Business process outsourcing (BPO) is a broad term referring to outsourcing in all fields. A BPO differentiates itself by either putting in new technology or applying existing technology in a new way to improve a process.
Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is the delegation of one or more IT-intensive business processes to an external provider that in turn owns, administers and manages the selected process based on defined and measurable performance criteria. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is one of the fastest growing segments of the Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) industry.
Few of the motivation factors as to why BPO is gaining ground are:
Factor Cost Advantage
Economy of Scale
Business Risk Mitigation
Generally outsourcing can be defined as - An organization entering into a contract with another organization to operate and manage one or more of its business processes.
Different Types of Services Being Offered By BPO's
Customer Support Services
Our customer service offerings create a virtual customer service center to manage customer concerns and queries through multiple channels including voice, e-mail and chat on a 24/7 and 365 days basis.
Service Example: Customers calling to check on their order status, customers calling to check for information on products and services, customers calling to verify their account status, customers calling to check their reservation status etc.
Technical Support Services
Our technical support offerings include round-the-clock technical support and problem resolution for OEM customers and computer hardware, software, peripherals and Internet infrastructure manufacturing companies. These include installation and product support, up & running support, troubleshooting and Usage support.
Service Example: Customers calling to resolve a problem with their home PC, customers calling to understand how to dial up to their ISP, customers calling with a problem with their software or hardware.
Our telesales and telemarketing outsourcing services target interaction with potential customers for 'prospecting' like either for generating interest in products and services, or to up-sell / promte and cross sell to an existing customer base or to complete the sales process online.
Service Example: Outbound calling to sell wireless services for a telecom provider, outbound calling to retail households to sell leisure holidays, outbound calling to existing customers to sell a new rate card for a mobile service provider or outbound calling to sell credit or debit cards etc.
Employee IT Help-desk Services
Our employee IT help-desk services provide technical problem resolution and support for corporate employees.
Service Example: of this service include level 1 and 2 multi-channel support across a wide range of shrink wrapped and LOB applications, system problem resolutions related to desktop, notebooks, OS, connectivity etc., office productivity tools support including browsers and mail, new service requests, IT operational issues, product usage queries, routing specific requests to designated contacts and remote diagnostics etc.
Our insurance processing services provide specialized solutions to the insurance sector and support critical business processes applicable to the industry right from new business acquisition to policy maintenance to claims processing.
New Business / Promotion:
Inbound/outbound sales, Initial Setup, Case Management, Underwriting, Risk assessment, Policy issuance etc.
Policy Maintenance / Management:
Record Changes like Name, Beneficiary, Nominee, Address; Collateral verification, Surrender Audits Accounts Receivable, Accounting, Claim Overpayment, Customer care service via voice/email etc.
Data Entry Services / Data Processing Services
Data entry from Paper/Books with highest accuracy and fast turn around time (TAT)
Data entry from Image file in any format
Business Transaction Data entry like sales / purchase / payroll.
Data entry of E-Books / Electronic Books
Data Entry : Yellow Pages / White Pages Keying
Data Entry and compilation from Web site
Data Capture / Collection
Business Card Data Entry into any Format
Data Entry from hardcopy/Printed Material into text or required format
Data Entry into Software Program and application
Receipt and Bill Data Entry
Catalog Data Entry.
Data Entry for Mailing List/Mailing Label.
Manuscripting typing in to word
Taped Transcription in to word.
Copy, Paste, Editing, Sorting, Indexing Data into required format etc.
Data Conversion Services
Conversion of data across various databases on different platforms
Data Conversion via Input / Output for various media.
Data Conversion for databases, word processors, spreadsheets, and many other standard and custom-made software packages as per requirement.
Conversion from Page maker to PDF format.
Conversion from Ms-Word to HTML format
Conversion from Text to Word Perfect.
Conversion from Text to Word to HTML and Acrobat
Convert Raw Data into required MS Office formats.
Text to PDF and PDF to Word / Text / Doc
Data Compilation in PDF from Several Sources.
E-Book Conversion etc.
Scanning, OCR with Editing & Indexing Services
High speed Image-Scanning and Data capture services
High speed large volume scanning
OCR Data From Scanned page / image
Scan & OCR paper Book in to CD.
ADOBE PDF Conversion Services.
