Identifying the Right Tasks for Offshoring

While today's technology and talent in the Philippines make it possible to offshore almost any business process, it's essential to distinguish between what can be offshored and what should be offshored.

Determining What to Offshore:

At Yoonet, we specialize in helping small Australian businesses access offshore resources in the Philippines. Larger businesses with internal resources dedicated to offshoring may have a broader range of processes to consider. In this article, we'll focus on the low-hanging fruit; tasks that offer the most significant benefits and can be easily identified.

Offshore Processes, Not Roles or Jobs:

It's crucial to understand that offshoring should be viewed at the process level rather than focusing on roles or jobs. This approach:

  1. Identifies the most effective parts of existing roles for offshoring to deliver the greatest value.
  2. Shifts the mindset from replacing onshore roles to supporting them by removing time-consuming tasks from higher-cost onshore teams.
  3. Offers structured, tangible tasks for offshore talent to learn, execute, and improve over time.

Instead of offshoring entire roles, focus on easily offshorable, high-frequency tasks, allowing onshore roles to concentrate on more complex, high-value tasks. For example:

  • Offshore Accounts Payable tasks, enabling your onshore bookkeeper/accountant to focus on Accounts Receivable, forecasting, and reporting.
  • Free up sales staff by offshoring administrative tasks, allowing them to focus on income generation and avoiding the need to hire additional onshore resources.
  • Improve quote accuracy and presentation by having an offshore VA format outbound submissions using structured templates customized for your target clients.

Effort vs. Frequency:

The impact of offshoring a process is directly related to:

  1. The effort required to implement, train, and manage the component tasks within the process in an offshore context.
  2. The frequency of the process.

The less effort required to offshore the process and the higher the frequency, the greater the value unlocked by offshoring. Use the Effort vs. Frequency matrix to determine which processes may be the most impactful in the short term and those that may take longer or may not be suitable.

Determining the Effort Required for Offshoring

While it's relatively easy to determine the frequency of a process, assessing the effort required to offshore it can be more challenging. Keep in mind that effort is not necessarily correlated with complexity; complex processes don't always require more effort to offshore.

For instance, accounting processes can be complex, but they are among the most commonly offshored business functions for SMEs because they exhibit low-effort characteristics.

Low-effort processes generally share most or all of the following traits:

  1. Managed using natively cloud-based tech solutions, which control complexity (e.g., Xero for accounting or CRM systems for customer relations).
  2. Structured inputs that remain consistent every time.
  3. Digital or digitized inputs, such as electronic data files or native PDFs, rather than scanned or handwritten information.
  4. Rules-based, with only one correct outcome dependent on the input.
  5. Outputs that don't require unstructured communication with clients or external stakeholders.

Using the accounts payable process as an example:

  1. The process is housed within a cloud solution (e.g., Xero, MYOB, Quickbooks).
  2. The input is structured, with consistent data fields like client, invoice number, and amount.
  3. The process begins with natively digital inputs, such as electronic invoices or native PDFs.
  4. Fixed rules are applied to accurately code the invoice, with limited interpretation needed.
  5. Responses to external stakeholders involve standardized emails generated by the system, without random communication required to complete the process.

In this context, it's apparent why accounting is well-suited to offshoring.

Leveraging Existing Platforms for Offshoring

A good starting point for identifying ideal processes for offshoring is to consider the software solutions used in your business. Analyze your onshore team's day-to-day interactions with these solutions and identify opportunities for remote execution. Examples of software used by Yoonet clients include:

  1. Accounting solutions
  2. Customer Resource Management systems (CRMs)
  3. Practice management solutions for allied health
  4. Real estate management solutions
  5. Appointment and scheduling software
  6. Quoting software
  7. CAD drafting solutions
  8. E-store management solutions
  9. Social media scheduling software

In each case, an offshore VA or team, assisted by the software solution, performs countless hours of repetitive tasks each month, adding significant value to their onshore counterparts.

As your confidence in the offshoring process grows, investing time in identifying additional processes becomes a worthwhile endeavor.

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