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How Do I Choose the Best BPO Service Provider?

D. Nelson
D. Nelson

Your first step in choosing a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) provider should be to determine which services you should outsource to cut cost. Normally, managers or executives choose to outsource processes that iare essential to their organizations and which require significant labor. For example, if you have a business in which many of your clients call to place orders, you might choose a BPO service provider that specializes in taking orders by phone. Once you have decided which service you should outsource, you should consider factors such as rates offered by providers, reputations of services, and technological compatibilities.

A BPO service provider is any company that specializes in performing functions for a client business. BPO occurs in a number of different industries, including manufacturing, customer service, human resources, and Information Technology (IT). Services offered by BPO providers often are divided into front office and back office functions. Front office functions include all processes in which clients are directly involved, such as order taking, while back office describes services such as IT that do not involve contact with clients.

Businessman with a briefcase
Businessman with a briefcase

Before determining which BPO service provider to use, it is common for an executive to conduct performance analysis. He or she might analyze costs associated with different processes by taking into account factors such as payroll and productivity. Once an executive has come to a decision, he or she might consult BPO service providers to learn about rates, services, and other factors that can impact a decision.

It can be helpful to draw on available resources to inform you about the providers who are most commonly used among successful businesses in your field. For example, if you work in retail and need a BPO service provider that specializes in order taking, find out which services your competitors use. Another option is to access the website of a possible BPO service provider to find out which client businesses they serve.

As you consult potential service providers, find out about their IT support systems and technological compatibilities. If you have an in-house IT department, it can be a good idea to meet with an IT manager to find out what he or she recommends. It is important that you can share documents and data with a BPO service provider.

Before making a final decision, analyze the processes used by service providers that you are considering. As in any industry, some companies use process models that are more effective than others. It is helpful to view contracting a BPO service provider as you would making an investment. By paying a third party to perform necessary functions, you should expect returns in the form of cut costs and improved efficiency.

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