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In 2019, the most efficient business is generally the most successful. Which means boosting company efficiency is a top priority for most organizations. What's interesting is that, in many cases, true efficiency comes down to proper processes, not flashy concepts.
In this article, we'll look at how to improve company efficiency via back office support. You'll learn exactly what back office support is and how it relates to both business process outsourcing (BPO) and Business Process as a Service (BPaaS).
The term back office support refers to any and all roles within a company that enhance the customer experience without directly relating to it.
For example, photo editing, e-commerce tagging, data entry, online research, and other back office administration duties are all important tasks that modern businesses need to complete. Without them, customer bases wouldn't be able to interact with their favorite organizations in the same ways they generally do.
But at the same time, these tasks are behind-the-scenes tasks and shouldn't actually be seen or felt by consumers. This is what's meant by "back office."
The problem with back office support functions is the significant amount of resources companies must spend on them. Fortunately, there's a solution. It's called Business Process Outsourcing and it's what we'll discuss in the next section.
Business Process Outsourcing, BPO for short, is important for most modern businesses. Let's take a deep dive into the term and discover what BPO is all about.
We'll start at the beginning…
Business process outsourcing is exactly what it sounds like: the act of hiring external contractors to handle specific business processes for an organization.
The processes one typically chooses to outsource via BPO include payroll, sales prospecting, talent prospecting, and customer support. In other words, business processes that are generally considered to be supplementary rather than core functions of a company.
Companies of all types and sizes, from software bedroom startups to retail Fortune 500 enterprises, can benefit from BPO. In fact, as technology continues to progress, the number of businesses outsourcing supplementary processes will only continue to increase.
There are three main benefits that businesses receive through back office outsourcing. They are a boost in team productivity, a reduction in company expenses, and the ability to focus on core business functions. Let's explore each of these benefits in greater detail:
When your team is able to hand off certain duties to qualified professionals who specialize in completing those types of tasks, the work will likely get done much quicker and more competently. After all, this is what the vendor does all day, every day. As such, they should be able to accomplish specific tasks in a more efficient manner.
And since your team will now have less items on their to-do list, they can spend their time on more important, business building activities. It's a win-win scenario!
Outsourcing back office operations also reduces the cost of in-house labor. When companies delegate specific business functions, they can generally downsize to smaller office spaces which saves money in rent, and invest less in employee training because there are fewer team members to educate.
If the vendor an organization chooses to outsource business processes to happens to be located in a developing country, or employs workers who are, the organization will also save money through low-cost labor markets.
Lastly, outsourcing tasks rather than hiring full-time employees to complete them also provides companies with flexibility. They aren't obligated to pay someone 52 weeks a year. Instead, they can engage the services of a particular vendor when the need arises and terminate their relationship with them when the job is done.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, BPO allows companies to focus on core business functions, i.e. the things that differentiate it from its competitors and bring in revenue.
Imagine how amazing it would feel for a sales team to outsource the tedious work of lead prospecting and instead focus almost entirely on closing deals. Or for a CEO to outsource payroll duties and concentrate all of his or her effort on casting an inspiring company vision.
But business process outsourcing isn't just about warm, fuzzy feelings. It's also incredibly practical. Without supplementary tasks to complete — tasks that any venedor, equipped with the right information, can accomplish — you'll be able to focus on company growth and profits.
So what does BPO look like in a real-life scenario? In this section, we'll take a look at three main BPO use cases to answer that question for you.
A quality business outsourcing process will enable sales teams to hand over prospecting duties — a task most sellers don't enjoy — and, instead, focus on revenue generating activities like closing deals. For example:
Meet Jimmy, a top seller at ABC Unlimited. Even though Jimmy is good at his job and has achieved a lot of success within his company, he still spends a large portion of his day looking for people to sell to, not actually selling to them. Jimmy realizes that if he could find the right vendor, he could outsource lead prospecting, freeing up plenty of time to "wheel and deal" and boos the profitability of his company.
BPO services can also turbo-charge human resources departments. For instance, hiring new team members is both incredibly important and amazingly time-consuming. When a new company role needs to be filled, HR professionals are forced to spend hours every day scouring job applications — many of which come from unqualified candidates.
This is obviously a giant waste of time. Luckily, BPO outsourcing can streamline the process and give those in HR a huge chunk of their days back. Here's what that might look like in a real-world situation:
Tammy is the HR Manager at a Boston-based company named XYZ Food Co. The food supplier has recently expanded and Tammy needs to hire new workers to run the company's second warehouse. The problem is, she must hire a team of qualified workers quickly, but there are only so many hours in the day.
So Tammy partners with a business outsourcing vendor, describes exactly what she's looking for in a new hire, and allows the vendor to vet applications for her. The end result is a list of top-notch candidate that Tammy can interview without having to waste time filing through a few hundred dud prospects.
What about more generalized business operations? Things like creating to-do lists, booking travel arrangements, scheduling meetings, and filing expenses. All these tasks need to get done. But if you're a knowledge worker with a healthy annual salary, these simple but time-sucking activities are better left for others to complete.
Take someone like Brian, for example, the CEO of an up and coming tech startup in Silicon Valley. He's constantly on the go, either speaking at conferences, meeting with investors, or demoing his company's software products for big-name potential clients.
