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Focusing on your core business: Harnessing synergy through Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)

Michael Sak, Vice-president of Regional Business Imaging Solutions Product Group, Canon Singapore | May 12, 2014
BPO is a highly sought-after service globally, a testament to the substantial benefits enterprises enjoy.

A Challenging Business Environment

The business environment for the present-day enterprise has grown increasingly challenging. According to the Thomson Reuters/INSEAD Asia Q1 Business Sentiment Survey for 2014[1], uncertainty over the global economy and rising costs are chief concerns among many businesses. In addition, competitive pressures are placed on businesses to keep pace with efficiency and productivity via the procurement of new technology. Along with these new technologies, enterprises are now expected to possess unprecedented levels of business responsiveness.

In the face of these pressures, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) offers itself as a means for enterprises to overcome these obstacles. BPO, as the name suggests, involves the contracting of operations and responsibilities of specific business functions to a third party service provider. Services may range anything from accounting and finance, printing, data processing to customer related services.

BPO is a highly sought-after service globally, a testament to the substantial benefits enterprises enjoy. According to a study by IDC, the worldwide BPO market is forecast to increase at a 5.7% compound annual growth rate, reaching $209.4 billion by 2017[2].

How BPO Helps Enterprises Manage Pressures and Get Ahead

Many enterprises often find themselves incurring excessive cost through self-managing an entire host of business processes; these costs go beyond the fixed investments of technology and equipment, and also entail the long-term costs of maintenance and in-house labour. Additionally, companies may not possess the necessary expertise to optimize business processes in a cost-efficient manner.

This can bog down businesses when disproportionate amounts of time and resources are spent navigating issues and problems, which then adversely affect efficiency, productivity and in turn, bottom line profit. Few resources would then be left available for the enterprise to innovate or focus on their core business functions.

When optimally deployed, BPO can help enterprises achieve the following, among numerous other possible benefits:

  • Improved responsiveness to environmental changes
  • Increased efficiency of business processes
  • Flexibility in the management of resources
  • Maintaining levels of agility enjoyed by small and medium enterprises when encountering growth

Most importantly, BPO helps enterprises free up precious resources spent on navigating non-core business tasks, which can then be channelled into realising the business' strategic goals.

Solutions to Fit Any Enterprise 

BPO is not a one-size-fits-all solution for enterprises - deciding what business functions to outsource depends on the unique needs of enterprise in the given context in the given industry. A smart deployment of BPO into any of these three aspects will aid the enterprise in not just enhancing business efficiency and productivity, but also generates significant cost savings.

Many businesses across industries choose to outsource non-core document handling functions so that they can focus on their future business.  For example, legal and financial institutions commonly outsource document intensive processes such as mail and transactional print, allowing them to enjoy cost efficiency, increased productivity and compliance. Institutions involved in managing a high volume of documents may also outsource their print activities to enjoy maximum cost savings to ensure printing demands are met on time and of high quality.


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