BPOs told to invest outside cities

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014


TO PROMOTE an “inclusive” form of outsourcing in the Philippines, one of the biggest business process outsourcing (BPO) companies in the country today is encouraging other BPO players to get involved in “impact sourcing.”

Accenture Philippines Impact Sourcing Lead Guia Bengzon told companies involved in outsourcing jobs during the ICT-BPM (Business Process Management) conference last Monday to allocate at least 10 percent of their outsourcing operations to rural areas.

Impact Sourcing is a move done in the industry today where outsourcing jobs are brought to “low-employment communities” that have enough supply of talent, good

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Internet connectivity and location accessibility.

Accenture implemented impact sourcing first in South Africa and later in India in partnership with smaller local firms.

Partner

In the Philippines, Accenture has partnered with Makati-based Visaya Knowledge Process Outsourcing Corporation to implement impact sourcing in Tanjay City in the province of Negros Oriental.

Bengzon said Visaya KPO is currently employing 41 workers in Tanjay involved in both voice and non-voice transactions like writing and editing, telephone operations and marketing jobs among others.

Visaya KPO is reportedly the largest employer in Tanjay at present.

The official also said they have partnered with schools in the locality to serve as the training hub for both outsourcing jobs and professional services.

Talent acquisition was not a problem in Tanjay, Bengzon said. She said a lot of the current employees worked in Metro Manila and in Cebu but have chosen to come back to their city given that employment opportunities are now brought closer to home.

Multiplier

“Each job that we have provided benefits four to 10 other persons in their household and the community. This is significant from an inclusive outsourcing perspective and from a national agenda that wants to bring the economies of scale down to where it is really needed,” Bengzon said.

The average annual income of employees in Tanjay, who participated in impact outsourcing, is P186,000, a 33-percent increase “from where they started,” said Bengzon, adding there has been a lifestyle change among workers whose purchasing power improved.

Impact sourcing is also eyed as a “sustainable” practice for the country’s robust BPO industry, said Bengzon.

“By 2030, 40 million will be trying to migrate to the cities. That means we will be experiencing a significant amount of urban pressures, from shelter, water, and food perspective…and this is not going to be sustainable for the industry,” she said.

Of the 400,000 graduates in a year, Bengzon said 240,000 are from rural areas. With impact sourcing, fresh graduates need not go to Metro Manila or Cebu to look for work that offers a competitive salary.

CSR

Aside from its positive effects to the BPO industry, Bengzon cited that companies that will adopt impact sourcing will also “solidify” its corporate social responsibility and make it more sustainable.

For BPO players interested to adopt impact sourcing, Bengzon told them to “identify roles in their organizations where it does not need a face to face encounter.”

They also have to consider other factors like talent requirement, digital facility, and site accessibility among others.

Accenture, in a report titled “Exploring the Value Proposition of Impact Sourcing,” projected that by 2016 impact sourcing will make up 11 percent of the BPO market.

Bengzon said the Philippines has the potential to grow its impact sourcing industry given the citizens’ better English skills compared to other areas in the world.

Amidst sustainability concerns from some industry players, Bengzon told them to not be afraid to outsource a share of their operations.

“(Remember that) we are proponents of outsourcing, so we should not be afraid to outsource ourselves,” she said.

On the government side, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) website said there will be a series of Rural Impact Sourcing (RIS) Workshops beginning this month until November in order to provide jobs to people in rural areas.

DOST said the workshops, to be led by the Information and Communications Technology Office (ICT Office), will kick off on May 30 in Daet, Camarines Norte. Succeeding workshops will be held in Koronadal, South Cotabato; Kalibo, Aklan; Surigao, Surigao del Norte; and Calbayog, Western Samar.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 04, 2014.

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