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Shared Services

Definition

What is shared services?

Shared services refer to the delegation of specific tasks to a part of the organization or company. This team might house inside the main office, near it, or offshore. For instance, a company based in California may set up an IT department in another location such as New York to handle the entire IT for their teams.

Shared services is another way to save on costs by taking advantage of the cheap costs and resources offshore. It is also a strategic way to expand their operations and attract a different market aside from the local ones.

shared services
What is shared services?

Shared services and outsourcing

Shared services and business process outsourcing share a few similarities. For one, they delegate a general task to a team. Second, both of it can be onshore, nearshore, or offshore. Third, they help the business save on costs while increasing their profitability. The only difference is that outsourcing involves a third-party company. After a certain lock-in period, companies can decide whether to absorb their offshore team or keep it co-managed.

Outsourcing FAQ

What is What is business process outsourcing?

What is Business Process Outsourcing BPO?

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is the delegation of business processes to an external service provider to a nearby or farther location. BPO uses various technology-enabled services to optimize the delivery of services.

Some of the usual outsourced business functions are the following.

Payroll Accounting Human resources Customer service Sales Marketing

In the case of content providers, these could mean hiring writers, remote editors, or virtual assistants.

BPO speeds up processes and enhances efficiency. Companies that outsource some of their business processes use their time on core services and competencies.

With this shift in focus, companies improve their current processes which may result in improved customer satisfaction. BPO helps companies divert their resources to more critical business strategies.

Often, companies find it impractical to hire a full-time position in-house because of the cost associated with doing so. Outsourcing services can also help them save costs and resources in hiring suitable employees.

How does Business Process Outsourcing work?

Business process outsourcing happens when a business taps a third-party service provider to operate some of its internal processes. Such ‘processes’ include customer service, accounting and finance, or sales.

It is different from hiring an agency to do specific tasks, as the outsourcing provider (BPO) is more concerned with the ongoing production of labour-intensive tasks, instead of the higher-level strategy and guidance.

Now, business process outsourcing has broadened and is more akin to staff augmentation, or staff leasing.

What are the benefits of business process outsourcing?

There are many benefits to outsourcing, as well as some downsides and risks. The common benefits include:

Cost savings

Companies can enjoy savings of up to 70% by leveraging the salaries and costs in countries such as the Philippines and India.

Global market

Businesses get to access a bigger pool of talent that can fit their requirements. They can have better options in hiring employees since they are not limited to what is available in their home countries.

Global presence

At the same time, business process outsourcing opens clients to global trade opportunities. They can establish their global presence and expand more easily to other locations since they already have operations in the area.

Flexible workforce

BPO reduces internal local compliance obligations including providing additional office spaces to employees. Instead, organizations can hold their business operations on a remote setup, most usually having their teams in an office provided by the BPO firm.

Leverage skill

Companies cannot always do everything on their own. BPO enables them to leverage the skills of other specialist companies on more complex tasks such as accounting and IT.

Focus

Lastly, BPO enables organizations to focus on their core business functions. This is since most of their non-core business operations are done with the help of a reliable service provider.

Business process outsourcing examples

The business process outsourcing sector is a vast industry, generating over $200bn annually, and employing millions of people worldwide.

BPO can be seen in different forms and contexts, from hiring single staff to getting an offshore team. Some examples of BPO include:

Big enterprise

Facebook and Uber outsource many of their operational functions, including content moderation for Facebook, and customer service for Uber

Medium-size businesses

A medium business with 50-500 staff might outsource the labour-intensive accounting and finance functions to a team in the Philippines.

Small business and entrepreneur

It is common for small business owners to have a Virtual Assistant (VA) working for them full time and remotely from the Philippines.

What are the different types of BPO?

The type of business process outsourcing can be characterised by their specialisation, location, and size.

Generalist or specialist BPOs

Business process outsourcing is in the human resources and professional services sector. However, their services extend across all industries. The majority of BPOs are generalists, in that they offer a full range of professional services.

Meanwhile, some specialise in certain verticals such as the following.

Legal process outsourcing

Legal process outsourcing deals more with delegating legal processes and compliances to legal firms in another area.

Knowledge process outsourcing

Meanwhile, knowledge process outsourcing enables companies to outsource knowledge-related work including research and development, innovation, and creatives.

Location

Business process outsourcing typically operates from developing nations such as the Philippines, India, and Colombia. They typically have cheaper cost-of-living and bigger populations. Different locations offer different advantages.

