How does business process outsourcing work?

How does business process outsourcing work?
Nick Ogden
Nick Ogden
    3 minute read

We hear a lot about outsourcing and the Business Process Outsourcing sector (BPO). The Courier-Mail reported that hundreds of thousands of jobs in Queensland were outsourced to the Philippines. But why are Australian companies doing it? What does Business Process Outsourcing really mean?

The main idea is you can delegate some of your work to a virtual team located in the Philippines, to give you more time to work on more important things such as talking to your clients and working on more strategic projects. Contrary to how some people view outsourcing—it doesn't take jobs away from Australians. In fact, outsourcing supports you and your current team to build a stronger business, it helps you add more value to your product offering and can help your business speed up turnaround time.

What is outsourcing?

Outsourcing services come in different functions such as bookkeeping, graphic design, sales support, software development, marketing and customer service. Communicating with your staff in the Philippines is very similar to the way you work with your team in Australia. You can pick up the phone and direct dial your staff, email, IM chat, or video conference using tools like Skype and Hangout. Your outsourced team sit in a professional office, and there's a real person doing the work for you. You develop a relationship with that staff member and they are dedicated to your business alone.

Think of it this way: you need help with your digital marketing efforts, and want to increase your connection with your customers and prospects. You have identified that you need blog posts, social media posts and at least one newsletter sent out each month. This task is important, but the details of the jobs are sometimes time consuming and you already have enough on your plate. What would you do? You should get help from an outsourced marketer.

How does it work?

The first thing that needs to be done is a quick meeting. Emails can be limited so it’s better if the first meeting is via an online video hook-up like Skype or Google Hangouts. Your communication will be more streamlined and you can better explain what you want to achieve. In turn, you have a better understanding of how your staff member will be handling the tasks—the schedules, the tools they would use, the time allotted for specific jobs and even suggestions on how to achieve a better result. Afterwards, communication via email will be more efficient and regular catch-ups and reports can be sent to you on a regular basis.

You have control over the final marketing piece, and you would sign off any final material before it goes to market. For example a posting plan for social media may be reviewed and approved weekly or monthly (or however frequently you would like). Once approved, this task would be looked after by your person in the Philippines.

Reasons why business processes are outsourced

Outsourcing gives you more flexibility and less supervision requirements with proven results. It also gives you more options to customise, depending on your company's requirements.

Once you discover the power that outsourcing can bring to your business you will experience incredible leverage. It will free you up to work on more strategic and higher value projects, while your Philippines staff take care of the day-to-day.

Having worked with a number of Australian businesses, we have seen trends in the types of roles and functions that work extremely well. The example above, blogging, newsletter and social media support is one of the most popular roles. At Beepo, 23% of our staff are outsourced in a marketing function including digital marketing, social media, blogging, data mining, appointment setting, sales support and post-sales follow up, graphic design and web development.

Want to know how an outsourced marketing and sales strategy could work for your business? Download 107 Ideas for Outsourcing Your Sales and Marketing for some inspiration today.

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