The Types of Outsourcing for Better Services

Outsourcing can be broadly classified into two categories, namely, technology services outsourcing and business process outsourcing.

Types of technology services outsourcing

Technology services outsourcing is the most common type of outsourcing and the following categories are the typical technology service areas that companies will outsource to a firm.

  • Infrastructure outsourcing:  This includes an outsourcing firm assisting in the design, implementation, and management of key infrastructure technology for a company. Furthermore, many companies will consider outsourcing infrastructure needs to an off-site data center.
  • Network outsourcing:  Network outsourcing typically includes LAN, WAN, and WLAN management, VoIP management, network operations center, network system integration services, network implementation services, and network consulting services. Outsourcing companies can assist with planning, implementing, and managing network services for an organization.
  • Electronic commerce (ecommerce): Ecommerce outsourcing involves outsourcing the functions and services relating to selling products and/or services over the internet. The services typically outsourced include online transaction processing, electronic data interchange, supply chain management, electronic funds transfers, internet marketing, inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems.
  • Software outsourcing: This involves a company outsourcing software development needs to a third party outsourcing firm. The outsourcing firm is contracted to develop the custom software in accordance with the company’s specific requirements and instructions.
  • Application outsourcing: Services and functions outsourced typically include application development, application support and maintenance, customer program management, and application operations.
  • Website development & hosting: The services typically outsourced include general website design services, graphics and image design, content management systems customization services, and dynamic web development services.

Recommended technology outsourcing companies

There is a multitude of software outsourcing companies that offer various software development services to a range of industries. Many of these companies are located offshore or have offices located offshore with the headquarters being located in the U.S. The following two companies are some of the leaders in the technology outsourcing industry.

TatvaSoft– TatvaSoft is a technology outsourcing firm located in India. They service industries in many fields, including Oil & Gas, Retail, Finance, Sports, insurance, and enterprise solutions. They offer application development, web development, .NET development, Silverlight consulting, PHP programming, Flex programming, SharePoint consulting, and application maintenance.

ComputerSupport– ComputerSupport is an IT support and IT outsourcing company. They offer 24/7 IT support, helpdesk outsourcing, on demand IT supoort, VoIP, application hosting, email hosting, cloud hosted servers, and managed hosting. They also offer outsourcing for a category that they called business challenges. This includes IT consulting and strategy, staff augmentation, IT support for mobile workforce, and electronic medical records.

Types of Business Process OutsourcingTypes of Outsourcing

The second most common type of outsourcing is business process outsourcing. Business process outsourcing services involve companies contracting the responsibilities and operations of various business processes and functions to an outsourcing firm. The following list describes the services that are typically outsourced by companies:

  • Human resources and training: Human resource outsourcing involves training and recruitment, management of databases, management of contracts, as well as retention and attrition.
  • Transaction processing: This outsourcing deals with the main function of payroll maintenance. It can also include processes such as research, payments, check and credit cards, stock trading, mortgage, loans, and insurance.
  • Intellectual property: Outsourcing includes licensing support, research, analysis of patents, and patent application management.
  • Finance and accounting: Outsourcing of finance and account services includes expense management, credit and debit support, auditing, invoice management, accounts receivable and payable in addition to resolution of billing disputes.
  • Supply chain management: Supply chain management outsourcing includes management of contracts, procurement, logistic support, warehouse management, and relationship management.
  • Administrative support: This outsourcing includes conversion of documents, data entry, document scanning, processing of forms, and other secretary related tasks.
  • Legal services: This outsourcing involves risk evaluation, mediation and arbitration, consultation, research, and support for legal functions.
  • Security: Involves outsourcing for maintaining and securing data, equipment, and documents from theft. This can involve physical security, investigative services, computer and network security, and electronic security systems.
  • Sales and marketing: Involves outsourcing activities relating to surveys, cold calling, pitches, and lead generation and nurturing.
  • Document processes: This outsourcing includes marketing and communications, finance accounting, compliance documents, and customer facing.
  • Publishing: The outsourcing of publishing processes includes design, internet publishing, graphics, drawings, and administration.
  • Customer relationship management: Functions and processes outsourced are customer service and support; taking of orders, help desk support, product support, and market research.
  • Research and analysis: Aspects outsourced include analytics on finance and data, market research, and primary/secondary research.

