Five Tips to Successfully Outsource
As the world adjusts to WFH structures and renewed financial pressure, business process outsourcing has returned to the agenda of many Australian businesses. Setting up nimble and agile global teams is an important strategy for business continuity planning, cost savings and scalability. When reviewing successful outsourced projects, the same theme emerges over and over again. Here are five tips to ensure your offshore project is successful.
1. Understanding which model works for you
As the BPO market matures there has been a proliferation of different service offerings and providers. There are three main models clients can choose from – (a) a full service BPO where you receive staff and support staff such as trainers, team leaders, supervisors, IT, HR, analytics, and Australian account managers (the Swivot model); (b) WFH freelancers where you train and manage your own staff remotely (often a third party provider will take care of payroll for you; and (c) a hybrid of (a) and (b). If power outages, data privacy or client confidentiality is key for the process you are outsourcing then a freelancer model is not appropriate for your business. Be aware of the significant price difference between utilising a full service BPO vs a freelancer.
2. Ensuring your business processes and workflow are clear
BPO relies upon regimented structured environments and processes. Success is achieved through well-documented processes and clearly defined scope and schedule. It is integral that processes, workflows and procedural manuals are clear and in granular detail. Project plans should be reviewed in conjunction with your service provider to ensure all both parties are on the same page. The best providers will immerse themselves in your business and all of its stakeholders (different departments). At Swivot, we regularly shadow Australian staff for extended periods of time to ensure we are across all aspects of a project before committing to take it on – we won’t outsource it until our onshore account managers personally understand all the ins and outs.
3. Finding a provider and staff with strong communication skills
Communication is king. Responsive service providers with Australian account management you can meet face-to-face is key to operational excellence and solving teething issues. Additionally, hiring agents who exemplify excellent communication skills assists in day to day work. You should ensure that your service provider is thoroughly assessing your candidate’s communication ability. At Swivot, one of our certified language assessors utilises a specific question and scenario-based testing to assess a candidate’s ability to communicate in a clear succinct format. Additionally, we also utilise language assessment platforms designed to test the proficiency of English in second-language speakers alongside psychometric testing. Make sure you involve yourself in the final selection process of staff.
4. Understanding cross cultural difference
Cultural compatibility between your provider, the service delivery location and your business are key to the success of any BPO project. The strong US and Spanish influence in the Philippines have therefore seen it become home to some of largest BPO projects. The industry alone contributes to 9% of the country’s GDP growth. Nonetheless it is important to recognise cultural differences between Australia and the Philippines. It is important to allow your service provider and local management to deliver criticism to your remote team – confrontation from foreign clients does not yield the best results in this industry. Trust your service provider and account manager to deliver business critical messages to their team.
5. Engage in a true partnership
A client’s constructive engagement with its team is important factor in developing a positive company culture. it important to Immediately eliminate the inhouse team vs the offshore team mentality within your organisation, the best partnerships flourish when the outsourced team is considered an extension of your business. Build a true community by allocating budget to team building events, branded staff merchandise and bi-annual trips to visit your team and you are sure to keep staff engaged and avoid attrition and absenteeism.
Outsourcing is a great tool that allows a business to reduce overheads and pass on resource heavy aspects of their processes so they can focus on their core product. Swivot is an Australian run full service BPO based in Sydney and the Philippines. If you're interested in offshore options for your business contact Swivot today.