that such globalisation asks for is of being multilingual, of being able to handle work and interaction in a variety of languages used around the world.

With oWorkers, what you get is an experienced LIDAR annotation services company offering multilingual managed human annotators spread across three global locations and covering over 20 of the most common languages, to train and validate your AI models with a global application, along with the willingness to learn more.

Data should be managed securely

For a business, data pertaining to its business and of its clients, holds great value. The BPO business requires business sensitive data of the client to be worked upon by the provider and its resources. For delivering LIDAR annotation services, the vendor should have a secure network and protocols for its sharing that ensure that at no stage in the process there is a possibility of any part of the data being compromised.

Operating from within the Eurozone with its strict regulations and governance, for oWorkers, compliance with the highest standards of data security are requirements, not nice-to-haves. We are GDPR compliant and ISO (27001 and 9001) certified. Our staff also sign and operate under an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) and work in monitored facilities with strict security protocols.

Physical separation of workspaces for different projects can be provided with access control.

Should be able to scale up and down with minimal notice

Business volumes are not subject to any control. And when volumes increase, no business would like them to reduce. Ups and downs in volumes have an impact on all processes in the chain, including outsourced ones. When you outsource LIDAR annotation, it should be done with the expectation that the vendor will offer the flexibility of handling the ups and downs in volume without saddling you with a bill for idle resources just to handle the peak for a short period. And the critical constraint at such times is the human resource, or people, since both hiring and training require some time and effort.

Being a contributing, respected member of the local communities where we operate from, a job with oWorkers is a prized achievement for many people. This gives oWorkers a steady inflow of interested job seekers that provides the flexibility of hiring more or less numbers based on requirements. We are able to commit to hiring upto 100 resources within 48 hours.

Low attrition levels and global people practices

Attrition has been a bugbear for many a BPO around the world. While all attrition has an impact on the business, some, like LIDAR annotation solutions, more than others, since the knowledge and skill enhancement curve could be longer and not only might you could be losing a bigger investment it will also take that much longer for another resource to be taken through the curve and brought up to speed. Therefore, a partner that has a good track record in managing attrition should be given preference.

Generally speaking, attrition levels can be correlated with the employment practices followed by the organisation; the more fair and equitable the practices, the lower the attrition.

oWorkers has been an outperformer on attrition in its peer group. As a strategic decision, we choose to work with employees, not contractors and freelancers. This gives us an edge not only in managing attrition, for the client as well, this provides us greater flexibility in assigning people to roles. Our staff consistently rate us highly on Glassdoor with a rating in excess of 4.6 on a scale of 5. We have been early adopters of the ‘work from home’ practice.

Disciplined project management and transition processes

While flexibility is admirable, discipline is called for in many business situations, LIDAR annotation solutions being no different. The beginning of a relationship, or of a new project for an existing client, is one such time. Business processes keep getting refined over a period of time, with many nuances not being documented and often relying on individuals, much against the principles of being process-driven and standardization. This can crystallize into a problem when transition of the work is done from client to vendor. Micro processes can slip through the cracks leaving the business open to inefficiency and cost, or even damages. A strong Project Management discipline responsible for picking up the threads from the client side and transitioning it over to the vendor side, is a critical component of a successful outsourcing.

With hundreds of successfully executed transitions under its belt, the oWorkers Project Management approach to each client engagement ensures that there is a key person available to you at all times, who will own and implement tasks that are communicated and agreed, even after the initial transition has been completed.

The organisation should be financially sound and regulatorily above board

The eventual objective of all businesses being to earn profits, an unstable financial position can often trigger financial adventures that have the potential to create challenges for clients and their projects, as the company could seek to cut corners in pursuit of profits. Even worse, it could suddenly cease operations, bringing work, including LIDAR annotation services, to a standstill. Hence it is important to establish that the company has financials that are sound and don’t create the risk for embarking on such misadventures. In fact, a financial evaluation should be done at least on an annual basis.

Similarly, it should be ensured that the company is in compliance with other laws of the land pertaining to taxation, registration, employment, etc.

oWorkers is a locally registered business in all its delivery locations. It has been a consistently profitable enterprise and pays local taxes as it operates as a locally registered entity in all its geographies.

Should offer a competitive price

Saving the best for the last, pricing is an integral part of any commercial arrangement, and the same applies when you outsource LIDAR annotation. The reason this section has been kept for the last is that it can overshadow other, equally or more important criteria, since pricing is a specific number, while other considerations are more subjective in nature and can often be debated and questioned. A B2B engagement is normally a custom arrangement where the price is also agreed based on the specific need of the buyer of the service. The outsourcer needs to guard against being ‘penny wise pound foolish.’

oWorkers offers transparent pricing, often allowing clients the choice between a rate per unit of time and a rate per unit of output. Choose any! Many of our clients have reported savings of up to 80% when compared with their pre-outsourcing cost.  

 

Suggested Next Steps

When you outsource LIDAR annotation to oWorkers, you will empower us to bring positive social and economic change by promoting employment in underserved communities.

As a pure player, we specialise in Data and Content services with multilingual capability. We have been ranked as one of the top three data entry companies in the world.

We hope you will select us for your work, as have many companies specialized in dematerialization, aggregators, market places, e-merchants, e-travel players, AI (artificial intelligence) companies, online media, gaming apps, social media websites, video production companies, universities, accounting firms, among others.

How To Outsource Image Moderation

How To Outsource Image Moderation

How To Outsource Image Moderation

“A picture speaks a thousand words.”

Whoever coined this phrase, believed to be of early 20th century vintage and American provenance, could not have foreseen the challenges created by pictures almost a hundred years later.

In a world drowning in user generated content (UGC), much of it in the form of images, that picture speaking a thousand words, which was uploaded by one of the over 4 billion internet users of the world, could be viewed by any of the other over 4 billion minus one users. These could be males and females, children and adults, Asians and Europeans, judges and policemen, Christians and Buddhists, rich and poor. In short – anyone.

That picture could be saying different things to different people in many different languages, whispering to some, shouting to others, holy to some, vile to others. Like someone said: One man’s meat is another man’s poison.”

What one person may consider good, enjoyable, or beneficial may be disliked by someone else. We have different sensibilities, tastes, likes, expectations. And there are millions of children and young adults in the mix as well.

Images are especially sensitive. Text needs to be read. Videos are richer, but need to be viewed. Images, on the other, convey their story in an instant, whether it is of a thousand words or a million. While an overwhelmingly large percentage of images uploaded will be safe and innocuous, there is always a possibility of a small percentage being vile and malicious, either inadvertently so or as a deliberate act.

So, what does one do? Surely we are too far down the ‘freedom to share content’ road to retrace our steps.

We moderate the images that are being uploaded.

As a business or owner of a website that invites participation from users, you may not be concerned about the large volume of images being uploaded every minute on popular platforms like Instagram or Facebook, but you are concerned that if offensive content were to find its way to your website, it would mar the reputation of your brand. Hence the need for content moderation on your website, if it is open for external participation.

What could go wrong? For starters, there could be porn and gore. That presumably kills the need for more examples. These are enough to kill your brand.

If you permit open sharing of images on your website, you should consider a moderation solution that will sanitize your web presence and enable you to sleep soundly at night.

How do we moderate? 

With the help of image moderation solutions, either inhouse or with the support of a partner.

It was a debate at some stage whether to outsource image moderation or do it inhouse, but with growth in traffic, evolution of tools and technologies and requirement of a specialised skill-set to monitor, it stands pretty much settled for the time being, in favor of outsourcing. As an independent business, you perhaps neither have the expertise nor wish to invest in creating it. You’d much rather be left to do your business, where you have an expertise, and leave the moderation job to the specialists in that space.

On the journey of outsourcing to an image moderation solutions provider, there will come a point, after you have selected a provider, done the negotiations, signed a contract, provided training and many other things, when your work will be handled by an outsourced partner who will, in a way, become an extended part of your team. Hence the selection of a partner becomes a critical step and should be done with care. And because it needs to be done with care, it will consume resources and money, and hence the outsourcer will hope that the exercise does not need to be done again in a hurry, and that it is the beginning of a long-term relationship.

How should you go about selecting a partner for image moderation services so that it becomes a stable, lasting engagement?

The following paragraphs offer suggestions on parameters to use for the purpose.

 

Quality of Work

In any engagement, the quality of work is of paramount importance, perhaps even more so when you outsource image moderation, as there are brand and legal implications. Prior experience of doing similar work for another client is of great value in this assessment, since one can see examples and judge whether the work being done is of acceptable quality or not. If work is of acceptable quality and can be supported by a confirmation from existing clients, that is even better. Of course, not having prior experience should be an automatic disqualifier if the vendor can offer benefits that offset this limitation.

oWorkers has over 8 years of experience in serving clients from different industries. Our clients are mostly referenceable and prominently displayed on our website. Our team will monitor and eliminate content that has been agreed to be harmful, significantly reducing your business’ exposure to not only poor customer experience but also legal and PR issues and other potentially harmful responses.

 

Speed of Response

At a generic level, speed of work is a prized and desirable ability. The faster you work, the more you can do, allowing the business to leverage its assets for greater productivity and output.

When the context shifts to image moderation services, it acquires an entirely new dimension since we are talking about moderating content that is constantly coming in with the expectation of millions of users around the world engaged in that process that it will start showing up as soon as we press the ‘Submit’ or ‘Send’ key. 

Our moderation teams will be at work so that you and your team can sleep peacefully.  With three centers located in the most desirable outsourcing geographies of the world, oWorkers provides 24×7 monitoring because someone, somewhere is always awake and logged in to the internet. 

 

Pricing

When you outsource image moderation, as a thumb rule, it should not cost you more than your inhouse processing. Getting the benefit of volume and specialisation is one of the objectives of outsourcing. The partner, owing to much larger volumes of image moderation services work handled, is expected to be in a position to attract the right resources at reasonable cost, unlike your business, for whom it is not a core activity. 

Comparing quotes from different interested providers will provide a good idea about the general pricing trends. While low is preferable, if the offered price is much lower, or higher, than others, it should be looked into carefully to understand the reason.

oWorkers clients consistently report 80% savings in cost after outsourcing, as compared to pre-outsourcing costs. With options like shared resources, even for companies with low volume of content outsourcing is a great option.

 

Tools and Technology

The speed at which content is being created and shared around the world, a purely manual method of moderation, especially for the popular social media platforms, is often not a workable proposition, though it might be for an individual business. The vendor should be in a position to offer tools that automate a significant part of the process, with only disputed cases being routed for manual adjudication. Of course, in addition to the manual moderators dipping in to check the output from the automated service from time to time.  

Through our partnerships with leading providers, oWorkers offers clients access to the latest technologies when they outsource image moderation to us. In addition, we offer the flexibility for our resources to work on client moderation systems, if they come with one.

 

Business Contingency

When you outsource image moderation, you outsource a perennial activity, one that keeps happening, or can happen, at any point of time, from any corner of the globe. Someone, somewhere, could be accessing your website and uploading content on it. Depending on the service standards your business wishes to offer, and that the partner needs to comply with, what if the facility or location from where these services are being offered, are impacted on account of a natural calamity, or strife of some sort? Does that mean that content being uploaded lies in the queue unattended? Or gets auto uploaded after a defined cooling off period? Both these are sub-optimal for a business. Ideally, the partner should offer the facility of switching to another site that is not impacted. Of course, it is understood that the switch will not cater to the entire volume, else idle space and headcount will need to be retained.

With facilities in three of the most popular BPO delivery locations in the world, oWorkers offers you unmatched ability for business contingencies by switching partial; volumes from one site to another. A multi-site engagement can also be offered that obviates the need for switching.

 

Hiring and Scaling Capacity

This is a core BPO skill as it is a people dependent business and is as relevant for image moderation solutions as it is for any other work supported by BPOs. Not only does the provider need to ensure there is a constant supply of interested jobseekers to be hired, but also they have access to a deep pool where they can dip and hire a large chunk in one go, either for a short period, or hired for one project and then deployed across the others once the specific need is over. 

oWorkers has been consistently ranked highly on Glassdoor by its employees. It must also be highlighted that we have employees who do our clients’ work, and we don’t rely on freelancers or contractors. We are a preferred employer in most of the communities we work in, which gives us access to deep talent pools at low cost; they come to us instead of us having to seek them out. We offer the capacity to scale up by up to a 100 resources in 48 hours.

