How tailored teams of affordable industry graduates can quickly help you achieve your goals

To begin, one example. In 2007, a UK credit reference agency (CRA) — the kind of company providing insights into credit risk associated with potential clients, suppliers and acquisitions — embarked on an outsourcing journey. Its primary aim was to muscle into the UK market where several major companies dominated both there and worldwide. To do this, it needed to offer consistently high-quality data at attractive prices.

The solution was to transition key data management tasks, particularly the intelligent capture of company accounts and shareholder documents, to a Knowledge Process Outsourcing(KPO) partner. This partner’s operation was based in the Philippines, where business, accounting and other graduates were formed into a dedicated data team. In 2014, with this KPO partnership going strong, the UK operation has grown by 300%. Meanwhile, the scope of the outsourcing solution has expanded to cover multiple languages, document types, and business processes, helping the company extend its reach into Europe and beyond. The journey made by this CRA has been successful to date but only because it has adopted a sensible approach and developed a strong, trusting relationship with its partner. 

Making a transition from in-house operation to a Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) partnership, as this CRA has successfully done, can be daunting, especially if you can’t see the path ahead from beginning to end. But, interestingly, there is a path, and it is the same path for a CRA as it is for a petroleum service company, publisher, direct marketer, or business concern in more-or-less any market. It is a path of 6 proven steps. Companies embark on such a transition to address real issues of process control as well as for strategic reasons. The value may be in addressing data quality or timeliness challenges and cost pressures; or, it may be in driving expansion or diversification with very limited capital. KPO addresses these using graduate-level and professional resources in co-ordinated, outsourced data teams with a consultative and practical approach. The formation of such teams and their integration into the company’s workflow and business plan is the target. Here are the steps, simply put from the company’s viewpoint. You will also find below a link to a white paper that explores these steps more deeply.

  1. Process identification and documentation
We now know what we want to outsource and here are the process specifications.
  1. Knowledge transfer
We present these to the KPO partner to learn with our guidance.
  1. KPO partner recruitment, training and service creation
Our KPO partner forms a team of staff of the required calibre and background and creates a system around it that links to our workflow.
  1. Test / Pilot / Maturation
Our KPO partner puts the system solution through its paces in tests.
  1. Continuous live service
The solution runs as an extension of our business under a managed contract and Service Level Agreement.
  1. Process innovation / increase in service scope
We work with our partner to introduce efficiencies and process improvements and we jointly widen the solution scope.

It may already be plain why this process can be applied to many and varied industries:

  • KPO deals with challenges around data management and this is a universal business concern.
  • Your KPO partner’s ‘staff of the right calibre and background’ bring relevant knowledge and skills to the solution, whether they be business graduates, engineers, doctors, or whatever.
  • Your work as the de facto expert in collaboration with your partner.

Adopting these 6 steps with the right partner should help your business realise its ambitions. My free-to-download white paper How to Solve Intellectual Resource Challenges in Any Vertical Market explains this proven 6-step process to solving data management problems through Knowledge Process Outsourcing, citing cases from various market sectors. It will I hope aid your research into KPO for your business. This is a successor to A 10-Point Review of Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO): scope and opportunity, which explores the nature of KPO and how to approach it. For more information, why not also follow my DDC company page here, where I post regular updates about Knowledge Process Outsourcing.

Simon Bates