The BPO or Business Process Outsourcing has been growing in recognition in recent years, allowing many companies to invest more resources in their core businesses, lower their costs and be more agile in their operations.
BPO is a subset of outsourcing that involves the use of a third party for a specific type of business function. That is, it is the process of assigning certain work or procedures to an external service provider, which would otherwise be an internal system or service. In other words, BPO is a way of hiring a second partner, such as an IT consultant, consulting firm, or outsourcing company, to perform one or more business functions for your company.
With the right toolset and innovation, BPO partners have the ability and the agility to scale with the evolving needs of their client partners. To appropriately strategize and scale, BPO partners should provide end-to-end solutions to help with challenges that may arise post-implementation. Effective BPO organizations can help payers elevate the customer experience to a level comparable to other industries through a focus on service excellence, smart processes, and a fresh perspective.
This is where Design Thinking comes in, which is a methodology that allows or facilitates the problem solution, the design, and development of products and services of all kinds. For this, highly motivated teams are needed, to use innovation and creativity as engines.
If you want your customers and stakeholders to collaborate with you to achieve business results, you need to look for ways to make it easier for them. This is where you can use Design Thinking to understand them better and understand what causes the problems, the costs and what people do. This is the role that Design Thinking can play in helping you understand things differently and not always solve problems in the same way.
Design Thinking as a term has gained momentum in the last few years amongst outsourcing service providers who are continually working to create value for their clients, especially as they pivot to Digital. In the pre-digital era, being a Service Provider meant being a conduit for cost arbitration, learning the process steps, and replicating the same in the lower-cost setup. (Vashi, 2018)
Great BPO partners do more than offer best practices, which are often built around retrofitting the past. Recent HfS research showcases the rise of a Design Thinking approach, collecting the viewpoints of 178 major enterprise operations executives. This study points to creative idea generation as critical to more than four out of 10 enterprises, second only to investment in analytics tools and skills.
There are several advantages of business process outsourcing. The first that comes to mind is cost savings from outsourcing to countries with lower labor costs. However, today there are many more benefits to outsourcing that companies seek to leverage. With processes contracted out to vendors rather than kept in-house, companies enjoy more flexibility in both their budgets and in the way they operate. They can also focus more internally on their own competitive advantage, and source new innovations from strategic outsourcing partners.
If you still think of BPO as strictly a cost-cutting measure, you’re missing an incredible opportunity to make meaningful changes that will positively impact your members as well as improving your operation from top-to-bottom. But it all starts with choosing a BPO partner that has the capabilities you need.
So when you are trying to take your business further, the perfect BPO partner is a must. Finding a new way to communicate your needs and discovering common ground with your BPO partner will make this experience a success for everyone.
- Natampalli, A. (May 17, 2017) The 7 Qualities of a Great Healthcare BPO Partner [Blog posting]