4 Steps to Strengthening Operations Through Outsourcing
There is a common misunderstanding that to outsource any part of your business is a sure cry for help. On the contrary, many businesses are now taking a proactive approach toward strengthening employee efficiency by outsourcing operations. BPOs support non-primary functions, freeing up time for your human resources, accounting, and customer service departments to focus on more vital tasks.
Here are some ways to strengthen your overall business functions by outsourcing:
Reconnect with operations
Set up individual meetings with your human resources, accounting and other operations departments to determine what tasks take the most time. Identify which tasks are essential to meeting your business goals, and which are strictly for maintenance. Things like managing cash flow transactions, accounts receivable, and accounts payable, can vary in complexity for each business; and for some accounting departments, their time and expertise are better utilized for more challenging tasks like procurement, financial, and tax reporting. Payroll can also take an excessive amount of time to process not just biweekly, but on an annual basis. In fact, the average small business spends nearly 120 hours a year dealing with employee payroll and federal tax corrections alone. By outsourcing payroll, you free up time for human resources to focus on new hires, employee training, and compliance.
Reevaluate your supply chain process
Retail, healthcare, and manufacturing supply chains are consistently forced to evolve with changes in government regulations and technology. Business-to-consumer companies, in particular, must compete with e-commerce retailers by implementing omnichannel customer support and fulfillment paths to meet customer expectations for speedy, convenient service. For businesses unable to implement a robust omnichannel support team, many have overloaded their employees to a fault. The ops team becomes spread too thin, forced to respond to customer demands and purchase orders while supporting internal functions. The result? Overworked employees, unhappy customers, and an increased risk of customer and employee churn.
While you cannot fully outsource omnichannel support, you can significantly reduce the burden placed on your team internally by delegating those tasks that can be done remotely to an outsourced team. BPO agents can handle customer inquiries, the processing of purchase orders, invoices and payments, while your team oversees product inventory.
Remember why you hired who you hired
Your operations team should be made up of highly-specialized individuals who were hired to oversee certain aspects of your business. Your employees as a whole were hired to focus on key aspects of your business. It is a common pitfall of small and midsized companies to lose sight of what key functions make up individual employee roles.
The initial response to growth is for decision makers to scale their business using pre-existing resources; thus delegating more tasks downward, and spreading their team thin. Over time, the tasks can pile up and become too much a burden to manage, obstructing operational efficiencies and ultimately, impacting your ability to reach business goals. By outsourcing daily maintenance tasks to an accredited agency, you save by contracting services as opposed to investing in new hires. Not to mention, you’ll free up time for your team to focus on their most challenging, strategy-based projects.
Reallocate your resources
Once you’ve had a chance to sit down with your operations teams, assess your business goals, and pinpoint time-intensive tasks, you should be prepared to delegate to an outsourced support center. You’ll want to outsource to well-educated agents who expect to be trained to meet the individual expectations of your company. Especially if you will be outsourcing customer support, agents must be tuned in to your company culture and product message to ensure a positive customer experience. Outsourcing front or back-office operations, like payroll, customer support, or any other business function shouldn’t require you to relinquish control of these aspects of your business. Look for an agency that holds ongoing service evaluations with their agents, and consistently communicates progress and concerns to you directly.