One of the key elements of an effective BPO engagement is the capability to deliver a very flexible and adaptive organization. BPO clients are continually moving in a world that is also continually moving, with unpredictable challenges relating to labor availability, currency exchange, infrastructure capabilities, and security popping up at any given moment. Suffice it to say in the 21st century, no company operates on “quiet mode.” Thus agility has become one of the most important criteria by which BPO clients evaluate their providers.
Facilitating the Life of Your Client
The ability of a BPO provider to accommodate and facilitate the constantly changing life of their client, essentially its agility, is of the utmost importance. One of the best ways to ensure this agility is to have the ability to build a global and integrated services delivery network that is present in multiple countries, allowing resources to be shifted if necessary in response to changing client needs and circumstances. Let’s look a little more closely at how globalization serves as a critical piece of the BPO agility puzzle.
Walking the Global Walk
It’s one thing for a BPO provider to set up shop in multiple countries and call themselves “global,” but true global agility goes deeper than opening international locations. A provider must accommodate all main languages of its different global locations, effectively manage multiple currency zones and time zones, and truly link all different global locations in real time.
For example, in the past 10 years, all of Capgemini BPO’s major clients experienced growing needs which extended their engagements, and we included new locations to accommodate this evolution. We were able to seamlessly move work from one platform to another. In a multi-client environment, it’s not too difficult to move people around, and it’s important to be able to do that to accommodate the needs of clients.
Keeping Up With Best Practices and Innovation
Another crucial aspect of BPO agility is keeping up with the latest and most innovative developments in best practices and having the ability to quickly introduce and adapt them to clients. Introducing clients to wider scale best practices such as Six Sigma, as well as best practices more specifically targeted to industry vertical or specialization, can greatly improve their operational efficiency and also improve the ROI obtained from BPO. Specific best practices will vary by client according to factors such as business sector and countr(ies) of operation, and each client will have unique best practice needs and requests that must be met in a timely manner.
Basically, BPO providers must move to continuously adapt, improve and innovate. Capgemini encourages people in our delivery centers to innovate ideas, for example one engagement generated more than 300 innovative ideas from across five delivery centers. These ideas, which originate close to the customer, help adapt and transform the way Capgemini provides BPO solutions to continuously drive value for our clients’ business.
And of course, innovation must occur on both sides of the BPO relationship. There needs to be a good understanding and fit on both the service provider and end user teams to analyze potential best practices and innovations, agree on which ones best fit the specific business needs of the client, and then jointly enact them.
Agility – the Modern Way of Conducting BPO
Agility represents the modern way of conducting BPO. The real major change in what BPO providers are doing is that instead of telling clients how they should conduct their business, providers are now listening to and analyzing clients on an ongoing basis to help them conduct their business in whatever manner best suits their needs at that moment.
Ultimately, in today’s business environment, if you’re not moving, you’re dead. That applies to both sides of the BPO equation.