Size of BPO

The bigger BPOs employ more than 250,000 people. They are huge, global operations. Medium-sized BPOs range from 500-5,000 staff and offer a full range of services. The smaller BPOs might have 1-500 people.

Functions of business process outsourcing

Collectively, business process outsourcing provides any kind of staffing solution. Common functions of BPO include:

Finance and accounting

Outsourced finance and accounting services help businesses manage their books, monitor cash flow, and keep up with corporate income tax compliances without fuss.

Healthcare

Healthcare outsourcing, meanwhile, organizes various back- and front-end functions done for the healthcare and insurance industries.

Creative and content

Creative services outsourcing covers everything from post-production of Hollywood movies to newspaper and website content.

Tech, IT and development

IT outsourcing involves delegating network management, web and app development, and cybersecurity protection to IT firms in different countries.

Sales & customer support

Some BPO providers specialize in sales and customer support for pre- and post-sales transactions. This helps companies meet the expectations and demands of their customers, keeping them satisfied even after their purchase.

Marketing

BPOs and marketing firms can help in ongoing marketing, communication and branding activities for their clients. This helps them attract more suitable leads in a cost-efficient way.

Talent and HR

Businesses can delegate HR, recruitment and compliance to professional employer organizations to maximize recruitment and workforce management.

Administration

Generalist BPOs help organizations accomplish general business administration and operational activities. This includes data entry, appointment setting, and other related functions.

Supply chain management

Lastly, e-commerce stores benefit from outsourcing supply chain management to manage warehouse and delivery processes.

Top BPO companies in the world’s top outsourcing hubs

A wide range of business process outsourcing companies in different parts of the world provide utmost services to their Western and local clients. Many of them even earned recognition by award-giving bodies due to their performance in both their roles and their level of care for the employees.

Check out the top BPO companies in several outsourcing destinations below.

Top BPO companies in the Philippines Top Indian BPO companies Top South African BPO companies Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services

With the rise of new offshore outsourcing locations, companies can have better options in terms of location and services they can delegate. However, finding a suitable BPO company can be a daunting task to be done on their own.

Good thing advisory services such as Outsource Accelerator is there to help them.

Outsource Accelerator is the most trusted source for independent information & advisory for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). We have over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 2,500+ BPOs from different locations.

Outsource Accelerator's offerings make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with, business process outsourcing companies worldwide.

Want to learn more about outsourcing? Check out the Inside Outsourcing book as well as the Inside Outsourcing book review today!

Offshore outsourcing definition

About offshore outsourcing Offshore outsourcing definition About offshore outsourcing Benefits of offshore staffing Offshore outsourcing examples Offshore vs onshore outsourcing Offshore outsourcing pros and cons Pros of offshore outsourcing Cons of offshore outsourcing Offshore outsourcing Philippines Types of offshore outsourcing  Offshore outsourcing definition

Offshore outsourcing, also referred to as business process outsourcing (BPO),  is the process of having work done for your business using qualified staffing solutions from countries with lower labor costs.

Commonly, IT, sales, and administrative roles are carried out for businesses across the world from countries such as the Philippines and India.

Companies can benefit from accessing other countries that have more resources for people with specialized skills. At the same time, they get quality work at a fraction of the costs.

Like nearshore outsourcing, companies prefer having minor tasks outsourced to a service provider so that the in-house team could focus on the core business functions. One perk of offshore outsourcing for businesses is that they do not need to think about the overhead expenses when they hire domestically.

Overall, the company could benefit from lower human resources costs, equal or higher-quality outputs, and higher profits.

Benefits of offshore staffing

The world is becoming increasingly globalized. Technology, software, and communications improvements now enable easy access to a globalized workforce. This has many advantages, but the primary benefits of offshore staffing are that:

You can significantly cut costs (typically saving 60%-80%) Access large pools of highly qualified and highly capable staff Source staff from across the globe instead of being limited by the local population

The benefits of offshore staffing impact small, medium, and large enterprises across the globe.  These businesses can access more affordable resources to help streamline and grow their business.  This is a win-win for all parties involved.

Offshore outsourcing example

Companies turn to offshore outsourcing for cost savings, cheaper wages, and better quality work. Just like nearshore outsourcing, companies prefer having minor tasks outsourced so that the in-house team could focus on the vital functions of the business.

One popular example of offshore outsourcing is customer service through call center companies. These BPO companies offer quality customer service at a much cheaper rate than hiring locally.

