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Aditya Verma

Aditya Verma is a member of the Global Sourcing team and assists clients on topics related to sourcing model optimization, benchmarking, peer intelligence, and digital capabilities. Aditya’s responsibilities include leading Everest Group’s research on shared services/enterprises across planning, growth, and optimization of middle- and back-office functions. To read more, please see Aditya’s bio.

Shared Services Set-up Success: Intent is as Important as Execution | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

Clients considering establishing a shared services center – or what we refer to as a Global In-house Center (GIC) – to deliver services, almost invariably ask us how successful the model is and whether it delivers on the expected business impacts.

To set the stage for answering the first question – how successful is the model? – the following chart shows that the number of new annual GIC set-ups has increased from <100 centers in 2015 to 145 centers in 2017, indicating a preference by companies to join the DIY bandwagon.

Shared Services Set-up Success Intent is as Important as Execution blog - GICMultiple factors contribute to this DIY trend, including: the need/desire to take a digital-first approach to service delivery; capacity/growth constraints in onshore locations; challenges with service provider performance; increased adoption of agile/DevOps; pressure to replicate the success of early adopters; and focus on end-to-end ownership in internal delivery.

Related: Is a Bigger Shared Services Center (or GIC) Always Better Performing? Maybe Not

But that chart only tells part of the pervasiveness story. While it would be reasonable to state that the primary adopters of the GIC model are large enterprises, almost half of the new centers set up since 2014 have been established by small (USD <1.5 billion revenue) and mid-sized (USD <10 billion revenue) enterprises.  This adoption – seen across technology, telecom, manufacturing, healthcare, and BFSI verticals – reflects that small and small and medium enterprises recognize the successes the large organizations in their sectors have achieved with the model. By all accounts and measures, it’s clear that use of GICs is becoming truly broad-based.

Related: Learn more about Everest Group’s Shared Services Center capabilities

Expected Business Impacts

Here are a few examples of the business impact real-world GICs are delivering beyond arbitrage.

  • Improve Customer Experience – a European insurance firm’s GIC developed a mobile app for auto insurance customers; the app has reduced claims turnaround time from 2-5 days to 3-6 hours
  • Drive Innovation – a leading snacks company’s GIC developed an app for selling in-store displays to retailers; the app has reduced the rejection rate by 20 percent
  • Contribute to Revenue – a financial services firm’s GIC has helped increase product revenue by 17 percent through analytics on product positioning in the retail market
  • Drive Operational Excellence – a leading bank’s GIC has delivered savings of ~40 percent with substantial reduction in end-to-end delivery time for the customer by deploying robotic process automation
  • Reduce Errors – a leading financial institution’s GIC has improved the commercial lending analytical models, resulting in identification of additional US$15 million worth of deals that would otherwise have been ignored.

Getting Intentional with Business Impacts

Of course, the only way to ensure business impact beyond arbitrage is by intentionally establishing the GIC to deliver business impact.

For example, we’re currently supporting a global investment management firm through the “impact-first” approach to its GIC set-up. Instead of starting operations with low-value transactional processing, the GIC will predominantly deliver high-end technology services to build tools and systems for quantitative research. The talent model is skill-centric, not scale-centric, and geared to build high-end skills in a sustainable manner. And because a key enabler of delivering business impact is ownership, the GIC will have end-to-end delivery ownership and a seat at the parent’s table to shape its evolution journey from the beginning. All these intentional actions will give the GIC a head-start in delivering business impact, and enable it to leapfrog its more tenured peers.

Overall, having an intentional approach during set-up can significantly influence and enhance the type of business impact the GIC delivers, and how soon it kicks in. And a well-thought-out approach is more likely to keep the expectations from the GIC in check, and its performance assessment objective.

Have you taken an intentional business impact approach with your GIC? Please share your experiences with us at [email protected] or [email protected].  To learn more about how we serve GICs, click here.

