May 17, 2020

Philippine outsourcing market on fast track to growth

Supply Chain Digital
Outsourcing
Philippine Outsourcing
P
Freddie Pierce
2 min
Call center outsourcing has exploded in the Philippines, which has outgrown India as the United States’ preferred destination
Growing markets India and China continue to steal the outsourcing headlines, but the Philippines is quietly becoming an outsourcing hotspot. Industry e...

Growing markets India and China continue to steal the outsourcing headlines, but the Philippines is quietly becoming an outsourcing hotspot.

Industry experts expect the Philippine outsourcing market to grow strongly over the next five years. Business Processing Association of the Philippines chief Alfredo Ayala says the country is currently No. 2 in the world behind India, with 600,000 outsourced workers.

“It may slow down, but it’s still going to be double-digit growth,” Ayala told a group of reporters at an outsourcing conference in Manila.

According to Ayala, the Philippine outsourcing business is expected to grow by at least 15 percent each year to $20 billion by 2016. Ayala expects the English-speaking nation to have about 900,000 outsourcing workers in five years.

Currently, the Philippines accounts for just under 7 percent of the global outsourcing market, a distant second to India’s 51 percent share. The Philippine outsourcing market covers most BPO functions, including call centers, information technology, health care and legal work.

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Call Center jobs could be in danger to decline, with computer software taking on a larger role and replacing humans at such tasks. That’s the nation’s biggest fear at the moment, as call center outsourcing accounts for roughly 65 percent of Philippine outsourcing.

The country’s other growing outsourcing sectors are expected to offset that decline, however.

“Back office, health care, creative services, and IT are becoming quite attractive here,” Gillian Joyce Virata, senior executive director for the business processing association, said.

The Philippines are certainly counting on their growing outsourcing market. Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo said that the outsourcing sector was one of the Philippines’ economic pillars, and that the 2011 revenue target of $11 billion would be about 5 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.

“The contribution of this industry cannot be overstated. It's really a very big help,” Domingo said. “It has provided a very big support to the economic environment of the Philippines in the past decade.”

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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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