Outsourcing usually evokes negative connotations. We think of jobs being lost and moved abroad because they can be filled more cheaply there. But what about industries where there is a severe shortage of skilled workers and qualified staff is hard to find? This is where Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) comes into play. Complex tasks are carried out by experts without having the cost and effort of a recruiting process. Under these circumstances, BPO brings many advantages.
But what exactly is BPO and where is it applied? What are the advantages and disadvantages and what does Business Process Outsourcing look like in the pharmaceutical industry? In this article, we get to the bottom of these questions and show how tracekey can help with such an undertaking.
What is BPO?
Business Process Outsourcing is different from traditional outsourcing. In the traditional way, you only outsource individual tasks to external companies, while most of the responsibility remains within your own company. As the name suggests, BPO involves outsourcing entire processes to external companies. Originally, this practice comes from the manufacturing industries, but now it is common in almost all industries. Also, there is a division between front- and back-office outsourcing. Back-office refers to the core areas of day-to-day business such as accounting, payment processing, IT services, human resources, regulatory affairs, and quality assurance. Front office means customer-related tasks such as support, sales, and marketing. If a company decides to use BPO, the offer can be tailored exactly to its needs.
Advantages & disadvantages of BPO
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular can benefit from BPO. One advantage is access to professional expertise, as providers specialize in the outsourced processes. SMEs with relatively little budgets can thus avoid the costly recruitment process and possibly reduce the cost of one or more full-time positions. The hardware and software of BPO providers is also state-of-the-art due to their specialization, which benefits clients. Thanks to their expertise, risk management is also strengthened. Due to the daily confrontation, sources of errors are known and can be better prevented and corrected. In sum, business process outsourcing thus has the potential to create a competitive advantage for companies.
However, BPO can also have disadvantages. For one thing, the know-how of the outsourced processes may not be established within the company. Relevant insights can also be lost, as BPO providers do not necessarily know which information is relevant and which is not. However, with clear communication, this disadvantage can be circumvented. Communication is also another point of obstacle. Since some of the tasks are no longer within the company, maintaining the flow of information can be difficult. However, this is also counteracted with sufficient consultation and planning. Finally, there is the loss of control. When processes are carried out off-site, some of it is lost. Therefore, one should choose a BPO provider that can be fully trusted. Although there can be disadvantages, they are invalidated with the right partner.
Business Process Outsourcing in the pharma industry
Outsourcing is not a new principle in the pharmaceutical industry. Through Contract Manufacturing Organizations (CMOs), it has been a common way to save costs in manufacturing or scale the business for quite some time. However, BPO makes sense for pharmaceutical companies not only in production. Increased task complexity is gradually creating more capacity problems for serialization officers. Increased regulatory requirements compound this problem. Business process outsourcing in the pharma industry can be the solution here. The level of processes to be outsourced can also be adapted as desired. Be it alert or business partner management or even the entire serialization management.
tracekey is your reliable partner for BPO in serialization management. With the help of our tracekey Serialization Manager (TKSM) service, we can take over all tasks related to serialization. Additionally, we are able to support you with your Business Partner Management. As usual with BPO, the extent of this is individually customizable. If you are interested or would like more information, please contact us.