COVID-19 has hugely affected the outsourcing industry and there is no quick recovery in sight. However, once the recovery begins, the bounce-back will be racing, and the outsourcing industry will be more relevant and attractive than ever, especially to small and medium business owners. Here’s why:
The main challenges for the outsourcing industry
Around the world, outsourcing service providers are dealing with travel restrictions resulting in empty offices. Many companies in developing countries such as the Philippines provide outsourcing services to businesses in Australia and New Zealand. But, they do not have the infrastructures or management tools to execute a work-from-home (WFH) system for their staff. They are having great challenges in trying to deliver work.
With work and projects not getting done, many outsourcing partners have to take the work back in-house, which may result in them stopping outsourcing altogether. Even when the COVID-19 crisis is over, companies who can deliver will also have to deal with projects on a halt and limitation of incoming projects.
Good news ahead for outsourcing providers
Australian companies are also experiencing the hurdles of staff working from home. They have to deal with processes they wished they had automated before all this happens and most of their staff had to work from home. These situations will be the deciding factor for many companies to open up towards automation and digitisation and of their work processes. This will reduce the threshold for outsourcing in the future. Companies may be more likely to outsource their business processes to other countries in the long run. There are understandings among companies from all over the world about this crisis that affects us all.
Companies from all around the world have a great understanding of this crisis that affects us all. They have become more flexible when deadlines are not met and schedules have to be changed. The best advice is to maintain clear communication with your outsourcing partners. Transparency is key. You have to ensure that your clients see that you are doing the best you can to deliver optimum results despite the circumstances.
Road to recovery
The fastest recovery is expected in strong European countries, especially countries in North- and Western Europe. But two economic powerhouses in the pacific, Australia and New Zealand are also expected to bounce back just as quickly.
According to abc.net.au, Australia is unlikely to experience ‘post-war’ recovery after coronavirus. Their battle to contain the onslaught of the pandemic is working well and the economy is responding to the recent stimulus. Travel and entertainment industries may have suffered immensely but sectors like online retail, food delivery and subscription services are booming. These sectors have skyrocketed more than 60 per cent. Same with the demand for home improvement products which has soared 64 per cent.
The biggest challenge for companies would be staying in business until the initial stage of the crisis is over. Once it is, the demand for outsourcing service will be bigger than ever. Most especially for industries like digital working environments, cloud services and security.
How to stay informed on the situation?
There are many resources online that will help you stay informed on the situation in the outsourcing sector.
- Webinar on COVID-19, partnering and tech from the Global Outsourcing Association.
- This dedicated section at Consultancy firm Kearney’s website about to COVID-19.
- The Economic Times publishes articles about COVID-19’s impact on sectors, like the BPO sector. They also look at the effect on digital transformation, among other things.
- Outsourcing Portal has written articles about the impact of COVID-19 on specific outsourcing sectors, like BPO, and the outsourcing sector in general.
- The consultancy firm Everest Group has a dedicated page to the impact of COVID-19 on various sectors.
- Your outsourcing provider’s website is also a great source of information about the situation in their country of operation, so make sure to check out their blog page.