Is a Bigger Shared Services Center (or GIC) Always Better Performing? Maybe Not | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

We recently conducted a deep analysis of the digital maturity of almost 60 shared services centers, (also referred to as GICs) across diverse industries and geographies, and disseminated summary findings through a series of round tables across different Indian cities, including Delhi NCR, Bangalore, Mumbai, and Pune. You can read the detailed results in our recently released Digital Maturity in GICs | Pinnacle Model™ Analysis.

Here, I want to focus on a question that recurs in most of our conversations: Does the size of a GIC have any implication on its Pinnacle performance on digital maturity? Note that we define Pinnacle GICs™ as those that achieve superior performance because of their advanced capabilities.

The answer to this question is not as objective as it seems.

Related: Commercial Options for India GIC Setups

Our study revealed that scaled GICs (those with 3,000+ FTEs) have consistently delivered better impact across cost savings, operational KPIs, and even strategic metrics such as contribution to revenue growth. It also showed that small (those with less than 1,000 FTEs) and mid-sized GICs (those with 1,000 – 3,000 FTEs) have demonstrated lower improvement across all business outcomes.

Is a Bigger Shared Services Center or GIC Always Better Performing Maybe Not blog image

Does this Mean that all Scaled GICs are Pinnacle GICs? Not Really

Based on our analysis, less than one-third of scaled GICs have been able to demonstrate Pinnacle performance, while multiple small and mid-sized Pinnacle GICs (~30 percent of the Pinnacle performers) have achieved superior outcomes because of their advanced capabilities.

  • For instance, a multinational conglomerate’s GIC (mid-sized with 1,000-1,500 FTEs) delivered 20-30 percent improvement on operational KPIs such as process agility and SLA compliance. This GIC operates as the global competency center for IT solutions development with end-to-end ownership across the application development lifecycle, thereby allowing it to drive process transformation changes and yield impressive improvements
  • A U.S. food & beverages major’s GIC (also mid-sized, with 1,500-2,000 FTEs) is leveraging pricing analytics to drive competitive advantage for its parent. The GIC developed a competitive intelligence and analytics platform, which allowed the firm to view what its competitors are selling and make recommendations on the necessary price changes to its merchants. This platform is tied to a machine learning engine that dynamically prices their products.

Related: Learn more about Everest Group’s Shared Services Center capabilities

Common Threads across all Pinnacle GICs’ Journeys

We believe it is the triumvirate of the approach to demand creation, strategic focus of the digital strategy, and orientation towards cross-functional collaboration.

Demand Creation

A pull-based approach to demand creation – i.e., a proactive approach to creating Proof of Concepts (POCs) and showcasing capabilities – has not only helped shared services centers secure CXO-level sponsorship, but also increase the existing breadth and depth of services to enable end-to-end process orchestration. For instance, a European BFSI major’s GIC currently operates as the RPA CoE, and champions the end-to-end global RPA program for the enterprise. However, this was not the initial mandate for this shared services center. It proactively started developing POCs, capitalized on visits by onshore C-level executives to showcase their capabilities, and subsequently received buy-in from the parent company. The CoE now operates in a hub and spoke model, wherein the India GIC (hub) provides global governance and drives RPA for Europe through the CEE shared services center (spoke).

Strategic Focus of Digital Strategy

While other GICs solely focus on technology adoption, most Pinnacle GICs focus on using technology to enable operational improvement, which consequentially results in employee and/or customer experience enhancement. With achievement of these objectives, financial benefits – both top-line and bottom-line growth – follow suit automatically. Technology adoption per se needs to be viewed as a means to the end, not the end itself. Pinnacle GICs’ more holistic approach allows them to see both higher chances of success and ROI.

