Posted by carisa on February 17, 2009
Dubbed these days as the “sunshine” industry, the once undervalued business, now amid the current global economic recession, has once again proved its unexpected might. Business Process Outsourcing has successfully generated $6 -billion revenue last year, and positively targeting $8 billion this year. In a bid to be one of the top outsourcing location in the world, representing the BPO sector, the Business Processing Association of the Philippines unveiled new programs to widen its path to get to the peak namely, language skills, competency assessment, scholarship programs and leadership training aimed to further develop local talents. But in an industry where strong partnership, collaboration of brilliant ideas and confidentiality are involved, there could be no shortcut to glory. Let’s trace the shadow of our outsourcing models. India’s case is much like the Philippines that, as an offshore partner, possesses the niche to be chosen as one good location by clients abroad. English-speaking workforce, pool of talents, and cultural flexibility still remain as constant criteria in the competition. What else do we need to work on? What other attractive offering to post? Maybe we might just have overlooked on a minor but blowing idea. How about offering an added value that goes beyond cost and fulfillment of a client’s business needs? Consider expertise, yes, it is a cutting-edge advantage that unfortunately others maybe offering but with a corresponding added premium. Would it be an uncommon innovation that stands alone aside from the commonly campaigned quality?
Posted by anthony on February 2, 2009
Outsourcing is becoming more and more popular in today’s business environment. Most companies tend to outsource some of their work functions. It is a process in which the company or individual business man contracts another company to avail particular services. There are four basic types of outsourcing, wherein the categorization is based on the nature of work being outsourced.
The first type is Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) in which call center outsourcing, human resources outsourcing (HRO), finance and accounting outsourcing and claims processing outsourcing belong. The second is Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO). It includes IT services, technical support, software testing, and website management outsourcing. The third type is Software R&D or also known as software development outsourcing. Finally, Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO), is the type of outsourcing that includes reading X-Rays, performing investment research on stocks and bonds, handling the accounting functions for a business or executing engineering design project.
By looking at the benefits of Outsourcing, we can deduce that it is indeed helpful and a practical choice because of its cost-effectivity. You can gain access to knowledge pool that is not available inside your own company. You can also attain flexible capacity management in which you are enabled to flexibly manage the production capacity and staff as well. The Time Zone coverage that are set up 24/7/365 operation makes your business operation more efficient.
Posted by anthony on January 30, 2009
Outsourcing industries are rapidly increasing due to some factors that a company needs, such as reliable service and a resourceful way of distributing work load. According to statistics, the two mainstays on outsourcing destinations are those nations belonging in the second or third world countries, considering the high demand of I.T professionals. The Philippines is one of the highly recognized in terms of offshore outsourcing especially in the field of I.T or Information Technology, Web Developing, Programming and many more.
Today, the Philippines play a big role in KPO or Knowledge Process Outsourcing and BPO or Business Process Outsourcing. Most clients in the Western countries much prefer countries with English speakers and highly skilled professionals for the job. Clients indeed need a satisfying service and no doubt the Filipino has it Before, India was the leading country in offshore outsourcing but today that is now merely fair with the other countries.
Despite of the global crisis more companies now much prefers outsourcing because they can maximize their revenues and at the same time minimizes there expenses. Outsourcing is the best resourceful way in terms of manpower, the client itself would not be worried anymore in terms of workload and it’s a convenient way for the client, because outsourcing is a total packaged service.
Posted by rommel olido on October 30, 2008
A particular business is considered successful when its performance is always consistent. Although, outsourcing provides advantages that lift up business performance, there are still many risks that will create potential concerns. Engaging with only one outsource service provider for example, has made some businesses loose their edge over their competitors. Because most companies who engage in outsourcing are dependent on the knowledge and technology of their service provider (vendor), they expect their business needs addressed, but unfortunately, some service providers fail to perform what was agreed. Another concern is, when a company uses only one service provider, the relationship can turn out to be difficult. Business knowledge tends to reside with the developer and if the vendor holds the majority of this knowledge, the company is at a disadvantage.
To avoid those problems in outsourcing, an innovation has evolved in this industry. Appearing to have similar purposes with outsourcing, multi-sourcing has very different objectives. Most outsourcing companies are moving away from large IT contracts and instead outsource from more than one vendor. A vendor that can successfully handle a wide range of tasks, such as networking, business processes and application development is very hard to find. Through multi-sourcing, a particular company can use the resources and expertise of various vendors. A company can be open to more options for a specific process and function when this strategy for business is applied.
Multi-sourcing is indeed offering a new strategy for experienced outsourcers and companies looking to outsource for the first time. As outsourcing deals begin to diminish in size, the risks related to global sourcing from a single vendor should also begin to reduce.
