With today’s technology and talent available in the Philippines it’s arguably feasible to offshore just about any business process you can think of. From technical back end administration to outbound client engagement, there will be a way to utalise an offshore approach and our guess is that someone at some point has probably tried it (to varying degrees of success).
What you can and what you should offshore are two distinct questions however.
Before we get started bear in mind that at Yoonet we specialise in supporting small Australian businesses in accessing offshore resources in the Philippines. It goes without saying that for bigger businesses with the ability to dedicate internal resources to establishing, developing and expanding offshore strategy, the breadth and complexity of processes that can be offshored is greater.
In this article, we focus on the type of business process that leads to the biggest bang for buck, or the low hanging fruit as we call it, and how you can identify them. Overtime, once your offshore resources are established and you have gained confidence in your approach and the ability of your team, complexity and diversity of process can be added incrementally.
It’s important to understand what it is you are offshoring in the first place. Offshoring is best conceptualised as identifying certain processes within your business, not roles or jobs, that can be performed more effectively offshore.
This might seem like we are just playing with words here but conceptualising offshoring at a process level does a couple of things:
One last thing, it is highly unlikely that an existing role, in its entirety, can be offshored effectively. Focus should be on the more easily offshored, higher frequency processes that can be removed from onshore labour that in turn allows restructuring of existing roles to focus on more complex, higher value tasks. As examples;
The impact of offshoring a process is directly related to;
The less effort to offshore the process and the higher the frequency, the greater the value unlocked by offshoring. The below matrix is a great way to determine which processes may be the most impactful in the short term and ones that may take longer or may not be suitable.
Frequency is easy to determine for each process you are evaluating by determining the effort required to offshore a process is not as straightforward. One thing to keep in mind when evaluating effort is to remember that effort is not necessarily correlated with complexity. That is to say, complex processes don't necessarily require more effort to offshore.
A great example are accounting processes requiring specialised accounting knowledge to accurately record, process and report on financial transactions. Ask any non-accountant and it is fair to say most would call the process reasonably complex, however, accounting is one of the most commonly offshored business functions for SME’s and the reason for this is that it ticks all the boxes of a low effort process.
Low effort process generally share the most or all of the following traits;
So let's apply the above to say an accounts payable process;
In this context, it is fairly apparent why accounting is so well suited to offshoring.
A good place to start in identifying the ideal processes for offshoring is to consider the software solutions you use in your business today. Think about the day to day interactions of your onshore team with these solutions and identify opportunities for those tasks to be performed remotely. Some examples of software administered by clients of Yoonet include:
In each case, an offshore VA or team of VA’s, assisted by the software solution, perform countless hours of repetitive tasks each month adding enormous value to their onshore counterparts.
Overtime, as your confidence in the process grows, investing time into identifying additional processes becomes a no brainer.