Summary of the article
Though the article by Larry Greenemeier has been written in 2002, it still exudes a feeling of freshness as it covers all the points related to business-process outsourcing that is relevant even today. All the different angles on this vital subject has been covered and supported with the valuable statements of the stalwarts who have indulged in or have extensive knowledge of the BPO business. This makes the article look highly authentic and easily understandable.
The article explains that if companies want to save their valuable time and resources then they should indulge in the practice of outsourcing their services to others because it yields great results. The best part about this practice is that one can expect success both during good and bad times. In bad times it is always better to focus on reaching the target in the most cost effective way. Whereas during the good times one should try to maximize growth as much as possible. BPO has the potential to bail out a company from slowdown in any situation.
The article pinpoints the areas that were most popular for outsourcing some years ago. It states that nowadays companies have started outsourcing their entire set of functions and not just one or two functions in order to concentrate on their core jobs, lower their overhead costs and bring the product to the market really fast. Hence jobs like billing, training administration, payroll; HR related functions, logistics management, benefits administration etc. are outsourced to other companies who provide excellent services at more competitive rates. There are excellent service providers in the market like IBM Global Services, CSC, and EDS etc. that one can choose from while handing over the back office responsibilities.
The article focuses on the reasons of this growing trend and holds, globalizations, mergers and acquisitions responsible for this total makeover of the global way of running businesses. It discusses the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing so that the reader gets a full picture of this phenomenon. In a short and crisp manner it presents many case studies of different companies so that the reader get a clear understanding of how this concept works, what are the hurdles that one can expect, what are the ways in which the drawbacks could be overcome and what are the related issues that one should keep in mind during the business outsourcing procedure.
Since outsourcing is not affected by the economic cycle and is especially desirable for small companies, the article proves to be a source of inspiration for those whose companies are not very established or those who have to go through a lot of loss due to the current unstable economic climate. The article stresses that this way of working is also suitable for those who have money but are new in their businesses and do not have the desired level of experience and business acumen to sail the uncertain waters of the business sector.
It gives tips on how to select an apt service provider. It advises that even if it is a well-known service provider one should choose it on the basis of its functions and not just name. If a company is outsourcing just a specific function then it should research and find out the service provider that performs that particular function in the best possible way. It reiterates that business-process outsourcing is a good option but one should indulge in it after gaining full knowledge about it in order to avoid failures and setbacks.
Comments on post 1
The best part about business-process outsourcing is that it is independent of the economic cycle. Though this article was written much before the current recession. It brings a fresh ray of hope to those who are bogged down by the unmanageable recession fever. The current economic climate has made it hard to dream big and in this context too, the article is an interesting read. One of its strengths lies in the fact that it talks about specific companies, which make it easier to understand the technicalities, success scenario and complications involved with this concept. It is nice to get the full picture of outsourcing, as the article does not only informs about the former years of this concept but also describes the current trends of the BPO industry. Even I find this article very interesting.
Comments on post 2
It’s true that the article did not talk about the human resource employees of CIBC. But this is probably because the focus of the article was on the concept of business-process outsourcing and not on discussing about each and every aspect of the companies’ that it was using as examples to explain certain points. If it would have talked about the human resource employees of CIBC then the article would have derailed from the idea that it was discussing and would have lost its conciseness. As far as I can derive, Greenemeier aimed to give a bird’s eye view of business-process outsourcing, which was a relatively new concept in the year in which it was written. Since it has left you with a feeling to read more and since it has not whetted your quest for knowledge, it means that this article got successful in stimulating the readers’ interests and increased the interest level in not only the discussed area but also in its interrelated aspects.
Greenemeier, L. (2002). Business-Process Outsourcing Grows: Outsourcing lets companies
focus on core functions, speed time to market, and cut costs. Information Week: Jan.2002