 

Training

Cost of resources is an issue of huge consequence for BPOs, since frontline agent cost is perhaps the single biggest item on the Income Statement. Moreover, attrition being a reality for all BPOs, the hiring engine needs to keep working all the time. Joined at the hip to hiring is the Training machinery. If hiring is throwing fresh talent into the company, it becomes the job of the training machinery that needs to take them under their wing, and impart the necessary basic skills required for the workplace, followed by project-specific training to make them revenue generating resources. In any case, the BPO practice of hiring ‘raw’ resources who do not possess advanced educational degrees or any material business experience, makes training an indispensable function for image moderation solutions.  

With committed training teams attached to each of its centers, oWorkers is ready 24×7 to take upon itself the task of making new hires job-ready in the quickest time, starting with common skills like typing, language and soft-skills, and graduating to client project-specific skills at the other end. They also carry out retraining of agents who need more support even though they may have ‘gone live.’

 

MultiLingual Capability

On the face of it, image moderation services may not appear to be an activity that might be impacted by language. Language might be considered to be germane to activities like text moderation which have to use one or more languages. An image, on the other hand, is an image. It might say a thousand words but whoever is viewing the image will understand those thousand words in his own language. But look deeper, and language has an impact on an image too. A poster, for example, is an image. Text can be presented in the form of an image. This brings multilingual capability into the equation.

oWorkers offers support in 22 major languages of the world and has the capacity to add more based on specific client requirements. 

 

Internal Quality process

When you outsource image moderation, the delivery team, the most critical team in a BPO, often struggles with balancing many competing priorities. On occasion, this could result in a compromise on the high standards that they might otherwise strive to maintain. 

In order that such events do not become visible to the client and mar the relationship, an Internal Quality (IQ) team has become an indispensable part of a BPO’s setup. The IQ team takes samples to verify the health of the process. Where deviations are found corrective action is instituted, including but not limited to counselling of the team member. 

Quality Assurance and Quality Control are a part of the DNA at oWorkers, led by an independent team of Internal Quality specialists conversant with modern quality standards and techniques like ‘Six Sigma,’ ‘ISO’ and ‘Lean.’ They are also the eyes and ears that enable the senior management to stay connected with each project. 

 

Financial Condition and Management Support

Eventually, business is about money. Investing money, spending money, making money. The Income Statement and Balance Sheet are where all the different elements of a business meet to portray its financial health. It is the common purpose which binds all functions together. 

When you outsource image moderation, it is your expectation that the vendor will deliver value for the revenue it earns from you. It will make necessary investments and incur required costs. This is where the financial condition of the company becomes relevant. A healthy financial condition will allow the business the wriggle-room to make the investments and expenses, knowing that revenue will be earned. If it does not have wriggle-room, it will cut corners and try to avoid value-adding investments and expenses. Eventually your outsourced work will suffer.

Financial decisions are taken by senior management who also provide guidance to the organisation on strategy and management. The greater the involvement of senior management, the sharper the focus of the teams involved in client delivery.

oWorkers has been a profitable enterprise from inception. It follows financial discipline in all respects and refuses engagements that will put pressure on its financial condition, to avoid adverse impact on other engagements.

Our senior leadership has hands-on experience of over 20 years in the business and are alive to each and every project handled by oWorkers.

How to Outsource Order Data Entry

How to Outsource Order Data Entry

How to Outsource Order Data Entry

Businesses are created, and exist, for delivering a product or service that they believe has a demand amongst target customers. Through this act of offering a product or service, they seek to generate Revenue for their business, as customers will pay for it, which is its lifeline. It will enable the business to meet the cost incurred in producing that Product or Service, and, hopefully, leave a profit to compensate the owners for the risk undertaken and effort put in.

An Order, then, or a Purchase Order, is perhaps one of the most important events for any business. It sets in motion a sequence of events that allow the business to earn Revenue.

An Order can be placed in many different ways.

A retail customer looking for a handphone could go into a high-street shop, look at the models displayed, and choose one. She will verbally place the Order with the shopkeeper, who will take out a piece, hand it over, while taking payment for it on the spot.

A retail customer could also navigate through one of the e-commerce sites that sell the product, look at the options available and place an Order with the merchant/ website. In this case, she would normally make the payment through digital means and get a receipt for it, but the product will be shipped to her later. If the product is virtual, she will perhaps receive it instantly.

While the above options for placing an Order are also available to a business or organisation that wishes to make a purchase, the process followed by many, is a direct approach. Some reasons for this:

  • Businesses are more aware of their needs, which are often very specific, and are reached as a result of research and discussion, and may not require comparison and ‘shopping around’ to identify the item. 
  • As their volumes are much larger than the retail customer, they are in a position to negotiate pricing with the supplier and reach an ‘off-market’ price.

Whatever the reason for a business, a decision to purchase after necessary discussion have been completed leads to the issuance of an Order. It is also called a Purchase Order.

An Order is a commitment to buy certain items, with certain defined terms and conditions, including payment terms.

 

What are Order Data Entry Solutions?

That explains what an Order is. But what do we mean by Order Data Entry Solutions?

This is the set of activities that are carried out once an Order has been placed by a purchaser, that integrate the transaction into the systems and processes of the seller, so that it can be processed smoothly, culminating in realisation of the promised Revenue from the buyer. In so doing, the Order typically becomes a part of the digital world, facilitating further processing and integration with other applications.

Some organisations might view it as a standalone process that begins and ends with the entry of the Order into a software application, while others may view it as part of an integrated chain of processes.

 

Does it help to outsource Order Data Entry?

An Order being the life-blood of a business may be the reason why most businesses are tolerant of the manner in which an Order is placed; it could be done through the purchaser’s Procurement application, it could be through a physical, or digital, Order Form, it could come via Email, it could be a Fax, it could even be a Verbal Order. As long as it has been received, the seller will perhaps not refuse it on the basis of a procedural lacuna.

At some point these Orders will need to be channelled through a system or a process so that they can be converted into realized Revenue. This process of streamlining the Orders calls for skills that may not be possessed by the business receiving the Order, which has been created with a specific purpose, and perhaps employs staff who are experts in its area of work. A software company is setup for the business of creating software applications for clients, and perhaps employs coders, software analysts and software engineers. A hotel might employ housekeeping, kitchen and guest relations staff. Getting them to organise and manage the Orders is likely to be out of line with their skillset and training. Not only will the company sacrifice what they could have contributed in their regular job, it will probably end up being a job badly done.

What is the solution? Engage an outsourcing outfit that specialises in providing Order Data Entry Services. That lives and breathes Order Data Entry.

Moreover, in today’s world, digitisation can be called an advantage in itself. It enables us to connect into the digital world and reap its benefits. Once we have data in a digital form, it can link in to other processes taking place digitally; invoicing, shipping, payment realisation, and many others linked to that Order. We can even extract and analyse the information out of it which will aid us in taking decisions.

When you outsource Order Data Entry, it will also make more efficient the process of storage of data digitally, instead of storing paper that could be subject to spoilage and degradation and also occupies a lot more physical space.

To summarise, the following benefits can be realised:

  •         Specialised attention to the task, reducing errors and enhancing efficiency of the process
  •         Focus on core activities of the business for the outsourcer
  •         Linking in to the digital world

 

Evaluating partners to outsource Order Data Entry

Selection of the outsourced partner is an important decision in any process outsourcing. For Order Data Entry Solutions, this can be evaluated in three parts:

  1.       Ability of the vendor to deliver value-adding Order data entry services
  2.       Vendor capability in providing value-added, or upstream and downstream services
  3.       Organisational capability and support

Ability of the vendor to deliver value-adding services

This part of the evaluation is about the vendor’s capability on the process sought to be outsourced; Order data entry services. The evaluation process should consider:

Quality and Accuracy

When you outsource Order Data Entry, a large part of the value that an outsourcer seeks is based on quality and accuracy. Is the partner able to do it correctly? Is the partner able to maintain quality standards? Here are some suggested parameters data from which could be used to evaluate the partner’s capability:

Prior experience – Have they done similar work for any other client? Prior experience of the vendor shortens the learning curve and enables you to reach a desired steady-state faster. Do others trust them with similar work? If they can share performance data on similar projects handled for others, anonymised as per requirement, it will provide an indication of hat you can expect.

Client testimonials – If an existing client is willing to provide a testimonial regarding their capability, it adds a lot of value to the evaluation. Even better, if they can connect you with an existing client who is willing to talk to you or exchange emails and address your queries. It demonstrates a maturity in existing relationships.

Handling different data sources – Order data entry can be initiated in many different ways. What is the partner’s capability and experience in handling a wide variety? Can they demonstrate their comfort in handling sources that your business expects to use?

An indicative list of sources:

  • Procurement system generated Order
  • Scanned Order
  • Scanned Invoice
  • Emailer
  • Email attachment
  • Letter
  • Fax
  • Image
  • Web Form

Industry familiarity – Just like each company is different, each industry is also different from others. Staffing is different from Shipping, Elearning from Event Management, Software from F&B and Pharmaceuticals from Footwear. Though they would all have a need to generate and fulfil Orders if they are in business.

As each industry could have its own peculiar requirements and processes, it is helpful if you could ascertain if the vendor has familiarity with your industry as that can enable them to hit the ground running when the contract begins.

With an eight-year history of consistently meeting and exceeding performance standards for multiple clients, oWorkers is a partner of natural choice for Order Data Entry Solutions. We are a pure-play BPO specialising in data-entry services, including Order Data Entry. 

Speed of Delivery/ Turnaround time

We know the world is changing all the time. If something needs to be done, it should be done now. The same logic will apply when you outsource Order Data Entry. The partner should be equipped to deliver the required service speedily. Many partners offer a 24×7 working facility, which typically works well for an outsourcer. By the time your work starts in the morning, yesterday’s Orders have already been processed by the vendor. The same situation happens when the outsourcer and partner are in different time zones, which facilitates overnight processing.

oWorkers operates on a 24×7 schedule, leveraging every minute of the clock to ensure your Orders are turned around quickly and ready for you when you need them. In many cases, depending on your location, if you submit a batch before end of the day today, you will have it in your inbox by the time you begin work tomorrow.

Pricing

As this is a commercial engagement, pricing will always be an important consideration. It needs to be mentioned and suggested that pricing be viewed in the overall context of the relationship, and not in isolation. Excessive emphasis on getting the lowest rates sometimes could diminish the value of the outsourcing arrangement.

This will need to be your company’s evaluation and judgment, as the partner is unlikely to share information pertaining to their pricing arrangements with other clients, unless you can get an indication from other companies in your line of work, probably competitors, regarding the pricing to be expected when you outsource Order Data Entry.

With its transparent pricing mechanism, that includes a dollars per unit rate and a dollars per hour of output rate, along with committed service standards and SLAs, oWorkers offers you choices. Take your pick!

Multilingual capability

This is becoming increasingly critical as businesses become global. Why just businesses, as the world becomes global. Though this may be seen as relevant for your business only if you operate in multiple geographies around the globe speaking different languages, who knows, tomorrow your business might go global. You cannot go looking for another vendor each time you want to expand. A vendor should support your expansion, not be a roadblock.

oWorkers, with proficiency in over 22 languages across the three global delivery centers it operates from, is well positioned to handle Order Data Entry Services for organisations that have a global footprint just as well as that of localised, single-language businesses.

Technology and data security

The vendor should be using technology that is current and demonstrates a willingness to upgrade as technology evolves and changes. Technology is the backbone of the outsourcing world. It is often referred to as Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES). And do so in a secure environment that protects client data from unauthorised access.

With the facility in Bulgaria situated in the Euro zone, being GDPR compliant and maintaining data securely are not choices for oWorkers. They are requirements. oWorkers is committed to following best practices in technology and has successfully undergone the ISO/IEC 27001 certification process. We are also PCI DSS compliant.

Value Added Services

An Order is only the starting point of the journey. After an Order is placed, there is a series of events that get triggered.

Outsourcing is not merely getting work done somehow through a vendor, at the cheapest rate and in the quickest time. Outsourcing is a partnership that could unleash significant synergies for your business. There are many providers who will be able to handle a whole spectrum of services related to Order Data Entry, upstream and downstream processes that, when handled efficiently by them could leave you free to focus on your core business.

Does your business have a need for these related services?

Does the vendor have the capability to support you in these services?

