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More than decades ago, companies started outsourcing their business processes and functions to offshore locations, primarily to cut down on costs and focus on core business activities at home. Since then, the global outsourcing industry has come a long way.

Advancement in technologies has made it much easier to perform work from a remote location, and consequently, the offshore outsourcing industry has grown tremendously. Research studies have been conducted to provide insights and statistics on popular outsourcing destinations and the outsourcing providers that offer their services to customers from all over the world.

We've compiled the ultimate list of outsourcing statistics to help stay up-to-date with the trends. Check out this infographic and read on to learn more about the global outsourcing industry.

Outsourcing Statistics Infographic

The Global Outsourcing Industry

According to Deloitte's 2016 Global Outsourcing Survey, 78% of respondents claim that they feel positive about their outsourcing relationship.

When asked about the reasons for outsourcing, 59% of businesses cited cost-cutting as the primary reason, while 57% claims that it enables them to focus on core business functions. Another 47% of businesses claim that outsourcing solves business capacity issues.

Other reasons for outsourcing include the enhancement of service quality, critical to business needs, access to intellectual capital, business environmental management, and wider transformational change.

This is why more industries are outsourcing their business processes, especially IT and customer service. Outsourcing sectors include IT-BPO, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, energy, travel and transport, telecommunications, and media.

In KPMG's recent Global IT-BPO Outsourcing Deals Analysis, telecommunications sector consistently remains one of the top contributors to the outsourcing industry. It's because this sector is increasingly leveraging information and communication technology as well as social, mobile, analytics, and cloud technology.

Adoption and Revenue

Another study revealed that since the Great Recession in the United States, the country had outsourced more than 2.4 million jobs. In fact, 57% of companies in the United States increased their use of outsourcing, while 34% significantly restructured outsourcing agreements and only 9% terminated their outsourcing agreements.

When KPMG analyzed the deals closed in the first quarter of 2017, they found that albeit decreasing, the Americas is continuing to be a major outsourcing region that contributes 42% of the total deal value (from 68% the previous quarter). Of these, 41.5% came from the United States alone.

Meanwhile, the EMA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) and ASPAC (Asia and Oceania) regions are not far behind and have increased their adoption of outsourcing. In the previous quarter, EMA contributed 27% of the total deal value, but during the first quarter of 2017, their contribution increased to 35%. Of this percentage, 22.07% of deals came from the United Kingdom.

ASPAC, on the other hand, contributed 23% this quarter as compared to only 16% in the last quarter. Australia and India were also identified as a key outsourcing market in the same report.

Since the advent of outsourcing, revenue has almost doubled. In 2000, the global market size for outsourcing was at 45.6 billion U.S. dollars and that number has continued to grow until it reached 88.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2015. However, the same source reported that last year, the global market revenue went down to 76.9 billion U.S. dollars.

Automation and Outsourcing

The global outsourcing industry has evolved, as automation technology is taking over much of business processes. Traditional IT-BPO offshoring models are evolving. In the past, operations of an entire business function are contracted. Today, specific services can be contracted and delivered across distributed environments in the world.

But, because automation is a relatively new technology, it still needs to be closely monitored. As a result, new jobs are created as human decision-making and critical thinking are still required in creative and more complex processes. These new positions require more advanced skills for the building, training, management, troubleshooting, and improvement of the technology. In effect, the demand for low-skilled jobs in offshore BPO companies is declining, and the demand for higher skilled workers that can manage and improve automation technology is rapidly increasing.

As such, new offshore positions are being created in rhythm with the trend of outsourcing higher-skill jobs, and creative tasks that cannot be automated is rising. According to MicroSourcing, the most common business processes that companies nowadays outsource are for small or one-time projects, photography services, administrative tasks and repetitive processes, accounting and bookkeeping, and graphic design projects.

