The business process outsourcing industry continues to thrive as more and more companies engage in subcontracts with third parties for business-related operations. With technological innovations, economies are moving at a faster rate than ever. About this, startups are also growing at a rapid pace. And being one of the types of businesses that can take advantage of the services the BPO industry offers, demands for and within the BPO industry continues to evolve just as rapid growth forecasts remain.
In 2015, the Harvard Business Review published an article detailing how startups are outsourcing contact support and alternative business solutions for IT, marketing, and other industries. The write-up focused mainly on the crucial role the Philippines has by serving as one of the top BPO countries in the world. With more than one million individuals making up the BPO workforce in the country and with an expected $25-billion revenue for 2016, the Philippines identifies as a key player in this global industry.
The sectors with the fastest growth are demanding for high-end skills that can cover data analytics, mobile app development, SEO management, and digital marketing. Hence, the BPO industry also requires people capable of providing technology-driven services. In the last year, the Philippines saw an influx of technology startups. Reasons for the inflow of clients to the Southeast Asian country are related to cost-efficient labor, a dominantly young and educated workforce, and an English-speaking population. Also on the plus side for American startup companies, they find it more appealing to work with Philippine-based BPO companies because of the Filipino labor force’s intimate familiarity with American culture as a product of decades of colonial rule.
Addressing high turnover rates
However, despite the increase in the number of startups working with the outsourcing companies in the Philippines, the country still had to deal with a relatively high turnover rate of employees in the business. In 2011, the BPO industry in the country experienced a whopping 33 percent turnover rate. This number fluctuated in the next couple of years upon garnering 24 and 26 percent attrition rates for 2012 and 2013 respectively. It was only in 2014 when the turnover rate fell to 20 percent. These rates are issues of concern for any business but more for a supposedly growing industry.
If you’re a business owner, you would want to keep a talented and developing workforce instead of continuously hiring different staff members who could do the job for your company but would eventually choose to leave after a relatively short period of employment. Some BPO companies in the Philippines have found a way to retain their skilled employees and consequently decrease the turnover rate. Recently, adopting the culture of a Silicon Valley startup has done the trick for these outsourcing companies. Providing venues and materials for relaxation, exercise, and the reenergizing of individuals has mostly helped increase the productivity rate of employees as well as their desire to stay with the company.
In any business, employees are arguably the most valuable resource and asset as their output and the quality of their work ultimately leads the company to achieve its goals. In turn, the quantity and quality of work are also, to some extent, dependent on the employees’ contentment with their workspace and the social life they have at work.
The relations of stress and efficiency in the workplace
The reactions of every individual to the pressures he or she faces has direct consequences to the overall effectiveness of the work team or organization the person is working under. With greater pressure comes a greater need for an outlet to release the stress. Now, new generations of startups and other companies are designing and implementing a work culture that is more enjoyable, vibrant, and that are, in a sense, more friendly and considerate of their workforce.
Many companies including those in the BPO industry are starting to adopt a Silicon Valley startup culture to achieve greater work engagement and to generate creative and standout ideas for businesses to attract employees. These setups help foster a work culture that thrives on camaraderie among and general well-being of the staff.
Outsourcing has become a juggernaut trend within modern healthcare. As communications and medical standardization becomes cleaner and more efficient, hospitals are desperately looking for ways to widen their budget and cut costs without sacrificing quality of care. Outsourcing is a difficult task for many hospitals because it requires a certain amount of trust between a hospital and an alternative provider.
As the industry grows, certificates and standard tests are making it easier for caregivers to choose what providers they can safely work with. The majority of outsourcing simply cuts down on all the peripheral tasks that don’t immediately occupy nurses and residents.
Outsourcing drug procurement to an unaffiliated pharmacy is one way to cut storage and supply costs, as well as cutting the cost of the staff necessary to manage the in-house pharmacy. In an interview with Pharmaceutical-Journal.com, healthcare consultant Mike Cross noted that outsourcing pharmacy services carries some strong benefits for hospitals in the department of cost-cutting and efficient care. Cross makes the point that, since medicine from community pharmacies are VAT-exempt unlike supplies in hospitals, there’s a percentage of cost to be cut from there.
The only worry, as in any branch of outsourcing, is that a certain degree of regulation and oversight is needed. The clinical and healthcare industry is one that must prioritize the health and safety of its patients first, and analyze cost-efficient methods for doing so second. Putting profit over care diminishes hospital quality, which is a detriment in both legal and financial ways. This is why certificates and industry standards are becoming a necessity in the outsourcing industry, so hospitals can rest easy about the quality of service they’re receiving, in terms of turnaround times and other important factors.
Medicine and supplies isn’t the only aspect hospitals outsource regularly. Many of the more routine aspects of medical care – such as laboratory results, outsourced staffing for emergency rooms, diagnostic tests from x-rays to CT scans and even dedicated MIR facilities – these can all be outsourced to facilities that deal with several hospitals and have a local reputation for excellent service above anything else.
All clinical services tend to be crucial to the inner workings of a hospital – but they’re not crucial to the facilitation of patient-doctor care. Surgery cannot be readily outsourced, but blood tests can. The difference relies on the specialty of physicians required for any given task. The more technological aspects of medical care are being outsourced at a wide range, as roughly 30 percent of surveyed hospitals said they were outsourcing their lab services, according to an article in the online Modern Healthcare magazine.
The benefits in outsourcing transcription work, in everything from pediatric to orthopedics transcription, are numerous. Firstly, transcription work can be more easily streamlined and made digitally available when outsourced to a specialized, certified company like Eyered Transcription. Secondly, quality transcription services don’t just make keeping records easier – they make data analysis easier and less obtuse in the stressful environment of a hospital floor.
An experienced outsourcing service is also overtly discreet. Keeping the integrity of a patient’s privacy intact above all is important, especially in the digital age where everyone’s information seems to be too easily up for grabs. Modern services utilize cloud-based encryption and safety measures to ensure client data is kept on lock and key for anyone except authorized hospital staff.
This removes major headaches for hospitals looking to reduce their costs but remain at the top of their own game. Outsourcing to companies with robust reputations in the foreign marketplace is even better – they maintain the level of quality found in local services, with the same turnaround times, but at a lower cost.
While the digital age may make paper irrelevant, in the fields of finance and medicine it’s still important to have physical copies of records to ensure these records are accessible in emergency or legal situations, or wherever electronic records may be rendered invalid. This requires printing, record keeping, and dedicated accountancy staff to make sure the hospital’s financials are in order.
Outsourcing emergency and medical billing services to another company cuts the cost of printing and billing distribution, and puts the burden on the billing service rather than the hospital when financial complications occur. As such, some hospitals may be worried about providing oversight — however, reputable services eliminate the need for oversight through a proven track record of quality.
Hospital scrubs, beds and sheets have to be kept meticulously clean and sterile to avoid the dangers of post-operation infection and to keep patients with auto-immune diseases as healthy as possible.
Because of the realities of the industry, hospitals are at extreme risk of turning into hotbeds for sickness – clean laundry isn’t just a luxury, but an industry necessity. According to the CDC, healthcare-associated infections produce costs as high as $45 billion a year. However, delegating these services to reputable outsourcing companies can help reduce infection rates in hospitals with lower budgets.
These are just some of the major services hospitals can safely outsource today, as the industry continues to grow.