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Business process outsourcing - excelling during COVID-19
October 1, 2020

Business process outsourcing - excelling during COVID-19

Written by: Nick Ogden

The profound impact of COVID-19 on the economy has resulted in huge changes, many of which may be permanent. We’ve seen businesses inundated with demand, others forced to shut overnight and many that have pivoted direction, strategy and even product, in order to survive. 

Through it all, outsourcing companies have also had to move and change to best support their clients. Servicing almost every industry, outsourcing has experienced a range of impacts and in many cases, demand has increased in the midst of restructuring the way services are delivered.

With a focus on productivity and staff engagement, outsourcing companies have found themselves in a position to draw on their areas of expertise - rolling out innovative and flexible contingency plans that ensure the needs of both clients and staff are met. 

Here’s how the situation has played out here at Beepo:

Productivity in testing times

Productivity is one of the most important measures of the work we do. And when the time came to review our staff productivity, we were very pleased to see these results. Staff members continued to deliver at a high level of productivity, even with the challenges of working from home and dealing with the toll COVID-19 has taken on us all. In the period prior to Coronavirus hitting - from December 2019 to February 2020, our staff had an average productivity rate of 89.59%. During the midst of COVID-19 from April to June 2020, their productivity rate actually marginally increased to 90.48%. This information comes directly from our online tracking system that measures the activities staff are completing throughout the working day. Below is a screenshot taken directly from our productivity tracker:

productivity-image

Innovation, flexibility and contingency planning

The pandemic situation that we’ve all found ourselves in requires innovative thinking, a flexible approach and state-of-the-art technology. This is the bread and butter of our industry, and we were in a better position than most to excel during this time.

Our offices are located in The Philippines, a region of the world that can be prone to naturally occurring events and, as a result, we have contingency plans in place to competently manage risks and quickly roll out remote working models. 

With the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, all our staff were working from home quickly and with very little downtime. What’s more, because outsourcing already requires a cloud-based working environment, our clients in their respective home countries were also in a much better position to have their local team begin working remotely.

Data security

One of the most important issues for our business and for our clients is data security. Already operating from a single sign-on portal arrangement, each staff member has access restrictions specific to their computer, working hours and location. They’re also only able to access the applications and files required for their work, and have all their online activity monitored by management. Once we had rolled out our remote working arrangement, and computers were moved to staff home addresses, the security system was updated to reflect the new IP location and the access restrictions were in place once again. 

Managing and engaging with staff

As many organisations have no doubt discovered, there’s a big difference between physically setting up a remote working arrangement and actually having it operate effectively for the company. The challenge is in ensuring that staff remain productive, engaged and happy. And that’s where outsourcing companies are getting it right. 

Our management team has taken its role to another level in ensuring staff are on track with the work they perform for our clients. Management team members are thinking differently about the types of incentives offered and about the challenges each staff member is facing. Afterall, they can no longer treat each member in the same way - some are living alone, some have children who require home-schooling, while others are dealing with the distractions of family or housemates who are also working from home. 

We’ve needed to be flexible and innovative in the way we’re managing staff. Weekly meetings now happen online and while much of it is focused on business, we’re also including time to have a little fun and build morale. Mental health webinars are being held for staff, and managers are checking in on individuals more often. We’re also allowing for more flexible working arrangements that suit both the staff member and our clients in order to ensure productivity remains high.

Supporting business growth in challenging times

In some instances, we’ve found that businesses are increasing the size of their Philippines-based teams. JobKeeper has allowed businesses to not only maintain their local team numbers but to have them focus on high-value tasks such as business development and strategy. Our teams have then been put in place to take over the administrative, repetitive and transactional tasks that support many of the vital day to day operations of a business.

While we can’t predict just how this pandemic is going to play out, outsourcing providers such as Beepo have been well-placed to adapt to the situation and excel in the services and support we’re providing to businesses. We’re proudly helping organisations survive and thrive through this global pandemic. If you’d like to learn more about the types of offshore roles that can boost your capability and grow your margins, download our ebook.

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