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Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) can save costs and deliver significant value-add. Ensuring it remains efficient and delivering expected quality is a common challenge.
Establishing BPO operations takes a lot of effort and cost. There is an inherent risk to operations, business stakeholders and customer experience if it's not done well. And after starting the journey, keeping it performing at an optimum level is essential to maintain confidence and the all-important cost-quality ratio.
Building the right engagement framework, service levels, metrics, talent management and continuous improvement mechanisms are crucial to ongoing performance. The commercial (contract) framework can also present as a performance driver or obstacle depending on how it is constructed.
Additional challenges arise where processes outsourced are of poor quality especially if a ‘lift and shift’ approach has been adopted when transferring work, without considering process improvements. Also, the temptation to 'bank the benefits' in a cost-arbitrage position is sometimes too great and significant changes may be de-prioritised after transition.
Even before engagement, there's a lot of thinking to do in terms of how you want the relationship to work. These days, outcome based commercial frameworks with an increasingly heavy focus on technology components is the trend to optimize results. So if you're in the early stages of considering BPO services it's best to determine the nature of engagement in detail before proposals are sought. This generally requires a good understanding of your business needs in all functions that are likely to be affected by the outsourced processes, not just the functional owners that will be subject to transition. It's also useful to know what types of engagements are available and how they best fit into your operating model and business strategy.
If there is an existing BPO relationship in place, then optimizing within the existing commercial framework is a must - see our Performance & Innovation Center (PIC) services. However, if you are planning a new engagement or renewing an existing BPO contract, then it's time to think in a different way and ensure that the engagement framework is always working to optimize performance and deliver the flexibility that your business needs.
The services we offer include...
AssuringBusiness provides engagement services and support to ensure that existing service partnerships are fine-tuned or new/renewed engagements are well-structured to optimize quality and cost throughout the term. Services include:
Business requirements - capture and structure requirements such that subsequent proposals and engagement terms can be specifically aligned to business needs, and continually assessed throughout the engagement. Our experts will also help you to think 'future state' in terms of process, automation, and operational dynamics. Putting these requirements into an appropriate procurement format that drives excellent vendor responses.
Request for Information/Proposal (RFI/RFP) - working either as your specialist procurement lead or supporting/advising your procurement team in the end-to-end process. Direct support to detailed assessment, contract terms and negotiations often produces significant cost-benefits. Radical changes to approach can be considered and evaluated within an RFI/RFP process, for example, whether to consider process automation transformation as part of the BPO journey.
I not only use all the brains I have but all I can borrow.
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924)
Educator and President of the USA
Transition planning & execution - once a BPO partner has been selected, planning and execution of work transitions is an absolutely critical phase to balance risk and cost. With today's increasing focus on automation, in particular Robotic Process Automation (RPA), there are significant opportunities to bring in quick-wins and plan for more strategic changes during this phase and with the right approach.
Performance management framework - establishing the right mechanisms to monitor and drive continuous improvement in the service quality to cost ratio. Critically, the right Measurement, Reporting, and Insights (MRI) framework is core to success. But also incorporating embedded mechanisms to identify and deliver ongoing improvements, one that everyone is enthused to support, makes a critical difference.
Transformation - sometimes fine-tuning is not enough in existing or renewing BPO relationships. AssuringBusiness will help to define an optimum transformation path with options for short-, medium- and long-term application. Where transformation is being considered within a procurement path, our experts will help to present the business needs to elicit the best vendor responses for realistic evaluation.
Engagement Management - direct support to optimize the BPO engagement at the start or throughout the journey. In particular, our team is skilled at planning and delivering a 'Rapid Improvement Plan' to jump-start change and set a path for ongoing improvements. See also our Performance & Innovation Center (PIC) services.
Ready to optimize your BPO?
AssuringBusiness partners with clients to ensure the best possible BPO engagement strategy and designs are in place and delivered. Our BPO expertise enables us to engage with all business stakeholders and touch-points to overcome the various challenges to alignment. Our expert practitioners will supply all necessary practical advice and lead or support as required to ensure the best outcome.
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