The Outsourcing Week in Review: Wednesday, April 15, 2020

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THE WEEK IN REVIEW

The Philippine BPO industry can offer “incredible savings” to companies that are looking to cut expenses as the coronavirus pandemic batters the global economy, said Derek Gallimore, CEO of Outsource Accelerator, in an interview with ABS-CBN News. Gallimore predicts that SMEs in English-speaking countries are likely look to outsource during the global pandemic, particularly as the Philippine BPO industry can now offer WFH-enabled skilled workers that perform high value tasks such as coding, design and marketing. Rick M. Santos, chairman and CEO of Santos Knight Frank also sees a rebound in demand for commercial property post-Covid because global firms will shift to outsourcing to reduce costs, triggering renewed demand for the country’s BPO industry.

In the immediate future, however, BPO companies are trying to manage the heavy cash flow burden of paying for massively expanded remote workforces. The Luzon lockdown has already been extended until the end of April, and other regions are following suit. Some BPOs are paying for employees to be accommodated in double occupancy rooms under Administrative Order 2020-001B issued by the Department of Tourism (DOT). According to the DOT there are already 13,287 hotel rooms located in the National Capital Region where BPO employees are currently billeted.

But the costs of housing staff and setting up work-from-home (WFH) regimes are high, and are testing the financial resources of many BPO outfits. One firm in Cebu has been accused of skimping and providing “subhuman conditions” by some of its staff members, a claim that it is currently contesting. Some firms are restructuring debt and securing additional credit lines to weather the impact of the pandemic. US-listed firm Startek is in talks with lenders to restructure its US$130 million debt, and Teleperformance is adding about US$761 million in new credit lines to help it weather the storm.

Delaying recruitment is another option to ease short-term operating costs. IT companies are likely to delay the hiring of new engineering graduates, with onboarding done virtually and in a more gradual manner, says Aditya Narayan Mishra, a director and CEO of CIEL HR Services. In India, WiproAccenture and Tech Mahindra have all started onboarding virtually, and claim they are managing to meet all their outstanding employment offers.

In the Philippines, BPO firms are still hiring under WFH arrangements and are helping cushion the impact of the lockdown; but there has still been a 35% to 50% decline in online job postings, according to online jobs portal Jobstreet. Many in the country have lost their jobs. The government is trying to do its bit. 102,895 formal sector workers have now received the PHP5,000 cash assistance offered by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). The country’s Department of Finance has reassured the public that the Philippines has the means to withstand the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Its finances are in good shape, and last year saw the country’s deficit largely wiped out.

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Despite the severity of the current pandemic disruption, outsourcing firms are still doing business, and doing it well. Accenture announced that it has been named as a leader in operational excellence digital services by independent analyst firm Verdantix in its inaugural 2020 Green Quadrant report. And there are already new business opportunities springing up. The massive growth in WFH arrangements has been fast tracking the roll-out of cloud-based work platforms. Australian non-bank lender Firstmac now has over 400 staff using the AWS desktop-as-a-service platform Workspaces in its operations in Australia and the Philippines. Cisco has launched a series of products designed for small businesses which support operations in the areas of networking, security, collaboration, and cloud or internet connectivity.

BPO firm Datacom says that the current lockdown in Australia has created huge call centre demand for customer support services – for everything from government departments to general practitioner clinics, supermarkets and retail. It is urgently looking for more than 2,000 people to work for them across Australia, because key outsourcing locations such as the Philippines and India are struggling to service demand. At terrible times like this, it is worth remembering that the night may seem darkest before the dawn.

 

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

NEWS THIS WEEK

 

14 April 2020

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Philippine BPO Industry To Offer ‘Incredible’ Outsourcing Savings – read article…

13 April 2020

BPO Employees Given Hotel Accommodation During Luzon Lockdown – read article…

Job Postings Drop By Up To 50% Due To Luzon Lockdown – read article…

Infosys, Accenture Execs Take Leadership Role In India’s Nasscom – read article…

IT Firms Shift To Virtual Onboarding Amid Lockdown – read article…

BPO Firms Seek Debt Restructuring, More Credit Lines – read article…

8 April 2020

Demand For Office Space In Philippines To Grow Post-Covid – read article…

Hiring Of Freshers By IT Firms Likely To Be Delayed Amid Pandemic – read article…

Luzon-Wide Quarantine Extended Until 30 April – read article…

Firstmac Opts For AWS Workspaces Platform To Continue Operations – read article…

Datacom To Employ 2,000 Call Centre Workers In Australia – read article…

7 April 2020

Over 100,000 Workers Receive PHP5,000 Cash Aid From DOLE – read article…

BPO Firm To Issue Clarification On Alleged Labor Violations – read article…

Gov’t Optimistic That Philippine Economy Can Weather Coronavirus – read article…

Accenture Named Leader In Operational Excellence Digital Services – read article…

Cisco Launches Solutions For Small Businesses To Scale – read article…

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