Recommended business process outsourcing companies

Accenture

Accenture is one of the largest business process outsourcing companies. They offer three fields of process outsourcing. The first field is cross-industry business process outsourcing, which includes engineering, finance/accounting, human resources, learning, procurement, and supply chain. The second field is industry specific services such as credit services, health administration, insurance, network, and utilities. The third field is bundled outsourcing services. Bundled outsourcing services involve the re-engineering of the operations of the back-office to reduce cost and to increase flexibility by merging together multiple business functions.

IBM Global Process Services

IBM Global Process Services is the largest outsourcing company in the marketplace today. The outsourcing processes that IBM offers to clients are customer relationship management services, finance and administration, human resources learning and recruitment outsourcing, and procurement and supply chain management. Furthermore, IBM offers industry specific processes for companies that are in the fields of banking, healthcare, government, telecom, and insurance. IBM has helped large companies such as GM, Yahoo, and Southwest airlines to meet their outsourcing needs. Working with IBM is beneficial because they are an established company that works to maintain a strong reputation.

MphasiS

MphasiS is also one of the largest business process outsourcing firms. They offer industry tailored business processing services to industries such as telecommunications, banking, capital markets, insurance, and healthcare. They also offer business process services to enterprise companies that include transportation & logistics, manufacturing, retail & consumer goods, and energy & utilities. MphasiS emphasizes their established methodologies to their clients. They claim to have an established methodology for transition, transformation, BPO-IT integration, and steady state governance.

The Secrets to the Best Marketing Outsourcing

How to determine if a company needs to outsource marketing

A company decides to outsource marketing after conducting a thorough analysis of its current marketing operations from various perspectives. Often, the company will look at what specific parts to outsource. For instance, the vast majority of companies already outsource aspects of their marketing such as advertising. However, companies should look into what they need in their campaigns and do not have such as lead generation, lead management, customer and market analytics, as well as direct mail campaigns. Similarly, the marketing teams of companies may be creative but lack “left brain” characteristics, which include numbers, analytics, and detailed analysis. Most companies decide to outsource these parts to more expert outside firms.

Furthermore, the concept “inbound marketing” is gaining prominence. With many consumers are now blocking out most of the advertisements that they come across daily, some companies can no longer effectively use mass marketing to effectively reach customers.. Inbound marketing involves generating content that drives the consumer to the product or service by using social media, blogs, and SEO to attract new customers. The goal is to create content that will attract customers yet will somehow be linked to the product or service the company is trying to sell. Often, companies will need help in generating a marketing campaign that will adhere to the goal of inbound marketing while avoiding the traditional marketing methods.

What specifically do Marketing outsourcing firms provide organizations?

A typical marketing outsourcing firm can provide a variety of options to hiring organizations. The majority of the outsourcing services can be grouped into five categories. Some hiring organizations may use an outsourcing firm for one, some, or all of these categories.

  • Research- The outsourcing firms will do research on markets, customers, products, competitors, and usually other options if requested. Through researching target markets- (target customers, most profitable areas, competitor analysis) the outsourcing firm will generally be able to provide marketing objectives that will suggest changes to produce the best business outcomes.
  • Strategy- Through research and critical analysis, the outsourcing firm will be able to develop a strategy for the company so their competitive advantage and position is unique and different across the market. In this strategy, the outsourcing firm should suggest how to communicate and contact potential new customers or business partners.
  • Planning- Through planning, the outsourcing firm will create an in-depth and detailed schedule, budget, and possible deadlines for the marketing plan.  The marketing plan will connect the research and strategy in the earlier step and will adhere to the hiring organization’s goals.
  • Execution and Management- Depending on the level in which the hiring organization is using the marketing outsourcing firm, the outsourcing firm should have an infrastructure in place to carry out the marketing plan. The outsourcing firm will conduct the plan and manage it using their resources.
  • Review – After the marketing plan has been executed to its agreed upon lifetime, the outsourcing company will be able to provide analytics and numbers to showcase the results of the marketing plan. The hiring organization should work with the outsourcing company to evaluate the success of the campaign and see what can be done differently or better in the future.

