Horizontal back office processes such as Finance and Accounting (F&A), Procurement and HR Management exist in every customer lifecycle. As well, there are also a number of processes and sub-processes that support every customer interaction.
It’s almost impossible to separate and treat these processes as standalone activities in the back office as, in reality, the workflows are an ongoing shift from back office to front office to back office, etc.
Take, for example, a typical finance functions, like Order to Cash (O2C); the various processes are interwoven throughout the front and back office. Order management may be under the domain of sales and supply chain operations, while invoicing, credit and collections is under the purview of the accounting department.
Along with the horizontal departments, there is the problem of technology and systems. Front-office employees use customer relationship applications designed to support sales, marketing, and customer service. Back-office employees use ERP applications and workflow tools to handle invoicing, accounts receivable, cash flow management and reporting. That’s not even mentioning different internal tools that don’t talk to one another, or legacy systems that may be more difficult to integrate, or even geographic silos between divisions.
- Little to no shared information
- Process duplication
- Increased error (both customer-facing and operational)
- Higher operational costs
- More inefficiencies
- Miscommunication between departments, and to customers
In this day and age, these silo side effects can effectively render a business incapable of running efficiently.
An Integrated Approach to Business Process Outsourcing
Integrated business process outsourcing (iBPO) is nothing new. Outsourcing providers have a variety of tools and technology aimed at front and back office. However, typically, they are a sum of their parts.
As much as we want to talk about breaking down silos within companies, the BPO industry plays a role in creating those silos. Traditionally BPO has been transaction-based, and limited to a specific service offering or function, like AP.
The Sutherland Differentiator
As BPOs are struggling to manage these processes in silos, Sutherland Global Services has developed Integrated BPO – a New Generation delivery model that we are delivering on today and have been for some time. The result is a truly seamless integration of front and back office processes that operates across the enterprise and bridges organizational boundaries.
We bring in all stakeholders, and act as a “conveyer belt” of information and actionable insights for not just the vertical department, but for the horizontals as well. (Join me in my next post as I interview Sean Tinney, who will explain our process and approach.)
Here at Sutherland we see integrated BPO as an end-to-end business cycle solution that combines proprietary technology, advanced analytics and service excellence to consistently deliver measurable results that directly and significantly impact the client’s business performance.
We offer front and back office, as well as knowledge and business Transformation Services as an iBPO solution, managing business functions across the entire customer lifecycle. If you are interested in learning more, schedule an appointment today.