Why should South African businesses consider outsourcing? In conversation with Clayton Durand.

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The past year has emerged to be one of the most challenging in recent history, with businesses around the world scrambling to find new ways to recover from the health and economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has had an impact on most industries, causing businesses to cut costs and be more efficient in operational matters in order to manage the effects of the pandemic. With the viability of several companies at risk, businesses are striving to be in a position of financial stability by refocusing on revenue generation by outsourcing their non-core functions.

We sat down with Clayton Durand, our Business Development Manager for Sigma Connected South Africa to tell us more about outsourcing and why it is so vital to your company, especially during such challenging and uncertain times for business around the world.

Q. Hi Clayton, thanks again for joining for the online Q&A session. You can start with a brief description of what outsourcing is and how it works.

Clayton responds: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is the general term for the outsourcing of a specific task of a business process, such as contact centre operations.

BPO is often divided into two categories: a BPO back office, which includes internal business functions such as data processing, training or quality assurance, and a BPO front office, which includes customer related services such as collections or customer service.

Outsourcing is a way in which companies entrust the processes of their business functions to external vendors like us at Sigma Connected. Businesses can choose to contract Sigma to perform certain tasks instead of assigning these duties to existing staff or hiring new staff, especially if your company is on a tight budget.

It’s a popular way for businesses to build capacity or streamline operations enabling them to focus on their core business and reduce costs while maximising productivity and maintaining quality.

Q. During the pandemic, how vital is outsourcing to companies globally?

Clayton responds: Even at the best of times, outsourcing can provide significant benefits to your business. At the worst of times, it becomes an even more valuable exercise.

Not that I am suggesting that these are the worst of times, but Covid has undoubtedly created unique challenges for companies in most sectors (if not all) and contracting a service provider such as Sigma Connected will offer a variety of solutions.

With many people still working from home under lockdown, the sheer flexibility that outsourcing affords cannot be understated.

Whether a business needs to build capacity or streamline its operations, outsourcing services can enable full-time staff to focus on core operations while reducing costs, maximising productivity and, crucially, maintaining quality.

Q. How important can outsourcing be in the South African context during these uncertain times?

Clayton responds: While it has not been as popular in South Africa as it has been globally, outsourcing is as beneficial locally than it has been anywhere else.

While business process outsourcing is not yet a widely used service in South Africa, companies should start to take an interest in it and adopt it as the future of business survival is dependent on change.

Even during the pandemic, solutions can be found to complex problems through outsourcing, and despite the restrictions we are all facing due to Covid, it is possible to continue growing your business.

 If you’re struggling to stay afloat, like so many others, or if you want to ensure continued growth, outsourcing your non-core functions to Sigma Connected could be the answer for your company.

Q. Finally, would you share the core and strategic benefits of outsourcing to companies like Sigma?

Clayton responds: There are a wide range of core benefits including time saving, cost control, efficiency, niche expertise, improved customer service, added managerial capacity and measurable performance. I will now break these main benefits down, so you have more of a detailed description.

The most obvious benefit of outsourcing is cost saving. In short, the job gets done at a lower cost but still to a high degree of quality while also benefiting from the partner’s economies of scale.

Having access to a larger workforce will naturally increases the pace with which tasks are completed and services are rolled out to customers resulting in better efficiency.

An outsource partner has a wealth of expertise to bring to the table that may or may not exist within your business such as customer service, customer management and contact centre experience.

As your company grows and expands, your outsourcing partner can also continue to provide you with access to a larger talent pool consisting of specialists with various language and industry specific skills for example.

The services that you provide can be delivered at a much quicker pace as BPO partners have larger teams whom they train to work in line with industry best practices which results in improved customer experience boosting loyalty and retention.

By outsourcing departments that are experiencing accelerated growth and in need of firmer management and control your outsourcing partner will bring tighter control and better service delivery to the table.

Finally, an outsource partner provides you and your end clients with world class services to achieve mutual success by providing your company with reports around key performance indicators which allows you to make fundamental, data driven decisions to improve your business.


Discover how outsourcing can benefit your business

With 10 years’ experience working in the financial services sector, Clayton Durand is our Business Development Manager in South Africa.

You can contact Clayton via email or connect with Clayton on LinkedIn.