The Future Of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)

If the events of the last few months have taught us anything, it's that wherever we are going as a society, we have to get there together. More and more, the world's workforce is going remote, or at least some hybrid of a WFH model. That means that the composition of in-person staff is changing. Job roles that used to be in-house are migrating off-site. In a time marked by great change and an economy in flux, businesses are streamlining their operations —outsourcing key job roles in the process. In response, the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry has risen to meet these changing market trends, presenting new solutions and technology as the market evolves.  

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What is BPO?

As of 2017, BPO accounted for more than $24 billion in worldwide revenue. BPO stands for "Business process outsourcing." You can trace the industry's roots to the late 80s when more and more Western companies farmed out critical yet redundant tasks, such as data entry, to third-party companies. While outsourcing has become synonymous with customer contact centers, it spans a much broader range of business-critical services. 

BPO is a subcategory of general outsourcing that specializes in providing administrative services such as human resources, IT, customer service, document prep, scanning services, and data entry. BPO allows a company to pare down its operations by offloading these essential functions onto a third-party contractor. 

Offloading tasks from your core personnel frees them up to focus on their most essential job duties—boosted productivity is the net effect around the office. Aside from productivity, companies typically use BPO services for the cost savings they provide. By using a third party for repetitive tasks, you can invest in hiring highly-skilled employees. 

Since the 1980s, the BPO industry has expanded steadily, adding billions in volume in the subsequent decades, and offering an ever-improving variety of services and solutions in the process. The future of BPO promises innovation and technology, including services that address mail scanning and electronic documents. 

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New and Emergent Trends in BPO

The first revolution in the world of outsourcing embraced a new and decentralized operational model.  The proliferation and advancement of telephone technology helped cement call center services as the BPO industry's primary offering. The latest BPO revolution leverages the power of the internet. The proliferation of high-speed Wifi has increased service options that BPO companies deliver.

To that effect, new BPO specializations have arisen. The more notable subtypes include: 

  • Knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) 
  • Legal process outsourcing (LPO)
  • Research process outsourcing (RPO)
  • Information technology-enabled services (ITES)

The knowledge, legal, and research POs move outsourcing functions outside the realm of redundant office tasks, expanding it to include highly-specialized professional services. By employing KPOs, companies greatly increase their business's footprint, drawing on expertise and skills normally unavailable in their geographic region. This shift has the potential to open up new markets. 

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Cloud Computing and RPA

The advent of cloud-based computing has also had a profound impact on the trajectory of the BPO industry. At the core of the internet's impact is the latitude and agility of cloud-based computing. A cloud platform seamlessly synchronizes critical documents, tasks, and job roles between company and third-party contractor. Reliance on the cloud is the very thing driving the remote working model. The cloud gives remote employees access to all pertinent electronic documents and productivity tools they need to operate at long distances. 

Cloud-based computing may be the single biggest influencing factor in modern BPO, but robotic process automation (RPA) is a close second. RPA uses machines and software to carry out repetitive tasks normally allotted to flesh and blood workers; think robots in a factory assembly line. RPA has grown up, moving out of the factory and into the back office where it performs rote tasks like data entry, scanning services, and preparing electronic documents. That's where DRS Imaging solutions like data capture come into play.  

BPO With DRS Imaging 

DRS Imaging specializes in BPO services that include electronic document scanning services, records management, and document imaging. We've helped customers in healthcare, education, construction, and government streamline back-office processes. Innovation and forward thinking are at the forefront of what we do. Here are a handful of the innovative, technology-driven BPO services that DRS Imaging provides. 

Incoming mail

DRS Imaging offers a digital mailroom service to process all your company's incoming mail. The digital mailroom isn't limited to physical mail, however. It is a one-stop ingestion technology meant to process all your different information streams, from faxes, to emails, to hardcopy letters, to AR checks in one place, converting them into a unified, and easy-to-read digital format. 

Forward your mail to our scanning center, or our digital mailroom can come to you with on-site pickup. Our mail scanning and forwarding services streamline your incoming information, putting it directly into the hands of remote workers.

File rooms

One of the biggest limitations preventing a successful transition to a remote work model is physical document storage. Many industries, including healthcare, legal, and education have strict document retention standards. Get rid of paper documentation with our digital file room services. We scan your hardcopy files and convert them into electronic documents that travel with you and your employees wherever you go via the cloud. 

External electronic documents

Leverage RPA to your benefit when it comes to incoming electronic documents. DRS Imaging harnesses the power of PSigen to parse critical information from incoming documents automatically. Psigen grabs invoices, identification, demographics, and other pertinent information from the body of an email and uses it to pre-fill your company's critical forms and records. Psigen's software works seamlessly with more than 60 ECM scanners and virtually all quality scanners. Psigen radically reduces redundant data-entry tasks, freeing your employees to pursue more essential job duties. It is the perfect enterprise solution for a decentralized, remote workforce.

Future-facing BPO

Technology moves at an exponentially increasing pace. Industries that harness the bleeding edge of progress stand to capitalize even when adversity strikes their market. We've reached an age where it no longer makes sense for companies, from clinics, to law firms, to national corporations to keep automated tasks in-house. It pays to partner with a BPO agency that streamlines operations, making your workflows agile and resilient. To find out how DRS Imaging can help your company move confidently into the future, contact us today!