Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Value of BPM for BPO Operations

BPM tools have helped businesses in various fields, and while a number of key players in the BPO industry have already jumped on the BPM bandwagon, a large number of BPO’s continue to remain under tremendous timelines related pressures. With the need for innovative products that can help increase productivity while cutting costs being the foremost criteria of almost every BPO, BPM providers continue to make continual upgrades and use state of the art technology to better their existing offerings.

If you are wondering why a BPO would need BPM solutions, do consider the following data released by IBM last year. Most businesses end up wasting more than 5 hours per employee; more than two thirds of all employees end up making decisions despite having incorrect information around once every week; two thirds feel that while there are people who can help them perform better, they just don’t know how to find them; and lastly, in excess of 90% of all the business heads who were interviewed opined that their business’ operating style needed a makeover.

Within a BPO, processes like sales, marketing, operations, insurance, banking, online services, human resources, and even administration can benefit through BPM tools. This is simply because any process which has room to be partially or completely automated, improved, and monitored, can benefit from BPM technology. Some BPOs have also used BPM tools as the key differentiator in customer acquisition situations. Through BPM, a BPO can also display its understanding of processes at the core level to any of its existing or probable client/s.

BPM can also help in the event where a business is looking to outsource work to a BPO. BPM would help the business in question have better control on the outsourced process while also being able to impart its SLAs in a more effective manner and provide complete transparency. Moreover, end customers do tend to face the challenge of basing a great amount of dependency on the BPO of critical processes. Besides, they might not necessarily feel comfortable to outsource critical tasks such as exiting or moving a process function to another BPO, and converting it into an internal process could also seem like a risky proposition. BPM can circumvent this risk by standardizing such processes and this could very well simplify a potential handover.

In looking at BPM solutions, these are aspects that a BPO should look into:

a) The offered solution should be quickly developed.

b) The solution should be low cost at the onset, and sustainable in the long run.

c) The solution should be able to integrate with the BPO’s existing technology.

Since the BPO spectrum is quite varied, the pertinent BPM solutions also follow suit. For example, the solution that a financial sector BPO requires would vary from the one that is needed by a service oriented BPO. The good thing is that BPM can deliver solutions, irrespective of the core area of expertise.

For instance, when it comes to codifying or guiding workflow, BPM would simply automate your otherwise manual tasks of taking notes. BPM could also help in creating subordinate processes which can then be handed over to third-parties in scenarios such as application support, loan processing, data verification, etc.

So yes, a BPO can surely benefit through the use of BPM solutions, as not only does this present an opportunity of garnering increased control, but also of increased and higher standards of output. And with the doldrums still not quite out of the picture, cost effective BPM solutions for BPOs do seem to be the order of the day.

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