Until airly recently, what companiesexpected rom business process out-sourcing was relatively straightorward:greater eciency, streamlined operationsand lower costs. Today, however, theperormance bar has been raised, andclients expect more rom their BPOproviders: business insight, innovation,industry expertise, solutions adaptedto more individualized needs, acommitment to continuous improve-ment and more.How well are providers stepping up tomeet these new business goals? Whichclients are succeeding and why?These are some o the key questionsanswered through new research, the Accenture High-Perormance BPOstudy, conducted in cooperation withthe Everest Group and the OutsourcingUnit at the London School o Economics.The results o this quantitative survey o more than 250 buyer executiveshelped us to identiy eight specicpractices that, together, produce busi-ness value or a company that exceedsthat o its industry peers in a way that can be sustained over time (seesidebar, page 7).High-perormance BPO, as with highperormance in general, is the resulto achieving excellence in a broadrange o areas across an enterprise.However, a distinctive characteristico high perormance in a BPO contextis that it is highly dependent on thequality o the partner
.Our research uncovered remarkablesimilarities in BPO relationships thathave produced extraordinary business value: a commitment to eectivestrategies but also the right technologiesand processes; eective organizationand change management skills; industry and domain knowledge; strong leadershipand savvy governance; and operationalcapabilities. High perormance is theresult o not just one or a ew thingsbut several—all o them executed incoordination, with a shared commitmentrom both client and provider.
Strategic and thoughtful
One o the more promising ndingso our research is that high-perormanceBPO is
dependent on organizationsize, industry, geography, tenure or business unction involved. It results,rather, rom taking a more strategicand thoughtul approach to establishingand managing BPO engagements.From an initial list o hypothesesabout what high-perormance BPOmight mean—specically, aboutwhat actors clearly separated highperormers rom typical perormers—eight practices in particular emergedas being critical.
Practice No. 1:An end-to-end approach
What is the ideal scope or a BPOarrangement? In high-perormanceBPO, it’s the entire end-to-end businessprocess, including those elementsmanaged within the client’s enter-prise, those run by third parties andeven other related processes thatmight have an impact in some way on perormance.BPO high perormers go beyondthe execution o existing processesand use the BPO relationship tooptimize those processes. Eighty-ninepercent o high perormers in our survey consider the pursuit o processexcellence to be an important priority in a BPO relationship, compared withonly 63 percent o typical perormers.Moreover, high perormers take amore expansive and holistic viewo what they are doing than typicalperormers do, looking beyond asingle process or unction to think about how it aects and is aectedby other processes both upstream anddownstream. The client also includesthe provider and business end users askey players when optimizing a set o related business processes, even whenthe provider is directly accountableonly or particular sub-processes.