The Outsourcing Week in Review: Wednesday, April 22, 2020

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THE WEEK IN REVIEW

The Philippine BPO industry is getting back to business after a rapid and costly restructuring of operations to set up massive working-from-home (WFH) arrangements. The good news is that despite the grim and uncertain outlook for the global economy, the industry remains largely positive. About 80% of 145 businesses surveyed by local real estate brokerage firm KMC Savills believe that call centres and other firms in the Philippine BPO sector will enjoy a boost during and after the enhanced community quarantine. Demand by the BPO industry for office space will also strongly rebound when the Covid-19 pandemic is over, according to property consultant Colliers International Philippines.

But with WFH, staff accommodation and transport costs soaring, there is a renewed impetus to move more swiftly to automate and invest in AI-driven solutions to drive greater productivity for clients. In India, firms such as Teleperformance and Startek are increasingly employing the use of chatbots, instant messaging and other AI-based technologies. The Covid-19 situation may now drive the way for rapid automation in the BPO industry, says Shivaji Das, managing director at consultancy Frost & Sullivan.

Employment in the country is being hit hard. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has reported the likely displacement of about 1.5 million workers in the Philippines due to the pandemic. Furthermore, much slower economic growth in the Philippines is projected by the National Economic Development Authority. It has warned that growth could slow to 4.3% or even contract by 0.6% this year. In the US, the Philippines’ leading outsourcing market, rumblings on banning overseas outsourcing continue. Lauren Irwin-Szostak, president of Business Process Redefined, a call centre solutions management firm headquartered in New Jersey, said that American companies need to display economic patriotism and stop sending jobs overseas.

More expensive labour arrangements are also likely to remain in place for some time as global consensus pushes for maintaining social distancing arrangements long term. WFH arrangements may continue in Davao City even after the coronavirus pandemic recedes, warns Belenda Torres, vice-president of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry. To facilitate WFH arrangements, the Philippines Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases has announced it will continue to allow service providers to install equipment and other necessary services for BPO WFH employees during the lockdown. The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) plans to require companies operating in the special economic zones, especially those in the IT and BPO industries, to build sleeping quarters for their employees within their sites. The Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology (BNEFIT) has backed the city government in providing a registration scheme to allow the use of rented vans by IT-BPM companies to ferry their workers.

As recent containment measures work through the economy, things are grim for some companies. Global IT and consulting giant Wipro said its profit for the year ending 31 March dipped by 6%, dragged down by the global Covid-19 pandemic. Better news was announced by Canon Business Process Services which the IAOP has recently named in its 2020 Global Outsourcing 100 List as an “All-Star of the Global Outsourcing 100”. For being a recipient of the award for five consecutive years or more, Canon also earned the “Sustained Excellence” acknowledgement.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

NEWS THIS WEEK

 

20 April 2020

WFH Arrangements In Davao Likely To Continue Post-Covid-19 – read article…

US Urged To Consider 1-year Moratorium On Outsourcing – read article…

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Wipro Reveals Revenue Drop, Says Worst Is Yet To Come – read article…

17 April 2020

LTFRB Tells IT-BPM Firms To Register Vehicles Ferrying Workers – read article…

Philippine Dollar Inflows Likely To Take Blow From Pandemic – read article…

AI, WFH Setups Help BPM Firms Adapt To Covid-19 Crisis – read article…

16 April 2020

Philippine BPO Sector To Bounce Back Amid Covid-19 Pandemic – read article…

Covid-19 Pandemic Displaces 1.5 Million Workers In Philippines – read article…

BPO Office Demand Likely To Rebound After Covid-19 – read article…

15 April 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic May Pave Way For Automation In BPO Industry – read article…

Canon BPS Included In The IAOP 2020 Global Outsourcing 100 List – read article…

Economic Growth Likely To Drag If Covid-19 Measures Not Adopted – read article…

14 April 2020

IATF Allows WFH Installation For BPO Workers During ECQ Period – read article…

PEZA To Require BPO Firms To Provide Sleeping Quarters For Staff – read article…

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