Steps to Planning a Business Process Outsourcing Strategy


  • You must be absolutely clear as to why you are considering business process outsourcing. Make sure that terms are defined, objectives are clear and that all parties know exactly what is expected and how process improvements can be made.
  • What type of relationship do you want with your BPO partner? Your requirements may determine the type of company that you work with. You must measure when choosing the right BPO supplier how it may effect your company strategy.
  • What are you trying to achieve?

    – Costs savings?

    – Increased revenues?

    – Increased service levels?

    – Enhancing areas where perhaps your company does not have the right level of skills?

  • Identify and assess any potential risks. How will the BPO organisation manage and deal with these? What contingency plans will be put in place?
  • You need to make a balance in agreeing the scope and length of any agreement. Three years is fine, ten years can be too long. It must have long enough time to make a difference and short enough to remain flexible. The contingency plan or business continuity plan needs to be developed by all key operational areas of the company.
  • The agreement should allow you flexibility to change certain areas of the agreement especially when it comes to an exit.
  • Transitions plan. You will need to work with the BPO provider to fully work out how the services will be transferred and over what period of time. Remember that it takes time to outsource and at some time you may wish to bring those services back ‘in-house’. This too can be complex and long-winded.
  • You must communicate internally, i.e. within your organisation, as soon as you start to consider BPO. Outsourcing can be an emotive term and people will hear gossip, and this can impact performance as personnel may think that there will be job losses. However secret you try and keep it, people will find out. As long as you fully explain the business reasons for doing so, most people will understand.
  • Compliance. If your organisation is affected by, for example, legislation or codes of conduct such as Sarbanes-Oxley, this must be considered and potentially written into any agreement.
  • Implement a Business Continuity Management model (BCM). This is a process that helps identify, manage and control the main areas of the business that can be outsourced. The aim is to minimise any potential issues and maximise the value of the BPO.