This is not an exhaustive list, but the chain of processes is likely to include:

  • Acceptance of Orders
  • Accessing and downloading automated Orders, like from web pages
  • Purchase Order Management
  • Customer Database Management
  • Packing
  • Shipping
  • Invoicing
  • Tracking movement of goods
  • Updating inventory
  • Tracking receipt of payment
  • Data Capture, Indexing / Extraction, Validation and Archiving
  • Data Input into various software applications

oWorkers has been supporting clients from around the world, including unicorn marketplaces, in their Order Data Entry and related processes for over five years. Many of our clients are referenceable.

Organisational Support

As the outsourced business process will operate under the larger umbrella of the contracting organisation, it is equally important to evaluate those parameters where the larger organisation will play a role in ensuring effective delivery to your process.

Financial health of the organisation is essential to ensure continued delivery. If compromised, it will cut corners, leading to delivery issues and the possibility of a sudden stop. One also needs to watch out for inordinately low pricing offered for a project. While the outsourcer may have its own reasons for offering a low price, which is welcome, you need to protect the interest of your business. It will not help if the vendor terminates the contract after a short period as they have won other better-priced deals. Consistency in financial and other decisions is a good indicator of soundness.

All global delivery centers of oWorkers are registered as local companies and pay local taxes. Right from inception we have continued to be a tightly run ship, profitable and giving back to local communities.

Hiring is done at the organisational level. This is normally the case since hiring is an activity that interfaces with the external world. Organisations like to maintain uniformity in their external face. Besides, it is more efficient and economical. The organisation’s hiring engine should be well established and regarded in the community to provide this support. 

All the staff of oWorkers are employees, not freelancers, which provides much greater control and flexibility in operations. oWorkers is viewed as a company many people would like to work for and have been rated 4.6/5 on Glassdoor.

Training is a key component of enablement of the workforce. BPOs operate in a process-driven environment, in general look for basic competence in terms of communication, numerate ability and willingness to work when they hire, and equip the hired staff to perform through a training regimen. Some part of it is generic that is given to all new hires, while some parts are more process specific, given only to people who have been identified as staff for a particular project.

oWorkers operates a training facility in each of the locations it operates in, with the objective of skilling new hires to the level required for effective performance.

There are many other services that the organisation needs to provide in order that your work can continue smoothly that can be placed under Management Commitment. Like Legal, that ensures compliance with required regulations. Like Workforce Planning, that ensures all processes are adequately, but not inefficiently, staffed and is able to project future requirements to head off challenges early. Each of them should be evaluated based on the need of the hour. Like Facility Management, to ensure people have a clean and hygienic workplace.

It goes without saying that the management should demonstrate their keenness and desire to take on the contract. There is no specific parameter or tool to look at for ascertaining this, but the ability to work together generally can be established during the pre-contract interactions. A business contract will only work if there is something in it for both parties. Some vendors may even offer a free look-in period to new clients.

oWorkers has a transparent process of delivery and pricing. We commit what we can do and do what we commit. Our leadership team will engage with you from the time you initiate the discussion and continue to oversee delivery. 

 

The oWorkers Advantage

Our BPO services offer cost savings upto 80% as compared to Western Europe and USA without any compromise on the quality of output. As a result, we have been a trusted partner of several UNICORN marketplaces over the years.

oWorkers is a pure player, specialising in Data and Content services with multilingual capability. Our delivery centers are located in three global locations providing the benefit of business contingency in times of need. Our deep engagement with local communities enable us to ramp by a hundred people in just 48 hours. We are GDPR and ISO/IEC 27001 compliant.

In brief, oWorkers should be your partner of your choice when you outsource Order Data Entry.

Guide On How To Outsource Bounding Box Annotation

Guide On How To Outsource Bounding Box Annotation

Guide On How To Outsource Bounding Box Annotation

Bounding Box annotation is one of the most popular techniques of tagging images for the purpose of creating training data sets for Machine Learning (ML) which forms an input into the development of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) engine.

What is Bounding Box Annotation?

It is actually fairly easy to visualise. Let us take an image of a street side. There are many objects that will perhaps be present in it; shops, people, stop lights, cars, bicycles, trees, and many more. Let us suppose we need to identify different objects in the picture for an AI application, say to train driverless vehicles. Now imagine we draw a tight rectangle around each of these objects. In other words, we bind or ‘bound’ them within these rectangles. The rectangle that surrounds the object becomes the ‘Bounding Box’ within which the object is enclosed.  

The method of distinguishing the objects for the AI engine will be based on distinguishing the Bounding Boxes from each other and will be guided by the objectives of the AI that we are feeding into. For the present, let us assume that each type of object will be captured inside a rectangle of a different color. Thus, all stop lights will be inside blue rectangles, all bicycles inside red rectangles, all shops inside green rectangles and so on. This way, the program will gradually understand the difference in the types of objects that are being ‘bounded’ and learn about the properties of these objects. This will enable the program to identify these objects even when there is no Bounding Box around them. A related element that will be taught alongside is the action the AI engine should take when it encounters an object of a particular type.

This process is referred to as Bounding Box Annotation and is what you get when you outsource Bounding Box Annotation.

The general usage of bounding boxes is as a two-dimensional, rectangular figure, though there are other methods also that involve polygonal and three-dimensional annotation. These are, however, referred to by those names and not as Bounding boxes.

 

Use Cases

There is a wide variety of applications in a wide range of industries and sectors that data enriched with the help of Bounding Box Annotation solutions is used in. A few examples:

Online Retail and Ecommerce

Objects sold on ecommerce websites can be identified with the help of bounding boxes and annotated according to their specifications. In a vast, busy, online store, it enables the shopper to get information about the product by simply hovering or clicking on it. The billing and checkout process is also automated as a result.

Object Detection with Robotics and Drone Imagery

Image annotation with the aid of bounding box annotation services is also widely used to label the objects from the point of view of robots and drones.With the help of images annotated with this technique, autonomous machines like robots and drone can identify a variety of objects they are likely to encounter and learn to react according to the rules they are taught. The varied range of objects can be captured into bound boxes making it easier for robots and drones to detect similar physical objects from a distance and behave accordingly.

Detection of damage and insurance claim estimation

Damage inflicted on a vehicle as a result of an accident can be assessed with the help of trained AI. The training is able to identify and isolate the different parts and assign a cost to it. This can also serve to keep a check on incorrect evaluation done manually. As an example, if the difference between the two is beyond an acceptable range, it gets referred to an internal arbitrator.

 

Types of Bounding Box annotation services

These services can be of various types, the essential idea being that they make it easy to identify and work with visual data that, in its raw form, is not understood by computers and machines. Some common ones:

Geo-Tagging Services – Enable us to identify the location of an image, generally done by using the latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates associated with it. Occasionally it is further enriched by additional data like heights, depth, etc.. It can be used for location-specific news items, or enabling a rescue team to reach a disaster site.

Image Descriptor Services – Provide information on the object from many different perspectives on various features; color, texture, direction, etc.

Multi-label Classification Services – Traditionally, classification of an item confines it to one category. Multi-label classification does not limit itself to mutually exclusive categorization and can assign an object to multiple categories. Like a typical ‘tag.’  

Image Retrieval Services – Enable retrieval of images in a world which is increasingly being driven by audio visual media, typically through a software that browses, searches and retrieves images from a large database of digital images. Most traditional and common methods of image retrieval utilize some method of adding metadata such as captioning, keywords, title or descriptions to the images so that retrieval can be performed over the annotation words, and are mostly manual.

 

Choosing a provider for Bounding Box Annotation Solutions

When you outsource In a B2B relationship, choosing a partner is an important decision, as it has an impact on downstream areas of work. Hence, it is an event which is done carefully and deliberately, in the hope that it will not need to be done again and again. The following paragraphs offer suggestions on what you, as an outsourcer, should bear in mind while making this choice.

The partner should have the ability to deliver work of a consistently high quality, meeting and exceeding accuracy levels desired. Prior experience doing similar work is desirable, supported by sound bites from existing clients. Even better if it has been done for a competitor or another company from the same industry, though not possessing prior experience should not be a reason to disregard the vendor. Familiarity with the different types of bounding box annotation services is desirable.

oWorkers has over 8 years of experience in serving clients from different industries. Our clients are mostly referenceable and prominently displayed on our website. As a BPO with focus on data entry and related services, we offer unmatched quality in our chosen areas of work.

When you outsource bounding box annotation, as a thumb rule, it should not cost you more than your inhouse processing cost. Pricing terms (also often known as Commercials) offered should be competitive, in line with other bidders. While low is preferable, if the offered price is much lower than others, it should be looked into carefully. The vendor may have ulterior motives; like preventing a competitor from winning the deal and then backing out themselves after some time, leaving the client in the lurch.

oWorkers might be one of the few BPOs that offers a transparent pricing choice to clients; between a per unit of time-based price and a per unit of output-based price. Our clients, especially from Western Europe and the US, have consistently reported savings of up to 80% over their pre-outsourcing costs.

In a world with an accelerating pace, faster delivery is better than slower. It is no different when you outsource bounding box annotation. In any case, quicker delivery should also be beneficial for the vendor as that leaves him with the opportunity of doing more work, which generates revenue for them. Hence, speed of delivery is an important consideration.

With three centers located in the most desirable outsourcing geographies of the world, oWorkers provides the flexibility to handle spikes by splitting it across its centers. Our focus is on quick turnaround times, overnight in many cases, leveraging time differences around the globe. Our facilities operate on a 24×7 schedule because of which we can provide overnight delivery even if there is no time difference.

BPO is a people dependent business. If it (the work) could be automated, it would have been. Many of the tasks BPOs support business with, bounding box annotation solutions being an example, are being done because only a human being can do it at this point in time. The prospective partner should have the ability to continually draw the right quality resources at reasonable prices, so that they can continue to deliver on client outsourced programs.

oWorkers has been consistently ranked highly on Glassdoor by its employees. It must also be highlighted that we have employees who do our clients’ work, and not freelancers or contractors. We are deeply rooted in the communities we are located in, and are viewed as a preferred employer by a large section of the community, giving us the flexibility to ramp up and down speedily, as well as access to a steady pool of resources to select from, based on our stringent EQ, IQ and other hiring profile assessments.

As cost of resources is an issue of huge consequence for BPOs, since frontline agent cost is perhaps the single biggest item on the Income Statement, BPOs prefer to hire what may be referred to as ‘raw’ resources; or resources that do not possess advanced educational degrees or any material business experience, and provide them training to make them fit-for-purpose, depending on the purpose, which could be doing Shopify date entry or be a part of the bounding box annotation solutions team.  

Training is one of the bedrocks on which the success of BPOs has been built. oWorkers has a committed team of trainers who work on new hires to not only provide them an induction into the industry, but also prepare them for handling its rigors. Training is generally provided in two phases; an initial generic phase to train them for the BPO world, along with common skills like typing and language, and a subsequent round which is client and project specific. 

Technology remains the key enabler. In fact, for BPOs, technology can also be called the progenitor, responsible for its birth and growth. The BPO industry is also referred to as ITES (Information technology enables services) and came into existence when software and communication technologies had developed to the point that made it possible to take work away from expensive downtown real estate and highly-paid resources.

Through our partnerships with leading providers, oWorkers offers clients access to the latest technologies when they outsource bounding box annotation to us. More than 85% of our clients are technology companies.

Joined at the hip to technology is Data Security. Since data pertaining to the client’s business is accessed by the vendor and their staff, and since it moves around often, it needs to be ensured that access to it is controlled and monitored. Also, networks through which client data pass, should be segregated logically. In fact, this is now an even bigger concern, with a majority of staff working from home. How does the provider ensure security of data?

oWorkers secures client data by logical separation of networks. We go a step further and can even physically segregate areas where the client’s work is being done, through physical access control.

With an increasingly global world, and rising ambitions and aspirations, where every business wants to reach out to customers around the world, a provider who can support these ambitions and growth plans would take preference over other, more localised ones when. This is true for bounding box annotation services as well. Language support is an integral part of this support. When you need support in an additional language, do you want to go hunting all over again for a new partner, and end up having a string of small providers, or would you rather that your existing partner provide the additional support?

oWorkers in uniquely placed to offer support in over 22 languages across our three centers. This is available to you when you outsource bounding box annotation to us, or any other data entry related work that we specialise in.

