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Archive for the 'Outsourcing Research / Trends' Category

The Ultimate List of Outsourcing Statistics

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Monday, December 11, 2017 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

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.

Outsourcing statistics

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.


9 Ways Call Centers can Improve Customer Satisfaction

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Call centers are dedicated to fulfilling customers' queries and making sure that they are resolved quickly and exceed the callers' expectations. Customer satisfaction relies not only on whether or not the problem was solved, but also on how the interaction between the customer and the agent transpired, along with other factors. How can call centers contribute to improving customer satisfaction?

Be more assertive and have presence of mind

Call center representatives receive training to get accustomed to the company, products or services, and the types of queries they would handle. While they are trained to stick to a script, there will be unpredictable circumstances. Call center representatives must be trained well to be assertive and have presence of mind. These skills will give them the confidence to take charge of the situation and give the customers assurance.

Reduce waiting time

Review your processes and identify what usually causes the call waiting time to take longer. It could be that some of the agents need to be retrained, a part of your process that needs to be streamlined, or some of your systems or technology need to be upgraded.

Be more accessible

A way to reduce call waiting time is to become more accessible to customers. This could mean hiring additional call center representatives, especially during peak seasons, or adding more communication channels to complement the voice calls. For example, if the call center is handling applications or claims, it would be more convenient to have online forms available for the customer to fill out and submit. The call center representative will then only have to call the customer to ask for additional information or to update him or her on the application or claim status. If you have international customers, you could try extending your operation hours to match their time zones.

Spot weaknesses and address areas of improvement

Review customer calls and see how the call center representatives are handling the customers. Find out the reasons for customer dissatisfaction and implement ways to improve them. Keep the call center team up-to-date with the latest policies, tips, and best practices so they could continue to improve their skills and keep them motivated. Perform regular appraisals to assess their performance and provide advice and additional training as needed.

Nurture a conducive environment

Call centers can be hectic, and so it is important that the agents are given time to take a break and unwind. A comfortable working environment can help them reinvigorate, like having a space for mini-breaks. Fun team building activities can also help boost their motivation.

Have the right resources and tools

Help your call center agents serve the customers better by providing them with the right tools and facilities to be able to do their job well. Look into doing some upgrades or introducing new technology that will allow for faster and more streamlined service.

Ask for feedback and act on it

Take advantage of the power of the internet to engage customers and encourage them to give their feedback on your call center service. Look into forums and social media to see what your customers think about your service. The comments section is also a good place to start. Additionally, you can also start a thread or a single place where customers can post or send their reviews and testimonials.

Be more attentive and empathic

To understand your customer, put yourself in their shoes. Treat them how you would want to be treated if you were the customer. Having empathy and being attentive to the customers can make them feel more comfortable and confident that you can address their concerns effectively. It can also help alleviate the tension, if any.

Outsource

If you think you need more time and money to do all these, then you should consider outsourcing your call center services to offshore providers. Outsourcing your call center services allows you to delegate the tasks to a more capable team at lower costs. With the right resources and infrastructure to do the job effectively, not only can you save time and money, customer satisfaction will improve too.


High Growth Expected for the Healthcare BPO Market by 2025

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Thursday, May 9, 2019 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

According to a research report, the healthcare BPO market will experience strong growth during the forecast period leading to 2025, driven by the increasing number of medical and healthcare organizations adopting BPO in order to attain business growth.

The report pointed out that outsourcing is becoming a trend in the healthcare industry as the workload for medical and healthcare providers also increase. Thus, they outsource to offshore providers so they can continue to focus on their core competencies and improve the quality of their services.

The healthcare industry turns to outsourcing providers to cut costs, realign their resources, and reduce expenses on support activities. The report stated that these reasons will be the main driver of the healthcare BPO market growth in the coming years.

Another benefit that the industry gets from BPO is easy access to a wide variety of talent at lower labor rates. Healthcare companies outsource to developing countries including the Philippines, China, and India. They offer various business support activities such as medical transcription, data management and analysis, accounting, payroll, medical billing, and medical coding.

Technological advancements are also seen to boost healthcare BPO market growth. The demand for digitization of medical support activities is expected to rise. Also factoring in costs, it would be more cost-effective for companies to outsource to providers that already have up-to-date resources and technologies than to acquire their own.

On the other hand, despite a positive outlook for the market, there are still major restraints that are seen to limit its growth – particularly the risks that come with outsourcing. As the healthcare industry generally deals with sensitive information, some companies are still hesitant to outsource because of data security risks. Furthermore, time zone differences are also a concern.

However, for offshore clients' peace of mind, strict standards and certifications are in place to address these concerns. MicroSourcing, specifically, is ISO/IEC 27001:2013 (Information Security Management System) and ISO 9001:2015 (Quality Management System) certified. We are also compliant with the Philippine Data Protection Act of 2012, as well as the USA's Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. As for concerns regarding time differences, BPO providers offer flexible working models that will best fit the requirements of the clients.

Leading countries as healthcare outsourcing destinations include the Philippines, India, China, Vietnam, the USA, Mexico, Argentina, Ireland, France, and South Africa.


Tips for Managing an Outsourcing Contract

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

An outsourcing contract should create value for both the client and the outsourcing company. After discussions, agreements, and sign-offs have been made, the project is now turned over to the outsourced team. And typically, not everyone is involved or understands what went on during the agreement process. Thus, this may result in misinterpretation, miscommunication, and objectives and goals not being met.

