What was once an industry dominated by large corporations, today, even small businesses can take advantage of what is essentially business process outsourcing.

In this week’s blog post we explore the growing market share of SMEs (Small and Medium enterprises) in BPO today and highlight a few of the benefits and trends.

What does BPO mean for SMEs?

SMEs have the same business goals as larger organisations, but may have more limited resources. Among these goals are delivering cost-savings; raising customer satisfaction; achieving high performance; extending service offerings; and having access to the best people, skills and technologies. Traditionally, however, budget and logistical constraints have rendered these benefits out of reach for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). But technology along with creative delivery models, BPO is becoming more relevant, flexible, scalable and accessible to SMEs.

Through business process outsourcing SMEs can:

  • reallocate resources to business development and innovation, enabling growth without the large associated overheads
  • gain a competitive advantage by embracing non-core but necessary functions as a service
  • minimise risks significantly, whilst growing and extending service offerings
  • save on overheads and maintenance costs of infrastructure
  • save on costs that would have been required for in-house dedicated team.
  • remain in control of budget and staff
  • create long-term sustained value to the business
  • gain industry specific expertise – every successful BPO company has its own niche and industry-specific expertise.  They can deliver services that fit their client’s current condition and improve it.

Most common areas outsourced by SMEs:

1)     Customer Service

BPOs offer SMEs solutions that best fit their needs and budget. It’s made easier through collaboration, cooperation, and communication between you and your desired BPO partner. BPO firms will run SMEs virtual customer service centre 24/7 through multiple channels, including voice, e-mail, and chat.

Some of the services provided include:

  • Call centres
  • Voice emails
  • Email/chat support

2)     Accounting Outsourcing

Accounting Outsourcing is gaining popularity with SMEs because it is becoming a challenge for them to keep their books up-to-date at a reasonable cost. Crunching numbers is also a task that many entrepreneurs don’t want to tackle. It is amongst the areas that are too complex and delicate to handle for entrepreneurs who are overseeing things on top of the business spectrum.

Accounting outsourcing services not only reduce the annual cost by 50% to 60%, but also eliminate the need to maintain a separate accounting department.

Some of the services under this category include:

  • Account Receivable and Payable
  • General Ledger
  • Fixed Assets/Equipment Accounting
  • Audits and Project
  • Closure of Books
  • General Accounting Reporting
  • Accounts Reconciliation
  • Cash flow Analysis
  • Sales Analysis
  • Billing Services

3)     Web Design and Development

Currently, there is a high demand for web designers and developers around the globe. In-house web designers and developers are highly-paid compared to outsourcing them from a BPO firm due to the complexity and demand of their job. If you outsource these services, you can save a lot by just giving the temporary tasks of making and maintaining your company’s website. BPO firms offer these services at a lesser price. Moreover, you don’t have to purchase the most advanced, expensive tools and software for developing your website.

4)     Transcription Outsourcing

One aspect of technology advancement has been the advent of the paperless office. One of the processes supporting the model is transcription from audio files. Transcription outsourcing has reduced cost and turnaround time.

Some of the services included in Transcription Outsourcing are:

  • Medical transcription
  • Audio book conversion
  • Meeting agendas and notes
  • To do lists

Do you own a small business? Have you considered using BPO for your SME? We’d love to hear what you think – share with us in the comments below.

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