Business

May 21, 2012

Is Outsourcing An Option For Your Business?

SoCalProfessional.Outsourcing
Juggling calls, shipping and staffing on your own will stress even the most seasoned business owner. Here are nine ways to help alleviate the day-to-day burden.
 

Whether you are just opening a new business, or are already established and need to do some budget-crunching, there are several options to consider and decisions to make.

As a business owner who is constantly juggling and ensuring the right business decisions are made, your biggest goal is to have your products or services benefit clients and customers in a way that differentiates your company from your competitors.

These days, a new company is typically a one- or two-person operation that attempts to effectively cover all aspects of running a business. More often than not, this is the first step toward failure. Many of us know firsthand that a bad customer experience is extremely hard to erase. Delays in customer order deliveries, customer service phones that go unanswered, a website that does not represent a new company appropriately are all instances that make a bad, yet crucial, first impression. A great customer experience sets your new business apart from other companies.

An established company can face the same struggles. A large time-sensitive project, employee turnover, and/or extremely high overhead expenses will all have an impact on the work that must get done and the deadlines met. On top of all that, the revenues are not absorbed in the day-to-day operations. What needs to be done for both new and established companies is to provide a benefit to your customers that is not offered by your competitors.

Outsourcing many of your day-to-day operational functions can help resolve these issues.

Read Sandy Allan’s Article In The Latest Issue

Outsourcing Your Call Center

The support of an outsourced call center can provide consistent and continued customer service, no matter what size your company is. This allows you to devote your time and efforts to marketing and building your business. You can relax knowing that customers will experience prompt and professional service. The responsibility of hiring, educating and maintaining a professional customer service department in your company is eliminated; it’s now the responsibility of the outsourced call center management. Think about the expenses that are eliminated when contracting such a service:

1

No staffing and management wages. Salaries are one of the largest expenses incurred by business owners. This includes the time needed to interview, hire, educate and even replace employees. Employee turnover and absences result in this being a continuous cycle and expense.

2

No employee benefit expenses. The cost of employee benefits equals an average of 29% expense over and above the actual wages paid.

3

No office space, telephone, or systems overhead expenses. To effectively manage customer calls, a system is required that can direct and manage large volumes of calls.

4

No excessive customer wait times during high-volume call periods. ­Centers have the flexibility to increase staffing during peaks in call volumes much easier than you adding staff in your business.

5

No lost calls during emergency ­situations. An effective outsourced call center maintains business continuation during emergency situations.

 

Outsourcing Product Fulfillment

Another valuable outsourcing option is product fulfillment. Whether your business is brick and mortar or an online business, your product orders MUST be shipped in a timely manner in order to provide a benefit to your customer. Once more, think about the expenses that are eliminated or reduced when contracting such a service:

6

Reduced warehouse expense for housing your product. Normally the charge for floor space in an outsourced warehouse is far less expensive than you would pay to lease or purchase your own warehouse. This is a result of expenses being shared across all of the outsourced fulfillment clients.

7

Reduced shipping expenses. An effective outsourced fulfillment center will provide the best options for shipping your product. They can protect against any losses due to damage of lost shipments. The outsourced center is able to order shipping materials in bulk, thus reducing your cost of raw materials and postage.

8

No mailroom staff wages. You pay for the processing and shipping of orders. When there are no orders, you won’t have employees sitting around on the clock waiting for something to happen.

9

Reduced or eliminated customer compaints due to unfulfilled orders. A quality fulfillment center normally ships orders on the day they arrive or the next business day. While some fulfillment centers will have an early afternoon cut-off time for processing orders, look for the fulfillment centers that will ship orders up to 4 p.m. PST, so the majority of the orders received are out the door the same day.

There are multiple savings in time, money and stress from outsourcing operational functions. Can you think of good reasons why you should NOT outsource those day-to-day functions that can take you away from your successes? •

Other Benefits Of Outsourcing

Focus on core activities and competencies.

You spend your time on activities that are beneficial to your business growth, such as the marketing and sales of your product, in addition to those things that you do best.

Retain operational control.

While you have the control of the operations as the business owner, you are passing the operational functions to an outsourcer to manage the day-to-day operations.

Development of internal staff.

The staff you have in-house will be able to focus on the core activities that aid in the success and growth of your company.

Technology and systems requirements.

We all know how these expenses can skyrocket. Outsourcing can help control and relieve the burden of constantly paying for these expenses.—S.A.


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About the Author

Sandy Allan
Sandy Allan
Sandy Allan is the President & CEO of ­Technology & Operational Solutions, Inc., a U.S.-based call center and product fulfillment outsourcer. Based in Simi Valley, Calif., TOpS provides outsourced support for other businesses with call centers, product fulfillment, warehousing, direct mail, email blasts, IT and virtual assistant programs. Their mission is to provide the utmost in excellent customer service while delivering cost and time efficiencies for their clients. Sandy can be reached at www.tops-us.com or 888-462-8677. Technology & Operational Solutions., (888) 462-8677. Read more about Sandy Allan...




 
 

 
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