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Is BPO Transforming Commerce?

By Jenny Cagadas, Hubport Group
Friday, December 04, 2009
It’s been years since the onset of industrialization. But the concept of division of labor still lives on as companies continue their pursuit for a better, more cost-efficient system of production. Business process outsourcing has indeed made incredible augmentations in the way people handle business. However, can one really say that it has changed traditional market practices?

True, business process outsourcing did add a strange mix of principles to normal business operations. But it does follow, in the strictest sense, the goal by which all enterprises live by – maximization of resources.

Outsourcing has long been applied in a number of industries. In fact, it has already become the main practice in the field of fashion and construction; in the development of technologies, and creation of various appliances and high tech devices, even before it exploded in the marketing scene. The manufacturing of famous sports apparels and clothing brands, televisions and motherboards, would have not been as efficient if the responsibility was not properly propagated to countries that have abundant, capable and affordable manpower.

But it is only now that its presence and importance is widely felt and embraced. Availing of business process outsourcing services helped companies make the most of their capital. And in addition, it also allowed them to adapt to certain instabilities in their business status. This makes BPO ideal to apply in today’s volatile commercial environment. And as such, it is right not to prejudge it as a form of slavery or infidelity to your own nation, but as a lucrative partnership between two companies and two countries that are fully aware of their need for each other.

Now, some people have been unenthusiastic of the practice of BPO for a number of reasons – because it was slowly crippling local employment; because it fostered dependence; because businesses were now gradually relinquishing their economic power to other countries. But when you look at the bigger picture, BPO actually does more good than harm. Considering the world’s current financial situation, it would actually be in the best interest of everyone if the pillars that hold up the economy are able to preserve themselves without having to sacrifice a lot. It’s no secret that the economic decline has placed tremendous pressure on small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. It has pushed them to become smarter in making their business ventures. Cost cutting is the primary advantage that they reap out of outsourcing. And this is the reason why it’s such a much clever move than retrenchment or downsizing, in terms of commerce. Hiring an American IT professional is obviously more expensive than, lets say, employing an equally competent Filipino IT expert. Hence, it is only natural that foreign companies prefer to hire a more affordable but equally professional counterpart of their local talent pool, to facilitate business operations.

As of today, there has been a continuous stream of demands for reliable and cheap outsourced services, most especially in business operations that make use of information technology. Tasks such as ecommerce website development and search engine optimization are important for virtual and real world companies. It makes them stand out among competitors and collect more revenue. As such, website development and SEO make up a huge part of the bulk of requests being sent out to trusted BPO providers in the Philippines, as well as in India and China. And although it seems visually strange to have companies run by invisible hands and backdoor offices; the aid that these shadow companies afford more than disproves the negative implications that are accused of them.

Yes, there have been subtle transformations in the structure and procedures of commerce because of the utilization of business process outsourcing services. But when you think about it, the same factions, same standards and the same goals are being implemented. Business process outsourcing’s role in commerce is colossal. And it will most probably be irreplaceable for a very long time.

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