Posted by Jessica Madrazo on October 9, 2008
There is no perfect system, and in offshore outsourcing, this cliché is highly magnified. The rising exodus of many companies outsourcing many of their functions is solid proof that this is, at present, the most practical solution to saving up hundreds and thousands of IT and business dollars. However, money should not be the only perceived factor involved in outsourcing. There are both blatant and furtive issues that are best acknowledged and addressed when and before outsourcing.
Asses your company, your staff, and your needs and incorporate that to what the outsourcing firm has to offer. Work an ideal system for those terms, and get the most of your offshore outsourcing team. Concede to the realities that are brought about by the undeniable situation, that, both good and bad, can still be wielded to both parties’ advantage.
Reality # 1:Time
16 hour straight operations. While you and your on site staff are sleeping, your outsourced staff are continuing the development of your work. Setting the scene as a US and Philippine contract, there is an approximate difference of 12 to 15 hours (if you’re on EST) and 15 hours (if you’re on PST). Since most outsourcing firms’ operations start at 6 am, they come in for work by the time that you’re on your way out.
Waking up, coming in the office the following day, progress has already been made, deadlines have been beaten, and you got better sleep the night before with the knowledge of less workload the following day.
Given you and your firm a very good coordination arrangement, and design an organized process, this may be the upper hand you have been looking for, enough to outperform rivals in your field.
Reality # 2: Still Time
People from different parts of the world, working on different time zones, different shifts, but on a single project.It sounds complicated, and it really is. Pending issues and questions on an aspect of a project continues to be pending -until the following day, when the outsourced staff has had time to read your mail, respond to it, and wait anxiously for it to reach you.
What could have been a five -minute conversation with a person across the room has transmogrified into an exchange of emails if the message was not sent out as clearly as you would have liked.
The situation isn’t as desperate as you may imagine. Good outsourcing concessions may not easily resolve a problem like this, but can certainly orchestrate a mitigation. Slight changes in the schedule may be made, moving a few hours on both parties to lengthen time for easier correspondence.
Before grumbles are collected from both your in-house and offshore counterparts, everyone, including you, does not need to live off-beat work hours everyday. Arrange this schedule only when necessary. Another option may also be a prescheduled meeting, like every second and fourth Monday. This will give enough time for updates, reports, and requirements when things are going smooth.
Reality # 3: Cultural Difference
This is probably one of the main concerns of every company considering to outsource its services. The reality is, the difference in cultural background may affect not only how your Filipino counterparts interact with you and your staff, but also react differently to customer situations.
When faced with this problem, remember that it is not at all the lack of experience, but rather, the difference of experience. If they deal one on one with your customers, train them. If it is more on design or technical functions of a product, inform them of what you expect. A good side of outsourcing to the Philippines is the country has been gratefully influenced by the US. Solving the cultural barrier isn’t as difficult as it may seem.
Reality #4: Language
The Philippines is the widest English speaking country in Asia. Communicating with your staff is not a very big challenge. However, there still may be some obstacles faced with actual speaking. Although Filipinos understand, write, read and speak English, listening to the language with all the works such as twangs and everyday expressions sometimes pose some challenges primarily because it is not their first language.
There is no need to be all paranoid about this. Just start by speaking very slowly to your outsourcing staff. By ensuring that the message is understood would be enough, you will find that his/her skills will greatly improve in a short period
Reality #5: Culture and Language Combined
The many experiences in outsourcing IT services to the Philippines is the repetitive avoidance of the word no, and the habitual addressing of “Sir” and “Ma’am.” The aversion of “no” typically comes from the wish to satisfy every client requirement, however, this comes as a problem when the product remains to be undelivered. For these cases, you would be better off communicating these kinds of additions to the project manager, to identify the best course of action, its possibility, and its means.
The “Sir” and “Ma’am” is one of the habits Filipino staff find hard to rub off. Culturally, everyone unfamiliar to you is addressed in this very courteous manner. Say straight out you prefer to be called by your first name and avoid unnecessary protocols, and they’ll be sure to take it on during your next communication.
Reality #6: Communication
Understand that since there is a very wide distance between you and your staff, meeting face to face is near impossible. Almost all communication will be via email, urgent matters via messengers, and important meetings via conference calls.
It’s definitely not as effective as face to face meetings. Certain messages may be misinterpreted, and vital non-verbal messages obviously missed. This why a good follow-up note confirming what has been discussed in the most recent conference call will help.
Reality #7: Limited Expertise
Carefully digest the words and note, “Limited Expertise,” not “Limited Skills.” The reason why most people hire an entire team is because expertise comes rare, and expertise in all fields is even scarcer. In most cases, a staff that has first rate programming proficiency will not always turn out to be the best person to check the quality assurance. Assess your staff, identify their expertise, and capitalize on their strength, this is the basic rule in managing people.
