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Businesses of all sizes outsource some of their processes, ranging from startups to large, established companies. The practice of outsourcing business processes has increased since efficient and innovative services became readily available and provided by multiple companies.
Typically, businesses outsource their business processes in two areas of operations – back-office tasks and front-office tasks. Back office relates to business support functions such as accounting, regulatory compliance, IT services, quality assurance, etc. Front office functions include tech support, sales, marketing, etc.
What is Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)?
The term, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), refers to a method of outsourcing in which a third-party entity acts as the service provider responsible for some of the business functions in an organization. Having accepted the BPO contract, the third party becomes responsible for executing all the operations relevant to the contracted business function. BPO, in essence, becomes a methodology for sub-contracting selected business functions from third-party vendors.
Initially, business process outsourcing began mainly in the manufacturing industry. However, the practice has been widely embraced across nearly all industries. The practice has grown so much that BPO is itself an industry now. Companies now specialize in offering BPO services to other organizations spread across the globe.
Types of BPO Jobs
The different types of BPO jobs include:
Front-Office BPO – Front-office business process outsourcing involves customer-facing functions such as marketing, sales, tech support, grievance redressal, etc.
Back-Office BPO – Back-office BPO involves outsourcing business support functions such as accounting, regulatory compliance, IT services, quality assurance, etc.
Offshore BPO – Offshore outsourcing hires a third-party service provider based in an outside country. This is a business trend that is often also known as globalization. Organizations typically resort to offshoring not only to save costs and be more price-competitive but also to compete with local businesses in other countries.
Nearshore BPO is similar to offshore BPO, but the third-party service provider is based in a neighboring country. Nearshoring is often preferred when the third-party service provider needs to be in the same time zone. Managing service operations can often be complex due to differences in time zones, such as for managing meetings or when quick turnarounds are needed. In such cases, nearshoring is preferred over offshoring.
Onshore BPO – In onshore BPO, the organization hires a service provider based in the same country. This arrangement of outsourcing services is also called domestic BPO. Onshore outsourcing enables the business to outsource non-core activities to a third party to focus all its attention on its core business functions. In contrast to offshoring and nearshoring, n onshore outsourcing, the business does not have to deal with cultural differences. This facilitates a close connection between the companies and enables better work control.
The decision on the outsourcing arrangement that best meets the organization’s needs depends on the specific operational practices of the business. The other essential factors that need to be considered while making the outsourcing decision include the following:
Whether to outsource the complete business function/process or a part of it.
Whether the outsourcing decision fits in with the organization’s overall business strategy.
Identify the right business processes to be transferred to an external services provider.
Advantages of a BPO Job
The business process outsourcing industry is one of the largest employers in India. The BPO industry contributes enormously to the nation’s economy and creates jobs. BPO jobs have helped many individuals realize their dreams of a brighter future and a fulfilling career.
The advantages of a BPO job include the following:
Competitive Salary – BPO jobs provide competitive take-home salaries compared to comparable jobs with similar education and experience requirements. The wages are incredibly competitive for entry-level positions. The BPO industry has been responsible for employing many youths and enabling them to fulfill their dreams of helping their families and bettering their lives.
Attractive Benefits – The BPO industry offers employees benefits such as life/medical insurance, paid leave, travel allowance, etc. This attention to employee well-being is a significant reason for the attraction of the BPO industry among job-seekers.
Career Growth – The BPO industry provides employees enormous opportunities to learn, gain experience, improve their jobs, and advance in their careers. One can grow from starting-level positions to supervisory roles heading regional/national operations.
Work-Life Balance – The BPO industry is organized such that even though it drives its employees hard at work, it also offers ample opportunities to rest and recharge. Employees get enough time to switch from work and bond with their families and friends to lead a well-rounded life.
A career in the BPO industry is an attractive option for the youth in the country. The sector enables individuals to start working early and provides ample opportunities to learn and grow.