Cross-functional Collaboration

The third – and most underrated – differentiator is the focus on cross-pollination of resources by breaking functional barriers. We believe that a siloed approach to digital enablement will not work, and that shared services centers need to break silos and provide employees with wider exposure to functional roles across the firm. This will not only improve knowledge flow and increase productivity, but also stimulate innovation. For some GICs, creating CoEs for select digital capabilities has significantly enhanced the pace of adoption, and sharing of skills and best practices

All these aspects, along with dedicated enterprise leadership, have enabled Pinnacle GICs to champion organization-wide digital services delivery.

If you’d like insights on how your shared services center stacks up against the competition on the digital maturity front, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected].

GICs Accelerating the Automation Gear in Their Digital Drive! | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

In the beginning of the digital revolution, GICs were primarily used as hotspots for analytic services. But in their quest to deliver more value-added services to the parent organization, many are accelerating their ability to serve as strategic innovation partners by significantly expanding their portfolio of digital-focused activity. In fact, our most recent Market VistaTM report showed that digital activity in new setups and expansions jumped 900 basis points between Q4 2016 and Q4 2017.

Automation GIC blog_1

Like most organizations dipping their toe into the digital pool for the first time, GICs initially focused on automating processes through technologies such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA). However, in last couple of years, they have also started leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve in areas such as customer experience, operational efficiency, risk management, and development of digital products and services for the market. After realizing the benefits of RPA and AI, some of the mature GICs are also now testing the waters for cognitive computing.

Here is a sampling of the digital use cases coming out of today’s GICs:

Automation GIC blog_2

Of course, changes and challenges abound in the rapidly evolving digital environment. Here are several that will impact GICs in 2018.

  • War for talent: Although they’re upskilling/reskilling their existing workforce, GICs will still need external talent for critical skills such as intuition and innovation, design thinking, pattern recognition, leadership, and problem solving. They’ll struggle to find this talent due to demand-supply imbalances.
  • Ecosystem partnerships: We expect GICs to accelerate their technology adoption through increased partnerships with service providers, technology vendors, start-ups, and educational institutions to deliver new forms of value, such as innovation, automation, and speed to market.
  • Delivery locations beyond India: While India will remain a favored location for enterprises to introduce new technologies, our GIC market activity tracking (see our recently released Market VistaTM report) suggests that other locations such as Brazil, Ireland, Israel, Romania, and Singapore may gain traction in near future. Israel is already progressing to support a range of digital functions such as IoT, AI, and data analytics for customer experience and cybersecurity services.

There’s no question that GICs have the ability to drive the digital agenda for their enterprises. To gain a deep-dive understanding of how they’re doing so today, and what they plan to do in the near future, Everest Group is conducting an online survey. This first-ever assessment will be based on our proprietary Pinnacle ModelTM, which identifies what the best performers are doing to achieve strategic business objectives and deliver increased value. We invite you to participate in this survey.

Six RPA Implementation Pitfalls GICs Must Avoid | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

Enterprises are increasingly leveraging their Global In-house Centers (GICs) to drive automation efforts across the globe. Per recent interactions with over 100 enterprises, GICs, and technology vendors to develop our new report, “RPA Implementation in GICs – Learnings and Best Practices,” we determined that more than 50 percent of enterprises are already driving or plan to drive their global RPA initiatives from Centers of Excellence in offshore/nearshore GICs.

While GICs are well positioned to drive RPA, the extent of success varies and the journey is not easy. To succeed, GICs need to avoid the following six pitfalls, and follow the lead of best-in-class GIC adopters of RPA.

Driving RPA without Enterprise Support

Successful RPA initiatives are a result of strong collaboration between enterprise and GIC leadership. Best-in-class GICs involve enterprise leadership from the beginning of their RPA journey.

Driving RPA in Functional Silos

Successful RPA initiatives involve stakeholders from relevant functions – e.g., IT, operations, risk, and legal – not just the operations team (recipients of automation solutions.) RPA initiatives in some organizations reside under the strategy and innovation function, rather than being led by IT or operations.

