Despite the Philippines’ leading position in the global contact center industry particularly in the voice outsourcing, it needs to adopt ways to maintain or strengthen its competitive advantage over its competitors and emerging new generation of call centers so as not to lose clients. This was the recommendation speakers aired in support of the country’s outsourcing industry in the Noda Contact Center Forum 2014, which tackled trends and future development of the call center and BPO industries.
“The trends are very exciting. BPO is the most important industry in this fastest growing country in Asia as most of the country’s growth came from this industry,” said Richard Mills, Chalre Associates executive search founder and chairman of the Asia CEO Forum. “But the outsourcing industry is changing tremendously and the Philippines must take charge ahead as there are new potential outsourcing destinations that could take over its premier status, as what it did to India.”
Countries like Africa might steal the thunder from the Philippines because of its huge young population. It also has similar time zone with Europe and it is near North America. Besides, Eastern Europe is also looking at penetrating the European market. The United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, Ireland, Poland and even Nigeria which has installed new telecommunications lines are also threats to the position being held by the Philippines in the industry.
With regards to other possible rivals of the Philippines in the global outsourcing market, Raj Wadhwani, president of Contact Center World Association, claims that South America is also a county to reckon. Wadhwani also said that Central American nations, including Costa Rica and Guatemala, will likely become competitors of the Philippines in the North American market.
Wadhwani mentioned five challenges that BPO players need to hurdle in order to become successful in the field. These are customer satisfaction, staff motivation, maintain number of staff, cost reduction, and increasing productivity.
For Noda Interaction Platforms CEO Andrey Zaitsev, the future success of the Philippines on the global voice outsourcing market depends primarily not on low costs of the work force, but on the quality of the services offered and how well resources are utilized and expenses streamlined.
Zaitsev mentioned highly qualified management and next generation IT solutions as the two main factors that drive the industry. Highly qualified management pays fixed attention to boosting call center efficiency and streamlining expenses while also boosting income at the same time. He is talking about management that is ready to share new ideas, ready to learn new things and ready to use it. This, coupled with next generation IT solutions, enhances performance by automating all major business processes.
On the other hand, the local outsourcing industry is doing its best to strengthen its global position. Initiatives have been undertaken to sustain the growth and development of the industry, with key players including the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP).
Since education plays an important role in developing the talent of individuals to ensure a durable supply of high-quality manpower for the industry, IBPAP is promoting this endeavor designed to equip participants with the necessary knowledge and skills for the BPO industry.
Penny Bongato, executive director for talent development of IBPAP, said that IBPAP is involved in education because it knows that the ability of the BPO industry to grow is dependent on its ability to hire the right people, prepare and develop their talents. Already, IBPAP started working with the government so they can be provided funds for programs they will be implementing for the industry.
“This is very important to make sure that we have the talents to meet the demand,” Bongato said.
Besides, IBPAP, in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), is currently developing key cities that are ready for BPO locations. IBPAP is also updating its roadmap for 2016 with the aim of becoming the number 1 in the business process management space.