Outsourcing as a concept is nothing new. During the early years of commercial computing, many large sites acquired large amounts of computing capacity and sold the excess to business entities, both small and large, who took advantage of cheap computer services offered them. These outsourced services initially took the form of payroll applications, benefits deductions, and withholding taxes, eliminating the need for in-house accounting departments.
Now, into the IT age, more and more companies are joining the outsourcing bandwagon. From virtually no activity in 1980, the outsourcing market has grown to $150 billion in 1998. Outsourcing of marketing and sales processes represents approximately 14 percent of the market or $21 billion of the same year (Source: The Outsourcing Institute). Corporations that have not started to outsource continue to weigh the benefits and the disadvantages of outsourcing, while others choose to be a lot more careful and farm out activities on a limited basis.
- Outsourcing cuts down operating costs by nearly 40 percent, according to Martyn Hart, chairman of the National Outsourcing Association. In the United Kingdom, outsourcing can save a business between 10 and 30 percent on costs. When outsourcing is carried to third world countries, such as the Philippines and India, businesses can expect to save up to 40 percent.
- Outsourcing offers a more flexible service, allowing the clients to concentrate on their core businesses and enhance their position in the marketplace.
- Outsourcing provides a competitive edge. You could outsource to the best in the world, up the value of your product, and lower the cost.
Large companies—such as America Online (AOL), Intel, and Phillips, among others—have resorted to outsourcing intellectually based activities like research, product development, logistics, human relations, accounting, legal work, marketing, and market research. These companies usually maintain an offshore facility with a staff of 1,000 employees or more and are able to shoulder the relative cost of an outsourcing venture in their business model.
However, smaller companies are left at a clear disadvantage because they cannot take advantage of the outsourcing support enjoyed by their bigger competitors. They do not have the same resources or the know-how to absorb the risks of an outsourcing venture.
This is where Outsourcing Solutions, Inc. (OSI) comes in.
Based in Cebu City, the second-largest city in the Philippines, and known as the IT hub of the country, OSI offers outsourcing support to smaller companies minus the risks. Started in 1998, the company initially offered data entry and book formatting services and later evolved into a highly specialized service-oriented company that has provided outsourcing solutions to partners such as Lexis Nexis, Xlibris, Bank of America, Mother Earth News Archive, Sound Choice, and Cannon Creek, among others.
The OSI client service model works by creating a team of professionals—ranging from one to fifty employees—dedicated to a specific client. OSI is responsible for the recruitment, the training, and the management of this staff. Having a dedicated team is an advantage in that it allows the workers to concentrate on the client’s needs, enabling greater flexibility and more sophisticated projects without cost adjustment.
Beyond administrative capabilities, OSI has developed technical competency and expertise valuable in project start-up and expansion.
OSI provides cost-effective, top-quality services such as:
- abstract creation/abstracting
- book formating
- cover design
- customized research
- data archiving and collection
- data capture
- data conversion
- data entry/input
- data processing
- data warehousing
- document conversion
- document proofing
- document scanning/OCR
- e-book formatting
- financial research and analysis
- graphics design
- HTML coding and conversion
- imaging services
- information linking
- Internet research and surveillance
- IT consulting
- mail list creation
- news harvesting
- SGML tagging
- website design, development, and maintenance
OSI is currently working with one of its clients in providing customer service through outsourced call centers.