How Business Process Outsourcing Can Improve Your Bottom Line
With any business, there are many moving parts. Those who start a business learn this fact quickly, but since sales and support may be slow-going at the inception of a business, entrepreneurs often can handle the lion's share of the necessary work.
As a business becomes more established, however, the delegation of certain tasks becomes necessary. Business process outsourcing is one way for companies to optimize operations and lower costs. Outsourcing has long been prevalent in manufacturing, which often involves
There are numerous functions that can be outsourced. Some businesses outsource highly technical aspects of operations such as IT, accounting and human resources management. Businesses increasingly outsource additional functions as well. Customer support, for example, is one area where businesses can scale operations up or down based on need.
Regardless of the functions or skills, outsourcing requires both the vendor and outsourcer to coordinate their workflows. Outsourcing is much less effective if the pieces of the business puzzle do not match. Luckily, there are technological innovations to enable many parts of a business to mesh together seamlessly.
Business Process Outsourcing Basics
It is helpful to think of two general business functions that can be effectively outsourced: back-office and front-office. Back office operations include all of the internal business functions that are necessary for a business to deliver their goods or services.
This is a vast category and can include anything from manufacturing, logistics, collections and receivables and procurement. The more essential the function, such as manufacturing in the case of a manufacturer, the higher the risk of disarray in the organization due to outsourcing. Because of this risk, it is important for outsourcing to be chosen wisely, and for businesses to adopt tools that enable high levels of collaboration and integration.
Other back-office functions that are somewhat easier to outsource include accounting, payment processing, IT services, regulatory compliance, quality assurance, and in legal. General counsel services are traditionally outsourced in most businesses, with only large firms hiring in-house counsel.
Front-office tasks can also be effectively outsourced, although there are risks of diluting a brand and customer experience if the outsourcing is done without a unified plan of delivering consistent quality. Some of these front-office services include tech support, inbound and outbound sales, marketing and customer service.
Since these services are customer-facing, it is important to invest in training, to ensure that customers experience the least amount of friction in the transfer. For example, customers can feel alienated or ignored if core functions are obviously farmed out. Customers often complain about customer support agents that seem to be disconnected from the company, so one of the main questions a business should ask prior to outsourcing key customer-facing functions is how they will avoid this potential problem.
Integration of Processes through Unified Communications
One effective method of ensuring a smooth and seamless transition from in-house employees and outsourced work is the use of unified communications. Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) and contact center as a service (CCaaS) are two technical tools that enable plug and play integration of communication and customer support.
These services are cloud-based methods to connect various parts of a business. UCaaS and CCaaS help large organizations connect all of their broadly dispersed departments, and they can also effectively connect outsourcing with in-house functions.
Call centers are often outsourced, as business needs for call agents can fluctuate throughout the year. An omnichannel system can simplify the customer experience, while also adding significant improvements to the process. With an as-a-service model, outsourced call and contact center functionality is simplified.
Just as remote employees can effortlessly slide into operations from anywhere, so too can outsourcing companies. The key, however, is to find the right partner that knows your business needs and can tailor solutions that create a unified customer-facing front.
8x8's Virtual Contact Center, for example, is a comprehensive solution that provides a reliable, flexible contact center solution that follows the entire customer lifecycle, regardless of whether customer interactions are with employees or contractors. 8x8 integrates with all of the most popular customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, such as Salesforce and Netsuite. In addition, 8x8 offers its own CRM solution that helps businesses achieve their integrated business function needs. With 8x8,
Your business has enough on its plate. Outsource what makes sense for your business, choose a world class SaaS technology solution and focus on what's important: your clients. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.