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TDInsights: Outsourcing BPO Service with Success

Before landing a job in business processing outsourcing (BPO), I worked for the world’s largest food, health and wellness company for 10 years. This allowed me to experience the ‘client side’ of outsourcing most of my career. I eventually joined the BPO industry in September 2014, when I became part of boutique BPO company TDCX, and it has been amazing ever since. With my background, what I’m very fortunate to have is a clear understanding of both sides of the relationship. Therefore, I always consider every opportunity with everyone’s interest in mind: our clients, our employees, and our company.

When does it become compelling to outsource to a BPO company?

I first understood the benefits of business process outsourcing with my previous company when I was tasked with formalizing our global outsourcing guidance issued to all markets around the world. Most countries were outsourcing around 10%-20% of their volume at that time, keeping it to a strict minimum.

While doing my research, I realized that a handful of large and mature markets were much more advanced and were outsourcing close to 70% of their contacts, including during the weekdays. When I asked them why they were all consistent, they explained that it allowed them to:

  1. Help their internal teams focus on more strategic and higher-value work
  2. Learn from the broader expertise of the teams assigned to their account
  3. Leverage the agility of BPO providers for seasonal requirements
  4. Scale faster and expand more easily to new cities
  5. Reduce fixed costs and make their costs more variable

Another point in common was that they also considered their BPO providers as real ‘partners’ instead of just ‘suppliers’.

What is the recipe for success when outsourcing BPO Service?

Asking the question ‘why outsource?’ is a great place to start. As mentioned above, a company can find many good reasons to engage in business process outsourcing. It is important to sit down with all internal stakeholders to align on the top benefits that are the most relevant to the business. This will help when coming up with the selection process.

The next step is to clearly define the scope. Which activities should be outsourced from a BPO company? What results are expected? Everything should ideally be written down and formalized in a Request For Information (RFI) or Request For Proposal (RFP) document. As much information should be shared as possible such as the company vision and mission, the scope, the roles, the timelines, and the selection process.

Once the BPO proposals come in, it is important to evaluate them thoroughly. Set up an evaluation committee, give everyone an evaluation grid with clear scoring guidelines, score as much as possible after reading the proposal, and fine-tune the scores after the bidding BPOs have presented their offer in person or over a video call.

When it comes down to the final selection, I would always recommend checking the portfolio of existing companies. Client reference checks are common in the BPO industry, so do reach out to those provided to ask what’s working well and what’s in progress.

Lastly, to be successful, it is important to invest internal resources to manage the outsourcing relationship. Most companies that are successful in outsourcing BPO service have dedicated teams often called Outsourcing Management, Partner Management, or Vendor Management. As one of my mentors once told me, “an outsourcing partner is only as good as the outsourcing manager assigned to him.”

What is TDCX like as a BPO Partner?

I have a biased opinion, of course, as I love this company. What I can tell you objectively is that despite the many disruptions caused by COVID-19, 2020 was a milestone year for TDCX. We celebrated our 25th year in the BPO industry last October, and we celebrated it with big wins. We’re continuously growing in number, and our global footprint keeps expanding. We’ve recently entered Latin America with our first site in Bogota, Colombia, and we’re launching our newest site in Hyderabad, India. Locally, we were able to grow our TDCX family in the Philippines as well, from 3,500 talented folks to 4,000 and counting.

If you’re interested to know how TDCX conducts itself as a BPO partner, I would simply suggest asking our existing clients as we work for some of the world’s most recognized and most loved brands. The feedback that we usually get is that we’re great at hiring top-caliber talent, we’re particularly agile, we have a unique global footprint, and we’re very easy to do business with. Well, we’ll let you be the judge of that.