How do you know which sections of your business to offshore? Commentators1 frequently advise that it’s best to keep core business onshore, meanwhile the systems that work to keep the wheels turning can be safely offshored. More and more organizations are outsourcing operations to the Philippines – and for good reason.
With an outsourced operations team, huge efficiencies can be made in the critical wheel-turning parts of your business, like data processing, back-office support, administration, quality assurance and workflow planning – anything that’s not part of your core strategy.
What’s more, outsourcing a specialized operations team can expand the capabilities and productivity of your business. Currently, there are huge changes sweeping the operations management industry. Issues such as shrinking product lifecycles, the outsourcing of labor, the requirements of environmentally sustainable business practices and the rapid digitization of almost every aspect of our working lives have revolutionized business operations. New approaches such as Business Process Reengineering2, just-in-time production and the Six Sigma3 measure, have put more pressure on the operations arm of every business to leverage the new capabilities to increase productivity. For many companies, outsourcing in operations management gives them a stronger operations team, which allows them to stay competitive in a fast-changing business climate.
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What can an outsourced operations team do?
Operations teams are typically highly specialized and differ according to the needs of the organization. They streamline processes, identify issues and opportunities for improvement and respond to very particular business needs. They’re something like a cross between a butler, a personal trainer and a quality inspector – or even better, a team comprising all three.
Ops teams do everything from identifying log jams in the supply chain, evaluating developments in technology and isolating poorly performing products, to ensuring legal compliance and certification, processing data and analyzing risk. They can get involved in forecasting, developing metrics and KPIs, and ticking the boxes needed for reporting and accountability. As they say, if you want the numbers, ask the operations team.
The operations team can also oversee operational sections of the business, for example if you have outsourced a number of other teams, you may decide to let your operations team take care of managing them. As mentioned, anything that’s not core business, and draws focus from the key strengths of your company, can be outsourced to a tailored operations team.
Why outsource operations to the Philippines?
For most companies, one of the biggest influencers on the decision to outsource to the Philippines is probably price. Educated professionals with the required flexibility, attention to detail and baseline usefulness don’t come cheap. At least not in the US (where the average salary of an Operations Manager is US $96,5804), Canada (C$73,1255) or Australia (AU$82,9206). In the Philippines you can hire a whole operations team with a wealth of expertise for the same outlay.
And that wealth of expertise is the other big influencer. Operations may not be your company’s core business, but it just so happens to be ours. The design of effective and efficient outsourced operations solutions for our clients is our mission and our passion. We’ve helped match and manage more than 4,000 Filipino professionals for over 200 client companies operating with various workflows, supply chains, team structures and flexible-delivery arrangements for over 13 years. We’ve even won awards for it. As experts in outsourcing operations management, we’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. We know the pitfalls and how to avoid them, and we’re happy to share our expertise with you.
Which operations teams can be outsourced?
Your outsourced operations team is most useful when it’s molded to your company’s needs. Here are some examples of the specialists you might include on your team:
These specialists manage workflow and optimize daily activities. They match up customer needs with business processes and streamline processes. The two watch words for operations professionals are efficiency and effectiveness – and that’s what you can expect this team to deliver. These specialists can be known as:
- Senior Operations Manager
- Operations Manager
- Assistant Operations Manager
Job No 1 for these professionals is often to support the management team. They may handle communication, clerical support, event coordination, document management and many other duties. They go by titles like:
- Administration Manager
- Administration Officer
- Administrative Assistants
Quality Assurance Specialists
Keeping the standards of your business high, this team implements quality control, including identifying and resolving quality issues, conducting product testing and product audits, implementing standards, documenting procedures, evaluation and monitoring. They can be known as:
- Quality Assurance Manager/Supervisor
- Quality Assurance Analyst
Workflow Planning Specialists
Often the bridge between onshore and offshore employees, the workflow planning specialist makes sure everyone is on the same page and that work has been received, assigned, tracked, completed and evaluated.
- Workflow Planning Specialist
- Workflow Planning Assistants
In addition, organizations commonly structure their operations team to include teams or representatives from any of the following
How does it work? A typical operations team structure
The beauty of an operations team is that it’s built to be responsive. In fact, once your outsourced operations team is up and running it can advise you on an optimal team structure tailored to your business. For this reason, many businesses outsourcing their operations team to the Philippines begin with a small team of operations specialists and task them to look for efficiencies that might be gained by expansion.
Here’s an example of how your team could be structured:
Depending on the size of your business, this team is typically comprised of two or three people.
- 1 Senior Operations Manager
- 1 Operations Manager
- 2 Business Unit Operations Managers
- 1 Assistant Operations Manager
The Senior Operations Manager and the Operations Manager allocate units or processes within the business. They may take on specific projects or groups of staff. Often the Senior Operations Manager plays a training and mentoring role to the more junior staff. The Assistant Operations Manager offers specialized administrative and data processing support to this team.
A typical initial team structure for this team is three to four people:
- 1 Administration Manager
- 2-3 Administrative Assistants
Individual Administrative Assistants are typically assigned to individual management staff, while the Administrative Manager plays an overseeing role to ensure consistency and smooth communications within the unit. The manager may also work within an administrative assistance role alongside his or her management duties.
Quality Assurance Specialists
This team often includes two or three people:
- 1 Quality Assurance Manager/Supervisor
- 1-2 Quality Assurance Analyst
Typically one or more QA analysts will specialize in particular products or services offered by the business. They test and evaluate products and services, track data and measure performance against targets. The QA Manager oversees the team and brings a big-picture view to the business’ processes, reporting on industry developments and making suggestions for improvements.
Workflow Planning Specialists
This team can include two or more specialists:
- 1 Workflow Planning Specialist
- 1 Workflow Planning Assistants
Workflow planning specialists are responsible for keeping everyone clear on their responsibilities and targets. They may work with an assistant assigned to look after particular business segments, or teams based, for example onshore and offshore. Strong communication in this team is essential, as they are responsible for communicating overall workflow changes across the business.
As your company footprint in the Philippines expands, it may make business sense to continue to invest in outsourcing your operations management. This means bringing other teams under the outsourced operations department, so the operations manager can oversee them, freeing up the Onshore COO. Such teams include:
The advantage of this is that operations experts specialize in process analysis and optimization. They keep on top of developments in the industry and can make recommendations when new processes and procedures come online. You can manage your outsourced operations team directly (i.e. retain direct oversight of your operations team), or you can opt to have your offshore operations fully managed by MicroSourcing. It just depends on how hands-on you want to be.
1 Mind Tools. The Outsourcing Decision Matrix
2 Bain & Company. Business Process Reengineering. 2 Apr. 2018
3 UNSW. UNSW Short Courses
4 Salary.com. Operations Manager Salary in the United States
5 Talent.com. Operations Manager Average Salary in Canada 2021
6 PayScale, Inc.. Average Operations Manager Salary in Australia
Interested in outsourcing operations staff to the Philippines?
Since our inception in 2006, MicroSourcing has become one of the biggest providers of offshoring solutions in the Philippines. With over 4,500 employees, 7 offices and 250 clients, we can help you build a dedicated team in the Philippines, regardless of the roles and level of specialization you require. We have more than 7,300 operations professionals in our candidate database, and we’ve employed more than 220 operations professionals for our clients since 2006. So it’s safe to say we’re experts in outsourcing operations management.
Book a free consultation to discuss your company’s needs. You could have an outsourced operations team set up in the Philippines in as little as 6 weeks. Or request a Job Costing & Salary Matrix of current Philippines salaries for different levels of experience (Junior, Intermediate and Senior Roles), to see what your planned team would cost.
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