Outsourcing isn’t just a cost effective way to streamline certain processes. It’s the logical next step in expanding your company’s footprint in a productive way. In our previous post, we discussed why companies outsource their tasks and some questions to consider. Apart from understanding the ins and outs of outsourcing, choosing the right outsourcing company also depends on your company’s unique needs.
It’s no secret. There are a lot of outsourcing companies out there. Choosing one, let alone starting the process of outsourcing a specific task or tasks, can be daunting. However, there are a few key factors you should consider when choosing the right outsourcing company for data entry: the type of outsourcing coverage provided, disaster preparedness and business continuity, scalability, data privacy and, of course, performance.
Consider what type of outsourcers are available
There are around ten different types of outsourcing companies, ranging from physical manufacturing, to IT, to project outsourcing, offshoring, and more. To consolidate the varieties of outsourcers, we’ll concentrate on the two most distinct types that handle outsourcing of data entry tasks.
Traditional outsourcing, sometimes known as ‘business process outsourcing,’ is the most common type. And within this type, sub-categories are often based on geographical location:
Offshore outsourcing (or offshoring): At its simplest, offshoring leverages resources from another country, often from countries whose resources incur lower labor costs. This results in both cost reduction for data processing as well as an opportunity to leverage additional time zones to speed processing time.
Nearshore outsourcing (or nearshoring): As its name suggests, nearshoring is leveraging resources that are close to you in geographic location. Sometimes this is necessary for time zone or shipping concerns.
Onshore outsourcing (or onshoring): Onshoring refers to leveraging outsourcing from within the country where your company is located. This option is often leveraged when in-country data privacy, language or time zone requirements are present. However, onshoring limits or eliminates labor cost savings as well as reduces options for round-the-clock processing.
Traditional outsourcing is often reserved for hyper-local processing tasks, usually in a single language, or for small jobs, like archiving small amounts of data or images. Outsourcers are also limited in scale, as hiring can be a bottleneck in response to unexpected processing increases.
Crowdsourcing companies, like ScaleHub, can span the globe in their reach and also offer the opportunity to work with multiple, specialized BPOs. It can offer the best of both worlds. Crowdsourcing organizations are well-suited to handle both data privacy and 24/7 processing needs, as well as multi-language and complex data entry, labeling or validation tasks. They’re also ever-ready to scale seamlessly, for businesses that see various high-peaks of processing demands. Often, the pricing structure with crowdsourcing can be more easily optimized. Fees are typically based on a pay-for-what-you-use model.
Understand the provider’s coverage & risk preparedness
Ask the organization to provide information on their disaster and business continuity plan. Based on their location, the outsourcing company might face its own external risks. Depending on the country, it could be natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, blizzards, or human-driven, like war or political unrest. It’s important to know what will happen to your processes and data in the event the outsourcer cannot provide support.
Risk related to data privacy is another important consideration. When engaging with an outsourcing provider, ensure you ask about their certifications for regulations needed according to your processing content; be sure to validate claims of HIPPA and GDPR compliance or ISO certification, for example.
Validate previous performance & experience
For employment at your company, you’d likely request a CV and references for the potential candidate. The same goes for any third-party company you work with. Don’t be shy about asking questions or requesting to speak with references. Get a well-rounded picture from an external source. Also, ask for their SLA track record. Have they stayed on top of their agreements, and will they agree to your specific SLAs? The more you invest in your research, the more confident you’ll be with your decision.
Know the limitations & scalability
In 2019, outsourcing was already forecast to see immense growth. Then the pandemic happened. On one side, it shut down operations for many businesses. On another, it became a catalyst for growth that exceeded expectations. There’s a reason for that: Many organizations shifted their focus to more meaningful parts of their business. In doing so, they decided to delegate everyday tasks to organizations that would give them their complete focus.
Scalability is a key factor to consider. Will the outsourcer be able to handle both your expected volume, but more importantly, unexpected processing volumes? If their response is based on their office headcount, it’ll likely be tough for them to meet SLAs, especially during unexpected peak processing periods.
Outsourcing is a phenomenal way to scale your business, and delegating core tasks like data entry can significantly improve productivity. By going into the process with information-driven confidence, you’ll have a higher chance of getting the most in return. And if you want to learn more about how ScaleHub handles the crowdsourcing of data entry, watch the video: