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5 Reasons BPOs Need a Single, Scalable ERP System

Posted by Mike Kulisch, Director, National Channel

A unified technology platform can help business process outsourcers keep clients happy, in place and coming back for more. 

 The business process outsourcing (BPO) industry has grown significantly over the last five years, thanks in part to accounting firms’ need to branch out and augment highly-commoditized offerings like tax and audit. It is expected to reach $343.2 billion in annual revenues by 2025.

To successfully compete for a piece of that pie, BPOs have some very specific needs when it comes to the systems that support their business. Outsourcing is no longer being leveraged only by large enterprises. Small businesses and even start-ups are seeing the advantages of outsourcing key processes to focus on what they do best. That means BPOs need technology that meets the needs of the small startup all the way up to the billion-dollar global enterprise—and all points in between. They don’t want to be switching from entry-level accounting systems as their customers grow, or worse seeing those customers bring their accounting in-house and losing them entirely. Here are five ways that a unified enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform helps BPOs hit all of these targets while also improving customer retention: 

  • Lets everyone focus on what matters most. By allowing multiple organizations to focus on what matters without compromising profits or productivity, BPOs have to replicate themselves across hundreds or thousands of different clients. Managing and maintaining multiple systems for each stage of client growth quickly becomes unprofitable
  • Goes beyond financials. Most legacy and emerging cloud solutions that BPOs are using to service startup and small business clients have very narrow finance capabilities. The reality is that these entities need a lot of other support in areas like inventory, projects, ecommerce, HR, or some combination of all four, even if these capabilities are merely being used to feed required data into the finance operations, e.g. entering time against a project that can then be used by the BPO to provide billing services to their client. By implementing a unified platform that incorporates all of these capabilities (and more), BPOs can manage multiple solutions and vendors while also creating efficiencies in the delivery of the outsourced services that go way beyond just financials.
  • Helps clients scale up quickly. This breadth of functionality also means that clients can adjust and mature its business models much more quickly than its competitors can. There’s no need to slow down to select, implement and train on a new system every time their model changes—something that all startup companies deal with. SuiteFlow, for example, lets BPOs quickly and efficiently build custom workflows at no cost as their clients’ requirements grow and change.
  • Fast implementation times. With NetSuite’s SuiteSuccess model, BPOs can very quickly set up a positive client experience and start the relationship off on the right foot. In return, those clients get a robust, industry-specific solution that’s customizable to that company’s needs (i.e., through the creation of specific, searchable fields and other functionalities) and that provides real benefits both for the company itself and to the BPO provider.
  •  Allows clients to grow unconstrained. Rather than being forced to switch from a system designed for a small business just as they hit their “hockey stick” growth phase, companies that start on NetSuite can keep the exact same account and add functionality and capabilities as they are needed. This allows the company to keep a laser focus on growth instead of being distracted by new system implementations. For example, NetSuite has seen clients grow from zero revenues to being publicly-traded companies with hundreds of millions in revenue and billions in valuation without ever needing to reimplement.

By partnering with Oracle NetSuite, BPOs gain access to a single, flexible solution for managing clients of all sizes, and across all industries. Add NetSuite’s ecommerce, support and project management capabilities to the equation and the net sum is a flexible platform that meets and exceeds the needs of the BPO’s diverse customer base.

Learn more about the BPO partner program by reading our whitepaper, Business Process Outsourcing: Supporting Clients from Birth to Billions.