What is Business Process Outsourcing
Business Process Outsourcing or BPO is a partnership between a supplier (the company that is outsourcing the work) and a vendor (company or freelancer who is actually delivering the work) where a specific business-related process or job is subcontracted to an outside vendor. This outsourcing or subcontracting can be done offshore or within the country, depending on the business process and the objective of the business process owner. With 16 years of expertise, this financial account BPO is something you can rely on their world-class services.
For example, an apparel or clothing manufacturer typically outsources their entire product line manufacturing whereas an offshore garments factory manufactures the clothing items. Even though the manufacturing is done offshore, the offshore garments company must follow the brand owner’s manufacturing specifications during the manufacturing process. Type and color or fabric, buttons or zippers, design, post-manufacturing wash, etc. are all done according to the brand owner’s specifications.
Once the manufacturing process is done, the manufacturer ships out samples to the brand owner for their approval. If the samples are approved, then the subcontracted vendor ships out the goods. If not approved, alterations or modifications is warranted to meet the required specifications.
Now that the clothing items are manufactured, there comes the marketing part to promote those products on company showrooms or on their eCommerce stores. Commercial product photographers will have to shoot those clothing items, professional photo editing company will edit those images, a marketing agency will do the marketing. A single product starting from manufacturing to selling might end up going through various business process outsourcing stages.
How to Select a Business Process Outsourcing Partner
Selecting the right outsourcing partner is never an easy one. But if few precautions are taken and processes are followed, a company can identify the right partner to whom they can outsource their work. Below are a few steps to follow that will help a company identify the right outsourcing partner.
Craft the Accurate Job Description: A company first need to identify what they need from their outsourcing partner. A clearly defined job description eliminates miscommunication and can resolve disputes easily when occurs. The job description will outline the job requirements and provide any specific instruction needed to perform the job.
For example, if the clothing brand owner is outsourcing the product photo editing part of the process, then the professional photo editing company will need to know exactly what the client wants and what type of photo editing they will need to do, as there are a wide range of editing style and services, like clipping path service, background removal, ghost mannequin editing where the graphic designer cuts the mannequin out of the image and creates a 3D hollow man effect, etc.
Reputation and Expertise of the Outsourcing Partner: Check for the reputation and test the expertise of your potential outsourcing partner. You can find client reviews on Google MyBusiness Site if the company or the freelancer has one, Yelp reviews if any previous clients left any reviews for the company. Or in some cases, you can ask for a client testimonial.
In a lot of cases, there may not be any reviews or testimonials available based on the type of job you are outsourcing. In this case, see if the company will be able to do a test run for you where you can give them a small test job and they will do it for free. Most photo editing companies will be able to do a free trial for you where you can test their edit quality before you hire them for the full job.
Communication: Communication is extremely important. Outsourcing is often done offshore where a lot of developing countries have skilled labor. However, those developing country workers know how to do the job, but due to them being non-native English speakers, communication might suffer.
Also, if you are in the USA or Canada for example and outsourcing to India, there will be a 10 to 12 hours of time difference you might need to consider. If you send them an email, they will not even read it till tomorrow. You cannot call them during your normal business hours. These are the few things you will need to consider. See which company gets back to you promptly and how is their level of communication before selecting an outsourcing partner.
Data Privacy: you need to make sure your date, your client data, or your confidential business information stays in confidence and doesn’t get compromised. You need to state this out at the beginning and in some cases, having a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) might offer you some level of protection.
Flexibility: Flexibility is extremely important when working with an outsourcing partner. There will be times when you will need to get the job done under a strict schedule. You might need something done overnight. It is therefore important to select a partner who is flexible and has enough manpower to accommodate that level of flexibility.
Budget: Budget is extremely important and all companies have their own cost calculation for a specific project. Make sure you clear this out before starting to work with anyone. Depending on the job style, some jobs might warrant hourly pay, some price per unit, etc. Clear this out and make sure you and your outsourcing partners both are on the same page in terms of pricing. This way there will be no surprise when the invoice time comes.
If you follow the above steps, you are sure to find a business process outsourcing partner that will suit your need. If you are still not sure, try out the company you think might work for a small job. If you do not sign any long-term contract, you can switch your outsourcing partner if needed.
About the Author
Anwar Alam is the founder and President of Joolo Media. His company has been offering eCommerce photo editing services to commercial photographers, eCommerce companies and marketing agencies since 2014.