Logistics issues plus shorter deployment timelines are slowing down global BPOs

What is the solution to this challenge? And no, this isn’t a BYOD post 

BPOs with global ambitions right now are facing a lot of pressure from clients. On the one hand they’re being asked to go offshore to compete on cost, but on the other they’re being told they need to stand up programs in less than 30-60 days, not the historically accepted 90+ days. 

Individually they might be solvable but taken together they are causing major headaches. Particularly when it comes to equipping their agents with the right tools and technologies. This is especially true in key offshore markets like India and the Philippines when the BPO’s main operations are based in the US or Europe. 

The biggest bottleneck in this process is getting the right equipment to agents and in time to meet the tight deadline. And you just can’t ship equipment weeks or months earlier, as you don’t know what line of business (LOB) it will be used for. You need to ensure that it has the latest image and the necessary applications required by the client. This is leading to devices being stuck in customs for weeks if not months. I personally experienced this recently attempting to ship something to the Netherlands which has been stuck in customs for over a month! 

Just in the past 2 weeks I’ve had 3 conversations with top 50 BPOs with this exact problem. 

But there is a solution. 

BPOs are having huge success by leveraging ThinScale’s technology. More and more BPOs are shipping devices early and storing them locally, but how do you solve the problem above? They are installing ThinScale installed on these devices. This allows ThinScale to deploy all of the necessary updates and applications (the required image) automatically based on the user who logs in. 

This approach takes the BPO out of the business of having to wait until the last minute to equip their agents, enabling them to be ready to stand up agents as soon as they are hired. Many BPOs are also allowing agents to use their own equipment during the hiring stage (but we’ll leave BYOD for another time) even if they ultimately provide equipment. This allows them to go from contract signature to agent training the next day. 

This approach has several benefits. First, it allows BPOs to be more agile. By storing devices locally, they can quickly and easily equip their agents, particularly in offshore locations where shipping logistics and customs clearance can cause significant delays. This means that BPOs can meet their clients’ demands for faster program launches while reducing costs associated with shipping and equipment management. 

Second, it enables BPOs to focus on what they do best: hiring and training agents, and providing a quality services to their clients. Importantly, research from 5th Talent on the BPO industry highlighted the primary reason BPOs lose clients is their inability to meet headcount requirements.  

One of the biggest challenge facing global BPOs is equipping their agents with the right tools and technologies, especially in offshore locations where logistics can be a major issue. BPOs can overcome this challenge by storing devices locally and allowing ThinScale to handle equipment management and application deployment. This enables BPOs to be more agile, flexible, and focused on delivering high-quality services to clients while reducing costs and minimizing delays. 

Are you seeing these challenges? Would be great to hear your feedback! 

Keith O’Looney, Global Head of Sales @ ThinScale

Keith O'Looney

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