The purpose of technology is to create innovative tools, methods, and systems for providing robust solutions and improving the human condition. Comprising a wide range of areas, including engineering, computer science, electronics, and more. Communication has always been an integral part of human society and with the emergence of cutting-edge technologies, we are unveiling more effective communicative methods.
Today, we are going to discuss how the BPO industry has evolved alongside the evolution of technology. The world has witnessed remarkable growth in the information technology sector and BPO lies in the central part of IT services.
- One of the most fundamental aspects of technology is that it is constantly evolving and improving. New technologies are being developed all the time, and existing technologies are being refined and made more efficient.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) is a rapidly growing area of technology, with applications in a wide range of fields such as healthcare, finance, transportation, and manufacturing. AI technologies include machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision, which enable machines to understand and respond to human input in a way that mimics human intelligence.
Technology also has a significant impact on our daily lives, whether it's how we interact with each other or how we access information and consume media. It is also quite disruptive as it has drastically our working style, working outputs, and communication systems, and continues to improve our lifestyle; shaping the world for a better living.
Some Notable Technological Advancements
If you look back just a decade ago, the world has greatly been consuming every single thing about technology. Whether it is medicine, mechanics, engineering, or life science, we are constantly becoming robust every day. Let us discuss some tangible technological advancements we have been witnessing for the last 2 decades
Smartphones: Smartphones have become ubiquitous and have greatly increased the ability of people to stay connected and access information while on the go. The evolution of PDAs in general is faster than we anticipated. It all started from landlines, and wireless cellular devices, and quickly migrated to super advanced smartphones.
Smartphones in our generation can provide access to almost everything a person might require. Some examples are smart payment methods, interactive communication tools, and intuitive applications such as GPS and gaming. Everything is possible within the boundaries of a handheld device. Just imagine how fascinating it is.
Social Media: Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become an integral part of how many people communicate and stay informed. Earlier our world was only limited to communication channels like chat and phone calls. Now we are able to share our views and opinions with the whole world through a couple of clicks. Social media gives us access to reach anyone from anywhere.
Cloud Computing: Cloud computing has made it possible for people to access data and software from anywhere, on any device, and has greatly increased the scalability and cost-effectiveness of many businesses. Gone are the days when we needed large pieces of equipment for storing and transferring data from one place to another. With the advent of cloud technology, storage and transfer limitations no longer exist.
Big Data and Artificial Intelligence: The development of big data and AI technologies have greatly improved the ability of businesses and researchers to extract insights from large amounts of data. Organizations dealing with tons of data, calculation procedures, and deep analysis no longer need days or hours to process colossal amounts of data. With the help of big data, AI, and machine learning everything is possible in a matter of moments.
Internet of Things (IoT): IoT refers to the networking of everyday devices, allowing them to connect to the Internet and send and receive data. IoT in combination with advanced robotics has led to a revolutionary breakthrough. Now we have human androids, conversational bots, and machines that can actually mimic an actual human being and no one can the difference. All of this is possible through advanced technology.
5G Networks: The advent of 5G networks has greatly increased mobile data speed and low latency which makes possible new use cases like self-driving cars, remote surgery, etc. The existing 4G network is giving us enough network bandwidth and speed for processing huge computing operations but with the help 5G network, we will be entering a different realm as other technological breakthroughs like Web3, DevOps, and Virtual Reality are in play.
These are just a few examples, there are many other ways technology has improved over the past decade, such as electric cars, virtual reality, blockchain, etc. We are emphasizing these technological aspects because the BPO industry is already a part of every technological breakthrough that is going on in our ecosystem.
As we are progressing into a highly intellectual, more economical, eco-friendly, and advanced way of living, our business and trading methods are also advancing. Therefore, it leads to the emergence of third-party agencies from the BPO industry, holding special expertise in different areas of business.
BPO for Handling Integral Business Operation Management
Apparently, the primary role of BPO services comprises handling the front-end operations of a business such as sales, marketing, and public relations. Companies outsource these operations responsibilities to a third-party aggregator of resources so they can focus on more strategic operations of the business. The operation management of a business comprises tactical, strategic, and operational procedures.