Driving RPA in a Decentralized Manner

Through centralized efforts, GICs are able to document and share knowledge across the enterprise, thereby, reducing cost, effort, and time to implementation.

Relying Excessively on Third-Party Vendors

Best-in-class adopters have a strong emphasis on developing in-house capabilities, for example, product development / customizing RPA solutions to suit process requirements.

Selecting Complex Processes at the Start

Successful GICs have avoided the temptation to automate high complexity processes or explore end-to-end automation, and instead have focused on transactional/repetitive/rule-based processes that are easier to implement.

Viewing RPA as a Silver Bullet

Successful GICs view RPA as one of the tools to improve operations by way of error reduction, productivity enhancement, and SLA compliance improvement. Process standardization and reengineering both play key roles in driving the effectiveness of RPA solutions.

Best-in-class GICs have evolved from execution to enabling business units across multiple locations to implement RPA solutions independently. To learn more about the best practices employed by mature GIC adopters of RPA, read our report, “RPA Implementation in GICs – Learnings and Best Practices.” And if you are driving RPA from your GIC, we’d love to hear your story. Feel free to share your opinions and stories on how your GIC is evolving in its RPA journey with [email protected] or [email protected].

Also, keep a lookout for our upcoming report on Enterprise RPA adoption, which leverages our robust Pinnacle Model™ methodology to compare enterprise performance on RPA adoption.

Finally, we’re in the process of conducting a first-of-its-kind survey, the results of which will reveal the state of digital adoption and what separates Pinnacle GICs™ from others. We invite you to join your peers and participate in this survey, today!

Driving RPA from GICs? Learn from the Best-in-class | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

The shift towards a “digital-first model,” in the wake of technology-led disruption, has given GICs an opportunity to become strategic entities that can drive innovation across the enterprise, instead of an arbitrage-first-oriented low-cost set-up delivering back- / middle- office services at scale. A very positive move for GICs and the enterprises they support.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA), among other digital technologies, is gaining popularity across enterprises and GICs thanks to its many business benefits. And enterprises are increasingly leveraging their GICs to drive RPA usage. This is largely driven by factors such as GICs’ tighter integration with the core business, increased endorsement from the enterprise, shift toward insourcing, higher visibility to enterprise leadership, lower costs, and availability of talent.

So what factors enable best-in-class GICs to drive RPA programs successfully? We’ve identified eight:

How GICs drive RPA

Successful GICs, through dedicated RPA CoEs, have gone beyond exploring RPA technology for in-house consumption. From educating various stakeholders across the enterprise on capabilities and benefits of the technology, to executing RPA solutions across functions and locations, these CoEs are playing a key role in transforming processes across the enterprise. CoEs in best-in-class GICs have gone a notch higher, and are focusing on creating an ecosystem that enables businesses to independently explore RPA opportunities.

While GICs are well positioned to drive RPA across the enterprise, successful implementation requires dedicated focus on factors including governance and business continuity. They must also be on the lookout for advanced technologies, such as AI and cognitive, that can augment existing RPA technology and enhance overall automation business benefits.

To learn more about the best practices employed by best-in-class GIC adopters of RPA, please read our recently published report, “RPA Implementation in GICs – Learnings and Best Practices.” We developed it based on interactions with 100+ global enterprises’ GICs and a range of automation technology vendors.

If you are driving RPA from your GIC, I’d love to hear your story. Feel free to share your opinions and stories on how your GIC is evolving in its RPA journey directly with me at [email protected].

And/or, join in on our research on how enterprises design their GIC journeys to drive their enterprises’ digital agendas. Click here to take the survey; responses will, of course, remain anonymous.

Is Perceived Impact Hindering Your GIC’s Growth? | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

The GIC model has evolved significantly over the last decade, and is gearing up for the third wave of evolution – GIC 3.0, as some are calling it – driven by GICs’ strong desire to move away from the “arbitrage-first” delivery model towards a “digital-first” model.

Everest Group describes the journey to mature GICs as progressing through four different stages.