It is important to have checks and balances within the system to prevent wrongdoing, attempts at fraud as well as inaccuracies and errors creeping in. Many BPOs provide this in the form of a Quality team that does not report in to the delivery team, but senior management. They act as representatives of the client internally and enable the delivery organisation to catch such errors and fix them before they become visible to the client. A Quality team is considered to add significant value in the delivery focussed work of a BPO.

Our Quality team, while working with the delivery team, is independent in terms of the reporting relationships and its line goes directly to the senior management. This allows its output to be uncolored by pressures from the delivery team, and also ensures that senior management of oWorkers is in the loop regarding the progress of the engagement.

Management support is what brings the organisation together, enabling it to operate with a common purpose. Though there is no specific measure or tool to assess this, it is expected that if you are already running a successful business, and now seek to outsource bounding box annotation, you will be able to judge this during the various interactions it is likely you will have with the provider’s management team.

With hands-on experience of over 20 years in the industry, the oWorkers management team leads from the front. Not just in the initial negotiations, but throughout the course of an engagement with a client they remain deeply involved.

 

In Conclusion

Whenever you are ready to outsource bounding box annotation, oWorkers will be ready to take it on for you, working as an extension of your team, enabling you to stay focussed on your core business activities.

How to outsource Shopify data entry

How to outsource Shopify data entry

How to outsource Shopify data entry

Good news. Shopify has enabled a lot of people around the world to become entrepreneurs, regardless of business, background, age, education and facility with technology, by providing them with a platform on which a virtual store can be set-up. Not just entrepreneurs and small business owners, many established businesses have leveraged the capability of the Shopify platform to set-up virtual stores for their businesses.

Bad news. It is a machine and needs to be run. The GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out) principle applies. The language this machine understands, many of us are unfamiliar with. The quality of results you get from the platform are likely to be directly proportional to the quality of inputs you provide to it, in the language it understands.

What do you, the business, do?

Outsource Shopify data entry. Thankfully, there is a solution.

The popularity of Shopify has spawned an entire ecosystem of BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) service providers who will take over and handle your business processes for you and do it better than you would. Maintaining and updating your Shopify presence is one major service provided by many BPOs specialising in data entry services. This ensures that your business keeps running smoothly and you are able to focus on what your core strength is, your business, rather than worrying about updating codes and pictures in Shopify.

 

Choosing a BPO to outsource Shopify Data Entry

In a competitive world, there will always be a surfeit of service providers claiming to be the best. Moreover, thanks to the advances technology has made, these providers could be anywhere in the world. How does one separate the grain from the chaff and identify the right vendor?

It goes without saying that each business and each virtual store owner will have different requirements. They should know what they are looking for and what creates more value for their business, and need to evaluate vendors from their unique perspective.

This guide is designed to provide direction on how to outsource Shopify data entry and ensure that important attributes do not get missed out.

Shopify data entry services –  knowledge and capability

It is imperative that the vendors being considered demonstrate their understanding of Shopify data entry solutions and the quality, or accuracy, with which they deliver these services.

Shopify data entry solutions are not just plain vanilla data entry of old. It is a basket of services that are collectively referred to as Shopify data entry services. Evaluation of the vendor’s capability on the services your business needs out of these, is an important step in the process. 

Product addition and updation – This is where it starts, the core task, that enables the business to ‘go live’ and operate smoothly as a virtual store. An empty store, even if it gets footfalls, will do no business. The shelves of the store need to be filled up.

Categorisation and tagging – Classifying the product into the right category and sub-category enhances the searchability of the product and leads to higher sales. You don’t want men’s shoes to show up under books or kitchen knives, do you?

Image processing – Buyers are increasingly consuming more information through visual and audio-visual media, which provide subliminal information about the product to a buyer and go a long way in the creation of the ‘brand.’ Images need to be enhanced, projected and displayed to catch the attention of potential customers while complying with Shopify guidelines.

Product description – The product description needs to be written in a compelling and informative manner that explains the attributes of the product, provides the information most prospective buyers are likely to look for and presents it in a good light without being untruthful. It is also an important component of good SEO karma.

Bulk upload – Large businesses may have large volumes of data to be frequently uploaded and refreshed. And it needs to be done quickly. After all, if you have a new offering in response to developments in the outside world, you would not like to be late in bringing it to market. You don’t want your Covid-19 masks to be listed on the platform after the vaccine has been administered to everyone. It is important for the vendor to have the capability to do bulk uploads and take feeds from a variety of client systems.

Create campaigns and promotions – Businesses don’t exist in isolation. They exist as a part of an ecosystem and need to keep contributing and responding to it. The vendor exists in the same ecosystem. They should have the capability of running promotions and campaigns for the client. And what would be even better? If they can even demonstrate their market awareness by recommending opportunities for promotions and campaigns.

SEO optimisation and SEO friendly URLs – We are twenty years past the start of the twenty first century. Most people get from one virtual place to another with the help of search engines. It is important that the vendor possesses the ability to place the store and its products such that visitors can find both the store and its products easily.                                            

Support for Shopify data entry solutions related back-end work

For a store owner, the work does not end with data entry. A sign of your store’s success is that customers will place orders. It is the reason your virtual store exists. It is something you want to encourage.

However, each time an order is placed, work starts. Goods may need to be shipped. Payment will need to be collected. Product inventories will need to be maintained and kept updated. Downloadable artefacts like catalogs and product lists will need to be kept ready and available.

Do you need the vendor to provide all these services, which, strictly speaking, are not Shopify data entry services, but equally critical ancillary services without which the store will be dysfunctional? What is the vendor’s capability on these services?

There are pros and cons of contracting the same vendor for back-end support in addition to data entry. Some businesses may be uncomfortable putting all their ‘eggs in one basket’ while others may not be. Hence, evaluate based on your views and business needs.

Customer support

Many small businesses prefer to retain all customer contact with themselves, and perhaps rightly so. Customers are the lifeline of any business. But when a business grows, and the number of customers with it, small business owners struggle to keep up. There are always choices, like hiring people to work for them who can take on some of the customer interaction.

Can your BPO vendor take this on? They know almost everything about your business, since they are, or could soon be, doing data entry work for your Shopify store. Is customer support an area to which their service extends? That could save you the fixed cost of hiring and training people you hire, and doing it all over again if they leave.

There are other elements of customer support that should not be forgotten. Do my customers need support 24×7? Is the vendor in a position to provide that? How capable is the vendor at cross selling and upselling to customers or potential customers?

Experience with Other clients

To outsource Shopify data entry work, past experience of delivering the service, while it should not be the sole criteria for vendor selection, nothing would have started if that were the case, is an important element in the selection process. Not having provided similar services to another client may not be a reason for rejection, but having done so effectively and successfully would certainly count in favour of the vendor.

If the other client/ clients are willing to voice their support for the vendor’s capability, it would certainly be helpful.

Not having prior experience in a service may sometimes work in the client’s interest. This is so because the vendor, in the interest of setting up a new line of service, will work hard at making it successful and may even be willing to provide price breaks to the client for the supposed inconvenience they are going through as a result of his (vendor’s) inexperience.

Technology adoption

‘Throwing people at it’ may have been a strategy many years back, of solving a problem, but today it would be considered foolishness.

Today technology is often the provider of a solution for many business issues. So, if anything, we should ‘throw technology at it.’

Technology advancement has made this business possible. Not only has it enabled the Shopify based virtual store to come into existence but even facilitated outsourcing the data entry work to any suitable vendor anywhere in the world. And there should be no doubt that technology will keep changing and evolving.

Currency of the technology deployed by the vendor and their position on keeping pace with technological advancements taking place, should be an important element in the evaluation.

Data Security

It generally goes hand in hand with technology, since most data security and confidentiality concerns stem from there. Data is a valuable asset of the business and it needs to be ensured that it is never compromised.

To outsource Shopify data entry work, in addition to technology, physical access control is also important where data is privileged. Only authorised and identified personnel should be able to access the physical spaces where your work is being carried out.

This will become even more relevant when the vendor services two clients for similar Shopify data entry solutions. 

Turnaround time

It is a given that a client wants the quickest turnaround, since time is often of the essence.

This can often provide a critical advantage to the business.

Let us take the example of a business in the US that has made the move to outsource to a vendor in the US. On Monday, by the end of the day, the business sends data to its vendor for updation. The Service Level agreement is a 24 hour turnaround.

If the vendor operates in regular working hours, he will pick up the requirement on Tuesday morning and perhaps complete it sometime during the day.

If the vendor operates a 24×7 shift for supporting this client, they will pick up the request soon after it is submitted, and perhaps complete the task during the night. When the client wakes up on Tuesday, the job would have been completed.

Let us take a third scenario. If the vendor is based on the other side of the globe, say Philippines or India, he is just starting work on Tuesday as the client is switching off on Monday. He can pick up the request soon after it is submitted, and perhaps complete the task in the next few hours while the client is asleep. When the clients wakes up on Tuesday, the job would have been completed.

There are many options available, as illustrated by the example. Evaluate them carefully and ensure they are in the best interest of the business.

Free Trial

Outsource Shopify data entry is a decision that can be facilitated if the vendor offers a free trial. A number of seekers of these services could be small businesses who may not have any prior experience with outsourcing of any kind. They need hand holding and some convincing that what they are contemplating has the potential to add value to their business. They are also often hesitant in parting with money for any non-core expenditure; money they believe could be better used for the expansion of the business.

A Free Trial can often play a critical role in converting a non-believer to a believer.

Pricing

Though we suggest it be kept to the last, so as not to cast an unduly prominent influence on the decision, pricing will always be a key consideration in any business transaction.

The main difference we would like to introduce is that an outsourcer should look for value, and not merely the lowest price. Instead of asking, “how can I save that $100,” the question should always be, “by spending that $100, can I create a $500 incremental value for the business.”

Pricing, in any case, is not offered in isolation. It is offered for a combination of products and services. For example, a vendor who does not have prior experience in this area of work and is seeking to build a new service line, is likely to offer a much more competitive price as he knows he falls short in some areas.

Whatever be the reason, pricing will continue to be a very important element of the vendor selection process.

Organisational support and strength

When one outsources, what one sees on a day-to-day basis is what directly impacts one’s business. Is the data entry accurate? Are the images used appropriate? Are they completing the task within 24 hours?

Shopify data entry services need organisational support. No business or service operates in isolation. Performance of the above functions also depends on a deeper infrastructure of the BPO vendor that will take care of a lot of other activities without the client ever knowing or realising. Using the outsourcing analogy, the unit providing these services outsources its support functions to the parent organisation.

Like Hiring. Like Finance. Like Training. Like Workforce Planning. Like Facility Management. Like Legal.

If your business has a spike in volume, is the vendor capable of adding resources at short notice?

Is the vendor compliant with local laws and regulations so that my business does not suffer if they are pulled up or penalised?

If the facility cannot be accessed on account of a natural event, are they equipped to provide a back-up facility elsewhere in the world?

Do they have the financial stability to deliver the services they are signing up for?

It is important to evaluate the organisation on these parameters. This will ensure that the unit that does the work you have outsourced, can focus on the job instead of worrying about changes in the ecosystem which, they know, will be handled by the organisation.

 

Conclusion

As a pure-play data entry BPO organisation, Oworkers stands unique in the industry and has been ranked in the Top 3 globally for data entry services. It offers scalable solutions, with the ability to make changes at short notice, like ramping up by 100 resources within 48 hours. It works with staff, not a ‘cloud’ team. With support for 22+ languages, ISO 27001:2013 and 9001:2015 certifications, 24×7 operations and centers in Europe and Africa, Oworkers should be your first choice to outsource Shopify data entry to.

How to Choose a Provider to Outsource Text Annotation

How to Choose a Provider to Outsource Text Annotation

How to Choose a Provider to Outsource Text Annotation

Annotation, as we perhaps know, is the act of adding information to data that makes it meaningful and easy to understand. In other words, we enhance the data by annotating it. When this enhancement is done for data that is textual, we refer to it as ‘text annotation.’

But this is in English.

The reference point here is enhancement of data so that it can be understood by computers. It is generally done as an input to building an Artificial Intelligence (AI) engine through a process of Machine learning (ML). What do we mean by ‘text annotation’ in this context?

Let us take an example. Of Resume parsing. The context here is employment.

Traditionally, the first step, when an employer sought to fill a position, was to request interested candidates to submit a Resume. The Resume, once submitted, would be perused by the HR team to ascertain suitability based on which it would be taken forward for further processing. This has been a manual, resource-hungry task for decades. With increasing volumes and pressure on performance, employers looked for technology solutions.