Conversion from paper or e-file to various formats
Book Keeping and Accounting Services
Accounts Receivables and Accounts Payable
Assets / Equipment Ledgers etc.
Form Processing Services:
Insurance claim form
Medical Form / Medical billing
Online Form Processing
Payrol Processing etc.
Internet / Online / Web Research
Internet Search, Product Research, Market Research, Survey, Analysis.
Web and Mailing list research etc.
Challenges for a HR Professional in BPO
Brand equity: People still consider BPO to be "low brow", thus making it difficult to attract the best talent.
Standard pre-job training: Again, due to the wide variety of the jobs, lack of general clarity on skill sets, etc, there is no standard curriculum, which could be designed and followed.
Benchmarks: There are hardly any benchmarks for compensation and benefits, performance or HR policies. Everyone is charting their own course.
Customer-companies tend to demand better results from outsourcing partners than what they could actually expect from their own departments. "When the job is being done 10,000 miles away, demands on parameters such as quality, turn around timeliness, information security, business continuity and disaster recovery, etc, are far higher than at home. So, how to be more efficient than the original?
Lack of focused training and certifications
Given this background, the recruiting and compensation challenges of HR departments are only understandable.
Key To success
The key to success in ramping up talent in a BPO environment is a rapid training module. The training component has to be seen as an important sub-process, requiring constant re-engineering.
Business Process Outsourcing: The Top Rankers
WNS has emerged as the top BPO in India, pushing Wipro Spectramind to the second position, according to a survey done by NASSCOM. The basis of ranking is the revenues generated by the BPO companies in 2003-04, as per US GAAP. A list of top fifteen BPO companies in India is given below.
The parameters for the survey was: Employee Size (Operation level executives), Percentage of last salary hike, Cost to company , Overall Satisfaction Score, Composite Satisfaction, Company Culture, Job Content / Growth, Training , Salary and Compensation , Appraisal System, People, Preferred Company: (Percentage of respondents of a company who named their own company as the preferred one), Dream Company: (Percentage of respondents in the total sample who preferred a particular company).
Employee Benefits Provided By Majoriy Of the BPO Companies
Provident Fund: As per the statutory guidelines, the employee is required to contribute a percentage of his basic salary and DA to a common fund. The employer for this fund contributes as well. The employee can use the amount deposited in this fund for various personal purposes such as purchase of a new house, marriage etc.
Gratuity: Gratuity is one of the retrial benefits given to the employee in which the employer every year contributes a particular amount. The fund created can be used by the employee for the purpose of long-term investment in various things such as a house etc.
Group Mediclaim Insurance Scheme: This insurance scheme is to provide adequate insurance coverage of employees for expenses related to hospitalization due to illness, disease or injury or pregnancy in case of female employees or spouse of male employees. All employees and their dependent family members are eligible. Dependent family members include spouse, non-earning parents and children above three months
Personal Accident Insurance Scheme: This scheme is to provide adequate insurance coverage for Hospitalization expenses arising out of injuries sustained in an accident.
Subsidized Food and Transportation: The organizations provides transportation facility to all the employees from home till office at subsidized rates. The lunch provided is also subsidized.
Company Leased Accommodation: Some of the companies provides shared accommodation for all the out station employees, in fact some of the BPO companies also undertakes to pay electricity/water bills as well as the Society charges for the shared accommodation. The purpose is to provide to the employees to lead a more comfortable work life balance.
Recreation, Cafeteria, ATM and Concierge facilities: The recreation facilities include pool tables, chess tables and coffee bars. Companies also have well equipped gyms, personal trainers and showers at facilities.
Corporate Credit Card: The main purpose of the corporate credit card is enable the timely and efficient payment of official expenses which the employees undertake for purposes such as travel related expenses like Hotel bills, Air tickets etc
Cellular Phone / Laptop: Cellular phone and / or Laptop is provided to the employees on the basis of business need. The employee is responsible for the maintenance and safeguarding of the asset.
Personal Health Care (Regular medical check-ups): Some of the BPO'S provides the facility for extensive health check-up. For employees with above 40 years of age, the medical check-up can be done once a year.
Loans: Many BPO companies provides loan facility on three different occasions: Employees are provided with financial assistance in case of a medical emergency. Employees are also provided with financial assistance at the time of their wedding. And, The new recruits are provided with interest free loans to assist them in their initial settlement at the work location.