Journey to GIC maturity

GIC maturity for optimal business impact

Our research shows that best-in-class – or Stage 4 – GICs deliver up to six to eight times incremental value beyond arbitrage. Yet, while many of our engagements over the last few years have made it clear that most Global 1,000 GICs deliver value beyond arbitrage, very few track and measure their impact. When they do, it’s typically in a piecemeal, selective manner. Thus, their parent perceives that they are delivering limited business value, beyond arbitrage, to the enterprise.

By educating their parent on their impact, GICs can improve their credibility, and build a case to secure support for expanding their role.

So how can GICs measure and articulate the value they deliver?

We believe that putting a dollar number to the business impact is the most objective and effective way for GICs to showcase their true worth. The framework we use maps value drivers linked to savings, risk, and revenue, quantifying all forms of impact created by the GIC.

GIC business impact model

Here’s an example: a U.S. company’s GIC was able to prove to its parent that it delivered US$20 to 22 million in overall business impact, compared to incremental cost arbitrage of US$4 to 6 million, through increased effectiveness, greater efficiency, and revenue growth. This helped the GIC secure the parent’s buy-in on increasing the scope of functions currently delivered out of their GIC.

A comprehensive quantification facilitates measuring the overall business impact across businesses/LOBs supported by the GIC. A GIC can use these results to:

  • Enable better understanding of its impact/role in the enterprise
  • Guide internal thinking on prioritization of value-add opportunities
  • Map its maturity to the market
  • Achieve greater sponsorship from parent stakeholders

Contact us about Everest Group’s business impact quantification framework, and learn more about our research on in-house delivery models.

Accessing Relevant Talent is New Value Proposition for Impact Sourcing in South Africa | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Impact Sourcing, Sherpas in Blue Shirts

Earlier this year, Everest Group and The Rockefeller Foundation partnered on research in support of the Foundation’s Digital Jobs in Africa (DJA) initiative, the goal for which is to demonstrate the value of impact sourcing and promote its adoption in South Africa and beyond.

Impact sourcing is a business process service delivery model that provides employment opportunities to previously unemployed individuals who have not been meaningfully engaged in the formal economy. Generally, the individuals who are employed via impact sourcing belong to economically and/or socially disadvantaged backgrounds, or are differently-abled.

An overview of the impact sourcing market in South Africa in 2016
50 to 55 percent of the ~ 235,000 FTEs in the South Africa BPO market qualify as impact workers. This high share is because there is no, or limited, difference in the profile of impact and traditional workers hired in normal course of operations, meaning that although companies hire impact workers, they do not claim it to be impact sourcing.

Value proposition of impact sourcing in South Africa
As part of the 2016 engagement with The Rockefeller Foundation, our detailed business case included identification of six key elements to the impact sourcing value proposition in South Africa:

 

During our research, companies indicated that impact workers, especially those who have gone through training programs, exhibit better behavioral characteristics. These include higher adherence to timetable, lower absenteeism, higher motivation level, and lower attrition. In fact, as it relates to workforce stability, which is a critical component of the value proposition, the companies indicated almost 50 percent lower attrition among impact workers as compared to traditional workers.

Impact sourcing ecosystem in South Africa
A unique feature about impact sourcing in South Africa is the presence of a robust ecosystem comprised of BPO service providers, buyers, training academies, and government/industry associations. The presence of impact sourcing-focused training academies is a key element of this ecosystem.

These academies, such as Careerbox, Harambee, and Maharishi Institute, help buyers and service providers identify, screen, and train entry-level candidates through job readiness training or learnership programs. The thrust of these programs is on intentional talent development to ensure impact workers are employment ready. These programs include training on technical skills (e.g., computer literacy and language) and soft skills (e.g., adapting to a corporate environment, dealing with stress, and the benefits of stable employment).

In fact, providers including Aegis, CCI, and WNS have established their own in-house learnership programs as part of their intentional focus on impact sourcing.