Offshore vs onshore outsourcing

The opposite of offshore outsourcing is onshore outsourcing, which is the practice of outsourcing your business functions and non-core teams to a third-party supplier in the same country where the business operates. It is also commonly referred to as “domestic outsourcing.”

Unlike offshore outsourcing, the business does not save as much on employment costs – which is the main reason why businesses turn to outsourcing in the first place.

Since the outsourcing provider is in the same location, both companies will have the same cost of living and labor laws applied. However, with onshore outsourcing, you wouldn’t have to deal with cultural and time-zone differences.

Offshore outsourcing pros and cons

Companies can turn to offshore outsourcing for almost every business role – whether they’re in need of customer service teams, virtual assistants, bookkeepers, graphic designers, IT consultants, and more.

Further, before diving into the world of offshore outsourcing, it’s best to be informed of its pros and cons.

Pros of offshore outsourcing Substantial savings Access to a flexible, diverse, versatile, and proficient offshore team Experienced and competent team leaders will guide your remote team Diminished operational costs and fewer legal responsibilities (because your outsourcing provider will take care of everything) Cons of offshore outsourcing Occasional delivery delays Time zone, language, and cultural barrier Possible disclosure of confidential information Possible cyber security risks Offshore outsourcing in the Philippines

The Philippines is the leading offshore outsourcing destination in the world. With 1.3 million BPO workers and counting, large corporations and even small to medium-sized enterprises all over the world trust that their Filipino workers and remote teams can provide excellent outputs, customer service, or IT assistance at a cost-effective price.

Outsource Accelerator provides you with the best customer service outsourcing companies in the Philippines, where you can save up to 70% on staffing costs. We have over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 2500+ BPOs… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with, outsourcing.

Types of offshore outsourcing

Here are some types of offshore outsourcing, as listed by Rezaid:

Production offshoring

The actual movement of the physical manufacturing process overseas, generally at a significantly cheaper cost in terms of personnel and materials, is known as production offshoring.

Front-office and back-office processes and functions are the two primary types of offshored processes and functions. Customer service, inbound and outbound telemarketing, virtual assistants, and technical assistance are all examples of offshore.

HR and recruiting, accounting and bookkeeping, mobile and web development, and design and graphics are other examples of production offshoring.

System services offshoring

Information technology (IT) will be a key subject to get right given the multiplicity of procedures and minute-by-minute activities of any corporate operation.

In the 1990s, a huge amount of communication infrastructure allowed nations like India, which has a big pool of English speakers and a technically skilled workforce, to lead the sector by luring companies like HP, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle Corporation, Intel, and Cisco.

Innovation and software offshoring

In computer science and software development services, Asian countries lead the world. High-tech product companies, including those in Silicon Valley, have begun to offshore innovation work to Colombia, Belarus, South Africa, Mexico, and Ukraine.

Using these countries’ highly trained labor pools results in considerable cost savings and faster production cycles.

Reshoring

Reshoring, also known as back shoring or inshoring, is the opposite of offshoring. Companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon have been criticized in Europe for allegedly concealing income and avoiding taxes. They reportedly did this by booking non-US earnings from major advertisers through its Dublin branch in low-tax havens like the Republic of Ireland.

As a result, it started in January 2018 that it would book those earnings and pay the taxes on those profits in the countries where they were generated.

Want to learn more about outsourcing? Check out the Inside Outsourcing book as well as the Inside Outsourcing book review today!

What is Back Office?

What is back office?

Back office is a term used to classify business activities that are not directly attributable to frontline customer support, sales, and services.

Its functions relate to administrative functions which do not directly generate income or are accessed by customers, but such is necessary to streamline the other processes involved in a business.

Back-office functions include but are not limited to the following: data entry, account processing, website content management, data verification, mediation, graphic design, writing and editing services, accounting, and financial services, and quality assurance.

These functions are necessary to a business yet attribute additional cost. Some companies find back-office jobs costly since you need to allow a substantial amount of capital for recruitment, salaries, and employee benefits.

Back-office functions

The back office is the cornerstone of any company’s financial and operational success. As a result, it often generates less revenue than the front office.

The traditional back-office tasks are divided into two categories. These are the administrative operations that keep the firm functioning, and the customer support functions that directly fulfill customer services and demands.

These functions frequently carry out significant, multi-step processes in which more than one individual or functional group contributes to the business' process fulfillment.

What are back-office jobs?

