Companies have outsourced work for a long time. In 2019, IT outsourcing was worth $92.5 billion and is estimated to hit about $430 billion in revenue in 2023. Here are some of the most common reasons for outsourcing:
1. Save processing time
Data entry looks like an easy task at the outset, but as companies grow and more data floods in from an ever-wider variety of channels, it’s easy (and potentially disastrous) for a company to fall behind. For instance, online insurance claims processing is the new norm. A quick turnaround time on information submission and consideration, which requires fast data processing, is a make-or-break moment for an insurer. Outsourcing that task to another company or BPO can ensure a speedier return than keeping it in-house.
2. Ensure scalability
Data processing speeds can also be compromised by expected and unexpected changes in the volume of documents and information that enter an organization. Companies who rely on internal resources to process data must be able to quickly hire additional data entry processors as needed, which isn’t efficient and hiring often lags behind the immediate need. Partnering with an outsourcing provider, who often has a broader set of human resources readily available to put behind a data entry effort, can ensure a company can meet its processing SLAs.
3. Access to a larger talent pool
Tapping into a larger, skilled data entry talent pool is a great benefit to outsourcing. BPOs specializing in information management, for example, have already hired–and are committed to properly training–the right personnel, which puts expertise right at your fingertips. You can focus on your core competencies, instead.
4. Reduce training and onboarding for mundane tasks
The adage, ‘time is money,’ still rings true, even for the most ordinary tasks. By sending simple yet important tasks to an outsourcing organization, you save time for both the employees and yourself, while saving your company money. There is often high turnover for in-house data processing roles, as they move on to more skilled and knowledge-based work; this leaves training a permanent fixture on an organization’s to-do list.
5. Lower labor costs
Lowering labor costs is one of the top reasons companies outsource mundane, repetitive tasks like data entry. It not only reduces the cost of recruiting, hiring and training, employee benefits, but also saves the cost of overhead, resources, and equipment. That means fewer line items on your company’s budget.
6. Increased job satisfaction for employees performing more value-added tasks
Outsourcing also allows everyday tasks like data entry to be taken off the to-do list of your employees. More time to explore meaningful and fulfilling aspects of the job makes for happier employees. For instance, accounts payable team members might find it challenging to work on more strategic finance tasks and company projects if they’re bogged down by daily data entry. Outsourcing lifts that weight and allows employees to explore and innovate.
Can data entry outsourcers handle any type of document?
Yes, but it depends. Traditional outsourcing firms often specialize in a particular industry, or they may focus on a set of document types (i.e., invoices, surveys, government forms, etc.). Specialized firms are more costly as their talent pool is uniquely equipped to handle those more complex documents and thus provide expedited processing.
Suppose specialization for a particular document type isn’t available. In that case, a company should consider a longer onboarding process and offer more resources dedicated to helping the outsourcing organization understand the document type and variations.
The size of the outsourcing organization also makes an impact, especially when processing is required in multiple languages. Unlike a single firm, which may only process in one language.
How ScaleHub handles multiple document types
ScaleHub offers our enterprise customers data entry solutions that are uniquely cultivated to meet their needs—thanks to our global BPO crowd community. Our partner organizations offer specialized processing solutions through ScaleHub’s crowdsourcing portal. Specialized BPOs include Grace Information Management, DIGI-TEXX, UPSource, Tropper, and more.
What kind of data accuracy can I expect with outsourcing data entry?
Data accuracy can vary greatly depending on need, expertise, and organization. Service-level agreements (SLAs), a critical component of any outsourcing contract, help to ensure those service and accuracy levels are met.
SLAs define a customer’s expected level of service from a supplier, laying out the way or metrics by which that service is measured. It’ll also include the remedies or penalties should the agreed-on service levels not be achieved. For IT-related services, SLAs are crucial for establishing expectations, efficiency, and holding the outsourcing organization accountable.
Do data privacy laws apply when I outsource data entry?
In one word: yes. You want to ensure the utmost privacy for all the data your BPO handles, so be sure to always check on the data privacy policies of the organization you’re considering.
Country-specific laws can be tough to navigate, particularly if you choose a BPO with a limited footprint, especially if they reside within a single country. Apart from that, BPOs need both key technology and data entry professionals who are trained in or have the skills to process sensitive personal data and documents with regulated privacy considerations, such as medical documents, insurance forms, etc.
Successful data entry outsourcing starts with you
The idea of sending off documents and/or information to another organization can be daunting. In reality, the key to a successful relationship with a BPO comes down to clearly identifying the specific data entry tasks that are causing processing bottlenecks. Documentation is key.
Then, use this information to inform the questions you ask providers and the requirements you set forth about things like accuracy and performance, spikes in volume, the skill and type of workforce they employ and what kinds of privacy considerations are warranted.
Curious about how to best select a BPO or outsourcing provider? Take a look at our how-to guide here.