Supplier Zone
Back Office Outsourcing

UK back office outsourcing companiesBack office outsourcing is made easy if you know who’s who in the market - that’s where AboutMatch comes in. Our rich database of suppliers covers the UK, Europe, as well as lower cost destinations such as India and the Philippines.  We know which industries and processes each supplier specialises in, and what sort of clients they are seeking.  By answering just a few quick questions about your needs – such as budget, location preference, industry and service type - you’ll get connected with a shortlist of perfect match suppliers within 24 hours. 

Which parts of a back office can be outsourced?

The back office is generally defined as all the “behind-the-scenes”, non-customer-facing functions in an organisation. They are typically very process-driven and manpower-intensive. Examples are accounting, HR, procurement and analytics.

In larger enterprises, these functions are sometimes aggregated across multiple departments as “shared services”, which in turn are candidates for outsourcing. The UK has been a pioneer in the adoption of shared services in the public sector.

What are the typical operating and pricing models for back office outsourcing services?

There’s a growing trend to offshore back office services, where costs are much lower and companies can access the global best practices and scale of larger outsourcers. Outsourcers generally charge an hourly rate for FTE (full-time equivalent) or per transaction, balanced with KPIs for efficiency, backlog and quality. Where the skillset requirements are specialist, or the enterprise wants to manage the team offshore directly, “co-sourcing” or “staff leasing” models are trending. In these models, a third party provides the facility, payroll processing and IT support for the staff, who report into the enterprise in the home country (eg. UK). As the third party does not have accountability for KPIs and staff performance, the pricing is considerably cheaper than traditional outsourcing. Staff leasing is usually priced in the form of a monthly service fee with staff wages and out-of-pockets passed through at cost or with a small agreed mark-up.  

Tips to make your back office outsourcing a success

Here are our top 10 tips for back office outsourcing:

·         Always check the outsourcers’ references yourself – don’t rely blindly on the track record and client logos presented to you.

·         Beware of cultural differences if your outsource partner is overseas. Invest in cultural training and awareness on both sides.

·         Outsource processes that are working, not broken. You can’t expect an outsourcer to deliver results if your in house processes are sub-optimal to begin with.

·         UK companies should opt for outsourcers with a presence in the UK to reduce risk and enhance communication.

·         Transition planning is key – take a phased rather than big bang approach; don’t underestimate the investment and resource required to successfully transition to a new vendor

·         Make sure your outsourcer plans for the unplanned and has realistic contingencies documented for disasters.

·         Agree upfront on a framework for communication and account management.

·         Test out your preferred supplier with a pilot, demo or role play before jumping in to a partnership.

·         Certain work is not suitable for outsourcing – don’t be tempted by the savings on paper and offload everything, without doing the proper analysis.

·         Have a mutual understanding upfront of what a successful relationship should look like.

back office outsourcing

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