Outsourcing key business processes is an excellent way to save valuable time and improve your operational efficiency. While that may the goal, getting to that point typically takes more time and work than companies expect.
First, there’s finding potential business partners, developing RFPs, reviewing the proposals they generate, conversations with each contender, negotiations with the finalists, contract reviews … the entire BPO process begins pretty laboriously.
Then, once you’ve identified the perfect partner, you face a second set of delays, as the partner learns about your business and brings its team up to speed. Finally, many weeks or even months after you started, things are running well. And then, someone decides to outsource another business process, and the frustratingly long cycle begins anew.
As a managed services partner, Netfor provides several outsourced processes to our clients, including field services, call center and help desk, and fulfillment. We’re particularly proud of our approach to onboarding new clients. Led by a Technical Account Manager (TAM) and built around Agile methodology, the onboarding process typically takes just 60 to 90 days. In that time, our team develops deep knowledge of a company, its processes, how leaders prefer to communicate, their expectations, and all the other factors fueling strong relationships.
It’s a significantly faster and more efficient approach than those used by other managed services companies, but it also gives us a potent advantage when one of our clients asks us to handle another aspect of their business.
Our deep knowledge is the key to everything we do. Netfor’s knowledge department creates a repository and a style guide encapsulating what we need to know. Our knowledge isn’t focused on the service we deliver — it’s focused on how the client does business.
So when the nationwide retail shipping chain that used us for field service decided to outsource its process for outfitting new stores with technology, we were able to take on the extra work almost instantly. We already had the knowledge, so it was just a matter of adapting that knowledge to installations. Later, they asked us to handle their help desk function, and after that, fulfillment. Each time, Netfor’s team was up and running with a minimum of lost time.
Another retail chain that used Netfor as its service desk moved technology installations to us. A huge medical waste disposal company that worked with our call center team turned their field services function over to us. Each time, the transition was quick and painless, because our knowledge base meant we didn’t need to onboard the client a second or third time. Our clients received the benefits of additional BPO faster and with fewer hassles.
Just as important, our knowledge base is a living thing. When we handle multiple services for a client, information from each area feeds back into the knowledge base to improve our performance in other areas. If our service desk notices multiple calls about a particular issue related to installations, that information is shared with the field services team so they know they need to watch for it. And if the field services team frequently encounters a problem during installations, their reports help the service desk anticipate and respond to calls. Simply put, we grasp the value of shared knowledge, so we don’t hide what we learn in separate silos.
Our knowledge-based approach benefits clients who turn to us for additional services in three ways. First, they don’t have to go through frustrations and delays of being onboarded a second or third time. Just as important, they don’t have to deal with multiple organizations and contacts when they need information or when something needs to be done. They can accomplish it with a single call to their TAM. Finally, because we don’t have the time and costs of onboarding from zero, we pass those economies along in our pricing.
Companies benefit in many ways from BPO, but they can multiply those benefits by choosing a managed services partner capable of handling their growing needs — especially if that partner doesn’t force them to endure multiple rounds of onboarding. That means less time, less money, less stress, and more outcomes exceeding their expectations.
Jeff Medley is the CEO and founder of Netfor, https://www.netfor.com/