As technology developed, in order to make processing more efficient, employers developed a database into which interested candidates could directly input their particulars, that would otherwise be submitted by means of a Resume. While this created efficiency for the employer, as they were able to sort, evaluate and process much faster and more accurately, it created additional work for the candidate. She had to input the information already present on her Resume, into a new database. And perhaps as many times as the jobs she was applying to.

Enter AI. Leading to the evolution of Resume Parsing.

What is the process now?

Instead of keying in information field by field on the employer database, the candidate has to upload a copy of her Resume. The employer has a Resume parser at work which reads the information on the Resume and fills up the database fields by itself, only for a final assent by the candidate that she agrees with the final outcome. It is perhaps limited to large employers currently but adoption is rapidly increasing.

This has been made possible through ML for which inputs have been created with the help of text annotation services. Human text annotators have annotated thousands and millions of Resumes to identify what part of the text should be placed in which field of a manpower database. After being trained with enough data and with enough variations, the AI engine used by the employer can read the next Resume that gets submitted, and correctly classify it, even though it has not been annotated by a human being.

This is the contribution of text annotation services to AI and ML. In more technical terms, it can be referred to as the addition of metadata to text so that it becomes meaningful for machines to read (or view) and understand. And, of course, it needs to be done by human hand.

Text annotation being a critical input for AI and ML, for an outsourcer, it is important to ensure that they have the right and reliable partner to outsource text annotation.

The ensuing paragraphs suggest a set of criteria based on which the selection should be made and questions that should be asked during the evaluation process. This would enable you to separate the grain from the chaff and select suitable provider/s out of a long list.

To make the process simple, for each criteria, a set of questions is listed that an outsourcer should be asking vendors interested in providing text annotation solutions to them. These are neither mandatory nor sequential but meant as an indicative set to display the range that you might need to cover during the evaluation process. Depending upon the work that is being outsourced, you may need to shift your emphasis, leave out questions that may not be relevant and, at times, perhaps even go beyond this set.

So, here we go.

 

Domain and Functional Knowledge

  • Do they possess prior experience of doing similar work for other clients?
  • Have any of our competitors, or any other company from our industry, outsourced text annotation to them in the past or are currently sourcing?
  • Will an existing client be willing to certify their ability?
  • Will they be in a position to do our work accurately?

oWorkers has successfully provided a wide variety of text annotation solutions for global clients over the last eight years, covering a wide range of annotation types and services. It is no surprise that we count several unicorn marketplaces amongst our valued clients.

 

Depth of Coverage and Experience

  • Text annotation solutions have applications in a wide range of industries like Medical science, Aeronautical, Robotics, Agriculture, Retail, Self-driving cars, etc. To what industries have they been exposed?
  • Which of the following text annotation techniques are covered by their capability?
    • Text Categorization
    • Semantic Annotation
    • Phrase Chunking
    • Entity Linking
  •  Does their capability extend to annotations of various types like grammatical, sentiment, mood, etc.?

With oWorkers, you get proficiency in a wide variety of annotations, like text categorization, linked entities recognition, grammatical & discourse analysis and review & sentiment analysis. Being a pure play data entry BPO allows us to focus on this domain and offer industry-leading quality and accuracy. Our multiple industry coverage is transparent and proudly displayed on our website. 

 

Quality and Accuracy

  • If we outsource text annotation to them, will they have a process of sample monitoring done by a team of Quality Analysts (QAs) based on which coaching is provided to agents?
  • Will this be an independent team or within the delivery structure?
  • Do they have a Quality Control (QC) process in their processes?

With a mix of QA (Quality Assurance) and QC (Quality Control) processes and a team that is independent of delivery, so that results are not compromised, oWorkers delivers best in class performance at over 98% accuracy, supported by technology tools through our partnerships with leading providers.

 

Speed and Turnaround

  • What turnaround time are they willing to commit for delivering text annotation solutions?
  • Do they have a 24×7 delivery model? Will it be an extra cost if we were to opt for a 24×7 delivery model?
  • Which global time zones do they operate from? Can it enable us to benefit from the difference between our time zones?
  • Will they be willing to transfer existing skills with this kind of work to our project which can help us get off the ground faster?

oWorkers prefers to deliver fast, so that we can do more for you. We have three global delivery centers that can deliver to exacting turnaround time expectations, including overnight processing. Our business runs 24×7, 365 days of the year. You decide what speed you want.

 

Pricing

  • What is the price point for providing text annotation services?
  • Is the price per unit of time or per unit of output? Can they give us a choice between the two?
  • What is included in the price?
  • What is not included in the price? In other words, what is it that we will need to pay for over and above this price?
  • How much will it enable us to save in comparison to our existing cost?
  • How does their price compare with other vendors bidding for our project?
  • Are they ‘off the ballpark?’ In other words, is their quote vastly different from those of others? If yes, what could be the reason?
  • Is the price too low for them to be able to make it profitable? What guarantees should we take so that they do not ignore this work? What is the justification for the low price?

With a saving potential of upto 80% of current cost, especially if you are in the US or Western Europe, not working with oWorkers may require more justification than working with. Savings can translate to about USD 3 per hour for projects with scale. oWorkers also gives you a choice between per unit of output and per unit of time pricing.

 

MultiLingual Capability

  • How many languages are they in a position to provide support for in text annotation services?
  • Which are these languages?
  • How long does it take to add resources for non-core languages?
  • Will they be able to add a language currently not covered? How long will it take?
  • What is the depth of these skills? In other words, how many people for each language can they provide?

With support for over 22 languages across our three global centers for a wide variety of data services, the full power of oWorkers language capability is available when you outsource text annotation projects to us.

 

Technology and Data Security

  • If we outsource text annotation to them, will they be able to work on our technology or can they only work on their own tools?
  • What technology tools do they intend to use for our work?
  • Have they connected with client systems in the past or only worked on their own technology?
  • What file formats, data exchange protocols will be required?
  • Do they have an ISO (27001 and 9001) certification?
  • Are they GDPR compliant?
  • How secure are their work from home arrangements for staff?
  • What security measures do they implement to isolate the network and servers for our processing?
  • Can they implement physical access control?

oWorkers leverages the best technology solutions through its partnership with leading text annotation tools (pure data labelling tools or text annotation platforms) both on NLP and Computer Vision projects. As mandated by our ISO (27001 :2013 & 9001:2015) certification, our employees sign and operate under an NDA and work in monitored facilities with strict security protocols. It helps to have 85% of our clients as tech companies.

 

Scalability and access to human resources

  • Do they use employees or freelancers and contractors for doing work?
  • What is the depth of resources in their catchment area? In other words, what is the annual availability of fresh resources of the profile who work for them?
  • Do they have direct access to educational institutions from where they do campus hiring?
  • What do their employees rate them on Glassdoor?
  • What does the screening process for hiring look like?
  • What is the scaling up volume they can handle per day?
  • Do they offer flexibility to staff to work from home if and when required?
  • How do they equip and train the new hires for work on a project?

oWorkers relies on employees for delivery on client projects, not freelancers or contractors. We are deeply rooted in the communities we work with and draw resources from. With a 4.6/ 5 rating on Glassdoor, we remain a preferred employer in each of the three locations we operate from. Our deep connect enables us to ramp up and down rapidly, typically by about a hundred in 48 hours, for computer vision projects. We have a stringent hiring process that includes, in addition to educational background, EQ, IQ and Personality tests.

 

Financial health

  • To take on as well as outsource text annotation are decisions of responsibility and require commitment and financial strength to execute, especially for the provider. For starters, are they a profitable enterprise?
  • How many years have they been profitable?
  • Are their regulatory requirements in place and updated?
  • Where do they pay taxes?
  • Are warning signs visible on their Balance Sheet that could lead to possible curtailment of operations in future?

oWorkers is registered locally in all the global centers it operates from and has been a consistently profitable enterprise. It also pays local and social taxes for its employees and is deeply rooted in the communities it operates in.

 

General Management

  • When you outsource text annotation, it is important to assess the provider management’s commitment to the project. How active is the senior management in the day-to-day operations?
  • Does the management team have hands-on experience of the kind of work we propose to outsource?
  • Do they have centers in multiple geographies for delivery?
  • Are they in a position to offer a Business Continuity Plan to support our work by switching it to an alternate location in case the primary location cannot be accessed?
  • Do they possess a ‘project management’ framework and commitment?
  • Do they have processes through which support services are delivered so that delivery can continue unaffected?
  • Are they GDPR compliant?

oWorkers has a management team with over 20 years of hands-on experience in the outsourcing industry. They are hands-on and involved in client discussions. We have the capability to provide multi-site delivery for your projects with a common line of communication. When you outsource text annotation work to us, your business enables us to create positive social and economic change by creating employment opportunities in the marginalised communities where we work.

Why You Should Choose Egypt Business Process Outsourcing

Why You Should Choose Egypt Business Process Outsourcing

Why You Should Choose Egypt Business Process Outsourcing

Thanks to advances in telecommunications technology, outsourcers today have the whole world available to them for their business needs, not just to buy and sell from and to, but also to carry out the various business process activities that every business no doubt needs to do, to offer a finished product or service to its clients.

Developments in telephony, fiber optics, satellite communications and widespread use of the Internet, made Internet-based communication and transfer of data possible, paving the path for carrying voice and data cheaply over long distances, leading to the opening up of outsourcing opportunities from anywhere to anywhere and the development and growth of global outsourcing locations distributed across the world.

But it was not always like this.

As consumer franchises began to grow with rise of peace and prosperity in the Western world, the need for relocating processing activities that were not customer-facing, away from expensive downtown real estate, started being felt, triggering the first stage of outsourcing, when this business looked at options which were not far in physical terms, but where processing could be done in a much more inexpensive manner, and perhaps more efficiently. At this stage, the work was done by another, focused unit of the same business.

With improving technology and increasing acceptance of air travel that cut travel time substantially, and having had experience of outsourced processing, businesses started looking at the next opportunity, of moving processing activities much further into the hinterland, to release greater savings and efficiency, even though most documents would still need to be moved manually.

Competition and margin pressure kept rising. Increasing volumes, comfort with outsourcing and pressures of core business brought professional outsourcing outfits into the picture. Large outsourcers started outsourcing what they considered non-core functions, to professional Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies.

As communications technology kept improving, it became possible to move data and voice communication lines, at a commercially viable price, to anywhere in the world. Eager to take advantage of labor cost arbitrage, which would more than make up for higher telecommunications cost, large-volume work, like Contact Centers, started being taken offshore, to locations like India and the Philippines.

The footprint has continued to grow to cover many more geographies around the world as modern communications technology has expanded around the world, as well as the promise of Business Process Outsourcing to create jobs in struggling economies.

Of course, some things don’t change. Cost reduction is still an objective. Data-entry work is still being done, perhaps for different businesses and for different requirements.

Even though telecommunication has made it possible for your work to be done from anywhere, the choice of a partner and location continues to be an important business decision.

 

The rise of Egypt Business Process Outsourcing industry

“Egypt’s foreign language skills, relatively competitive labor costs, and proximity to Europe, AsiaPacific, and the Middle East make it a prime contender to be the next outsourcing hotspot,” Mr. Kamal Nath Ex-Minister of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, had said more than 10 years back, before the Arab Spring.

With continued effort at providing a stable environment for business in the shadow of political turmoil, investment in telecommunications backbone with over 60TBPS cable capacity connecting Egypt to 60+ countries through 13 paths, abundant talent pool of skilled resources, one of the lowest costs of living in the world despite an established civic infrastructure at least in the urban centers, and leading MNCs choosing Egypt as their offshore business processing location, Egypt today is a testimony to the prophetic nature of Mr. Kamal Nath’s words.

Of course, it is never a direct path that takes you to your objectives. Covid-19 has thrown a big spanner into the path of many businesses, including BPO. According to The World Bank, “The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic started in Egypt in March 2020, and has since interrupted a period of macroeconomic stability, characterized by relatively high growth, improved fiscal accounts, and a comfortable level of foreign reserves.”

 

BPO location – making a choice

Choosing a place for locating a business or service is a normal business decision. As an outsourcer, you need to ensure that the outsourcing decision adds value to the business, like any other decision you take for the business.

With BPO being a global business, while it provides you with plenty of choices, it also makes the decision more complex. What are the factors that might be relevant when you choose a location which will become the primary delivery point for a process that is a part of your business?