How to increase the probability of having a successful outsourcing marketing campaign

Marketing Outsourcing Hiring organizations should keep close scrutiny on the outsourcing firm in order to maintain the best results with a marketing campaign or research.  They should pay attention to specific details and chart the outsourcing firm’s progress. First off, outsourcing firms should be responsible when it comes to ROI. The firm must be able to understand how every decision will ultimately affect the end goal. Secondly, the outsourcing firm must put the right people in the right roles for the work. The hiring organization should examine this aspect both for internal and external roles. Third, the hiring organization should question the strategy the outsourcing firm plans to take. The hiring organization should ask strenuous questions and attempt to find flaws in the plan in order to increase the chance of it being successful. Lastly, the hiring organization should make sure the marketing firm is being respectful in its marketing campaign. The firm should be honest, honor privacy, and avoid spam when performing campaigns. Failure to do so will not only result in a failed campaign but loss of brand respect and recognition from consumers.

How can different size companies use marketing outsourcing?

Small and start-up companies typically will use marketing outsourcing in order to gain access to resources, expertise, and technology that they cannot afford to spend time or money on. Small companies often do not have the manpower to devote to a marketing campaign, and it may be a cheaper and a more efficient option for them to outsource the marketing. Small businesses may feel the need to have a marketing campaign in order to have a level playing field with the larger and more established companies in the marketplace. Thus, many small businesses outsource some or all of their marketing.

Medium sized companies often already have a marketing staff in place. For the most part, medium size businesses will use marketing outsourcing to supplement their current efforts. The business may only use outsourcing to eliminate overhead its staff does not want to deal with, make sure marketing plans are met for time-sensitive deadlines, gain a wider range of expertise and resources, and obtain a different perspective.

Large companies will often use marketing outsourcing in order to explore new possibilities. They might hire a firm to conduct research on possible new markets, target customers, and products. Often, large companies have the in-house resources to accomplish this task, but they outsource in order to gain a different perspective and to obtain new ideas.

How to measure an outsourced marketing campaign’s success

If an organization decides to outsource a marketing campaign, then they also should look at several criteria once the campaign is over in order to determine how successful the campaign was in reaching the primary and secondary goals.

Lead generation- The campaign should noticeably increase the number of interested customers who turn into credible leads.

Increased sales­- The marketing campaign should be able to turn more of the leads into sales.

Increased brand awareness- The company’s brand should be well established in the marketplace after a campaign is run. The target customer should easily identify the company’s logo and slogan.

­­Accurate analytics- The campaign should result in the company gaining insight into what does and does not reach the target customer. Furthermore, the analytics should show where the company could penetrate the market further.

Finding the right marketing outsourcing

With the needs of every type of business being as different as they are, those outsourcing need to find firms with experience in their fields. A search in the field should turn up lots of potential firms. Carefully screen for proper experience and their ability to meet the above criteria.

How to Select Call Center Outsourcing Services

There are numerous outsourcing call centers from which hiring firms can choose. They all have different focus points and strengths. The best way for hiring companies to make the right decision is to hire an outsourcing firm through a structured selection process based on certain criteria. The following criteria should be used in this process:

Industry experience: Hiring companies should examine the other companies that are currently using the prospective outsourcing firm’s services. It is wise to hire a firm that is servicing companies in the same field as the hiring company. This ensures the outsourcing firm will understand the services that need to be outsourced and that there will be a smaller learning curve.

Size: It may be hard to find the exact size and scope of a call center outsourcing firm. Hiring organizations can accomplish this by looking at the size of a firm’s clients. If the firm services a number of large clients such as Crate & Barrel or Lacoste, then the firm will be able to handle a company of similar size. However, smaller companies may want a firm that is more personable and deals with smaller and fewer clients for better customer service. Thus, the hiring organization should look at firms that only deal with small to medium-size businesses.