What has changed since 2014?
Since our last study in 2014, there have been some significant positive developments in the impact sourcing market landscape in South Africa.

Perhaps the most important is the higher level of maturity exhibited by companies in understanding the benefits and challenges associated with impact sourcing, thereby, enhancing intentional adoption. Moreover, there has been a shift in the value proposition toward “accessing relevant talent” rather than just “cost savings.” In the past, companies had expressed concerns related to higher upfront training and the administration cost of impact sourcing programs. But our research established that the total cost of ownership (TCO) for impact sourcing is 3-10 percent lower than that of traditional sourcing. Finally, companies are increasingly adopting impact sourcing for the many different types of value it provides. For example, significantly lower attrition among impact workers not only contributes to improvement of the work culture of the organization, but also translates into better service delivery.

Outlook
As there is an intrinsic link between adoption of impact sourcing in South Africa and the expansion of the BPO market in the country, there are understandably concerns around security risks, the impact of automation technologies, etc. Nevertheless, our study shows that the desire to intentionally adopt impact sourcing in the country has increased, and that the model is expected to grow, albeit gradually.

For more details on impact sourcing see our additional insight infographic.

 

Creating A Successful Business Case for RPA in GICs | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

With increasing pressure on Global In-house Centers (GICs) for additional value creation, and exhaustion of traditional means, Robotics Process Automation (RPA) – an automation technology that can handle rules-based and repetitive tasks without human intervention – is fast emerging as the key lever to drive productivity.

RPA has the potential to reduce GIC headcount by 25-45 percent, depending upon the process type and extent of deployment. This results in significant cost savings for the GIC, including salaries and benefits for delivery team members replaced by the software bots, and non-people costs such as facilities, technology, and other operating expenses. Typical offshore GICs supporting horizontal functions such as F&A from Tier-1 Indian locations are likely to witness cost savings of 20-25 percent through RPA.

Beyond cost savings, RPA provides improved service delivery in the form of process quality, speed, and scalability, and better ability to manage through improved governance, security, and business continuity.

Development of an RPA solution requires substantially less time than comparable technologies such as Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) and BPM workflow solutions. This, in turn, reduces the time for RPA implementation and value realization, and offers quick return on investment, typically only six to nine months to recover the initial investments. Further, RPA is typically deployed in a phased manner. The relatively short payback period for initial investment in RPA mean subsequent phases can become self-funded from the savings realized from the earlier implementation.

GICs typically consider a minimum of 15 percent cost savings when developing an RPA business case. The savings are dependent on a number of factors, which can be adjusted suitably to build a favorable business case. Highlighted below are the key factors impacting the business case.

business case for RPA in GICs

Potential extent of automation
Headcount reduction due to RPA varies with the potential extent of automation that can be achieved, which in turn impacts the cost savings. As RPA’s sweet spot is transactional/rules-based processes, there is considerable potential for headcount reduction and cost savings when it is deployed to handle these processes.

Number of FTEs replaced per RPA license
The number of FTEs that can be replaced per robot varies by the process and type of RPA solution. The higher the number of FTEs replaced, the greater the cost savings. Both, the number of FTEs replaced per robot and the cost savings, can be increased by targeting standard transactional processes with significant volume.

Recurring cost of RPA implementation
Recurring costs for RPA – such as licensing, hosting, and monitoring – vary significantly by vendor and type of solution, in turn impacting the cost savings. The lower the recurring costs, the higher the cost savings.

For more drill-down details, please refer to Everest Group’s report, Business Case for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in Global In-house Centers (GICs). This report assesses the business case for adoption of RPA in offshore GICs, with information on cost savings across individual components and the associated payback period. It also analyzes the impact of change in the above factors on the business case, and the threshold limits for each in order to have a justifiable business case. Further, it includes case studies on GICs that have adopted RPA, along with key learnings and implications.

