Business process outsourcing (BPO) is a practice in which an organization contracts a third-party service provider to perform business tasks on their behalf.
Many people still connect BPO with its roots in call centers abroad. However, it has dramatically expanded and evolved as not only the internet but advanced technology solutions have become critical to business success. Today, business process outsourcing services include everything from AP automation to mailroom outsourcing to document scanning to HR recruiting to IT services.
But why are companies increasingly leveraging BPO? Let’s take a deep dive into the evolution of these services and how organizations have used them over the years to find out:
How the Internet Revolutionized BPO
The modern-day internet was a game changer for businesses of all kinds – as was the idea of digital transformation that followed.
Organizations were given a tool that enabled them to transition from activities, processes, and capabilities with an analog backbone to activities, processes, and capabilities with a digital one.
Paper documents? Filing cabinets? In-person communication? It could all become digital.
The issue was – and still is for many organizations – actually transitioning to a digital backbone successfully. Years and years’ worth of documents need to be scanned. Data needs to be entered into various systems. Time-sensitive mail needs to be delivered to the correct departments and employees.
That’s where BPO services come in. The rise of the digital era resulted in organizations transitioning from outsourcing call center services to outsourcing services for IT, accounting, transcription, translation, mailroom management, AP processing, claims management, and many other critical (and increasingly digital) processes.
Ultimately, this helped businesses gain a competitive advantage, reduce costs, and improve customer service simultaneously.
How Companies Use Business Process Outsourcing Today
The cat’s out of the bag – outsourced services have gone digital. And the world of digital outsourcing is only expanding. According to McKinsey, between 2016 and 2020, the amount of closed BPO deals with at least one digital component doubled and the amount of new deals with a digital component increased by 50%.
Here are some common ways companies are taking advantage of digital BPO services today:
Many modern companies are taking advantage of digital mailroom outsourcing. This means they outsource receipt, digitization, processing, management, and e-storage of critical incoming documents. Doing so expedites turn times, improves customer responsiveness, and enables remote work.
Mailroom outsourcing also frees up time for staff members to focus on their core tasks. Zapier found 73% of workers waste 1-3 hours every day looking for documents and information. A digital mailroom from a trusted BPO partner can give your workers that time back.
Many businesses are also outsourcing invoice processing to improve data accuracy and expedite turn times. Your AP department can reduce invoice processing time from receipt to payment from 45 days to just 3.
This results in significant financial gains in the form of early payment discounts, costly late fee prevention, and labor cost reduction. In fact, by throwing AP automation technology into the mix, organizations spend 3x less on invoice processing.
By scanning your documents, you’re backing up business information and making it easily accessible from anywhere – something that’s critical today, as more and more employees embrace remote work.
Ensuring business continuity is also critical and top of mind as organizations continue to navigate the post-pandemic landscape and analyze their crisis management strategies. Digitizing your files is key to making sure you can continue operating regardless of what the future brings.
But can you handle the entire scanning process – from digitization to data capture to quality control and delivery – in-house? Many companies can’t and, instead, turn to a trusted document scanning outsourcing partner to manage the process for them, so they can reap the benefits above.
The Future: What’s Next for BPO?
Now you know what the past and current states of business process outsourcing are. But what exactly does the future hold? How should your organization look to leverage these services in the coming years?
The short answer is business process management (BPM).
According to Gartner, BPM is “a discipline that uses various methods to discover, model, analyze, measure, improve and optimize business processes.” BPM service providers handle full business processes on your behalf – from idea generation and planning to staff augmentation to operation management.
In its recent article on getting BPO right in a digital future, McKinsey states, “the time has come for the outsourcing industry’s focus to evolve from traditional right-shoring and basic automation to fully digitized operations through business-process management (BPM).”
Consider partnering with a trusted BPM partner to ensure your business can excel in the future.
How MetaSource Can Help
With over 30 years of experience, MetaSource is a global leader in digital transformation, bringing the right mix of technology, expertise, and services that will help you achieve your business goals. As a SOC 2 Type 2 certified and HIPAA compliant company, our processes are audited annually by a third party, ensuring service quality and document security.
Contact MetaSource to find out how to easily leverage outsourced services in your business, or read How to Choose a BPO Service that Fits Your Business Needs to learn what it takes to find the right BPO/BPM partner.