Flexibility: Hiring organizations should look at how flexible the outsourcing firms are. It is important to select a firm that can properly integrate their technology and methods with that of the hiring organization’s.  The best outsourcing firms will learn the business processes of their clients and their technology to meet them, and then deliver a solution that is customized for the hiring organization.

Innovation: Most hiring organizations will be utilizing an outsourcing firm in order to gain a competitive edge. Thus, an outsourcing firm that can offer innovative technology, software, expertise, and client collaboration methodology should be selected.

Recruiting and training:  Hiring organizations should look into the people that the outsourcing firm employs and how the firm hires new talent. Ultimately, those employees will be handling the services and having the best talent is a necessity. Most outsourcing firms will enable an organization to visit their offices to see their operations and employees. Additionally, a hiring organization should make sure the firm regularly trains their employees on new methods and technology.

How to find information on call center outsourcing firms  

The majority of the above criteria that should be used in a hiring companies search for an outsourcing firm can easily be found on an outsourcing firm’s web site. These websites can be found through a specific regional search engine query or through using an outsourcing consultant, who can provide an organization with options for call center outsourcing. A good outsourcing firm should have plenty of information online and offer more by request as needed. On-site visits, interviews, and reviews also should be utilized when practical for a decision of this importance. Once along in the process, companies should ask for a RFP (request for proposal) for more concrete and precise information from the outsourcing firm.

How to effectively use call center outsourcing

Hiring a call center outsourcing firm does not necessarily guarantee satisfactory results. A hiring organization must understand how to utilize the outsourcing firm’s services to best fit the needs of their organization. First and foremost is deciding what services to outsource. Many organizations have strengths in some areas and may want to keep those functions in house if this trend is expected to continue while outsourcing services that they are weak in or do not have. For example, if an organization is strong in maintaining customer service, then they should keep this service in-house and look for something that they do not have or are weak in such as a contact center or receivables management. It is also possible for an organization to hire an outsourcing firm for the sole purpose of handling overflow calls and requests.

Another way organizations can effectively utilize outsourcing firms is to maintain a strong relationship with the outsourcing firm and have transparent communication. Such transparent communication will enable a firm to make sure that they are adhering to the exact expectations of the hiring company. Furthermore, the partnership will enable different ideas and methodologies to come together to improve the overall system and service offered.

One last characteristic organizations should consider is choosing the correct location to outsource. It may be wise for an organization to outsource abroad because they will be able to have around the clock service cheaply since the firm will be operating standard business hours while the organization is not operating. However, if customer satisfaction is the undisputed top priority, organizations should consider outsourcing in the same region in order to reduce language barriers and to enhance the understanding between the call center and the customer.

A listing of different call center outsourcing services can be found here.

Why call center outsourcing in India is becoming prominent

It is now commonplace for organizations to outsource their call center service needs to firms in India. The following reasons are why this option is on an increasing trend:

Time zone: For most of the hiring organizations located in the West, the different time zone has enabled companies to have around the clock customer support. Between the U.S. and India, there is a twelve-hour time difference.

Government policies: The Indian government has attempted to promote outsourcing and has allowed a tax exemption on the export of ITES as well as free exports of capital goods. Furthermore, the government is attempting to build top facilities in telecom infrastructure and facilities in order to aid call center outsourcing.

Large workforce- The workforce in India is large, making solutions cheap for outsourcing companies. The workforce is also receiving more education in technology and other relevant areas. Additionally, most of the outsourcing workforce is proficient in English and can effectively communicate with customers. In fact, India has the second largest English speaking population after the U.S.

Experience and specialization- India was one of the first countries to promote call center outsourcing and has established itself as a leader in global call center outsourcing services. Most outsourcing firms in India have established specializations in the call center service industry that are competitive globally. These services have been refined over time and have been continually adapted with changes in global technology.