Organizations using BPM internally are ultimately seeking to improve their decisions, operations and performance. This improvement naturally involves process changes based on activity monitoring and other input factors.
Outsourcing providers have, until recently, tended to limit the options for process changes because it made BPO easier to sell, operate and profit versus customization. However, one of the newer approaches in outsourcing is selective customization, and providers are beginning to use it as a key differentiator versus commodity pricing in a copycat market.
Example scenarios for selective customization might be a Human Resources department using outsourcing to manage a large number of expatriates across several dozen countries or emerging outsourcing areas such as R&D.
In order to make selective customization work, outsourcing providers need to at minimum effectively couple monitoring and agile response. Key considerations include:
What selective customization options are offered by outsourcing providers?
What mechanisms for activity monitoring are in place for selective customization options versus those established for the more mature segments of the process offering?
What is the response cycle for changing selective customization options based on activity monitoring and/or changing business conditions? What can the outsourcing providers offer in terms of guidance on how to most effectively leverage these options?
Breakthrough process innovation is generally a welcome development, but increasing process value often means incremental and continuous improvement. Completing the loop begun earlier by active monitoring and agile response, some important considerations for continuous BPO improvement include:
What process performance mechanisms are offered by the outsourcing providers? These could range from standardized reports to graphical scorecards to real-time BAM visibility.
What notification mechanisms complement the process performance infrastructure? This could include real-time alerts for performance deviations, or trend analysis and recommendations based on leading and lagging indicators for process performance.
How will the organization and the outsourcing provider partner to identify and deploy process improvements? Its possible that these improvements may not be limited to the outsourcing providers domain, and in these cases it presents an opportunity for the provider to add an additional level of value.
BPM has helped organizations to maximize process value and improve their decisions, operations and performance. It makes sense to examine whether leveraging these principles for BPO can help to catalyze success for both the organization and its outsourcing providers.
Mark Cioni is president of MV Cioni Associates. He has been helping global businesses to improve their decisions, operations and performance for over 25 years and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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