But Brian doesn't have time to schedule every conference, meeting, or product demonstration he attends and make the necessary travel arrangements. The logistics of syncing schedules, purchasing airline tickets, and booking hotel rooms would take up too much of his day. Unfortunately, because his startup is, well, a start up, he also doesn't have the funds to hire a full-time assistant to make these arrangements for him.
Fortunately, BPO is here to save Brian's day! He simply outsources these generalized business tasks to a trusted vendor and enjoys the freedom and productivity it affords him.
Lastly, BPO can be used in the insurance industry as well. Think about all the applications that insurance professionals must process, claims that have to be analyzed and evaluated, and every other important (but monotonous) task that needs doing on a regular basis. Once again, these activities are perfect for outsourcing.
Later in this article, we'll share a real-life case study that illustrates BPO being used in the insurance industry. Stay tuned!
The key with each of these use cases — and any other ones your company may decide to improve via BPO services — is finding the right vendor. If you can find and partner with the right BPO outsourcing company, you'll be able to achieve all the benefits we mentioned earlier in this article. Let's talk more about that.
Business Process as a Service (BPaaS) is BPO that's outsourced to a vendor using a typical cloud computing model. In other words, it's BPO delivered in the most convenient way possible.
Businesses that employ BPaaS vendors can view and track the tasks they outsource via the internet, a mobile app, or some other form of cloud-based technology.
This is obviously beneficial for multiple reasons which we'll explore in the next section.
Back office as a service has multiple benefits, as we just stated above. Chief among them being that business as a service offers companies increased efficiency and less risk when compared to standard BPO services.
Because outsourced tasks can be easily viewed and tracked online at any point in the day, companies can get the answers they need in less time and with less hassle. It's much easier and more time-efficient to look at a computer screen and see a project's progress than it is to call or email a vendor and wait for their response. And the extra time you save can be put to good use on business building tasks.
BPaaS also presents less of a risk than traditional, old-fashioned business outsourcing. Think about it: because the entire outsourcing process is digitized, scaling up or down is much more straightforward. You simply access your client portal and adjust the amount of work you need done at the start of each month. This means you're never locked into a specific agreement.
Did you know that the average knowledge worker makes $67,000 a year but spends 41% of their time doing repetitive digital work that any low-cost laborer could do? We're not mathematicians but something doesn't seem to be adding up...
That's why Business Process as a Service is so important! It will allow you and your team to take back the 41% of the day you spend on menial tasks and put it to better use.
When it comes to back office service providers, there's no better BPaaS platform than Invisible Tech. Our platform is the future of delegating and provides users with access to highly-trained workers at an affordable rate that just about any business can afford.
Here's how it works:
1. First, a new user chooses the subscription plan that best fits their needs and creates their own personalized account so that they can start delegating tasks. Then they meet with a certified Invisible agent who will learn about the tasks they want to outsource and the proper process for completing each one.
2. Second, the Invisible team will utilize it's powerful technology and access to highly-trained, low-wage workers in developing countries to build out a customized process in order to complete the new users tasks in as efficient a manner as possible.
3. Third, the Invisible user contacts their synthetic assistant with a single task or a batch of tasks that need to be accomplished. These tasks could include anything from finding red-hot leads to qualifying job applicants to booking airline tickets. Once as task is delegated, it's processed by Invisible's digital assembly line which coordinates a combination of algorithms and people to accomplish tasks quickly and cost-effectively.
4. Fourth, users can track the progress that Invisible is making on their delegated tasks via the Client Dashboard. From this screen, our users can see every task that they've delegated, how close to completion each one is, and how many hours Invisible has invested in every project thus far.
5. And fifth, users receive their deliverable from Invisible, which were created using their own exact specifications, and enjoy the leap forward in productivity that our platform affords them!
Invisible works because it's the perfect blend of powerful technology and human touch. We use algorithms and software to coordinate teams and improve efficiency. But we use highly-trained, low-wage laborers so that your work is completed by folks who actually care about the result.
How about a real-life example of the Invisible BPaaS platform in action?
One of our esteemed Invisible clients is Olympus Insurance, which insures properties in Florida and has 100,000 clients, resulting in a revenue figure squarely in the 150 - 200 million dollar range. In other words, they are a large organization with a lot of moving parts.
The first task Invisible was ever asked to complete for Olympus was to process over 4,000 insurance applications that the company's underwriting team was too busy to get to. We built a system for them, started delegating work, and became the companies second best claims-processor in a matter of months!
These days, Olympus contracts Invisible for anywhere between 100 - 300 hours a month in multiple departments: claims, application processes, adjustments, etc. They've been entirely happy with our BPaaS platform and tell us that we've "changed the culture here. We can focus on what's important to us and the elements of our job we like."
Back office support services, whether they come via BPO or BPaaS, will revolutionize your company. Investment in one of them will help your organization boost team productivity, reduce company expenses, and focus on its core business functions. The best part?
Any facet of your company, from the sales department to the human resources, can benefit from BPO and BPaaS.
If you're ready to move your organization forward and embrace the growing trend of back office support, we encourage you to get in touch with us and learn more about Invisible. Our BPaaS platform is the absolute best and most affordable way to delegate tasks at scale.
Whether you're a salesperson looking to outsource lead prospecting duties, an HR professional who needs help wading through a pile of potential new hires, an insurance agent tasked with processing applications, or a CEO without an assistant to schedule meeting and book travel arrangements for you, the Invisible BPaaS platform can help.
To get started, contact our team today to learn how you can delegate tasks at scale and focus more of your energy on your core business proposition.