In our last blog post we discussed the Benefits of outsourcing .
But what are the next stages, once you have found your outsourcing partner and you are about to launch the project.
Our Co-Founder Ivan Georgiev was invited as a guest speaker in the Outsourcing and offshoring course, part of FEBA, Sofia University’s program. The following article will cover the topics, discussed during the event, for the full PowerPoint presentation, please visit our SlideShare account.
There are many reasons why companies outsource. The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies offer centralized multilingual, multi-talent and multichannel solutions. They pose high level of expertise in people and project management; cost, processes and procedures optimization. Over time an outsourcing service provider becomes more of a partner by adding value to your operations – Voice of the customer, CSAT analyses, Workforce optimization, etc.
In the practice there are 3 major types of outsourcing – BPO, body leasing and project outsourcing. The project outsourcing is based on a temporary project that has a beginning and an end and needs to be completed in a given time frame, whereas the BPO and body leasing are associated with strategic outsourcing, where the legal form can be profile or service based.
The first step of starting a new project involves some sales and business development efforts where the outsourcing company needs to identify the needs of the potential client, work with him continuously in order to start negotiations and at the end of the sales process to design a solution that fit all of the prospect’s needs and requirements. The whole process, from the initial contact until the implementation and the actual Go-Live of the project takes around 6 months, which is very indicative of the complexity of winning a project.
It is very important to spend some time and efforts to plan the onboarding and Go-Live, so the transition is smooth. Some examples of topics to discuss during such onboarding meetings:
- IT setup;
- Knowledge transfer;
- Process mapping;
- Operations, reporting and quality;
- Agent profile;
- Recruitment and training.
The infrastructure is organized, based on the team size and client requirements (open space or dedicated area, branding the office, equipping work stations). The scope and potential size of the project needs to be considered – is the project going to be growing soon, are we going to have enough room for the team in 6 months?
The recruitment process is a crucial stage in the implementation. After the agent profile is clearly defined, there are different channels to attract the employees – referral programs, recruitment websites, partnerships with recruitment companies and consultants, networking, participation in events etc..
Prior to starting operations another important step is to define what are the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and to track the performance over time. Daily and weekly reports are good for ad-hoc decisions, where monthly business reviews and quarterly business reviews are important for operations for their comparative character with historical data, but they are also considered to be strategic reports where the two parties exchange some strategic goals and create action plans for achieving them.
The most beneficial part of the reporting is not the data itself, but the improvement opportunities the analysis can highlight.
The First Answer Resolution in the 10 “Vital Few” categories could be greatly improved by creating/improving the FAQ section and building a template for chat/phone/email tickets. A self-help online platform could help reducing the global volumes.
A reporting on the volumes of tickets can show valuable insights when scheduling the team members. It is possible that the most tickets are coming on Monday and Tuesday, whereas the rest of the days the volume is decreased. So, a smart team leader would schedule his team to come for an extra hour on those two days and leave earlier the rest of the week:
Of course, each project is different. Some of those tips might not apply to you and your business. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and to celebrate important milestones!