To achieve successful outsourcing, here are some outsourcing management tips and best practices that both client and provider should consider.

Designate a Point of Contact

At the start of the engagement, there should be designated contact persons for both parties. By having one person to represent the client and the outsourcing provider, respectively, inconsistency and uncertainty will be avoided. This also lets the outsourcing provider know right away who to consult and ask for approval from. Make sure that the points of contact for both ends are people who know and understand all the requirements and the procedures, systems, and policies that are agreed on by both parties.

Document Issues and Requests

Outsourcing requires collaboration between the client and the provider. When the customer doesn't immediately fulfill their obligations, this could be an excuse for the outsourcing provider for underperformance. Make it part of the contract to require the provider to keep a record of the issues, as well as requests for action from the customer. It helps if there is a ticketing system where employees could file the issue and request action from the concerned person or department. The system could also help in keeping track of the status of the issues—whether they're still pending or already resolved.

Everything must be Specified Clearly

Before commencing the outsourcing contract, make sure that the terms are clear to both parties. To guarantee that all requirements and objectives are met, the contract must explicitly state all the details clearly, including the roles and responsibilities of each party. This is also the stage where those involved should already clarify anything that's unclear to them.

Monitor and Evaluate Progress

Outsourcing customers must establish KPIs to help them assess the performance of their outsourcing partner. Set deadlines, timelines, and milestones to keep track of progress and observe how objectives are achieved, as well as to see how the communication and collaboration between client and provider are working.

Control the Changes

While outsourcing means delegating a provider you can trust to take the task off your hands, it's still important to have a change control process that both parties understand and have agreed to. This means that when the provider recommends some changes in the contract, it must undergo the change control process and not just rely on trust alone. The changes must be reviewed, discussed, and documented.


Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Your Medical Billing

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Thursday, April 25, 2019 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Medical billing is a complex process that demands time and attention that could have been used to focus on your main business functions. And you could do just that when you outsource your medical billing to experienced outsourcing providers. However, before outsourcing your medical billing, it is important to consider the pros and cons, which could help you make a decision whether or not medical billing outsourcing is right for you.

PROS

  1. Better Patient Experience
    With the medical billing tasks now out of your way, you can now concentrate on providing better service to your customers, especially on providing quality care for patients.
  2. Minimized Errors
    Outsourcing to professional medical billers ensures that the job will be done more efficiently and accurately, thus minimizing billing errors. This then reduces the number of rejected and denied medical claims.
  3. Improved Cash Flow
    Billing interruptions can occur when your in-house medical biller goes on vacation or when delays are caused by an insufficient number of employees. Outsourcing your medical billing ensures that there's always staff to handle it and your reimbursements are always on time, thus resulting in steady cash flow.
  4. Up-to-Date Compliance Obligations
    Constant changes in insurance companies and third-party payers make it challenging for healthcare providers to keep up with different requirements and regulations. An outsourced medical billing team has all the resources, skills, and knowledge to maintain compliance. It is part of their job to monitor the changes so you don't have to.
  5. Increased Revenue
    With knowledgeable and experienced medical billing staff using innovative technology—all that at lower labor costs, healthcare businesses get to spend more on improving their services. This leads to patients becoming more satisfied, causing the business to gain higher profit.
  6. Transparency
    Outsourcing providers are all about efficiency. To keep you on track, your medical billing outsourcing partner will provide you regularly with performance reports. You also get access to online dashboards and other systems so that you have visibility into your outsourced medical billing operations.

CONS

  1. Loss of Control
    One of the most common reasons why medical businesses are hesitant to outsource is their lack of direct control over the outsourced medical billing staff. Managers are in charge of the revenue cycle, accounts receivables, and financial management, among others, so they feel vulnerable for not being able to directly supervise the outsourced function.
  2. No Onsite Representative
    Some patients prefer to make their payment or inquire about their bill in person instead of online or over the phone. Not having onsite medical billing staff to entertain walk-in customers may affect patient satisfaction.
  3. Privacy and Security Concerns
    Healthcare businesses are also concerned about the potential risks to their HIPAA compliance and data security. With the transactions being done online and data being kept remotely, not only are outsourced medical billing teams vulnerable to physical risks, but to digital risks as well.
  4. Limitations
    Patient records and other information may be more easily available to in-house medical billing staff compared to a remote team that may not have all the information immediately available to them.

Mitigate the Cons with MicroSourcing Managed Operations Outsourcing

Weigh your options before making a decision. However, know that everything has pros and cons; you just need to study each one carefully to understand what will work best for your business. The disadvantages presented above can be mitigated, and even avoided, if you plan properly and partner with a reputable outsourcing provider that has all the requirements you need.

While many businesses enjoy the benefits of outsourcing, there will also be those who are hesitant. One of their concerns is having to hand over the control of their operations to the outsourcing provider. With managed operations outsourcing, it's still like running your own business operations but with all the advantages of outsourcing. It will be up to you to decide the level of control you will share with your managed operations provider.

MicroSourcing is a managed operations provider in the Philippines, which offers flexible arrangements that can be integrated if you already have an existing medical billing system or process. We host and manage HIPAA and PCI-DSS compliant operators, and we are certified for ISO/IEC 27001:2013 (Information Security Management System) and ISO 9001:2015 (Quality Management System).