The Philippines as a Top Outsourcing Destination

Because SMAC and automation technology is rising, A.T. Kearney took digital competence in consideration to identify the top outsourcing destinations in its Global Services Location Index (GSLI). Along with this, they used 38 metrics surrounding financial attractiveness, people skills and availability, and business environment. In this GSLI, the Philippines ranks as the 7th best offshoring landscape.

Meanwhile, the Tholons Services Globalization Index added digital innovation this year as one of the metrics in coming up with the top outsourcing destinations in the world. It places the Philippines 3rd on its list of top digital nations. Manila is also ranked 4th on their list of top super cities.

These rankings confirm that the country is holding steady as an industry leader in outsourcing. As one of the world's largest English-speaking nations with a 95% literacy rate, the Philippines is an undisputed leader in customer service and BPM (Business Process Management). In fact, 16 of the top 20 offshore call center projects in 2016 were located in the country.

More importantly, the Philippines is gaining ground in high-value fields including legal-BPO and engineering. The country is constantly updating the skills and knowledge of their talent pool to keep up with the evolution of outsourcing trends and automation technology.

Final Words

Digital forces such as robotics, AI, cloud storage, social media, mobile technology, and big data are shaking up the traditional model of outsourcing services. As such, the global outsourcing industry is becoming increasingly competitive, with Canada, Chile, Israel, and Brazil disrupting its landscape. Outsourcing companies and third-party providers need to innovate and re-invent their services to keep up with evolving demands.

At MicroSourcing, we enable organizations and enterprises to get the most value for their money and grow their business exponentially in response to today's digital demands. Whether you're a startup company or an established enterprise, we make sure to offer a strong outsourcing option to help your business thrive.


Your Guide to Outsourcing Content Creation

by: Sidney Liquigan

Thursday, December 7, 2017 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

The first step to making a name for your business is gaining an audience through engaging content. People will trust and follow your content if it is professionally done, relevant, and substantial. It takes more than just knowledge about the topic to create effective content; it also takes expertise and the right tools and resources.

Outsourcing content creation helps you focus on growing your business while leveraging high-quality content at affordable rates. And as people become more reliant on the internet for information, the more it becomes necessary for brands to produce creative, engaging content regularly to cut through the noise.

In order to get the results you want, it is important to understand the ins and outs of outsourcing content creation.

Why you need to outsource content creation

It goes without saying that outsourcing, in general, is a strategic way to save time, resources, and energy that you can allocate on improving key business operations. But that's not the only reason why outsourcing content creation is a blessing to business owners.

SEO standards require websites to have regularly updated content. It's already time-consuming and tedious to research and create content on a single topic, what more if you have to do it on a regular basis. Furthermore, the frequency, topics, and the order they are published require strategy. Outsourcing to content specialists means you get access not only to the right skills but also to insights on the latest SEO standards and other online best practices that will help your content get the boost it deserves.

Content that you can outsource

Blogs

The best way to produce fresh content regularly is through blogs. Blogs are also a great venue for marketing your services, products, and promos in different approaches. Outsource blog management to get professional help from topic and keyword research to blog writing, publication, and promotion.

Articles

While blogs are more casual and conversational with the primary purpose of creating relationships with the readers, articles, on the other hand, are more formal and less dynamic but can be as effective when they adhere to SEO standards, can hook the readers, and present the right information in the best way. Articles include content in magazines and newsletters. They are mostly informational and are based on facts, data, and research.

Lead Generation

Lead generating content is content that has the goal of generating leads and increasing conversion. This type of content is seen in ads, landing pages, e-books, and white papers. Beyond getting your audience hooked and interested, lead generation has the crucial responsibility of getting the readers to actually take action, whether it is to contact you, to subscribe, or to make a purchase. It takes special skills and techniques to produce persuasive content, especially when you only need a few words to deliver your message.

