Should I use USA or offshore labor?
Deciding when to use domestic or offshore labor is no different than looking at any project and selecting the best tool for the job. A tool works best when it is employed for the purpose it was designed. Utilizing a tool for a job for which it was not designed typically requires a trade off. In business process outsourcing (BPO) the four primary dimensions on which decisions are made are cost, accuracy, turnaround and complexity.
Cost – Labor costs are significantly less offshore. To utilize offshore labor there is a cost to send physical documents or a cost to create and send electronic images. The cost to send physical documents to Mexico is relatively modest. Sending physical documents also avoids issues with documents that can’t be easily scanned such as multiple documents stapled together, very small paper sizes or difficult paper stock (slick thermal paper from register receipts and tissue like paper from multi-part forms). However, the cost to send physical documents to other places in the world is prohibitive so the preferred method is transaction processing from scanned images. The more information to be data entered on a document the less relative cost incurred for scanning and the greater the cost advantage of offshore data entry labor.
Accuracy – USA labor will have greater accuracy with handwritten documents where a large number of comment fields are present. American workers have better English comprehension and have a better chance of deciphering poor handwriting. Depending on the degree of illegibility, this advantage can be greatly offset by utilizing the key and verify methodology in an offshore situation. Offshore labor is an excellent option for typed documents or legible handwritten forms such as when an individual designated space (constrained box) is present for each letter or number. Potential inconsistencies in the source documents can affect the legibility of the scanned image and negatively impact accuracy rates. Inconsistencies could include a variety of ink colors, pencils leads and highlighters; paper colors that do not provide proper contrast to the typed or written data or paper that has been folded over a data entry field.
Turnaround – For ongoing projects, similar turnaround times are available for both USA and offshore labor. For large volumes or a very short duration turnaround, the large number of operators available creates an advantage for offshore labor. Language and time zone issues can lengthen the time to set up a new offshore project. For one-time projects it often takes less time to communicate the requirements and set up a new project using USA labor.
Complexity – It is much easier to communicate a complex set up or frequent changes to a USA vendor due to the absence of language or time zone considerations. It is also easier to communicate with and train USA operators when judgments are required as part of the transaction process. SecureOne has overcome many of these issues and seen excellent results with complex projects at our Nogales facility. The easy access of USA based SecureOne management to spend time in the facility training operators and communicating customer expectations has been the key reason for this success.
The offshore BPO marketplace contains thousands of companies, most lacking experience and producing work of inconsistent or unacceptable quality. SecureOne has used its 30 plus years of experience to select a very limited number of qualified offshore partners and projects are assigned based upon the specific capabilities of each partner. Although SecureOne has chosen to work with a small number of offshore facilities, the capacity of these partners is huge, with over 3000 operators. If cost, accuracy, turnaround and complexity are all important, choose SecureOne and get all four?
SecureOne has experience helping to determine which tool is right for the job and we have many different tools available for you to choose from. A project review will help you determine which specific resources are optimal for your project needs and also what cost tradeoffs and benefits will result. Your SecureOne account executive is available to help you in this analysis at no cost to you, so call today.