Tag Archives: BPO Outsourcing

How to Ubersize your BPO Outsourcing Company

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Most BPO companies out there thrive on being average. The people answering the phone just can’t communicate. The people doing the work are mediocre with nobody checking on them. In short, it’s a big mess. The secret to fast growth in the BPO industry seems to be finding an elastic workforce that you can check the quality of on a regular basis. If everyone just works in the same office, you can watch them easily, but you can’t expand or contract your business with any type of ease.

To Ubersize your BPO means you have more freelancers working for you. They could work from home, on call, and with no commitment either way. Developing a large pool of resources for getting work done can make your life very flexible. You have to keep records on how good their work is on various assignments so you can figure out who you are going to select for future assignments.

Or, you could automated your whole enterprise and have customers work directly with your help through a web portal. That works well for freelancing sites, but is not necessarily recommended for medium sized BPO outfits. The bottom line is developing a sustainable and efficient business model that works for you!

Another interesting Uber-Type business model is to have clients input their assignment in a portal, have a manager inspect it, and have your remote helpers grab the assignment. A manager would have to review the subcontractors who grabbed the assignment to see if they are qualified or desired for the job. But, this type of automation allows work to get done more quickly. In real life, most programmers and outsourced workers are busy, or don’t want to bother. Having a system where the one who jumps first gets the job ensures a higher level of motivation. Whether they finish on time is another story, but at least they’ll start on time which is half the battle.


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Definition of Outsourced / Outsourcing

Outsourced is the past tense of the verb to outsource.

(1) To obtain services from an outside or foreign supplier in place of an internal source.
(2) To contract work to an outside firm or abroad.
(3) To assign particular specialized and/or repetitive tasks that are not core competencies of the mother company
to an outside or foreign company.
(4) To procure back office services with an outside supplier or provider.

BPO Outsourcing is becoming more and more popular as companies have to fight harder to survive in a world where margins are getting tighter by the day. If a company is doing a particular task even slightly less efficiently than the competition, they will lose profits and market share in the long run. One solution available which may or may not increase efficiency is to outsource particular tasks to a company that specializes in those particular tasks. For example, if your company focuses on widget production, but 10% of your labor resources are devoted to reminder calls, it might make sense to focus more on widgets, and outsource the reminder calls to Manila where there are companies who specialize in all aspects of the call center business. Knowledge intensive tasks are also more and more commonly outsourced to KPO and LPO companies who specialize in knowledge process outsourcing and legal process outsourcing.

Outsourced — the TV show
Outsourced is also an American television sitcom filmed in Los Angeles that was set in an Indian Workplace fictionally located in Mumbai, India. A catalog based company selling American novelty goods such as whoopee cushions, foam fingers, and wallets made of bacon hires Todd Dempsy from Kansas to relocated to Bombay. Every episode of this hillarious comedy focuses around Todd’s culture shock dealing with Indians and attempting to teach the local Mumbai staff all about American sensibilities and culture.

See NBC’s profile page for the show — Outsourced


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See our comprehensive definition of — outsourcing — which goes over when and why outsourcing is done, types of outsourcing arrangements (freelance, contract, staff leasing), a detailed look at categorizations of outsourced tasks (BPO, KPO, LPO) as well as a detailed look at 55+ commonly outsourced specialties in the call center, data entry, software and other outsourcing industries.

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What is the correct order of steps to screen an outsourced company?

Compilation of best outsourcing articles:
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The 2 minute contact rule


How to use Linked-In to expand your BPO!

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Everyone wants to know how to get more business for their BPO. That’s all I hear every day. The answer is that there are many stages in the process of attracting and retaining a BPO client. If they can’t find you, they can’t hire you. But, what if they find you, but don’t think much of you? Hmmm. Be findable and make a good impression. Then, maybe you can catch a few new clients!

Using Linked In in the BPO outsourcing world.
Using Linked In is not as easy as it sounds, especially in outsourcing. There are several dozen prominent outsourcing Linked In discussion groups. Some of these have job postings, while a few post discussions. There are a lot of spammers posting the same job a zillion times too which looks bad.

Since there are so few groups and so few active members in the outsourcing centric groups, you should meander over to general business groups, and try to find members to contact who might be decision makers. To make it in business you have to know how to network. Unfortunately, not all of the people you contact will be relevant to you, and not all will respond to you. But, some of them will, and Linked in is a great way to reach people far away in different countries who you would have no way of talking to in person and a very tough time getting past their secretary on the phone.

(1) Scour all of the larger outsourcing & call center groups and look for process postings.
(2) Try to find decision makers who might need your services in general business groups.

Keep in mind that some of the larger linked in groups might have 30,000 or more members. You will be spending most of your time sorting through the thousands of followers and making your list of who might be a good prospect for you to contact. Does this seem time consuming? It is. You might have better luck training your assistant how to do this. But, you can’t train them until you have mastered the art of sorting and basic introduction messages.

