What Are the Business Process Outsourcing Benefits?

There are many (BPO) business process outsourcing benefits. One BPO benefit is obviously the savings in labour costs. You can access offshore staff at a fraction of the normal cost with only a small reduction in the standard of quality. Sometimes the offshore staff you can access through business process outsourcing are even more talented then the people we have access to in Australia.

One of the BPO benefits is the filling of positions where there are actually labour hire shortages. Currently in Australia there are significant labour shortages in the areas of trades and IT. The Australian government is encouraging skilled migrants to Australia. All these jobs can not be done using offshore staff but there are aspects of every business which can benefit from business process outsourcing. For example you can use virtual assistants to complete the everyday tasks which do not require a high skills set allowing senior staff to focus on the key competencies of their business.

Another business process outsourcing benefit is the potential to begin new revenue branches or income streams. Perhaps this is not initially possible because of the cash flow burden. By using offshore labour it makes these opportunities a very real possibility as you are able to access talented staff at reduced wage costs. Once the new branch is up and running you may be able to expand and begin employing local staff. By using BPO the benefits may enable more businesses to stay above ground.

Have you heard the statistics like 80% of small businesses fail in the first year and then 80% of the surviving ones fail in the next five years. Unfortunately, they are very real statistics in Australia. A major business process outsourcing benefit is the ability for small business owners to access skills and talents that ordinarily they are unable to afford. Building a successful business is about using your own skill strengths and employing the people who possess the skills you do not have. This formula is used by some of the most wealthy and successful business owners like Sir Richard Branson. By using the business process outsourcing benefits you have at your disposal, you are able to access the skills and talents your organisation does not have without the cash flow burden.

Another major business process outsourcing benefit is to the offshore staff and their country. By employing offshore staff you are providing incomes to people in countries that are less fortunate then us. They are not normally working (can’t say always) in the stereotypical “sweat shop”. The incomes they earn are very respectable in their country and enables the offshore staff to have job security. In addition the cost of living is significantly different to developed countries such as Australia and America. In fact, in places like the Philippines they prefer to work with business process outsourcing companies as they see it as prestigious and a very good career move.

The BPO benefits are very significant, real and accessible for the majority of businesses. Don’t let globalisation become a threat but embrace it and turn it into your competitive advantage.

Business Process Improvement – Avoiding Scope Creep

If you want to avoid the dreaded scope creep in business process improvement (BPI) work, take some time and establish the foundation, or blueprint, for the business process you want to improve. Scope creep comes into play in any project when you veer away from the original purpose of the work without an increase in time, resources, or money. You will find that it is no different with BPI.

Before starting any project it is always a good idea to have a plan so that you know the overall size of the effort involved. Whether building a deck on your house or simply painting a room, there is some pre-work involved so that you can avoid those time-consuming trips back to the home center to pick up what you forgot. Likewise, in BPI work, you need to establish the boundaries associated with a business process so that there is a clear beginning and end to the work. Setting the boundaries is one part of the overall foundation you need to establish before jumping into BPI.

When you work with colleagues on improving a business process, they inevitably think of new points as you get deeper and deeper into the work. Having established boundaries at the very beginning of the work though, will help you avoid future time-consuming discussions about the beginning and end of a business process when colleagues attempt to bring in new ideas. Unfortunately, scope creep usually occurs once you are well into the work and it always adds time and cost, so do everything you can up front to prevent it from occurring later.

If you gain consensus with your colleagues up front on the boundaries, you sort of have a “contract” that you can refer back to, so that the work has a fairly good chance of staying on track. Of course, it is not an official contract, but it will help to keep scope creep at bay.

Establishing the foundation is the second step to improving the effectiveness, efficiency, and adaptability of your business processes, so spend some time focusing on it. Create the blueprint to guide your work.

Copyright 2009 Susan Page

Business Process Management

The term Business Process Management (or BPM) refers to activities performed by businesses to optimize and adapt their processes. The activities which constitute business process management can be grouped into three categories: design, execution and monitoring.

Process design

This covers either the design or capture of existing processes. In addition the processes may be replicated in order to test them. The software support for these activities consists of graphical editors to document the processes and repositories to store the process models.

An emphasis on getting the design of the process right will logically lead to better results as the flow on effect of problems at the design stage logically affects a large number of parts in an integrated system.

Evolution of business processes requires a change to the process design to flow on into the live system. Integrating business process is also a current research area. Integration of software for process design to be used both for creating graphical representations of workflows and implementing and maintaining these workflows makes evolution of business processes less stressful, given that requirements are not as static as information systems.

Process execution

The traditional way to achieve the automatic execution of processes is that an application is developed or purchased which executes the steps required. However, in practice, these applications only execute a portion of the overall process. Execution of a complete business process can also be achieved by using a patchwork of interfacing software with human intervention needed where applications are not able to automatically interface.

In addition, certain process steps can only be accomplished with human intervention (for example, deciding on a major credit application). Due to the complexity that this approach engenders, changing a process is costly and an overview of the processes and their state is difficult to obtain.

Business rules are a growing area of importance in BPMS as these rules provide governing behavior to the BPMS, and a business rule engine can be used to drive process execution and resolution.

Process monitoring

This monitoring encompasses the tracking of individual process so that information on their state can be easily seen and the provision of statistics on the performance of one or more processes. An example of the tracking is being able to determine the state of a customer order (e.g. ordered arrived, awaiting delivery, invoice paid) so that problems in its operation can be identified and corrected.

In addition, this information can be used to work with customers and suppliers to improve their connected processes. Examples of the statistics are the generation of measures on how quickly a customer order is processed, how many orders were processed in the last month etc. These measures tend to fit into three categories: cycle time, defect rate and productivity.

Copyright 2007 Ismael D. Tabije