This is the final blog in a series of three on the topic of impact sourcing. In the first one, I covered the fundamentals of the model and in the second, the value proposition and business case. Now, I’ll share insights on the nature of work it is best suited for and the activities the model can potentially deliver.
Work suited for impact sourcing
Given that the targeted talent for impact sourcing are individuals with disadvantaged backgrounds, their skills levels are typically suited for specific types of BPO activities as given below.
- Transactional, repeatable, and high volume: Typically includes non-voice support for back-office work and voice-based work on a selective basis when business needs align with talent capabilities
- Bespoke work, not amenable to “industrialization”: Typically requiring human intervention to handle case-to-case customization or work that cannot be fully automated
- Work that is generally suitable to offshoring: Typically includes work with no regulatory or legal restrictions on offshoring or in situations where cost savings and efficiencies are key objectives
Having said the above, impact sourcing employees have demonstrated a wide-range of aptitude from basic data entry to complex data processing. For example, Pangea3 used impact sourcing to deliver complex contract abstraction services; Deloitte in South Africa is using impact sourcing to deliver accounting services and is considering hiring impact workers in its other offices across Africa.
Is impact sourcing actionable?
So, what does this mean for companies considering impact sourcing for BPO work? Are there tangible examples of work where companies use impact sourcing in a meaningful manner? The answer is an unequivocal yes! To illustrate impact sourcing in action, consider the example of a typical optical character recognition (OCR) image validation process given in the box below. The blue text represents activities that fit with impact sourcing and may be completed by impact workers.
|A typical OCR image validation process|
There are many more such processes where impact sourcing can be an attractive fit for delivery of BPO services. Some of these are given in the table below.
|Sales & marketing|
|Supply chain management|
|Finance & accounting|
|Industry specific operations|
The notable point is that there are companies already using impact sourcing to deliver many of the services mentioned above. For example, RuralShores is delivering invoice processing, mortgage document digitization, customer care, logistics management services using impact sourcing. Accenture uses impact sourcing to deliver not only basic F&A processes but also more complex HR, PO, F&A functions. These are also echoed in the examples from Aegis, Infosys, and Quatrro. We also saw earlier how Deloitte and Pangea3 are using impact sourcing for complex work. These examples substantiate that impact sourcing is actionable and a viable alternative to traditional BPO.
In conclusion, in this series of three blogs, I discussed how impact sourcing is an established phenomenon that offers access to previously untapped talent pool, lower attrition and the ability to achieve corporate social responsibility and diversity objectives as compared to traditional BPO. There are many large, global companies that have acknowledged the benefits of impact sourcing and have adopted it in their business process service delivery. It is a win-win business service delivery model with optimized enhancements and creates tangible positive impact on people that extends to communities as well.
Everest Group, supported by The Rockefeller Foundation, conducted an in-depth assessment on impact sourcing (IS) as a business process service delivery construct. The study presents a detailed, fact-based business case for IS that substantiates the benefits of the IS model for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). Additionally, it sizes the current IS market for BPO work, profiles the landscape, details the business case, and shares experiences of companies through case studies and testimonials. The report focuses on Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, India, and the Philippines.
The Rockefeller Foundation aims to catalyze the IS sector in Africa through its Digital Jobs Africa Initiative. The Foundation’s role is to ensure positive social and economic impact on 1 million people by supporting high potential but disadvantaged youth to work in the dynamic outsourcing sector in Africa, benefitting them, their families and communities. The Foundation recognizes that the most sustainable and scalable path to achieving this impact is because of the tangible business value impact sourcing provides. Impact sourcing enables companies to purposefully participate in building an inclusive global economy, gaining business efficiencies while changing people’s lives.
Visit our impact sourcing page for more information.
Be sure to join our webinar, The Business Case for Impact Sourcing on today at 9 a.m. CT / 10 a.m. ET / 3 p.m. BST / 7:30 p.m. IST. Register now.
Photo credit: The Rockefeller Foundation