Social Media

Social media is a powerful platform for networking and promoting your business. To have a successful social media presence, it is not enough to create engaging and relevant content. You should be constantly online to respond to inquiries and communicate with your audience through the comments section. Along with creating content adhering to each social media platform's standards, outsource your social media management to third-party providers that can also manage your social media community and can understand analytics and insights to come up with more audience-centric content.

Web Content

Having a website establishes your existence in the World Wide Web. A website makes it more convenient for people to find more information about your business and what you offer. SEO writing experts know that effective web content is not only creative and valuable but also goes well with the web design in terms of structure and typography, to provide a seamless user experience.

Visual Content

A successful online strategy involves delivering your message through powerful, emotionally captivating visuals. A company's credibility is also manifested in the quality of its visual content. There are outsourcing companies and creative agencies that offer graphic design, animation, and video editing to help you with your campaigns.

Before outsourcing content creation

All types of content serve different purposes. Before outsourcing content creation, there are a number of considerations worth finalizing.

Goals and values

You should first define your company's mission, vision, and values which will then help you identify what your content should achieve and the approach it should take.

Tone and voice

Establish a style guide for consistency in branding, design, message, and the tone and voice that your writers should use when creating content for your brand.

Buyer persona

You create content for your audience; know more about your audience and customer base from which you will base your overall content strategy. Your buyer persona will help your content strategy to have a clearer direction and goals.


6 Factors to Consider Before Outsourcing Development

by: Sidney Liquigan

Tuesday, December 5, 2017 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Outsourcing parts of your business functions can significantly improve productivity and efficiency, as well as reduce costs. According to a research by IBM, companies outsource to cut costs (27%), for innovation (36%), and for growth (37%), making outsourcing part of their business plan as a tool for optimizing their businesses and more than just as a way to get affordable deals.

One of the most common jobs that startups, small- and medium-sized businesses, and big companies alike outsource is development. This can involve web development, software development, or app development.

Depending on the nature of your business, and depending on what role development plays in your goals, it can be a crucial aspect to outsource. Before outsourcing development, it is important that you know the important factors to consider.

Choosing the right outsourcing provider

Once you have chosen the right outsourcing provider that has the skills and resources to perform the job, everything will fall into place. So it is important to have that part carefully planned. It is ideal to have more than one potential partner and conduct due diligence on each candidate. Consider their respective pros and cons to help you decide the best development service to go with.

Keeping up to date with technology

Continuous advances in technology mean standards also change and become more demanding. Make sure that your developer uses the latest tools to make the developed app, software, or website more optimized and the development processes more efficient. Your developer should also always adhere to the latest technology standards to ensure that your project never goes outdated. These standards generally include having a responsive design and a mobile-friendly interface.

Constant communication

When you work with others, especially with offshore outsourcing companies, communication is a critical part of the process. Development projects are purely technical, so there should be a guarantee that you have seamless communication with your developer even after the project has been completed. It is likely that your outsourcing partner is in another time zone; be aware of the time zone difference and set up a plan on how both parties can communicate more effectively.

Protecting your intellectual property and legal rights

Be aware of the legal considerations that come with outsourcing development. Protect your business and secure your intellectual property by creating limitations. Have your outsourcing partner sign contracts and non-disclosure agreements. Seek legal advice to guide you through this process.

Getting involved

Outsource development to a company that allows you to have control over the development processes. It is not ideal to be only interested in the end product; always get involved with your projects by at least getting regular updates to monitor progress and to make sure that the outsource tasks are on track. By providing your input and communicating with your outsourced developer or development team, you'll learn more about your project that will help make smart decisions.

Getting your money's worth

Outsourcing is worth the investment. In the long run, the benefits will start reflecting in your cash flow as well as in the efficiency of your operations. Make sure that you get your money's worth by outsourcing development to developers or companies with the right skills, experience, and tools you need for your development project.

These are just some of the factors worth considering when you choose to outsource development projects. The main takeaway here is to have the right knowledge and know the best practices for what you are getting into. For tasks that require specialized skills, such as development, it is best to turn to experts. Working with outsourcing companies to find the right one for the job is a worthwhile solution.


