Workforce Solutions and BPO
Traditionally, solving workforce shortages has meant one of two things: (1) hiring temporary help; or, (2) hiring new employees. Today, the term “workforce solutions” has evolved to include a new alternative, specifically: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). BPO is the contracting of a specific business task, such as payroll, customer service or mailroom processing to a third-party service provider.
There are a number of reasons for turning to BPO rather than traditional workforce solutions. For instance:
- BPO is a way to cut the costs associated with performing tasks that a company requires, but that do not contribute to the company’s position in the marketplace (payroll, accounting, mailroom, Customer Service, Human Resources and other back office and administrative tasks).
- BPO is generally regarded as easily scalable; that is, companies can increase or decrease their talent pool quickly and easily as business requirements fluctuate.
- BPO normally serves to streamline workflow, getting necessary tasks done more quickly, while improving accuracy through automation.
Whether your company competes locally or globally, the ability to react quickly and appropriately to unpredictable change can mean the difference between long-term success and rapid failure. It is management’s job to ensure that employees are focused on activities that contribute to long-term growth goals rather than letting them get pulled into the day-to-day minutiae of business. The proper focus can go a long way toward your company’s success; and Business Process Outsourcing can go a long way toward aiding that focus.
Business Critical Functions Require Focused Employees
The economy may be booming, but some lessons learned during the Great Recession appear to have permanently changed the way businesses operate. One such change is the practice of “doing more with less.” Most employees, who are asked, will say that they took on additional work load as staff was thinned during the recession. Most will also tell you that their workload has remained at the same level despite the improved economy. In general, business firms prefer to keep their staff at recession levels, while fixing on increased workflow and improved bottom lines.
This “more with less” business philosophy appears to be here to stay, but it can be effective for the long term, only by making use of BPO. This is because at a certain level “more with less” becomes “less with more;” that is, more hours worked equals less work done per hour. There have been numerous studies that back this up. It has been proven beyond a doubt that at some point during the workday, workers’ efficiency drops. Most studies conclude that after 8 hours in any one day, or 40 hours per week, the worker ceases to be effective. In fact, one study found that when workers increased their hours to 60 per week, their productivity dropped to less than 2/3 of what it had been at 40 hours per week.
So, if your goal is to keep your staff lean, while increasing productivity and improving your bottom line, you must look at outsourcing and automating the routine business tasks that keep your business running. Download our free guide "Choosing the Right Business Process Outsource" for more information.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June, 2015] and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.