The craze around Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) initially started in the mid-to-late 1990s, when British Airways opened its first call center in India and was quickly followed by GE Capital and many other large organizations. Thanks to this process, companies can focus on their core competencies – some forecasts show that this market will grow by 8.5% on an annual basis until 2028.

What is BPO?

By definition, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is a practice that uses outside vendors to carry out standard business functions that are not core to the business. This simplifies a lot of things, allowing the company to retain only core staff and grow the business while delegating most of the tasks to external vendors. While the process is agile on its own, there are still plenty of ways to automate it further.

Nowadays, there are some bottlenecks present in the BPO sector – namely, companies that are using outdated and weak systems for document processing or ones that are tailoring their services mostly on manual labor. The difficulties are often immense and include:

● Greater demand for employees leads to greater costs
● Inefficient processes that make it difficult to respond or process customer information quickly
● Inefficient services that come as a result of inefficient processes within the organization

All of these scenarios partly occur because there are not a lot of things happening on the basis of automation. BPO, however, is definitely one of the areas that can use automation, and below, we are showing the best ways to do that.

Why is automation crucial for BPO processes?

If you are wondering why, you should automate your BPO processes, the most common answer is – to stay competitive for the costs. However, there are a lot more reasons that make automation efficient based on your different needs.

If you are a BPO leader, here is how you should use automation to improve your business’ market share.

Differentiation based on automation

Just like people, software can do a lot of tasks nowadays. If you are interested in automation, you should consider robotic process automation (RPA) as one of the newer areas of robotic tasks that emulate human actions by interacting with digital systems and software. In other words, software robots can help you understand what’s on screen, complete the right actions, navigate systems, minimize errors, identify or extract data, or even perform a wide range of defined actions.

With RPA, you can streamline your workflow, be more profitable, and adapt to the needs of your customers. It is also a great way to increase employee satisfaction, engagement, and productivity as it removes mundane tasks from your staff’s workdays. Most BPO leaders tend to automate workflows that involve legacy systems that lack APIs, virtual desktop infrastructures (VDIs), or database access.

If you are facing situations with repetitive steps, know that BPA is a process to consider. If the task has massive data history, you can add artificial intelligence (AI) to the RPA mix and further boost the outcomes. Automation is not actually a new concept for BPO leaders – plenty of them have used it extensively in their operations.

You can start by automating back-office functions

RPA and AI are seen as disruptive technologies which perfectly fit in today’s workspace. They are already helping chief experience officers (CXOs) reinvent their business operations. However, the logical first step in doing that is automating some of your back-office functions. For instance, you can start with the following:

Accounts payable automation (finance and accounting): This type of automation automates the receiving of invoices and processes them through an automated workflow. The performance of a single clerk is often one-tenth of the output that software can produce.

Accounts receivables automation (finance and accounting): Even though this process is somehow critical to running the business, it is also time-consuming and full of manual tasks. Here, employees tend to manually key in data and process it from one system to another. With intelligent BPO automation, human error goes out of the equation, and organizations can find ways to be more efficient.

Human resources (HR) processes: Filling out standard forms, sending out notifications and populating various database records are all tasks that can be handled by automation. AI-powered bots are already in motion for many organizations, delivering error-free onboarding experiences.

Employee data management: Automation bridges the gap between all the systems and hand-offs that are present between several stakeholders across departments. It is also a great way to trigger notifications on additional workflows, including necessary teams and departments.

IT service desk: Last on the list is the IT service desk, which needs to be automated so that it can automatically triage incoming tickets, route them to the right queue, solve cases such as password resets, answer frequently asked questions via chatbots, and synchronize in resolving issues to help streamline the IT workflow.

The back office is on an automation roll, and BRP leaders are constantly finding ways to automate mundane, repetitive, and labor-intensive tasks. Organizations will continue to do so as they redefine the way tasks are being allocated and performed.

How do you get started with automation?

If you are a BPO company and you are interested in automating your business processes but are not sure where to begin, you can always get in touch with our experts and identify the processes that would provide the greatest impact when automated. Those could be simple HR processes, some processes within your finance and accounting sector, or data management. It’s always good to get started with artificial intelligence (AI) or robotic process automation (RPA) at first and see the level of efficiency these technologies can bring in each of your processes.

Over time, you can even rebuild your service offering to a fully automated delivery model, where you can use a robot for every person and introduce a new form of digital assistance that transforms the way you operate and service your end clients.

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