20 Tasks to Outsource to a Virtual Assistant

by: Sidney Liquigan

Thursday, November 30, 2017 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Free up your time by outsourcing clerical, creative, or technical work to someone who can work with you and do these tasks remotely. Hire a virtual assistant so you can give 100% attention to your core responsibilities.

A virtual assistant is essentially like an administrative assistant or secretary but a lot more cost-effective since it is usually offered by offshore outsourcing companies. With virtual assistants, you are free from overhead costs, employee-related taxes, and logistic concerns. You only pay for the service provided to you.

Virtual assistant services

Here are some of the tasks you can outsource to a virtual assistant.

Administrative work

  • Managing contact lists and spreadsheets
  • Managing calendars
  • Email management
  • Making travel arrangements
  • Research and data analysis
  • Transcription and encoding
  • Business coordinating
  • Data processing and reporting
  • Data entry
  • Customer service
  • Social media management
  • Content management

Specialized services

  • Online marketing
  • SEO and SEM
  • Accounting and bookkeeping
  • Telemarketing
  • Legal or medical transcription
  • Creative tasks (content writing, graphic design, web development)
  • IT development
  • Sales and marketing

What to look for in virtual assistant

For the general tasks, you will need a virtual assistant who has strong organizational and communication skills and experience with data entry and research, as well as proficiency in digital and online tools such as navigating the internet, emails, and messaging apps. Of course, for the specialized services, you would need a virtual assistant who has knowledge and experience with the corresponding job.

Hiring an individual or a team of virtual assistants through outsourcing firms in the Philippines like MicroSourcing gives you access to a competitive pool of Filipino talents who are fluent in the English language and has a strong affinity with Western culture. Grow your business more effectively; learn more about the virtual assistant services you can acquire from MicroSourcing.


Tips to Reduce Outsourcing Risks

by: Sidney Liquigan

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Business process outsourcing (BPO) proves to have significant benefits in cash flow, operations, and logistics. However, having an offshore third party provider also comes with risks that when managed poorly, can cause major damage to your business.

According to Exigen Services CEO Alec Miloslavsky, outsourcing risks are generally divided into three:

  1. Financial risk – where project costs are higher than expected
  2. Time to market risk – delays in production and turnaround
  3. Delivery risk – where the project failed to meet objectives

Reducing outsourcing risks is a continuous practice that starts during the decision-making process on choosing the right outsourcing partner and continues throughout the course of the partnership. The decision-making stage is the perfect time to define the risks and plan how to minimize them. Along the way, as your outsourcing partnership develops, reducing outsourcing risks becomes a shared responsibility.

Mitigating outsourcing risks

On your end, here are the ways you can successfully reduce outsourcing risks.

Ask for a trial

Among the potential outsourcing partners you have shortlisted, a trial of the services you require can ultimately help you decide the right outsourcing firm to go with. A trial saves you from impulsively finalizing agreements and contracts and lets you put potential partners to test without commitment.

Identify your goals and set checkpoints

In outsourcing, you can delegate tasks in volumes that depend on your budget and confidence in having your business processes outsourced. You have the option to break down your projects and outsource them by task; or when you outsource a long-term project, set progressive milestones and checkpoints to keep track of the project's progress and its deliverables. Identify your objectives and goals for each project and share your expectations with your outsourcing partner.

Set KPIs

In addition to communicating your objectives and expectations with your outsourcing provider, it is also important that you define quality standards and set key performance indicators (KPIs) for your offshore outsourced team. These can help you have a measurable gauge to analyze how well they are performing.

Demand transparency

Your outsourcing provider should be explicit with their methodology. Ask them about how they manage and execute projects and find out if they have the flexibility to adjust and scale their processes to your own set of standards. Changes and demands in the market and the industry constantly varies and it is important that you have a partner that is agile to changes.

