Almost all back-office business operations can be outsourced to help you focus on more critical tasks. To manage your time and resources more efficiently, outsourcing certain back-office functions is a valuable strategy. If you’ve been considering to outsource the back office functions to an external agency, you might feel overwhelmed by the number of options available. To successfully outsource your back office operations, it is important to deliberate on your goals and choose the right vendor.
Let us take a look at 10 tips that will help you do just that.
1. Deliberate on your outsourcing goals
Before you begin to look for a vendor, deliberate on why you wish to outsource, and which tasks are critical and non-critical. Once you make a list of back-office functions you want to outsource, seek assistance from other executives to draw up a budget plan. Boardroom meetings at this stage should also explore what your business expects to realistically achieve by outsourcing.
2. Make sure your vendor offers a holistic solution
Outsourcing your entire back-office operations spans various duties across departments. You will need to ensure that you choose a vendor who will not only be able to handle data-related services and customer support, but also finance and accounting, marketing, recruitment and human resource and general administration. Choose a stellar outsourcing vendor who offers a wide range of backend services to help you manage various business processes and operations.
3. Assess their infrastructure
To provide holistic back office support services, an outsourcing vendor needs to have invested in premium infrastructure. Make sure they have adequate power backup to provide uninterrupted backend services, and that adequate security infrastructure is in place. Other infrastructural assets to consider include high-end servers, recreational facilities for their in-house employees, and office equipment. Most importantly, ensure that they use licensed software programs.
4. Do they comply with regulations?
If you plan to outsource your back office operations to a vendor located offshore, legalities and regulations may differ significantly. Make sure that your vendor has all the licenses and certificates required to operate a business process outsourcing facility. It is important that the vendor you select has the capabilities necessary to support your objectives.
5. Evaluate Service Level Agreements
It is very important for your back office support vendor to keep industry-standard SLA for all processes. Service Level Agreements must specify the kind of daily, weekly and monthly key performance indicator reports. KPI reports should give you a complete picture of all the key metrics related to outsourced back office support services.
6. What kind of customer support do they provide?
Depending on your requirements and the industry vertical you operate in, you should be able to gain customer support at specified times, or 24/7. You should also ensure that your vendor assigns a dedicated team, and a relationship manager who will serve as your primary point of contact. After all, back office support services aren’t complete without great customer service.
7. Do they offer customized back office solutions?
Not every business requires back office support all through the year or even month. Some companies need certain services only during certain business cycles. Depending on your requirements, your vendor should be able to provide tailor-made services that are customized to your unique needs. Customized back office services help businesses to scale at their own pace.
8. Maintain a flow of communication
Usually, outsourcing projects face hurdles because communication flow isn’t given the importance it deserves to be. To make sure your back office outsourcing is successful, always maintain a constant flow of communication, and make sure your vendor abides by the schedule. Be specific with requests you make so that there is no room for ambiguities in back office services that are rendered.
9. Ask for routine quality reports
While quality reports should be sent to your dashboard automatically, you will need to make sure that the vendor’s quality team is prompt and judicious about sending accurate reports. This is where the importance of Service Level Agreements comes in, and needs to be mentioned again. Routine quality reports also avoid disagreements between you and your vendor.
10. Conduct audits and measure ROI
It is also important for you to conduct regular audits of your back office support deliverables, and make sure that you continue to measure ROI using various tools. You should expect an improvement in the automated workflow process, which results in increased productivity and efficiency.
Partner with the right vendor for business success
The success of a back office outsourcing project depends on many factors including the vendor’s expertise, their infrastructural capabilities, and their ability to provide a holistic solution. However, it also partly depends on your ability to choose an efficient vendor after careful deliberations, and on maintaining a consistent communication flow during the project. After all, for any given project to be successful, it takes two to tango.