Reality #8: Turnovers
A rising number of skilled workers in the Philippines has created an increase in the demand for those skills. With more and more outsourcing companies being put up and expanded all over the country, the market for IT careers have also risen. The rate of turnover has skyrocketed along with these numbers. This may affect the services delivered to you because of potential knowledge loss, with the possibility that the staff you had last month may not be the one you will have tomorrow.
To minimize this problem, outsourcing companies try to impress to their prospective clients that what is being marketed are services, and not people. If this is successfully followed, it would ensue better output and assurance for the clients.
Reality #9: Costs
Because of the distance between you and your work pool, creative means of one on one and team meetings are designed. For some outsourcing companies, phone calls, conferences, and web-based meetings have underlying costs.
When considering an outsourcing company, include the issue of communication in your list of questions. Find out if it is part of the extra costs, or considered as a complimentary service for your contract.
Reality #10: Environmental Factors
Even with the accelerated speed of telecommunication and utilities improvement in the Philippines, it cannot be expected to be just as good, as reliable, and as updated as that of the US. Although there are fewer incidents of internet service disruptions and power outages, they are still issues to contend with largely due to environmental factors. The Philippines is a country often visited by typhoons and some of its cities are situated near the earthquake belt - the infamous Pacific Ring of Fire. This sometimes results to the loss (although mostly bearable) of essential services in outsourcing, and you might expect a few offline times for your staff.
Some Philippine rallies are known to be very moving, and might cause some difficulties like travel nuisances for your staff in getting to the office, however, the current government is very stable in handling economic and political issues so work stoppage due to political flux may be placed in the least of your concerns.
Reality #11: Plain Reality
Out of sight, out of mind for some, but even if you only virtually or electronically interact with your outsourcing personnel, they still are humans. Have enough insight to realize if the workload forwarded to them is still in the range of human beings, as with how you synergize with your onsite staff. Recruits treated well, function well still applies for your online staff. Remember this, and you get the best returns from your hired outsourcing team.
Posted by Jessica Madrazo on March 31, 2008
Handling new projects are difficult enough for managers, but a walk in offshore outsourcing is more of a trudge than a stroll for those who are new in the business, and in fact, at times it just gets downright overwhelming. Apart from the typical considerations, cultural barrier and the absence of physical presence, there are more factors to take into account such as different time zones, and the complexity of the project itself.
There are several points that may guide one to get the best out of their outsourcing teams.
1. Create a merger
A delivery team is a single cooperative unit working on a single goal, and this is exactly as it should be established between onsite and offshore personnel. As an onsite project manager, it should be stressed that there is no onsite-offshore division, and your people are a single project team.
2. No role playing
Avoid playing the role of another. Function as the liaison and eliminate any barriers of communication between stakeholders and the offshore team. Playing the role of a customer will not help with the accuracy of the product, and instead, might create setbacks that could have been avoided.
3. Information Excess
Educate your personnel, not only onsite teams, but offshore as well. Inform them of the client, the organization, the business, and the benefits. Team members can never have too much information and each piece will be put to good use.
There is no such thing as obvious. The general rule is its okay to repeat yourself, and never leave out any detail you deem as understood. Leaving those things out may provide the loophole on forgetting to mention important details.
5. Q and A portion
Question, and answer. It is most likely that offshore teams will not be very aggressive with voicing out concerns. There are some critical matters that may not be brought up and settled before it is repairable. It is important that questions, no matter how basic, are addressed to offshore teams, specifically problems they are facing, or concerns they would like to tackle
6. Listen and Talk
Because of the lack of physical presence, relationships are only formed through interaction with your offshore team. An individual e-mail here and there to follow-up on the project, or for a job well done humanizes you and shows your interest in their work. It works both ways with personal knowledge on projects, as well as establishing your role in large teams.
7. What’s happening?
Interest should be shown in the day-to-day processes of your offshore team. This does not necessarily mean trying to offer solutions to their problems, but just awareness and sympathy. It is after all your project. Even if you are not the answer to their troubles, understanding can go a long way for work relations.
8. Interconnect with managers
With offshore outsourcing, it is impossible to micro-manage. The closest, and best solution for this, is to work with offshore leadership. Build a strong relationship with the head, and managers, and allow them to implement your ideas and requests to the team. Their support is imperative for you to succeed.
9. Break the ice
Cultural barriers are expected in offshore outsourcing, but cultural familiarization is an occurrence that is most appreciated. A little research on popular sports, food, or places your team is interested in will break the ice, and bridge a rewarding experience with open communication, which is one of the biggest problems in outsourcing.
Recognition equates significance. When a team does good in a project, never fail to recognize them and their achievements. As much as possible, try to criticize in private, and praise in public, with the notification for offshore leaders when called for. Relationships are not only limited to managers, or individual staffs, but for the entire team.