May 17, 2020

BPO Market Growth: Part One

Supply Chain Digital
Business Process Outsourcing
BPO
Out
Freddie Pierce
2 min
Financial and accounting services continue to witness fast growth in Part One of our BPO growth story
The global business process outsourcing (BPO) industry is on the path to recovery following the global economic recession that dented growth prospects...

The global business process outsourcing (BPO) industry is on the path to recovery following the global economic recession that dented growth prospects in several industrialized nations including the U.S. As the recession affected all industry verticals, businesses adopted measures to contain costs and enhance profit margins - strategies that led to layoffs, recruitment freezes and pay cuts across various countries including the U.S.

The inability of BPO clients to forge long-term contracts during the recession further contributed to the downward slide in industry activity. In order to deal with economic adversities, several companies opted for outsourcing services thereby benefiting outsourcing hubs such as India and China.

The United States and Europe dominate the global BPO market, as stated by the new market research report on Business Process Outsourcing. The increasing size and scope of the BPO industry is largely attributed to the growing desire of global businesses to address primary issues such as shortage of skilled personnel and rising operational costs.

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Outsourcing is also emerging as a tactical approach for imparting value addition, flexibility as well as agility to organizations, which enables them to respond effectively in a rapidly changing business environment. Technological advancements, introduction of sophisticated platforms and software, and the emergence of newer media are also driving businesses to opt for services of specialist third-party service providers.

Finance & Accounting outsourcing is expected to witness fastest growth among all horizontal segments. The need to streamline costs and increase competitiveness is likely to drive organizations to seek outsourcing services, positioning F&A outsourcing as a vital constituent of the strategy to achieve the twin objectives.

Financial services, manufacturing, logistics and travel industries have been among the most active adopters of F&A outsourcing services. In the coming years, real estate and property management companies, IT firms, and medical and banking sector participants are also likely to seek F&A outsourcing services.

Come back tomorrow for Part Two of our story on BPO growth!

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Edited by Kevin Scarpati

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Jun 21, 2021

Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain

supplychain
IBM
Pandora
omnichannel
2 min
Jewellery retailer Pandora teamed with IBM to streamline supply chains as sales of hand-finished jewellery doubled across ecommerce platforms

Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery. 

The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales. 

A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.

Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs. 

Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption. 

"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added. 

 

Pandora’s pivot to digital 

The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand. 

“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”

Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”. 
 

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