- The management requires planning, implementation, and supervisory of the production of goods or services. The central part of every business is production and outsourcing that part means outsourcing the whole business.
- The question is, whether it is wise enough to outsource the entire operation management in the hands of a third-party aggregator. Operations managers are responsible for both production and strategizing the production.
- The term operation management is not so different than production management because the responsibilities actually require overseeing every single aspect related to the production and management of the product or service we are selling.
- Once the product or service is manufactured or created, then comes the turn of sales, marketing, and finance. That is how the dots between front-end operations and back-end operations are connected; creating a value chain.
Technology, an ever-changing ever-evolving phenomenon aspect of the human race, plays a critical role in springboarding constant advancements in operations management (OM). it is just right as rain and we all must give credit to budding advancements like self-maintaining AI-powered smart robotics (for production) and drones (for distribution). Companies that use technology well can thrive, and those that may not survive.
Our world is on the verge of a major transformation, a transformation that will make it unfathomable to recognize its functions. The biggest contribution behind this transformation will come from the increasing demand for automation of operation management. Additionally, the BPO industry will be playing a bigger hand in this phenomenon because BPO companies tend to keep themselves handy with new tools and technology.
Core Functionalities of Operations Management in a Business
There are several activities run in operation management and it most basically involves looking after the production of goods and services. The company might essentially be producing resources, technology, people, and products. Anything being created needs to be well managed and reachable to its supposed consumer, and that is how a business remains competitive in the market.
Business process outsourcing was only limited to providing resources that would help supplement the organization's efficiency by taking over external operations such as sales and marketing. In other words, we can term BPOs as resource-as-a-service providers these days as the BPO industry has increased its expertise in all aspects. As we define operations management more fully, we consider these foundations of OM:
Planning: The organization's objectives are kept in mind before developing a strategy for accomplishing the plan. Operations managers must constantly forecast, plan, and adjust to optimize processes based on conditions. They also need to rule out the possible contingencies that might fall in their quest to achieve their objectives.
Process: The production of goods or services requires strong, repeatable processes. The operation managers make sure the production runs smoothly and hassle-free. BPO agencies can lend their tools and application so that managers can keep a closer look at the production process so they can immediately deliberate whenever required.
Efficiency: Managers must troubleshoot bottlenecks, inadequate resources, and downtimes to create optimal efficiency. And efficiency comes with the efficient use of resources. Any hiccups in production management can cause delays and ultimately lead to performance issues. Managers always need to find innovative methods to ensure efficiency.
Cost Control: Production is typically a major part of a company’s cost structure, and you must manage it wisely. The primary objective in operation management should always be about reducing operating costs. That involves a lot of brainstorming because cutting down on operation costs can lead to inadequacies in the production rate.
Quality: Good quality control is necessary to maintain customer satisfaction and the company’s reputation. Companies can greatly suffer without it. A company can’t survive long if its products or goods do not meet the benchmark. The whole marketing campaign and sales procedures will depend on the product’s quality.
Bottom Line: Continuous improvement is paramount for remaining competitive. Companies need to have processes in place to consistently seek better ways of doing things. And leveraging technology is the only way for staying one step ahead of the curve. For fulfilling all the above obligations, companies can surely take assistance from BPO agencies because they specialize in streamlining any process with the help of technology.
Leveraging BPO Services for Operation Management
If not the whole, some parts of a business can be outsourced to BPO services. BPO services have been evidentially contributing a lot to the growth and development of several types of businesses all over the world. It is pretty obvious that we can’t outsource the core business activities to an outsourcing company. Outsourcing operation management to a business process outsourcing (BPO) company typically involves several steps.
Identifying the Non-Core Business Activities
Non-core business activities are those that are not directly related to a company's primary products or services. These activities are not considered to be part of the company's core competency, and they may be outsourced to a third-party provider in order to focus on the core activities. Some examples of non-core business activities include:
Human resources: This includes activities such as recruiting, hiring, and payroll processing. Screening new recruits and taking care of their employment-related maneuvers can be a grunty task and it requires constant attention. There are so many obligations related to regulatory compliance, salary evaluation, and the entire human resource management.
