BPO Offshoring: Successful Implementation, Organization, Operation & Continuous Improvement

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Published: 04th January 2011
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What is BPO Offshored Outsourcing and what are the issues implementing it?

The difference between managing an office in New York and in Los Angeles versus offshore is the magnitude of the savings, not the complexity of operations.

When an organization is considering moving all or part of its operations offshore, there is a natural tendency to question how effectively it can be managed from thousands of miles away from the home office. With advances in technology and access to a well-educated and highly-motivated workforce, combined with proven outsourcing methodologies, it is no more difficult than managing an operation that is located in different offices around North America or utilizing home-based staff. In fact, the offshore operation truly becomes a seamless extension of your business.

The benefits of business process outsourcing are as well known as the proliferation of outsourcing vendors. However, the transition of business to an offshore location must be non-disruptive to operations and transparent to customers. To ensure a successful BPO solution, the process must consist of implementation, organization, operations and continuous improvement.

Implementation begins with understanding and planning and is successful through teamwork. The BPO provider and the client should work as a team to clearly define and document workflow, process, procedure, cultural characteristics and technology requirements. From this effort, a detailed implementation plan can be created. The project manager should be accountable for meeting all commitments and work with members of both organizations to ensure that the job gets done on time and to mutually-agreed-upon standards. Sometimes the client does not have processes in place that he feels are adequate, and looks to the BPO firm to fill that gap. Examples often include the design of entry-level training programs, total quality management processes and information solutions.

Organization of the offshore operation is designed to mirror internal operations in terms of people, ratios, processes, procedures, command and control. The BPO company should create a dedicated operating group hired and trained to the same standards as the client's internal staff. The BPO firm then works with the client to duplicate the assessment and hiring process and often invites the client to participate, especially in the selection of key staff members. Training should be delivered by professional staff members who have first been certified by the client via a comprehensive train-the-trainer process.

If effective processes are not in place or gaps exist, the BPO firm can provide a client with solutions that work. Often, a client will opt to have members of their staff at the offshore site during the early phases of implementation. These Subject Matter Experts serve as facilitators of on-the-job training and expedite the transfer of institutional knowledge to the offshore members of the team. The Account Manager exists to serve the client. This highly trained and empowered specialist is more than a BPO representative. He takes personal responsibility for the performance of the program and serves as a single, convenient point-of-contact from implementation through the duration of the program.

Operations are simple for the experienced, proven BPO or Outsourcing Provider.. Most BPO team members work when it is convenient for the client. They can be contacted by phone (no long distance or international dialing required), email or mobile phone, just like a client's staff in other locations. Since a BPO firm can use the client's systems, performance information is available when it is required and in the format requested.

Built-in IT redundancies ensure uninterrupted service while the security of client systems and information is assured. Since the offshore team is dedicated to the client's program and trained to his standards, they function just like the client's internal staff. Communications, on-going training, reporting, performance management and problem-solving are a part of the daily job that is expected of them. It is recommended that there be a weekly meeting between key offshore staff and the management person responsible for overall operations from the client organization. The purpose is to review all program metrics, discuss upcoming initiatives, solve problems and provide a forum for effective teamwork and communications.

Continuous improvement is essential. In order to create long-term relationships, a BPO provider must do more than lower costs and improve quality. The ability to collaboratively make the business better creates real value in the relationship. To facilitate this, quarterly business reviews are recommended, where both operating and senior management meet face-to-face to discuss ways to improve the business and to effectively plan. This process provides a vehicle for continuous improvement, integration and effective long and short-term business planning and execution. It also serves as a forum for relationship building among the members of the joint team.

Continuing education of offshore staff and regular team meetings designed to identify the thinking and ideas of the people, doing the work' also serve to create a process of continual renewal and improvement. In addition, the BPO Account Manager proactively works to improve the business and be a source of valuable input to the client's management staff.

For Case Studies, informative white papers and further information definitively demonstrating how these benefits are realized with the 125+ years of experience of our leadership and operations team, please visit www.PremierBPO.com and/or call Reese Bagwell at 931.551.8888.

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