Outsourcing Essentials: The Power of BPO in Business

What is BPO?

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) has emerged as a significant and complex issue in contemporary business and economics, primarily driven by the global trend toward free trade. Conversely, individuals in regions where new job opportunities are rapidly expanding often welcome it as a chance to apply their valuable skills.

BPO, at its core, involves transferring business processes from an organisation’s internal operations to external service providers. With the now well-established and reliable global telecommunications infrastructure, BPO frequently entails moving work to international providers. While numerous countries are offering BPO services, five international hotspots have emerged as leaders

Each nation boasts diverse economies covering a broad spectrum of business activities. However, from a BPO perspective, they possess unique strengths in particular functions.

Business leaders often champion BPO to eliminate processes outside their core competencies. Back-office tasks like payroll, benefits administration, customer service, call centre operations, and technical support are among the strategies organisations of all sizes can entrust to specialised service providers.

Removing back-office functions from their internal operations enables organisations to reduce payroll and other overhead costs. In an era when executives have been admonished by a wide range of business commentators and analysts to focus on core competence, BPO offers them an opportunity to achieve that goal in a dramatic new way.

Fiji’s business process outsourcing (BPO) industry employs about 3,000 Fijians and contributes approximately FJD 70 million in foreign exchange annually. Services offered by the BPO industry in Fiji are provided in multiple languages, including English, Fijian, Hindi, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, German, Swiss-German, Portuguese and Tamil. The services include call centre service, airline reservations, back office administrative support, accounting and bookkeeping, backend transactional support, data entry, debt collection, Helpdesk services, software support, website development, graphics design, telemarketing, social media and web marketing. 

BPO Types

Business process outsourcing is usually discussed regarding the international relocation of jobs and workplace functions. In reality, there are three types of BPO: offshore, onshore and nearshore.

Organisations typically use any or all of these types depending on their needs and the implemented BPO initiative. In some cases, firms use a combination of types to achieve their objectives.

  • Nearshore Outsourcing:

    When organisations outsource their processes to neighbouring or geographically close companies, it is called nearshore outsourcing. For instance, a company in the southern United States might outsource to a company in Mexico.

  • Offshore Outsourcing:

    Conversely, offshore outsourcing represents a situation where organisations consider outsourcing to distant foreign countries. With offshore outsourcing, businesses can expand their market reach while reducing costs by taking advantage of lower labour expenses in these offshore locations. However, cultural differences and language barriers can sometimes lead to challenges in outsourcing this business process (BPO).

  • Onshore Outsourcing:

    Onshore outsourcing involves selecting service providers within the same country, typically in different states or regions. This BPO eliminates concerns about time zone differences and ensures people can access their service providers easily. BPO, or Business Process Outsourcing, is a strategic approach where organisations delegate specific functions or processes to external service providers.

Identify Processes for Outsourcing:

Organisations begin by identifying specific functions or processes within their operations that can be outsourced. These processes range from customer support and data entry to accounting and IT services.

Research and Vendor Selection:

Once the processes to be outsourced are defined, organisations conduct thorough research to identify potential external service providers or BPO companies. This research considers the provider’s reputation, track record, expertise, and cost-effectiveness.

Cost and Logistics Assessment:

Organisations evaluate the logistics of transitioning from in-house operations to outsourcing during selection. This assessment includes factors like the cost of outsourcing compared to in-house operations, the potential for cost savings, and the impact on existing workflows.

Technology Considerations:

Organisations assess the technology capabilities of external service providers. This includes examining whether the BPO provider offers access to advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation, and data analytics. The integration of technology can enhance process efficiency and effectiveness.

Contract Negotiation:

Once a suitable BPO provider is identified, organisations negotiate the terms and conditions of the outsourcing contract. This includes defining the scope of work, service-level agreements (SLAs), pricing structures, and data security protocols.

Transition and Knowledge Transfer:

After the contract is finalised, there is a transition phase where knowledge transfer takes place. The internal team works closely with the BPO provider to ensure a seamless transition of responsibilities and knowledge.

BPO Service Delivery:

With the transition complete, the BPO provider assumes responsibility for delivering the outsourced services. This typically involves the execution of tasks, whether handling customer inquiries, processing transactions, or managing back-office functions.

Monitoring and Performance Management:

Organisations actively monitor the performance of the BPO provider through key performance indicators (KPIs) and SLAs (service level agreements). Regular communication and reporting help ensure that the provider meets the agreed-upon service levels.

Continuous Improvement:

BPO relationships often include a continuous improvement phase where both parties work collaboratively to enhance processes, streamline operations, and identify opportunities for further cost savings or performance improvements.

Contract Renewal or Reevaluation:

At the end of the initial contract term, organisations may choose to renew the contract, renegotiate terms, or reevaluate their outsourcing strategy based on the outcomes and changing business needs.

BPO involves a systematic approach to selecting external service providers, transitioning responsibilities, and ongoing monitoring to achieve operational efficiency and meet business objectives. It allows organisations to focus on their core competencies while leveraging specialised expertise from external partners.


Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) has emerged as a transformative force in business and economics. It reflects the global shift towards free trade and elicits mixed reactions from stakeholders.

While some view BPO as a threat to job security, especially in the context of off-shoring, others see it as an opportunity to leverage their skills in an expanding job market. BPO involves transferring internal business processes to external service providers, often on an international scale.

Five international BPO hotspots have emerged: India, China, Mexico, the Philippines, and Fiji. These countries excel in particular BPO functions due to their unique comparative advantages.

Ultimately, the impact of BPO is complex and multifaceted. It allows organisations to focus on their core competencies by outsourcing non-core functions. This strategy can lead to increased efficiency and cost savings. However, it also raises concerns about job displacement and cultural barriers.

In navigating the evolving landscape of BPO, businesses must carefully consider their outsourcing strategies and adapt to the changing dynamics of the global economy. BPO will likely remain a pivotal issue in business and economics, influencing how organisations structure their operations and engage with the worldwide marketplace.

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