Obtain raw files, not just the final product

The main point of outsourcing is delegating business functions to vendors that have the experience and right skillset. Thus, you might only be interested in the final product or deliverable and you might not find the raw files useful. But look at the big picture. What happens when you decide to change your outsourcing partner? Obtaining the raw files will allow your new vendor to take over or make changes to the project easily and without having to start from scratch.

Make your provider sign an NDA

A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) protects your business and bounds your outsourcing partner under a contract to keep your projects confidential. When you outsource a production job, such as app development or creative work, it is your privilege as an outsourcing client to have the product white-labeled. The signed NDA will not only protect trade secrets and proprietary knowledge, but it will also keep your outsourcing partner from revealing that they work with you and which of your projects they are working on or have worked on.

Shared responsibility

Outsourcing involves two parties: you and your outsourcing partner. And as any partnership goes, both of you should have accountability for accurate process execution. As we mentioned, reducing outsourcing risks is a shared responsibility. When something goes wrong, both parties will be affected and therefore should work together to cultivate a collaborative relationship.


How do you manage customer issues in your company?

For many companies, it means setting up an issue tracking system (ITS) in place to help the support team manage and keep track of issues from beginning to end when they finally get resolved.

An ITS is especially helpful for companies who provide IT support services to customers and businesses. Also referred to as a ticket management system, an ITS is a piece of software that organizes information in a central location to make it easier for your team to offer support and resolve customer issues so that your customers remain happy with using your products.

But even with a ticket management system in place, many businesses still have a hard time managing technical support queries due to problems with poor process management, messy workflow and lack of training. Poor customers support can lead to your business losing valuable customers.

An effective ticket management system is vital not only to the support team but also to the success of your overall business. Here are 5 ways to maximize your ticket management system and make it work for your team:

  1. Implement a first-come, first-served ticket process

    Many support teams have different ways of handling support tickets, but most of them use the first-come, first-served approach as a guide in prioritizing which requests to answer first.

    JitBit, a company that provides helpdesk software to businesses, recommends working on issues in the order they arrive to prevent any ticket from getting lost in the void.

    Sometimes, though, there may be cases when sticking to a first-come, first-served approach may be a bottleneck to providing top-notch service such as when a free customer gets prioritized over a paying customer with a more complex problem. In cases like this, it's useful to have a little flexibility and employ a different tactic, which brings us to our next point...

  2. Categorize support tickets

    In the real world, a business receives customer issues with varying degrees of difficulty, often spanning multiple areas of expertise. That's why a technical support manager should know how to triage and categorize support tickets so that they can be sent straight away to someone who knows how to solve them in the right order of priority.

    Triaging support tickets was inspired by how doctors would triage—aka sort—patients based on how much they need immediate medical treatment. Zendesk implements this strategy to keep response times down and make sure that tickets would be sent to a support agent familiar with the issue the first time around.

    Combining this strategy with the first-come, first-served approach allows support teams to better distribute the load within their teams while still keeping on top of customer requests.

  3. Enable self-service/searchable knowledge base (FAQs, etc.)

    It's inevitable: there will be times when you need to answer the same question again and again because it happens to multiple users.

    If you have a handy list of frequently asked questions that your customers can easily access on demand, then they won't need to file a support ticket anymore.

    Publishing a searchable knowledge base is not a new thing. In fact, 9 out of 10 users expect brands to have an online FAQ so they can search for the solutions themselves instead of having a lengthy conversation with an agent. This works best for simple issues and saves both you and the customers precious time and money.

  4. Automate workflow and create a support workflow

    The ticket management system you use should work for you, not the other way around. Having a solid workflow reduces delays in your team so that everyone knows when and who to approach when certain problems arise.

    Your workflow can be a short paragraph or a simple 10-point checklist that tells your team when and who to call when things need to be escalated. The important thing is that you set up your workflow to be seamless. Remove as much friction as possible so that each request goes from point A to point B without any unnecessary steps.