And remember, you will be popular if you can make pleasant small talk instead of going straight for the jugular (the sale)

Happy linking!

Being Aware in Business & BPO Outsourcing

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Being Aware in Business & BPO (Business Process Outsourcing)

I wrote a previous blog article about being aware in business. You really need to be a Zen Monk to be good at business. You need to have a still and watchful mind that notices everything. You need to notice behavioral traits in others. If you can spot bad behavior or signs of risky character traits in others EARLY, then you can save yourself a lot of grief in business. But, what I have been thinking about recently is more tactical.

Multiple approaches to getting tasks accomplished
Let’s say that you have a particular set of tasks or BPO business processes to do. You might have one way of doing those tasks. Perhaps there might be other ways of doing those tasks that you thought of. But, what if you meditate on this business process and come up with ten ways to approach the tasks at hand? The issue is that in business, your workload varies over time, and your labor resources vary too. It is expensive in terms of time to interview lots of people just to fill one position, and then potentially have that person quit or get fired. One interesting way to solve this situation is to have a “fluid system” for business process outsourcing (BPO Outsourcing).

What if you have what I could term as a BPO overflow tank?
Your car has an overflow container for radiator fluids, why doesn’t your business? Let’s say that you handle most of your work in house, but you always have a certain percentage of particular tasks outsourced to a BPO company. Let’s say that according to your business model, 20-70% of your outgoing call work is outsourced, and the rest is done in house. That buys you tremendous flexibility. The outsourced call center work might cost you more in labor, but you don’t need to interview people, etc. That buys you time. You can delay your interviews until you have more time in your management schedule. You can be more selective about who you hire. You can fire someone more easily who is not capable or who is slacking off. Having a reliable, tried and tested overflow system for handling your business processes is a great idea. Keeping that system always running ensures that it will run more reliably as well.

There are other solutions too.
If you want to outsource call center work, there are auto-call systems that you can use online that can send messages to clients. You can have a mass email system to communicate with mass amounts of clients. You can even auto-text them. You could devise a system where you would reduce the quantity of outgoing calls under certain business circumstances so you could gracefully adjust to changing workloads. Managing labor resources is fascinating and more complicated than you think! So, try to increase your awareness and think of more innovative ways you can solve problems. Write these solutions down and compare them. Don’t be afraid to use more than one system simultaneously!

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Paying attention to the long range effects of business decisions

Are you tired of outsourcing to India?

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Are you tired of the nonsense?
Anyone who has outsourced to India knows of what I speak… the little tricks, the negligence, the hour padding, the stubbornness, the poor communication habits, and the disinclination to plan for the future and not having any concept of timeliness whatsoever? Me too. India is the king of BPO outsourcing, at least for small and medium companies. So, what are your other more favorable options for fulfilling your outsourcing needs.

You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince.
If you deal with Indian BPO outsourcing companies, you will find many distinct cultural behavioral patterns that repeat themselves. Some of these behaviors are very pleasant while others will drive you crazy! If you are lucky, you will link up with one of India’s many responsible people. The problem is that there are also many negligent and crooked people mixed in with the great people that doing business with new companies (or existing companies who hire new staff regularly) can be very unpredictable. Each country has their own unique cultural makeup. Some are more concerned with accuracy, and others stress social skills. If you are tired of doing business with India — try some other countries and compare. But, remember, no matter WHERE you do business, make sure you are working with good people.

Where is the back office?
For programming, there are many outsourcing arrangements between Western countries and popular outsourcing destinations (India, Russia, Belarus, Romania, China, the Philippines, etc.) Finding these companies is no easy task. Looking around on the internet, it is not always easy to see where people are REALLY doing business. Their mailing address on their contact us page and their evasive back office’s location are typically two completely different things. The only real way to make heads or tails of the marketplace is to call local programming companies and ask where their network is (and hope you get a straight answer). However time-consuming, you can learn a lot. Visiting a company in person will tell you if there is a company to begin with (or if you are hiring someone who works out of their bedroom and uses irresponsible freelancers he barely knows).

Even if you bombed in Bombay, you can manage in Manila!
For call center work, there are zillions of call centers in the Philippines. But, finding them is no walk in the park. There are call centers you can find on the internet in the Philippines. However, those are not always the highest end companies that exist. You would have an easier time reaching the DMV by phone than being able to talk to an actual manager at some of these call centers. Most successful offshore companies have a sister company in America, England, or some other Western country. You might have better luck scouring the American market to see who is networking with the Philippines.

East meets West: Goals versus Family
American culture is more goal-oriented while Indian culture is more family-oriented. Americans are often very picky about deadlines. Indians are used to routine and unpredictable electrical outages, floods, riots, strikes, and other types of delays and seem immune to missing deadlines. On a brighter note, Indian companies are generally better staffed, and can give you more hours of work per week, even if their work is not quite as efficient as you hope. Additionally, if you visit India, you will find that although their phone etiquette is atrocious, they are very gracious and hospitable in person.

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Synergy & working closely with others

Are you aware in business?