Hybrid Sourcing: A Win-Win Scenario for GICs and Service Providers | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

The Global in-house Center (GIC) model continues to grow across industries, functions, and emerging markets ‒ from the financial services and technology industries to most verticals, from call center and R&D to a diverse set of functions, and from India to most emerging markets.

As the model continues to grow, with GICs evolving from low-cost service delivery centers to strategic entities driving value beyond cost savings, they face strategic and operational challenges: demand fluctuation management, talent management, driving further optimization through adoption of industry best practices, and knowledge management, to name just a few.

Third-party service providers can come into play here, helping GICs overcome these challenges by providing:

  • Additional cost savings through economies of scale and delivery pyramid optimization
  • The flexibility to ramp-up and ramp-down the capacity based on demand
  • Expertise in tools/technology and best practices on processes/control mechanisms
  • Large global footprint and language capabilities to serve for all regional centers across geographies
  • Niche skills such as digital and analytics

In this hybrid sourcing model, the GICs use service providers and/or manage their delivery on behalf of the parent organization. This also includes situations in which the GIC is driving or supporting sourcing initiatives (e.g., service provider selection or contracting) on behalf of the parent organization.

Everest Group, in collaboration with the Shared Services and Outsourcing Network (SSON) and NASSCOM, recently conducted a survey on hybrid sourcing adoption trends in offshore GICs. Eighty percent of the respondent GICs have adopted hybrid sourcing, leveraging service providers predominantly to manage volume fluctuations, lower costs, and access best practices. As the graphic below shows, most (80%) responded that hybrid sourcing is meeting or exceeding their expectations.

Adoption of Hybrid Sourcing by GICs

Our research shows that service delivery improvements and governance enhancements are the top priorities for the GICs. Therefore, it is not surprising that GICs collaborate with service providers across three key associated areas – supporting service provider delivery, supporting/implementing the parents’ service provider sourcing program, and identifying global sourcing opportunities and designing the sourcing model strategy. As GICs evolve in their operating models, they are likely to look for more opportunities to work with service providers in these priority areas to enhance the overall impact.

Areas of GIC-Service Provider Collaboration

Going forward, it is safe to assume that there are multiple opportunities for service providers to work with the GICs. However, further adoption of hybrid sourcing in GICs will be driven by their ability to influence the mandate from the parent organization, and service providers’ ability to assess the opportunities. Understanding GIC maturity will also be a critical factor driving these collaboration opportunities.

Everest Group has recently released a report on adoption of hybrid sourcing that provides a detailed landscape of current adoption and future trends for this model. For more information, please download a preview of the report, Adoption of Hybrid Sourcing in GICs – Driving Impact through GIC-Service Provider Collaboration.”

When Is Impact Sourcing the Right Fit with Your Global Sourcing Strategy? | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Impact Sourcing, Sherpas in Blue Shirts

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
  • Documents prepared for scanning
  • OCR software process converts document to TIFF, JPEG, PDF image. Software reads text block by block and translates into machine language
  • Agents validate translation by software
  • Agents index data or text to enable content based retrieval
  • Quality control by supervisor/manager
  • QA releases to database or document management system

 

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
  • Sales data capture and validation
  • Telemarketing
  • Content conversion, editing, and tagging
  • Document digitization (e.g., customer forms digitization)
Supply chain management
  • Data entry (e.g., order entry, package tracking)
  • Document digitization and archiving (e.g., claims forms)
Finance & accounting
  • OCR image validation
  • Invoice data entry
  • Indexing invoices
  • Paper invoice digitization and archiving
Industry specific operations
  • E-commerce support (e.g., transcription, translation, content tagging, basic online research)
  • Debt collections
  • Location tagging
Customer service
  • Domestic voice support in vernacular languages
  • L1 technical helpdesk
Human resource
  • Document scanning and indexing (e.g., employee expense claim forms)
  • Data entry in HR information systems

 

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.

Conclusion

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