    Aside from having a solid workflow, taking advantage of automation can also make the task of IT support services flow more smoothly. It's hard to find the right balance between automating tasks and dedicating time for manual work, but as a rule of thumb, the tasks asking customers for information about the issue should be automated so that your support agents can get up to speed and work right away on solving their problems.

  5. Track performance metrics/data

    Just like marketing and sales, customer support is composed of processes that lead to results. As the team leader, the results you're aiming for should be happy customers, so you need to find out which processes keep customers happy, and keep on doing that.

    That's where tracking performance data comes in. Tracking your team's performance allows you to determine which strategies are bringing positive results, as well as those that can use more improvement so that you can try out new strategies and continually improve your workflow.

    Additionally, the customer support industry continuously evolves as technology comes up with new forms of communication for customers. What works today may not work tomorrow, so staying on top of data allows you to adapt your strategies to improve your ways of managing customer issues.

  6. Outsource technical support team

    For businesses with a lot on their plate, handling support tickets internally can be a little messy. In those cases, BPO companies that offer technical support management is the most practical choice because it may already have optimized systems, processes, and people in place enabling it to outperform your own customer support capabilities.

    Having an outsourcing team makes it easier to provide 24/7 support to your customers and reduces ticket processing time. It also comes with the added benefit of having more time to focus on growing your products, while the outsourcing team makes sure that your customers remain satisfied and happy with your brand.

The best customer support is one that can quickly provide solutions and make customers feel important. It looks like a simple process on the outside, but there's a lot of operations that should always be kept in top shape to ensure an efficient ticket management system. And if you need an outsourcing company, MicroSourcing is here to provide great quality of service that will help boost your business performance.


Tips for Delegating Work Effectively

by: Sidney Liquigan

Wednesday, November 22, 2017 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Startups and small businesses tend to want to take control over everything – for them, it is easier to monitor progress when you keep it in-house. However, delegation is a practice that is essential to achieve real business growth. When you have a small team, it is not ideal to juggle tasks. Handling many different responsibilities will distract you from your core business competencies.

Delegation and outsourcing

When delegating work, know that this doesn't always mean that you have to hire more staff. Expanding your in-house staff can be costly. Allocate your resources instead to scaling up your business and delegate work by outsourcing them.

Outsourcing is a cost-effective solution that gives you access to a highly skilled workforce without having to worry about the additional costs and logistics concerns that come with it – you only have to pay for the service you require.

Additionally, outsourcing offers various flexible options to help you get started with delegation. You can start with outsourcing specific tasks first to test how it works for you. As you gain more confidence with outsourcing and with your outsourcing partner, you can gradually outsource larger projects and arrange for a long-term partnership.

What to outsource

The success and the continuous growth of the outsourcing industry can be partially attributed to the wide range of services different outsourcing companies offer. Nowadays, you can outsource almost anything; you can start with outsourcing administrative tasks to a virtual assistant or outsource different back-office departments such as finance and accounting, recruitment and human resources, and IT. There are also outsourcing services for marketing, creatives and production, as well as customer service.

When to outsource

Deciding when it's time to outsource varies from case to case. Essentially, you need to assess your team's current workload and identify the areas that need more focus. Based on your priorities, would you have enough time and manpower to handle all of them with equal dedication? If your answer is no, then the higher level priorities should be handled by your team and outsource the other tasks, with the volume of work to be outsourced depending on urgency and your budget.

You should also identify the areas that need special skills that your team lack. Obviously, you need to outsource these projects to gain access to professionals with the right skills and resources to get the job done.

Conclusion

Overcome stagnation and delegate parts of your business processes. Consider outsourcing work to third-company providers that offer outsourcing services with the managed operations approach. With managed operations, you will have full control over your outsourced operations, with your outsourcing partner serving as your representative in supervising your external team.



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