Using Outsourcing To Prosper In A High Cost Economy


Originally written by Nicholas Hastings, CEO and Founder, hammerjack

It’s no surprise talk amongst  businesses has narrowed  focus towards the rising cost of operating.. Make no mistake, with inflation swelling to over 5%, and a skilled domestic workforce shortage to boot, these cost-challenges are a tangible threat to many business owners. A properly implemented Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) program may provide the appropriate relief. 


The responses we’ve seen to this high-cost domestic environment have been variable, to say the least, in terms of both strategy and efficacy. All too often we’ve seen a common thread emerging of over-leveraged and burnt out core workers, overloading on daily tasks to compensate for a shortage in support resources and staff. Business executives and management would love to implement the necessary support infrastructure from lower cost offshore workforces for the rest of the team, but they themselves don’t have the time nor wherewithal to fully onboard and integrate new staff, either dedicated or flexible. They recognise the need, and the cost benefit – it’s more a logistical issue.


Perhaps your own team has commenced exploring offshore staffing options as support for critical operational teams, such as Administration or Accounts, as is sensible to do in the face of the current cost challenges. From the previous experience of businesses we’ve partnered with, it’s that time and training investment burden that often becomes the mitigating issue that prevents so many from taking the next necessary steps forwards. This ultimately hamstrings their ability to vent the steam of high cost pressure, and it doesn’t have to be the case. 


The fact of it all is this: with the right Process Outsourcing partner in hammerjack, the onboarding, integration and time expenditure issues evaporate. It’s a true partnership, not a short-term, stop-gap, time-waste, backsides in seats exercise. We have the experience to allow for the prosperity of our partner businesses, despite the challenges, deleveraging key staff and increasing profitability. 


Actively Seek The Apex Of Cost And Performance

When pursuing expert staff in lower-cost offshore environments, such as the Philippines, the ‘expert’ part should not get left behind, by either you or your outsourcing partner. It may appear initially effective, in the short-term, to indiscriminately locate any given professional in a hurry, on a cost-basis alone, so long as they vaguely fit the bill and qualifications for what you need. This is especially common when the needs are so urgent, as they are for many businesses, and the costs of third-party domestic suppliers are as high as they currently are.


The reality is that this short-termism has a serious chance of becoming more of a headache than a solution for your business. A slapdash, set-and-forget approach cannot address your individual needs comprehensively, and the offshore staff inevitably end up battling uphill to produce sub-standard results under considerable time pressures. When your BPO supplier doesn’t actively take the care to recognise the best fit for your business, performance and productivity stalls, and the program is in danger of collapsing. Existing staff end up taking unnecessary time creating workable team synergy, rather than creating space for their own tasks. 


Engage with a supplier who takes a longer view towards implementing staff that you really, genuinely want to retain; who want to support your business and its vision. Especially if you seek longer-term, dedicated solutions for crucial functional elements of your business, such as bookkeeping and administration. The success of our partnership with clients is measured in the tenure and performance of our skilled professionals over an extended time, in contrast to the vast majority of offshore staff providers. It’s the method that creates lasting, real, tangible cost benefits by pinpointing the best possible skills providers for your specific needs.


Discuss Seasonal Revenue Changes With Your BPO Supplier

Seasonal revenue can severely limit the decision making process for many businesses, especially when overheads are steadily increasing as they have been this year. It’s difficult to know when and what skilled staff to engage with, as revenue variability in a high inflation economy can easily lead to overextension and red balance sheets. Failure, though, to address the staff shortfall in times of high volume can spell trouble, as key personnel get stretched thin by covering the extra workload. When action needs to be taken, it needs to be taken decisively. 


Discussing these revenue up and downturns with our team might reveal instances whereby a flexible, or lite, offshore solution can be brought in during certain  to alleviate this pressure, without swelling overheads. Engagement with an outsourcing program can be according to your specific needs, should you engage with a partner who actually understands them. At times of high volume, you may need additional infrastructure within departments such as Accounts, IT, or Finance – skilled provisional role players who enable you to maximise profitability and deleverage key team members.


The difference lies in the knowledge sharing process, and each party’s willingness to engage in the finer detail. Your BPO partner should know your operations inside and out, thereby allowing them to leverage their experience to deliver tailored results to suit you as the seasons and revenues go through their peaks and valleys. When they actively engage in such a dialogue, the use of offshore assets can be fine-tuned to peak efficiency, scaling up or down as the financial year progresses. 


Reassess Team Roles Both On And Offshore

In a high-cost business environment personal assistants often turn accountants; marketing managers often turn sales personnel, and so it goes. Having dynamic, flexible core staff can be an incredible asset to your business. They also can be limited from their potential by trying to wear too many hats at once. A regular assessment of roles and workloads for each of your teams can reveal moments of clutter and blockage – areas within which an offshore support player has the capacity to show tremendous value in assisting these essential team members. 


By example: perhaps, due to the current cost of third-party suppliers, your Marketing team is regularly tied up with content and collateral creation, unable to address the overall brand development strategy and direction for your business. A comprehensive review of their workload and role could very easily reveal that an expert offshore designer, properly onboarded and integrated, would free up the necessary time and headspace for your Marketing team to properly execute these essential long-term projects. A partner invested in the program’s success, such as hammerjack, will ensure that the communication between each team member is seamless, fine-tuning your operation into its most productive self.  


Collaborating extensively with your BPO partner throughout this process widens the scope in terms of what you might imagine different role players can achieve within your business. Our experience across a swathe of business allows us to identify moments of operational clutter that you may not have considered. There are both flexible and dedicated offshore solutions and the ways in which they can be implemented into your business are practically endless. Often it’s the day-to-day tasks – the micro, the minor and the monotonous that drag attention away from your core team’s ability to look at the bigger picture. Over time, this results in your business treading water rather than charging forwards. 


Even as it pertains to management or ownership – perhaps a Virtual Personal Assistant could address your own time-management or workload issues, in ways that you may not have ever considered. There is always potential to make high-fidelity adjustments to roles and expectations as the business naturally develops over time. When dealing with hammerjack, we are able to lend you our extensive expertise of various solutions, and the most efficient communication and workload management products and software to ensure they are implemented to the highest standards. 


No business should ever rest on their laurels, despite their onshore staff’s ability to cover the gaps admirably. Reviewing roles is not about clearing house, it’s about making sure that every player is performing the role, and executing the tasks that suit their talents best, whilst surrounded by the support infrastructure that best allows them to thrive. When an outsourcing program is constructed in the right way it liberates key staff, it doesn’t replace them. 

Utilising offshore personnel to prosper in a high-cost domestic environment involves engaging with a BPO service provider such as hammerjack, who is prepared to understand the needs of your business intimately, in order to match you exactly with the high skill Philippines professionals that best suit you. Not only will this instantly result in the alleviation of cost-pressures for your balance sheet, it will also create the best environment possible for the growth and professional development of your entire team.