Political Environment

It is difficult for a business to make an investment decision based on a certain set of regulations if it has experienced that the rules keep changing on the whim of the person or persons in power. The governance of the country/ location needs to create stability in policy in order that the economic environment can flourish and encourage investment.

Though wracked by political turmoil intermittently, like the Revolution in 2011 that led to long-time rules Mubarak’s resignation and the military junta taking over, eventually yielding to elections that led to the ascension of current President al-Sisi, in recent years Egypt has made efforts to open up the economy. Despite warnings on human rights nosediving, by watchdog organisations, efforts have been made to build new technology zones and improve the internet backbone, which have led to investments in the Egypt BPO sector.

Economics and Business

The economic situation takes cues from the political leadership and perhaps is second only to the political environment when suitability of a location needs to be evaluated. Like the political environment, the economic environment needs to be governed by policies that are stable and transparent for private businesses to get confidence to invest, along with a system of governance considered fair.

Multinational companies and organizations have long relied on Egypt as a hub for IT and business process services and as a gateway to Europe, Africa and the Arabic speaking region. A number of multinationals have been operational in Egypt for many years and continued to operate through the years of the 2011 revolution and the ensuing uncertainty.

The European Outsourcing Association (EOA) announced the shortlisting of Egypt for Outsourcing Destination of the Year in 2016, one of only four countries to make the list. Several special economic and legislative reforms have boosted the country’s ranking in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ report 2018 and enabled oWorkers to become Egypt BPO providers.

Human resource availability

It is well established that BPO is a people dependent industry and its availability key to success of the industry. Also, because of reasons good and bad, attrition is a feature that the industry has to contend with, requiring a continuous flow of fresh resources.

With a population that is close to a hundred million, an established system of education with an estimated annual outturn of 500,000 graduating students from over 40 universities and 100 other educational institutions, Egypt BPO in uniquely placed to implement projects at scale, something that popular destinations in nearby Eastern Europe struggle with and which are understood to be offered only by India and Philippines at this point.

Resource Cost

The cost at which resources become available to Egypt Business Process Outsourcing providers is as important as availability of the resource. If more expensive, are resources also more able that will create value in delivery and offset some of the training costs? In addition, one needs to also factor in the cost to acquire and retain that resource. 

A low employee turnover, and a salary cost that is lower than many facilities in India, combined with the well qualified workforce, makes oWorkers in Cairo, Egypt the ideal launchpad for any client planning to outsource.

Telecommunications Network

Telecommunications is the lubricant that has oiled the wheels of the BPO industry and allowed it to expand to the far corners of the world. Egypt BPO industry is no different. Even though it is a given in today’s context, from a business perspective we still need to satisfy ourselves that the available infrastructure will meet business needs.

The government has heavily invested in telecom infrastructure, with the introduction of the 4G technology in mobile services in 2016, and the progressive infrastructure upgrades and deployment of fiber optical cables across the country in an effort to create a positioning of Egypt as a ‘digital canal.’

In mid-2020, Egypt climbed six spots in Ookla’s monthly Speedtest Global Index to rank 91 out of 177 countries in fixed broadband speed with an average download speed of 31.38 mbps. The CIT ministry had said earlier this year it is investing USD 1.6 bn to improve internet speed, with the aim of reaching 40 mbps by the end of 2021, enabling Egypt BPO vendors like oWorkers to connect seamlessly to the rest of the world.

Time Zone

Being in a different (from clients) time zone could be a bane or a boon depending on the context. Being in a time zone with a large difference from the client might enable speedier, overnight processing. On the flip side, requiring staff to work off hours in the BPO center might be a difficult task and also more expensive as ‘off hours’ and ‘overtime pay’ components may kick in.

oWorkers in Egypt is on East European Time (EET), which is UTC + 2 (with the offset for Daylight Savings) and shared with Estonia, Finland, Greece, South Africa, Romania, Bulgaria and several others. It enables daytime coverage of the entire set of clients from anywhere in Europe with an offset of only two hours, as well as the Arab world within a similar range on the other side.

Physical proximity

Often, clients want to ‘touch and feel’ the processing center and interact with the people doing their work to ensure it is being done the right way and to instil the values and ethos of the brand in the people who are working for it. Though advances in communication technologies have substantially reduced the need for physical movement, either of people or of artefacts, between the originating and the processing locations, it cannot be said to have been eliminated.

The Egypt BPO facility of oWorkers in Cairo is only a 5 hour flight away from the farthest corners of the European continent will be a comfort for many clients. Lisbon, London and Oslo would perhaps be the farthest which are approximately 5 hours of flying time away.

In some ways, Egypt could be visualized as almost being at the center of the world, with Europe ranged above its Northern limits across the Mediterranean, Africa mostly below its Southern tip, Asia spreading out from its Eastern borders and Americas across the Atlantic on the Western side, making it an ideal destination wherever you are.

Education and Training; Workforce readiness

Human resource evaluation is not just related to availability of manpower and hiring. An equally important aspect is the readiness of the workforce to deliver in a BPO environment that may require not only foundation skills like communication, language and handling  computer applications, but also function-specific ones like HR and Accounting and even industry-specific knowledge like Insurance, Banking and Retail. Though BPOs have training programs that enable people to deliver on client projects, the larger the gap, the greater the investment required in skilling. Hence, it is desirable that employees come with basic knowledge and skills.

With close to 50% of the annual outturn of 500,000 fresh graduates from Egypt’s institutions of higher education, companies like oWorkers operating in the Egypt BPO sector, get a head-start as they receive fresh resources already well versed about the industry and its requirements, making their job of indoctrination and training that much simpler as a result of which it also becomes a financially less taxing activity, contributing to the overall value proposition of the location. In fact, the quality of workforce available allows oWorkers to offer ‘higher end of the spectrum’ services like moderation from its Cairo facilities.

Multilingual capability

Proficiency in language holding the key to communication, being multilingual expands the possibilities of communication. In any case, with global footprints of many businesses, the expectation is that a provider will be able to support, regardless of language.

As per the EGYPT 2.0 OUTSOURCING DESTINATION GUIDE, an independent information guide published by the German Outsourcing Association, apart from the obvious English language graduates, every year there are 5400 graduates whose language of study is French and 3000 whose language of study is German. Graduates whose language of study is either Turkish or Spanish or Italian or Chinese or Russian are also there in significant numbers. Other languages include Siamese, Hebrew, Farsi, Greek, Urdu, Korean, Japanese, African, and Czech. This provides the perfect platform for the Egypt Business Process Outsourcing center of oWorkers to offer multilingual services from.

Physical infrastructure

Infrastructure required for running a business can be of various kinds. Like power, which is the most time-critical resource for a business to run and required for running any sort of equipment, whether it is a PC, or a fan, or lighting, even most of the telecommunications equipment. Adequacy and continuity of power grid power needs to be ascertained. Or local transport, required for not only the business to operate but also employees to commute to and from work when working out of a physical facility.

oWorkers operates from a digitally and physically secure facility in the Maadi area of Cairo. Transport in Cairo comprises an extensive road network, rail system, subway system and maritime services for the more than 15.2 million inhabitants of the city. 

 

oWorkers and Cairo – for the BPO edge

As an Egypt BPO services company, with a management team that has a cumulative experience of over 20 years, with oWorkers you engage a provider that will enable you to get the benefits of working from a center located in the center of the world, within easy reach from any part on any side.

As the main urban center, Cairo benefits from the best infrastructure and civic amenities in the country. Your work enables us to employ more people from underprivileged backgrounds and plug them into the global digital revolution.

How to Choose a Provider to Outsource Image Annotation

How to Choose a Provider to Outsource Image Annotation

How to Choose a Provider to Outsource Image Annotation

 

What is Image Annotation

In simple terms, image annotation is the process of annotating, or adding-in, information to an image, through which a computer can interpret and understand, and draw inferences from it. It is also often referred to as ‘image labelling.’

Without annotation, an image is just data to a computer, or, at best, a collection of random pixels.

Image annotation combines with computer vision, an interdisciplinary scientific field that deals with how computers can gain high-level understanding from digital images or videos, to make images meaningful for a computer, in order that meaningful patterns can be established, leading to the computer being able to make accurate predictions or analyses.

Business has always been hungry for information based on which it could expand and achieve greater success. Textual and numerical data has been relatively easy to understand. With the preponderance of graphical data like images and videos, efforts are on to make this data understandable and productive for businesses.

Image annotation is the process that makes a lot of the graphical data usable and useful. Though it seems daunting because data is so voluminous, it should be done with a long-term perspective. To outsource image annotation is increasingly becoming a preferred choice with outsourcers.

A study published by Cognilytica predicts the market for manual data annotation to more than double, reaching $1.2 billion by 2023. Third-party providers expect to see a significant uptick in that growth, going from $150 million in 2018 to $1 billion in 2023. The most common types of projects continue to be object / image recognition, autonomous vehicles, and text and image annotation.

Thankfully, specialist providers like oWorkers are available to outsource image annotation projects to. Maintaining the required infrastructure, with an in-house team, ready to relieve you of time-consuming, often monotonous and expensive processing activities.

 

Use of Image Annotation Services in different industries

Image annotation has a wide cross-industry and cross-discipline application.

Medical Science

A variety of diagnostic tools are used by healthcare professionals in understanding our bodies. These tools collect data of different types, X-rays, MRIs, CT scans etc. all of which then need to be interpreted, in many cases visually.

Healthcare professionals have been experimenting with creating models based on which computers are in a position to review such data and provide a diagnosis. With time, they will only get more sophisticated.

This is expected to enhance the accuracy of the diagnosis as a machine, once trained, will always do the job perfectly, to the best of its ability. It can also easily bring up past records and compare. It could lead to releasing busy doctors for value added work.

Security Systems

As the world has become a more unpredictable and dangerous place, security systems hav struggled to keep pace. Today the intrusion of surveillance cameras in our lives is no longer taken as offending. It is seen as a necessary compromise of leading a secure life. In future. Hence, the purpose of the security apparatus is to identify and head-off possible events threatening us.

So far security personnel have manned the monitors tracking images sent by hundreds and thousands of these cameras. Humans, though the most intelligent, can make mistakes. Besides, two humans could have different ways of interpreting the same data.

Image annotation is now being used in security systems to train and identify articles, activities, events of a suspicious nature. A programme can rifle through hundreds and thousands of images every second with much greater precision and thoroughness than a human. Humans can focus on the few highlighted as suspicious.  

Retail & eCommerce

Ecommerce is all the rage nowadays, reinforced by restrictions placed on physical movement because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Image Labelling enables the right product to be presented to the shopper so that she takes a decision based on as complete an information set as possible..

Agriculture

Somewhat similar to healthcare for humans, this is healthcare for plants. Instead of a human inspecting each and every seedling and plant to check its health, images can be collected through drones, analysed through an AI engine that has been trained with the help of labelled data, and efforts focussed on areas that are identified as needing attention, like plants infected with disease.

This can promote what is known as precision agriculture and improve productivity and sustainability. They can also be trained to predict output, time to ripen, and make downstream arrangements like transportation accordingly.

Automobiles

Guess what is at the heart of this science-fiction like development, self-driving cars? It is image labelling. Enabling them to recognise obstacles on the way, enabling them to recognise traffic guidelines like stop lights, enabling them to identify turns, are all activities done through the process of capturing and labelling immense amounts of data so that they can pretty much identify everything that can possibly come in the way. That’s where high-quality image annotation comes in.

Smartphones

Most of our handphones now have a security feature of face recognition. The smartphone will only yield itself to the rightful owner who has been already set up as such by means of his facial image.

How has this been made possible? Once again, through image annotation. Training the algorithm through millions of images of faces and training it to distinguish one from the other.

Robotics

Somewhat like automobiles, since robots need to be made environment-aware and trained to handle all that could possibly be encountered by them.

Unlike cars, however, robots generally operate within a defined space, and hence training them is easier. This is why robots have been used for many years in various applications; like retrieving physical data storage discs or files from a huge storage facility, or assembling specific parts of a car inside a manufacturing facility.

 

Benefits you should expect when you outsource image annotation

To outsource image annotation is now a well-accepted practice. That being said, as an outsourcer, you must be conscious of the benefits such an arrangement could deliver to your business, so that you specifically evaluate potential partners on the basis of those expectations.

What do we need to look for when we look for a partner for providing image annotation solutions for our business?