Educational Benefits: Many BPO companies have this policy to develop the personality and knowledge level of their employees and hence reimburses the expenses incurred towards tuition fees, examination fees, and purchase of books subject, for pursuing MBA, and/or other management qualification at India's top most Business Schools.
Performance based incentives: In many BPO companies they have plans for , performance based incentive scheme. The parameters for calculation are process performance i.e. speed, accuracy and productivity of each process. The Pay for Performance can be as much as 22% of the salary.
Flexi-time: The main objective of the flextime policy is to provide opportunity to employees to work with flexible work schedules and set out conditions for availing this provision. Flexible work schedules are initiated by employees and approved by management to meet business commitments while supporting employee personal life needs .The factors on which Flexi time is allowed to an employee include: Child or Parent care, Health situation, Maternity, Formal education program
Flexible Salary Benefits: Its main objective is to provide flexibility to the employees to plan a tax-effective compensation structure by balancing the monthly net income, yearly benefits and income tax payable. It is applicable of all the employees of the organization. The Salary consists of Basic, DA and Conveyance Allowance. The Flexible Benefit Plan consists of: House Rent Allowance, Leave Travel Assistance, Medical Reimbursement, Special Allowance
Regular Get together and other cultural programs: The companies organizes cultural program as and when possible but most of the times, once in a quarter, in which all the employees are given an opportunity to display their talents in dramatics, singing, acting, dancing etc. Apart from that the organizations also conduct various sports programs such as Cricket, football, etc and regularly play matches with the teams of other organizations and colleges.
Wedding Day Gift: Employee is given a gift voucher of Rs. 2000/- to Rs. 7000/- based on their level in the organization.
Employee Referral Scheme: In several companies employee referral scheme is implemented to encourage employees to refer friends and relatives for employment in the organization.
Paid Days Off
Employee Stock Option Plan
Inspite of all these benefits, the attrition rate in BPO industry is very high, why?. What is the reason for an employee to leave? These and many more are the questions that need immediate attention from the industrial gurus.
Why people prefer to join BPO's?
In general a person with any graduation can join any of the BPO. Some BPO's like to take people with MBA but then again the specialization are of an individual hardly makes any difference. Again, this is the industry, where there is no reference checks and very often people don't even specify there exact age. Lets me share with you some of the reasons as why people prefer to join a BPO:
Did not get a better job.
Find nothing better to do.
Education level doesn't matter
Good work environment
Flexibility of time
Attractive life style
Why people leave the BPO's?
When there are so many benefits associated with BPO industry....when there are so many privileges for the BPO employees than what makes them to change the company/industry?? Is it only MONEY that matters or anything else as well?? Here are some of the reasons for a BPO professional to change his/her job.
No growth opportunity/lack of promotion
For higher Salary
For Higher education
Misguidance by the company
Policies and procedures are not conducive
No personal life
Uneasy relationship with peers or managers
What they have to say?
With so much of uncertainty in the market.....people are trying their best to stop or to at least have a control on the attrition rate...let me share with you the opinion of the real gurus of the industry.
"Training is a very important aspect of the ITES-BPO industry"- Mr. Arjun Vaznaik, COO, Tracmail
" Career growth in the industry is robust and there is a long-term opportunity. The great growth momentum that the industry is witnessing is creating both vertical and lateral career opportunities. There also exists enough growth opportunities in the middle-management and supervisory level within the industry". - Aadesh Goyal, Executive Vice President & GM, Hughes BPO Services
"It will not be possible for the industry to arrive at a blanket agreement on poaching but bilateral agreements between companies are being signed. Basic norms are being put in place and code of ethics is being stressed upon by industry players within the sector with respect to HR practices. We are encouraging companies to adopt responsible behavior in order to ensure that the industry does not become a victim of its own actions. Industry needs to go aggressive but not cannibalistic." - Mr. Suren Singh Rasaily, Senior Vice President, NIIT Ltd. and Head Plantworkz,
This is a descriptive report on BPO industry. I have tried to cover almost everything related to the industry. I like to have your opinion about the same. Even at the end of this comprehensive report, my concerns are related to development of employees in BPO, controlling attrition rate in BPO, can we have some standard industrial compensation package/ break-ups?