Outsourcing Tip > The Three T’s: Talent, Technology and Technique

I’ve been part of dozens of BPO team set ups and have directly implemented five this past year or so. In ALL five cases, we have had challenges because we didn’t have the right talent at launch, we didn’t have our technology lined up correctly and we didn’t have techniques in place to ensure a smooth transition of work and an optimal business flow.

Finding good talent here in the Philippines can be a difficult. I’ve blogged about this quite often, the skills gap is a major concern for the long-term success of outsourcing to the Philippines. There are so many good people with the right work ethic and the desire to learn, but so few of them are trained in a way that makes them day one ready to go in a call center environment. Making sure you have correctly identified the skills you need, allocating the appropriate recruiting resources, and building a pipeline to replenish loses and fuel expansion, is so much harder than it sounds.

In regards to technology, there are so many ways to connect clients, customers and operations here in the Philippines. The Cloud allows all sorts of processes to be easily shifted to remote staff and the culture in the Philippines is very tech driven, it’s a great match.

The challenge is sometimes the technology needed is not as easy to introduce as expected and telecommunications and online access very greatly across the country and the workforce. Having a tried and test technological solution and being prepared to deal with the connectivity issues will help assure a much smoother transition of work from abroad.

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Most call center operations I have worked with don’t have a clear concept of what they want the day-to-day to look like. The lift and shift approach where you just take a process from overseas and apply it here never works without adjustments. Many times you can find more optimal ways of doing things when you set up because you are able to look at the process end to end. Taking advantage of fully understandings the process being outsourced, documenting it and training on it with a clear plan are all keys to success.

So in conclusion, often what people assume would be the easy parts turn out to be the hardest when it comes to the talent, technology and technique needed to se up a successful outsourcing operation. DMAIPH specializes in helping call centers bring more data to their decision-making and ensure a more optimal approach.

Analytics Outsourcing – DMAIPH has successful set up Filipino analytics teams for over a dozen U.S. based businesses. Offering both virtual and office based teams that specialize in problem solving using data, new technology and analytics techniques is our strength. Finding and empowering analytics talent is increasingly challenging, but we have it down to a science. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to learn more about how to set up an analytics-centric team in the Philippines.

Ten Things I Noticed While Walking Along EDSA

The other day I was at a meeting at the Mall at EDSA Shangri-La and it hadn’t occurred to me that it’s Valentine’s Day. Being that I’m Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ), we don’t really celebrate it, so don’t flame me for not being a romantic.

Anyway, as my assistant and I left the mall, it became obvious to me that getting back to Cubao was going to be a challenge. So after looking at the taxi queue and the bus line queue we decided to walk the two blocks down EDSA to Megamall to see if it was any better. It wasn’t. So then I decided why not just walk back to Cubao. It shouldn’t take more than an hour or two, so and it would be good exercise.

So on that long walk, actually a couple of kilometers, that actually took just under two hours, I had a lot of time to reflect on things. Here are ten things that occurred to me during the walk.

1. Its not actually a bad walk, with the exception of a few tight squeezes at the MRT stations and in front of Mega Mall, it was pretty wide open side walk most of the way.

2. Don’t Go to the Malls on a Holiday. The malls in the Philippines always get crowded on Friday nights, but a Friday Night Valentine’s Day… takes the cake for the busiest I have ever seen.

3. The MRT is way to overcrowded. We didn’t even try taking the MRT (Manila’s light rail network) because you can see by the passing trains people were crammed in like sardines. Whatever happened to the plans to modernize the now 20+ year old rail service?

4. Nice Restaurants are so overpriced. 4,000 PHP ($100) for a steak dinner. When you compare prices between the US and the Philippines, fine dining is one area way out of whack. So many places to eat at EDSA Shang, so few offer a nice meal for a good price.

5. There are not enough Taxis when you need them. If you spend time in Manila, you know the drill. During off hours, taxi drivers fight over you, but during rush hours you have to fight for them. Its one of the greatest variations in ebb and flow business I have ever see. I’d argue even worse than Manhattan.

6. Robinson Galleria has the worst Taxi Queue in Metro Manila. Green Hills and EDSA Shang Mall are close runners-up, but the taxi queue at Robinson Galleria is the slowest moving one I have ever stood in.

7. There are too many buses. Even when they are crowded to the brim with people and offering the cheapest way to get up and down the EDSA for most people, there are too many buses. The biggest cause of traffic congestion are buses who cut in and out of lane, stop in the middle of the road and all in all are driven by want to be Hollywood stunt drivers.

8. Too Many Ways to Waste Money. When you walk down ESDA, besides the dozen malls, you also see countless showrooms for high-end cars, you see a lot of business whose cliental can only by the wealthy. If you have money there are so many ways to waste in EDSA, while the masses ride by in a crammed bus or are stuffed away on the MRT. Its one of the worst visualizations of the rich-poor divide in the Philippines.

9. There are more condos being built than anything else. Its mind-boggling that they boom keeps booming. When you try to do the math in your head, how many condo have been built and how many multitudes of more are under construction and then you take into account the number of OFWs, Call Center Agents and people with enough money to invest, there are still more vacant or going to be vacant condo units then there are buyers. Talk about a bubble that has to burst.

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And 10. Mary Me, Oliva is the talk of the town. Up and down EDSA there are a series of bill boards with the message “Olivia, will you marry me 21414.” The speculation is rampant about what the heck they mean. But whatever the origin, its one of those things that has every one buzzing about it.