High level of quality and accuracy

Image annotation services impact on future capability of the AI engine, hence desired accuracy is an important element in delivery. Will you be getting the processing accuracy that your transactions need? Does the vendor have rigorous quality control processes like QA sample checks and double-pass annotation techniques?

oWorkers has referenceable clients willing to testify to our delivery capability. We also have an embedded Quality Analysis (QA) and Quality Control (QC) process, that is independent of delivery so that their accountability is not compromised. They keep the delivery teams honest and provide regular input to top management on team performance.

Competitive pricing, with flexibility

When we outsource image annotation, are we getting a competitive price for the service? Of course, the pricing number should be viewed in perspective with the overall basket of services being provided by the vendor. One can get a good idea about pricing competitiveness when one speaks to multiple vendors. In addition, if possible, getting an understanding of the price-point from other outsourcers can provide good insights.

oWorkers offers transparent pricing, often allowing clients the choice between a rate per unit of time and a rate per unit of output. Choose any!

Responsiveness, quick turnaround

We live in a 24×7 world. Most BPO providers run 24×7 operations. This can drastically reduce turnaround times and enhance competitiveness. The partner gets image annotation data when you finish work for the day. They work on it through the night and the output is ready for your business as soon as you begin work the following day.

oWorkers operates from three global locations and runs a 24×7 operation. If your business will benefit from a 24×7 turnaround, we will be happy to offer that to you.

Width of coverage

We have already seen the wide application of image annotation solutions across industries. Prior experience of handling image annotation projects for others in the same industry would be a useful experience to have, since competitors typically have similar requirements.

Experience of different types of image annotation techniques is also a useful experience for a vendor.

With oWorkers you get a team proficient in common image annotation techniques like Bounding boxes, Polygonal Segmentation, Semantic Segmentation, 3D cuboids, LIDAR segmentation, Key-point and Landmarking and Line Annotation.

Multilingual capability

Global businesses require global solutions. One aspect of globalisation is language. People in different parts of the world rely on different languages to communicate. If you are a global business, or hoping to be one, it will be helpful to sign a vendor who has multilingual capability, so that you don’t go shopping for another one when you need the same support in another language.

When you train and validate your ML (Machine Learning) model with us, what you get is an experienced image annotation services company offering multilingual managed human annotators spread across three global locations and covering 20 + languages.

Current technology with data security

While meeting all technology standards and requirements, the vendor should be using advanced and specialized tools for image annotation. This helps to ensure that data management and image annotation processes meet international quality standards.

The technology architecture should be transparent and ensure that there are no weak areas which could create the possibility of data being compromised.

With a slew of partnerships with the best tools for image annotation, oWorkers offers cutting-edge technology for your projects. If you’d rather use your own tools, we will be happy to train our resources and work with them just as well.

Our ISO (27001 and 9001) certification mandates that our staff sign and operate under an NDA 9non disclosure agreement) and work in monitored facilities with strict security protocols.

Physical separation of workspaces for different projects is provided with the help of access control.

Value added services

When you outsource image annotation you take an important step in freeing up your business from non-core activities, allowing your employees to focus on their jobs. Each business process is inextricably linked to many others that come before or after or alongside. If the vendor has the capability of taking on some of them, it could free your resources up even more. Examples of such processes in context of image annotation would be data entry, data analysis, data cleaning, image editing and image enrichment.

These processes vary from client to client and project to project. oWorkers has taken on additional processes where both parties have gained. We remain flexible and open to such discussions.

Scalability

Outsourcers will rely on the provider for ensuring there is an adequate supply of trained resources to do their work. While not a core activity for outsourcers, image annotation solutions are a core activity for the provider. One way of demonstrating this to an outsourcer is the ability to scale up and down without asking the outsourcer to bear the cost of idle resources when requirement is low just for the purpose of having enough when the requirement is high.

oWorkers is a respected member of the communities it operates in and remains an employer of choice for many people. Our staff consistently rate us highly on Glassdoor. We offer the flexibility of ramping up by 100 resources in 48 hours.

Change management and project management

Business is dynamic. There are changes taking place every minute that impact our business. When you outsource image annotation to a vendor it should not reduce your flexibility to react to such changes and protect our business. Hence, it is important that the partner commit to flexibility in the relationship as and when required.

oWorkers operates on established principles of Change Management and is able to support changes that are required. In addition, its Project Management approach to each client engagement ensures that there is a key person available to you at all times, who will own and implement tasks that are communicated and agreed.

Organisational stability and support

It should be established that the provider has a reasonably secure financial position. An unstable financial position can often trigger financial adventures that will normally not be for the benefit of client projects. In addition, all the earlier factors will be irrelevant if the project is not supported by the management.

oWorkers is a locally registered business in all its delivery locations. It has a management team with years of BPO experience behind them and are hands-on leaders, likely to be participating in many of the regular interactions that take place between client and vendor during the life of such an engagement as the provision of image annotation solutions.

 

The oWorkers Advantage

Your partnership with us for our image annotation services will bring positive social and economic change through employment in underserved communities, as well as usher motivated individuals into the global digital economy.

We are a pure player, specialising in Data and Content services with multilingual capability. Our delivery centers are located in three global locations providing the benefit of business contingency in times of need. We are necessarily GDPR compliant as one of our centers operates from the Eurozone.

We work with hired staff, which is one of the reasons we are able to provide flexibility to clients. All our workforce remains prepared to work from home when required.

Our BPO services offer cost savings upto 80% as compared to Western Europe and USA without any compromise on the quality of output. As a result, we have been a trusted partner of several UNICORN marketplaces over the years.

What is User Generated Content: A Guide

What is User Generated Content: A Guide

What is User Generated Content: A Guide

It is user generated content that most companies and brands today actively seek out in the hope of building their success on.

But what is it? What is user generated content?

With the advent of social media, starting at around the turn of the century, with the creation of Facebook in his Harvard dorm by Mark Zuckerberg, the creation of user generated content, or UGC, has been going on almost unchecked. After all, any content created by a user will be user generated content? There can be no argument against that, right?

Social media platforms, meant to promote the free and easy exchange of communication and ideas, caught the fancy of people, and their membership grew rapidly, aided by the spread of internet access around the world. Unlike emails, where you sent a message that went to an inbox, and received a response, if at all, at some uncertain point of time in future, social media provided instant gratification. The content created by one was immediately available to others, some of whom would also respond, which could be accessed by the original creator instantly as well. This instant access is what sharing and communication thrived on, leading to the rapid increase in adoption and growth of social media.

More social media platforms soon came into existence, attracted by the growing awareness and usage, and started attracting their own target populations, sometimes catering to specific niches, either by way of usage or by way of population segment. It is believed that over half the world’s population uses one or more of the social media platforms actively with many creating UGC apart from virtually everyone being consumers of what is available out there as content, mostly UGC of other users of the platform.

As a data services focused BPO, oWorkers has a team vastly experienced in handling all aspects of user generated content where support is needed. We have been selected as one of the top three data based BPO service providers in the world on multiple occasions.

 

What is User Generated Content: The Business View

User generated content, or UGC, is a term that is used to refer to content that has been created on spaces created by a company for showcasing or promoting their products and brands, by people who do not represent the company in any capacity, and do not have any stake in the health, good or bad, of that company. This content is usually within the confines of the space as well as the rules that have been set up by the company for participation on that platform. It could take many shapes, like a product review, a comment on a blog, a video of a personal experience, and many others. It is neither paid advertising nor created by employees who owe their livelihood to the company.

At first meant for and limited to individual participation, with a free and flowing exchange of ideas and information, social media platforms were bound to attract companies sooner or later, drawn by the sheer weight of humans joining the platforms and the free and open exchange of ideas and communication taking place.

Why?

Because businesses have to go where people are. Because they need to sell. Whether they produce trucks or software programs or hotel rooms or consulting services, they need someone to buy them. These buying decisions invariably need to be taken by an individual or a group of individuals, either for themselves or on behalf of another company or organization. Hence, companies selling products and services just have to go where they can find people.

oWorkers’ ability to attract walk-in talent, stemming from the close contacts we have with our communities as well as being recognized as preferred employment providers, enables us to retain the choicest of talent for client projects related to UGC.

The consistent flow of walk-in applicants also gives oWorkers the leverage to hire resources rapidly for short-term peaks clients may ace in volumes. This gives our clients a huge cost advantage as they do not need to hire and keep idle resources just for the time when they might get unexpected spikes. We can hire an additional 100 resources within 48 hours. Most of our competitors find it difficult to beat that.

 

UGC has other benefits too

UGC is authentic

If you are looking for a hotel for your planned vacation to the Maldives, what source will you trust? The hotel’s brochure and website or reviews from other vacationers (UGC) like yourselves on some independent website.

We know that more and more people now trust independent feedback for taking such decisions. The hotel’s own website has a stake in it. They want more business. Why would they tell you the bad things? Hence, UGC is trustworthy.

UGC creates community

As social animals, human beings have a need to belong to something they see as being larger than themselves. When a brand creates a community, it attracts people who are users of the brand or interested in it in some way.

Finding others with similar interests and desires creates a community around the brand which can become an engine of growth for it. Common, shared experiences, with the brand being central to them, is a powerful unifying factor, and a tool for creation of goodwill for the brand.

It creates an army of marketers

Can we imagine the number of people a company would need to hire for creating positive content around its products? What is user generated content is something they would also need to be taught.

While the exact number may vary from one brand to another, and from one piece of content to another, what can be taken as a safe assumption is that that number will be large, and will keep getting larger as the company seeks to expand the scale of its content creation.

Now imagine the same scenario but with content being created by members of the community the brand has been able to create around itself.

Now, the company does not need to hire anyone for creating content. Content creation will become a self-driven activity which will also keep growing in volume as the community size increases.

It is free

While there could be other costs that might arise, like moderation, the creation of content does not cost the company anything. It goes on, and on, and on, all by itself, with some guidance and intervention from time to time.

The company does not pay them anything. It has no statutory obligations like funding their retiral accounts. And they do it gladly and willingly, unlike many hired marketing resources constantly griping about their employers while trying to produce content that portrays the same employer in good light. Think about it.

Working with oWorkers provides business continuity cover to our clients, across our three facilities in three different geographies of the world. Even without BCP cover, our centers are equipped to operate 24×7, delivering the finest turnaround times.

 

What is User Generated Content: Types

While anything and everything that is created by users qualifies as content, or, more specifically, UGC, it might be useful to understand the various formats in which such content is created.

Text

This is language in a written format, with the help of characters and symbols that human beings created for the purpose, moving on from the mostly hieroglyphic, or pictorial content, that is understood to have been used by early man. 

There are a variety of scripts used in the modern world, with the Latin alphabet consisting of 26 characters perhaps being the most widespread, at least in the Western world. This is followed by the Chinese script, consisting of thousands of characters, also called logograms, followed in many countries in Asia, with China and Japan being the largest. The Arabic alphabet is used by languages such as Urdu and Pashto and is the only widely used script read from right to left. Popular in South Asia, specifically the Indian subcontinent is the Devanagari script that consists of 47 characters and forms the basis of over a hundred languages and dialects.

Modern computing devices can now operate on multiple scripts, making it possible to create and share communication in different languages and scripts. Understanding what is user generated content, can be confusing, considering the language options people have of communicating.

Text continues to be the simplest and most common format in which content is created and shared across the world. From comments to articles to posts to reviews to descriptions. Even computers can understand text, when written in a defined format, also known as software code.

With our policy of employing multicultural and multi-ethnic talent in all our facilities, oWorkers has developed the ability to offer support in 22 languages. UGC can come from anywhere, in any language. Our wide coverage ensures clients get complete support. We have, so far, not come across a requirement that goes beyond these 22 languages.

Audio

Our aural senses rely on audio impulses; sounds and notes and words and poems and speeches that can be heard and appreciated and understood and responded to. It is one of the basic human senses.

Language, again, forms one of the main building blocks of audio-based communication, in other words, the spoken and understood word. Languages developed in different ways in different parts of the world, but with a common objective, of facilitating communication between humans.

Many people prefer to communicate through audio messages, instead of typing out the message in whatever is their script or language of choice. They consider speaking and hearing to be more natural actions, perhaps.

Our delivery centers are locally registered and we pay social and local taxes for our staff. oWorkers has consciously followed a policy of working with employed staff instead of freelancers and contractors that some other BPOs seem to do. Employed staff provides us flexibility in deployment as well as provides mid-level leadership resources as people grow in the company. We are consistently rated as 4.65 or better on a scale of 5 by our past and present staff members on platforms like Glassdoor.

