Resilience in the wake of Covid-19
As we traverse further into what a friend recently referred to as “our permanent post-covid state,” many are looking around after a few years and realizing the effects of drastic changes to their respective industries, and the way we do business on a broader scale. One such industry that has weathered storms, and stayed afloat through proverbial tsunamis during the covid market, is Business Process Outsourcing, or BPO.
BPO exploded in the period between 2019 and 2022, increasing its global market value tenfold in that timeframe. From $26 Billion in 2016, to $261 Billion in 2022, as reported by Statista.
This growth was not without its pains. As our respective communities locked down, many companies were forced to swiftly reorganize themselves. BPO was no exception.
The reconsideration of companies’ diverse BPO needs at the onset of covid – is well illustrated in a study conducted by Deloitte. Companies outsourcing their delivery centers were questioned by Deloitte’s researchers during April of 2020, to get a sense of their plans for their outsourcing processes going forward. 55% of companies expressed that a change in their delivery center outsourcing would be forthcoming. Of these, roughly 32% predicted less outsourcing going forward, and 22% predicted more.
Notably, the pandemic made changes to the BPO across these major areas; organizational, locational, channels and technology, customers and clients, and processes. These changes are seemingly long term and part of the “new normal” that we face post-covid.
Companies have needed to rethink their workflows and org structures as many now lack centralized offices. Virtual collaboration is certainly the new normal, and BPO was forced to get on board with the new digital workspace model. McKinsey reports that more companies have embraced flatter org structures in a post-covid era, citing the need for faster time to delivery, and less red tape on projects.
Locational BPO Changes
The shift to work-from-home was taxing for most BPO companies’ existing infrastructure. Onshore/offshore hybridization was the model to embrace once covid hit, and those already practicing that way were better equipped at covid’s onset.
Changes to channels and technologies across the BPO industry
BPO companies needed to make interconnected, multifaceted communication systems a reality to keep things collaborative. A major change that many firms saw due to covid – It is no longer a guarantee that employees of any given company will be communicating by virtue of shared space. Companies need to offer remote access to robust digital workspaces, and to ensure security therein.
Changes to customers and clients in the BPO industry
In the throes of the pandemic’s onset, the most common fields of new BPO use adopted by companies were: data-related processes, analysis, and forecasting. Companies feeling blindsided by the unforeseen global health-event wanted further insight to inform their budgets in the aftermath.
Changes to Standard Processes in BPO
Automation is king. Processes have grown to include more and more automation as time goes by. The pandemic accelerated this trend, but the trend was prevalent anyway. AI driven systems like CRMs, which interconnect knowledge points across companies to make the most comprehensive profiles, are now a must-have for companies of all stripes.
It can’t be overemphasized how important flexibility has been to those companies showing pandemic resiliency, or pandemic boon. In fact, most companies who have fared well cite flexibility as one of – if not the key reason why.
AnswerNet had been practicing a flexible and adaptable mindset company-wide since its inception, and saw this flexibility allow the company to grow when taking on covid-related challenges. Rapidly implementing BPO infrastructures in the form of call centers and help desks for government agencies, during some of the most challenging times in the pandemic’s trajectory, allowed AnswerNet to grow, adapt, and come out of the pandemic stronger.
Whether or not we’re comfortable admitting it – industry, ways of life, and humanity are forever changed by Covid-19, and the safety measures needed to mitigate its impact. The new normal is starting to look more and more like teams of digital nomads creating projects across digital workspaces. If you need people-power to supplement what your business is doing post-covid, we’ve got you! Reach out today for more information on outsourcing some of your communications to our dedicated agents. The future demands it!