Do Offshore Call Centers Have a Future?
During the last U.S. election, one of the ubiquitous questions facing candidates of all stripes was, “What will you do to preserve or bring back jobs that are being moved out of the country?”
We don't know what our new president and his administration will do, but we know those questions aren't going anywhere. In January, a group of senators sent President Trump a letter urging him to release an executive order preventing federal contractors from offshoring call center jobs. These same senators want to pass further legislation that would bring call center jobs back to America.
For years, companies of all kinds and from all different industries have relied on labor arbitrage for cost savings. You see this from IT outsourcing to HR outsourcing and employee benefits administration, and the use of overseas call centers. But with the current emphasis on bringing jobs back to America, what does the future of offshoring look like? Will companies that offshore these call centers face new taxes or penalties? And if they do, will this disrupt the service they provide?
Automation and Strategically Positioning for the Future
For HR and Finance teams using automated methodologies to deliver services and solutions, do these questions have the same urgency? By automating repeatable functions and utilizing cloud technologies like Workday’s human capital management software (HCMS), call center access becomes practical through onshore and nearshore teams. Cost savings occur through transactional task automation as opposed to labor arbitrage, and fewer call center resources are needed to support customers on a per employee basis.
If the name of the game is positioning customers for growth, is cost savings the only chess piece that providers should be playing? It’s an obvious component. However, automation delivers on other growth drivers, including technology access and data collection and analysis.
It also begs the question if companies who are disruptors themselves could adapt more easily to new legislation. That’s the central idea around being bleeding edge—that an organization which is technology-enabled is agile and able to respond to the changing markets at the pace of innovation.
While the future of offshoring remains unclear, questions about it are guaranteed to have a long shelf life. For HR and Finance teams that rely on traditional BPO (business process outsourcing) services for benefits administration and other HRO (HR outsourcing) services, now is the time to start asking yourself: How long do I want to remain tied to the old way of outsourcing? Asking these questions now as you look for a BPaaS alternative for benefits administration, and other services, could help you avoid unnecessary headaches in the future.