Images

“A picture is worth a thousand words” is an adage many of us are familiar with. We often struggle to communicate in reams and reams of text what we are able to communicate through an image, or a set of images, with far greater facility.

It is perhaps more direct as well, without interpretation, the way it is, as necessarily happens when trying to communicate through words. The unspoilt beauty of a snow-capped mountain peak, the fierce gaze of a wild animal, the outline of tall buildings in a busy urban center, can be expressed through images far more eloquently than words.

With modern technology making everyone a photographer, clicking a picture and posting it on social media is child’s play now for most people.

The pricing offered by oWorkers is competitive and offered in a transparent manner, with clients getting a choice between dollars per unit of input, say manhours, or dollars per unit of output. Our clients from the US and Western Europe regularly note savings of close to 80% when they work with us. We have the answers to the ‘what is user generated content’ question so that our clients don’t need to seek them.

Video

Video remains the richest form of content, combining in itself the qualities of both audio and images, which are unique and rich content even by themselves. Combining them together enhances the experience manifold and gives it a life-like quality.

There is a reason why movies are popular entertainment, and not galleries displaying still photographs or museums where you can listen to audio recordings. It is perhaps because it gives one a life-like experience, closest to real life. Governments and administrations all over the world are now scrambling to install video equipment on street corners to keep an eye on the proceedings. It is because video gives the most accurate account.

Once again, with video recording ability being present in many smartphones, recording and sharing videos to communicate is becoming increasingly popular.

With a number of technology companies as clients, our technology capability is constantly being tested and pushed. oWorkers operates from super secure facilities & protocols for ensuring the data security of clients. We are ISO (27001 :2013 & 9001:2015) certified and GDPR compliant.

 

The oWorkers advantage

With a pedigree of over 8 years and led by a team with over 20 years of hands-on experience in the industry, oWorkers is the first choice for many companies looking for UGC related support.

We work with several unicorn marketplaces around the world.

The work we do for our clients enables us to employ a few more people from communities at a disadvantage and give them an entry into the global digital economy. Your choice of oWorkers as a partner will enable us to do the same for a few more people.

How to outsource product data entry

How to outsource product data entry

For a buyer on an e-commerce platform, it could not get any easier. If he has a need to buy a product or service, all he has to do is visit a website where the product is available. It could be the seller’s website or that of an aggregator like Amazon. It might also be based on the nature of the product needed. For example, if you need to order a supply of milk, Amazon may not be the place for it. It might be a more localised business aggregating dairy produce, or the producer’s website directly. Once on the website the buyer navigates to the product he wishes to buy. If he is unsure, he can even use the ‘Search’ option to reach the target product. Thereafter, he would either do some ‘shopping around,’ which means that he would compare prices and features, just on that platform or across platforms, before finalising, or, if it is a standard product he routinely buys, like a certain brand of shaving blades that fit into his razor, directly add the product to his ‘Cart,’ go to ‘Checkout,’ make the payment, and be done with it.

One can almost imagine the buyer whistling or singing or cooking as he navigates the super simple process of an online purchase.

 

What is product data entry

But there is a backstory. A reason why this is so simple. Behind this convenience lies a complex web of enabling processes that are often referred to as product data entry services. That enables the buyer to find the product easily and in the right location. That provides a description and minimises the need to navigate to other pages to know more about it. That provides attractive images of the product. In short, that compels the buyer to press the Buy button in the shortest time. And maybe upsell more products to go along that he had not intended to buy originally.

Product data entry solutions constitute one of the bedrocks on which the tall edifice of e-commerce stands and grows taller by the day. Though it needed external help could be questioned, but if it did need one it arrived in the form of Covid-19. With people confined to their homes for long periods of time and essential activities being carried out online, e-commerce has received a boost like one which a business seldom receives.

 

Why should you outsource product data entry

Blessings are rarely unmixed. While e-commerce has opened up the world for entrepreneurs and businesses enabling them to set up ecommerce stores, sell online and potentially reach anyone, anywhere in the world, equally, it has become more and more competitive. That is the other side of the coin.

To outsource product data entry as a seller, it means that not only does your product data entry need to be done correctly, but it also needs to be done quickly and efficiently. In business terms, it translates to ‘at a low price’ or ‘with minimum consumption of resources.’

Booming e-commerce has created an entirely new business which perhaps did not even exist a couple of decades back, that of the data entry BPO, which specialises, among other things, in providing product data entry solutions. 

‘Outsource product data entry’ is the norm today and no longer the exception.

We know that in a competitive world, a customer has choices. He may not find the right combination of features, he may find it exceeds his budget, he may not like the color choices. There could be a variety of reasons. Each buyer has a unique perspective. Some will find our offering suitable and some will not. That is how it is. Some will buy and some will not.

But what we don’t want is the customer to go away because of inadequate or incorrect or delayed or unimpactful information about our product on the platform he has visited.

A product data entry solutions outsourcing partner, being a specialist in this nature of work, with experience of executing it again and again for different clients, will help us avoid this happening. By updating relevant information about our products accurately, speedily and impactfully.

They will also enable us to focus our energies on what we know best, our business. 

 

Selection of Outsourcing Partner

Product data entry services require careful consideration in the selection of an outsourced partner, or vendor, as it is a critical decision for your business. What should you consider while evaluating prospective vendors?

Quality of Work

This will be a key factor to be considered while evaluating prospective vendors to outsource product data entry to.

There are many different parts of product data entry solutions and it needs to be ensured that the partner has facility in all of them. The major ones are listed below:

Updating product information – Starts with data entry to make a product available, but expands to updating of product information as and when required, and eventual deletion and archiving at the end of product life.

Cataloguing and Indexing – Ensures products are correctly categorised and tagged in order to facilitate browsing and shopping.

Coding – Assigning identification codes to products to track inventories and post-sale services.

Image processing – Ensuring that the product has a high-quality image attached to it

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – Everyone is looking for good SEO karma today since most new business will come via search engines. This is a key objective of all product data entry services for a product; description, categorising, indexing, etc. The product should be easy to search and rank high enough to be reachable.

Ongoing support – Apart from updating product information from time to time, promotions and campaigns need to be supported by the vendor.

Value added services

Product data entry services work might technically finish with data entry, but there are many other related services that form such a core part of the overall ecommerce proposition that it becomes difficult to segregate them from data entry.

Choosing and buying the product is only the start of the process. An important aspect is post- order fulfilment that would typically require goods to be shipped and inventories to be maintained and updated.

The other aspect is customer handling, which is always a sensitive subject. Is the vendor equipped to handle your customers in a satisfactory manner? What are the hours of support available? 

Evaluation of vendors should include as assessment of their capability on value-added services.

Capability across platforms

An e-commerce platform is also a product. In a competitive world, there are many such products, or platforms. Some popular ones are: Magento, 3D Cart, Volusion, Zen Cart, Presta Shop, X Cart, Amazon, Shopify, eBay.

Your business could be using one or more of these platforms. While each has the same eventual objective, of facilitating the buying process for a visiting customer, each one would do it in its own unique way.

To outsource product data entry, it becomes important to evaluate the partner’s capability of handling data entry on the platform that your business rides on. It is also possible you could change or add platforms at a later date. Hence, the wider the coverage a vendor provides, the more suitable it would make them.

Industry capability

When you look for a smartphone online, you may be presented with information like screen size, processor speed, storage capacity, camera capability, and other information relevant for the product.

If you are looking for a book on an ecommerce platform, will you still be presented with screen size and processor speed as relevant parameters? Obviously, no. Not only are they not relevant, a book does not even have these attributes. The site may present information like author name, publisher name, ISBN number, etc..

If it is a pharmaceutical product, the information could include its chemical composition and expiry date.

As the nature of products and services sold online is vast, and increasing, it becomes important for the vendor to know about the product they are supporting, so that they know what information is relevant, be able to access sources for the information and present it in a manner that enhances the product.

Business considerations

There are many factors that come into play while doing work for a client which can enhance or mar the capability of the team.

Technology – The vendor should be using technology that is current and demonstrates a willingness to upgrade as technology evolves and changes. Technology is the backbone of the outsourcing world. It is often referred to as Information Technology Enables Services (ITES).

Security – While technology is obvious, since most processing will be done on tech platforms, the vendor should be in a position to control access to the site where an individual client’s work is being carried out to ensure client data is not compromised. Business information is valuable.

Turnaround time – The partner should be equipped to deliver the required service speedily. It could be a 24×7 working facility, or it could be a different time zone which facilitates overnight processing, or another suitable arrangement.

Free Trial – For most data entry outsourcing arrangements, this serves to bring the outsourcing client onboard and builds confidence. Even more so where the outsourcer is a small business owner.

Pricing – Of course, pricing can never be an unimportant consideration in any commercial arrangement. It needs to be ensured that the pricing adds value to the business.

Organisational support

The outsourced business process will operate under the larger umbrella of the contracting organisation. The organisation needs to provide support to the processing unit in many areas without which it cannot succeed. Hence, an evaluation of the organisation is a necessity.

Financial health of the organisation is essential to ensure continued delivery. If compromised, it will cut corners, leading to delivery issues and a possibility of a sudden stop.

Hiring is done at the organisational level. This is normally the case since hiring is an activity that interfaces with the external world. Organisations like to maintain uniformity in their external face. Besides, it is more efficient and economical. The organisation’s hiring engine should be well established and regarded in the community to provide this support.  

It should provide a quality monitoring support that is external to the processing unit but internal to the organisation. This acts as a check before  

There are many other services that the organisation needs to provide in order that your work can continue smoothly. Like Facility Management, to ensure people have a clean and hygienic workplace. Like Legal, that ensures compliance with required regulations. Like Workforce Planning, that ensures all processes are adequately, but not inefficiently, staffed and is able to project future requirements to head off challenges early.  

 

Contracting and monitoring

Identifying the vendor and initiating the work is an important step. However, equally important is the process of ongoing engagement and monitoring.

While responsible and successful BPO organisations offering these services will work hard to ensure client satisfaction, it must be remembered that, at the end of the day, they are running their own business first. That business is likely to involve the provision of similar services to many other clients and cannot be expected to look out for your requirements above every other client.

So, how do we ensure that the services provided to us are not putting our business at a disadvantage?

This can be ensured by entering into a contract with the vendor that clearly defines your major requirements and expectations against each.

Thereafter, you need to put in place a mechanism to ensure that you monitor the process and the services provided by the vendor to ensure that you are getting services as required, expected and contracted.

To outsource product data entry work, while not a unique requirement for this kind of work, it is an essential consideration.

What are some of the terms that a contract should cover?

  •   Definition and interpretation of ambiguous terms
  •   Term (Tenure) of contract with conditions and process for engagement, disengagement, premature termination, extension and change management
  •   Deliverables and obligations of each party involved, especially the hand-offs from one to the other, and the point at which each party’s responsibility begins and ends
  •   Payment terms, price, credit period, liability for taxes, and penalty, if any
  •   Defining the unit of work, FTE hour, units produced, or some other
  •   The nature of services to be performed and the parameters must be specified in detail, including performance during the “ramp” phase and duration of such phase
  •   The qualification and experience of personnel required to perform the particular service
  •   The steps for escalation of a dispute/ issues, with the hierarchy for resolving disputes at each stage; arbitration arrangement as well as jurisdiction of courts
  •   The various technical requirements like hardware, facilities and the systems requirements required to provide the services and who would provide
  •   The hours of operation and the Time Zone to be followed for providing the services, including Seat Utilisation
  •   Handling of impact of events outside control, like Exchange Rate movement, or a natural catastrophe
  •   Work hours, list of holidays applicable and rules applicable to working on holidays
  •   Nature and frequency of reports and MIS to be provided

Of course, these are guidelines. Small businesses may like to focus on a few key terms that impact their business. What this list does is give everyone an opportunity to consider whether they should include a particular item or not.

 

Conclusion

As a pure-play data entry BPO organisation, Oworkers stands unique in the industry and has been ranked in the Top 3 globally for data entry services. It offers scalable solutions, with the ability to make changes at short notice, like ramping up by 100 resources within 48 hours. It works with staff, not a ‘cloud’ team. With support for 22+ languages, ISO 27001:2013 and 9001:2015 certifications, 24×7 operations and centers in Europe and Africa, Oworkers should be your first choice to outsource product data entry to.