The Keys to Successful BPO

In high-performance business process outsourcing, client and provider work together


JDA’s King says a common mistake companies make is not involving their IT department from the onset when it comes to instilling BPO. IT, he stresses, is often best positioned to identify any integration challenges and understand any long-term implications of outsourced BPO. “The irony,” he wrote in his blog, “is that IT typically ends up being the one that has to manage any resulting outsourcing contracts.”

Another consideration before moving to BPO, according to King, is considering your strengths and weaknesses. “If something is a weakness in house and it isn’t business critical, then outsource it. Key decisions and roles should always be kept in house. BPO shouldn’t be used to replace an entire business function, such as human resources or finance. This would be irrational, as organizations still need their own in-house people to make their business-critical decisions.”

Agreeing with the report’s view of change management, King continues, “Any business process outsourcing provider needs to work closely with both the business users and the IT department to coordinate effective change management. What I see in the industry is that the best vendors and the best companies agree on the change management processes, timing and signoff. This is the fundamental overlap between the BPO provider and the customer.”

The Accenture report concludes that, “One of the most promising findings of our research is that high-performance BPO is attainable for all organizations of any size. The research makes plain the fact that high-performance BPO is not dependent on the organization size, industry, geography, tenure or business function involved. It results, rather, from taking a more strategic and thoughtful approach to the establishment and management of BPO engagements.

“By adopting the behaviors and practices associated with high-performance BPO, clients can capture significantly greater business value and build new competitive strengths together with their differentiated BPO provider.”

King agrees. The key is to understand what the overall goals and objectives are for outsourcing and the strategic goals of the organization. Companies, he says, should consider and match not only current capabilities, but also the continued capabilities of their outsourcing vendors. And vendors need to show a continued evolution of capability and knowledge to ensure a long-term return on investment and value.

“Oftentimes, companies focus on and celebrate a go-live date for a new system, whether in house or outsourced; however, true value can only be realized after the first year and multiple years thereafter.”

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