IT Support: This includes activities such as hardware and software maintenance, network management, and data backup and recovery. Nowadays, we have cloud-based BPO architecture services where we can easily hire a third-party cloud resources provider and avail all the computing resources such as software, hardware, storage, network bandwidth, security, and whatnot. Everything is based on a pay-per-use model.
Facility Management: This includes activities such as cleaning, maintenance, and security of a company's physical facilities. BPO services can be of great use when it comes to administration management of the whole company’s architecture. You need to invest a little bit of capital in one third-party company and they will take care of the entire maintenance at a very cost-effective rate.
Logistics and Transportation: This includes activities such as warehousing, inventory management, and shipping and receiving. During the COVID pandemic, logistics and transportation services were heavily hurt due to poor contingency plans and restrictions of quarantine protocols. Understanding the crises, the BPO industry quickly came up with providing resources related to warehousing, inventory, shipping, and receiving.
Accounting and Finance: This includes activities such as budgeting, financial planning, and bookkeeping. For a pretty long period, accounting and finance institutions were a bit skeptical about hiring BPO services for taking care of menial and time-consuming tasks related to collating and documenting finance data and information. The technological resources offered by BPO services are promising enough to streamline finance operations promptly and easily.
Marketing and Advertising: This includes activities such as market research, advertising and promotion, and public relations. This comes under the front-end operations of a business and most companies are familiar with the benefits of outsourcing the marketing department to a well-versed third-party company holding better expertise in the field of marketing and sales. Marketing agencies usually have in-depth knowledge and experience better than anyone.
Customer Service: This includes activities such as answering customer inquiries, responding to complaints, and handling returns and refunds. This part of the business is generally dedicated to BPO services only. Usually, no business has enough time and attention for taking care of customer support. However, customer support is crucial for the growth and development of business, so it is usually given to a call center service.
These are some examples, the non-core activities can differ depending on the industry and the specific business, by outsourcing the non-core business activities, a company can focus on their core activities and competencies and improve efficiency and competitiveness.
Getting Started With BPO Services for Operation Management
Hiring a BPO service for taking over a specific area of your business operation is a journey. Be careful with every step you take towards your journey. Before getting started, you must keep your business goal in mind; making sure that whatever BPO service you choose must supplement your business vision. You both as business entities must mutually benefit from one another and complement one another.
- The first step begins with researching BPO providers. Look for companies that have experience and expertise in the areas you wish to outsource. Gather information on their services, pricing, and customer references. You can’t hope to go further with the BPO provider without knowing whether they have enough expertise and knowledge to handle the business process that you wish to outsource.
- The second step involves negotiating the contract with the third party. You are going to sit with them and discuss the possibilities of agreeing on the scope of the journey. The journey involves the scope of service, pricing, and terms of the contract. Make sure to include detailed service level agreements (SLAs) and clearly defined responsibilities for both parties. SLA plays a critical role in averting future disagreements and disputes related to service.
- Once the contract is signed, the implementation process begins. The BPO service will start working on the respective operations, but initially, you need to provide all the necessary tools and training to start. Regardless of how accomplished and promising BPO service may be, it can’t magically assume the current predicament just like that. You will have to explain to them the situation and things you have been doing so the transition can be smoother.
- Hiring a BPO service provider won’t suffice, you will need to constantly keep tabs on the direction of work. You need to monitor whether they are compliant with the agreed terms and conditions or not. Continuous monitoring and management of the outsourced operations are paramount because as soon as you identify little irregularities, it will be easier for the BPO agency to deliberate on that and make improvements accordingly.
Reviewing and re-negotiating the contract is going to be a regular phenomenon after things become streamlined. On a regular basis, both parties will review the performance and make necessary changes to service level agreements and pricing based on the achieved outcome. It is important to have clear communication, and expectations set to ensure a successful outsourcing arrangement with a BPO company.