A company’s back-office operations are formed of several functions, and below are some examples of back-office jobs and their key responsibilities:

Financial assistant

A financial assistant is in charge of assisting a company’s finance department. They are responsible for various tasks in the office such as data entry, balance sheet generation, accounting, and keeping financial records up to date.

Because they mostly work on the company's accounts, financial assistants must be detail-oriented, well-organized, and have excellent analytical abilities.

HR assistant

Human resource assistants are in charge of organizing appointments, keeping records, and onboarding new employees.

Among several other tasks, they handle payroll and keep attendance records, and usually help the human resources manager. Employees in this field must be trustworthy, organized, and have effective communication skills.

Data analyst

Data analysts are in charge of interpreting data, analyzing data, and putting data gathering systems in place. They also create reports and provide assistance for the data warehouse.

Data analysts must be competent mathematicians with good problem-solving abilities and the capacity to manage information efficiently.

Financial analyst

Financial analysts are in charge of various financial activities on behalf of external or internal clients. Their responsibilities include estimating operating expenses, producing reports, and maintaining a database.

In order to stay excellent in this job, applicants must be skilled mathematicians with great analytical abilities. It is also important to be kept updated on the latest developments in the field to determine how they could affect the firm's financial records.

Risk analyst

Risk analysts are back-office employees who are in charge of supervising investments and identifying potential risks in a company’s investment portfolio.

Based on their review of these investments, they support the company by providing suggestions to corporations to assist reduce future risks. Risk analysts must be skilled in analytical, strategic, and interpersonal abilities.

Back office support definition

Back-office support is responsible for organizing and improving the customer experience in the company. Accurate data, clear and interesting content, and well-designed websites all contribute to a better customer experience.

Back-office support jobs are frequently concealed behind the scenes. However, they should never be underestimated.

Back-office positions help expand company demands and minimize friction from the customer experience for roles dealing with data input, content moderation, office services, and financial services.

A good back-office support program can help you prevent unfavorable encounters at every point of interaction. Employees in back-office roles are equally as important to excellent CX as those in front office positions, from multichannel services to order fulfillment.

Back office outsourcing

With the advent of the internet age, companies can now take advantage of what we call business process outsourcing (BPO). This business approach can lessen the operational costs of running back offices while maximizing its full benefits.

This also translates to more time for you and your core office team to focus on income-generating functions.

Outsourcing back-office roles guarantees that you are working with skilled professionals minus the hassle and cost of recruitment, as well as other operational and employee benefit expenses.

Where to find a back office outsourcing partner?

Thanks to the growing BPO industry, finding a back office outsourcing partner is easier these days. There are thousands of companies that have entered the business process outsourcing industry to accommodate clients who need specific skill sets in their business.

The good thing is they can be found in any country across the world — whether nearshore or offshore.

The Philippines is among the fast emerging outsourcing destinations in the world ever since its emergence in the 1980s. Their expertise in back-office services, as well as numerous other roles, attracts global firms to their shores.

The country's wide pool of BPO firms makes sure that their representatives are competent enough to handle the client’s needs. Outsource Accelerator lists over 3,000 business process outsourcing companies in the Philippines that specializes in back-office administration.

What is Human Resources?

What is human resources?

People are considered a crucial asset to any company. The human resources team is responsible for transitioning companies and organizations into a more people-involved and developmental association. The HR trains and develop employees according to company values and goals. Employees make the company grow. The company, in return, develop these employees better individuals in their chosen fields.

It is vital for employees to be motivated and be placed in a healthy environment. However, the human resources department is also involved in dealing with an employee's disciplinary action as needed. Every company or organization has its own house rules and policies that employees are supposed to abide and follow.

Outsourcing human resources

The HR workforce’s goal is to recruit people who have the right qualifications that are specific to the job description. They should not compromise the company's standards and must evaluate them thoroughly. HR is an essential part of a business, and it is their responsibility to equip the business with an efficient and productive workforce.

Outsource Accelerator is the most trusted source for independent information & advisory for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). We have over 3,000 articles, 200+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 700+ BPOs… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with outsourcing human resources.

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About OA

Outsource Accelerator is the trusted source of independent information, advisory and expert implementation of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).

The #1 outsourcing authority

Outsource Accelerator offers the world’s leading aggregator marketplace for outsourcing. It specifically provides the conduit between world-leading outsourcing suppliers and the businesses – clients – across the globe.

The Outsource Accelerator website has over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 3,000+ BPO companies… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about – and engage with – outsourcing.

About Derek Gallimore

Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.