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Successful Case Studies in BPO

by Matthew Mower,

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) has traditionally been used to outsource the processes peripheral to the key business strategy, in order to use time, money and resources more effectively.  Some of the most common outsourcing activities include human resource management, financial services and accounting, information technology and legal process management.

An austere economic climate has seen the BPO contract count climb to an all-time high, as organisations look to cut costs in an effort to survive. This feature will be looking at three growing trends in BPO – HRO in SMEs, integrated BPO / ITO packages and the use of BPO in financial services.

HRO and SMEs

The rise in outsourcing contracts bought by SMEs has recently been dramatic. Particularly fragile to economic downturn, SMEs have looked to use their resources more effectively in an effort to survive. Human resources and payroll tasks can be arduous and time consuming, often requiring dedicated departments and infrastructure. Outsourcing HR has proved to be an effective way for SMEs to save time and money.

EISER was formerly wholly-owned by Fortis Investments which was a subsidiary of BNP Paribas Investment Partners Group.  The Partners in EISER completed a management buy-out to become a single, independent entity.  Prior to this, all of EISER’s back office services, including HR, were supplied by Fortis. The challenge was to transfer all their employees out of Fortis and become fully self-sufficient in HR with no drop in service quality.

plusHR’s dedicated HR Administrator handles all day-to-day HR tasks, including issuing employment contracts and employees and maintaining HR data. Employees are able to book holidays online via self-service, and managers can view employee reports for their teams. Payroll is entirely outsourced, freeing up internal finance to concentrate on value added tasks.  With plusHR, EISER now have a dedicated, full-service HR and payroll function at a fraction of the cost of hiring their own in-house team.

Integrated ITO services

For larger businesses that operate internationally, ITO integration services can provide clarity and ease of use across all platforms.  Avis Europe plc is a leading car rental company in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia operating the globally recognised Avis and Budget brands.

Avis Europe identified a need to provide greater clarity and improved efficiency in order to maintain its reputation as a customer-focused business. With locations across Europe generating some 15 million documents per year, it was becoming increasingly difficult and time consuming for staff to store, retrieve and process customer documentation. Although the company had separate online imaging systems within each country, these were not integrated and did not allow for cross-border working.

After a competitive tender process, Avis Europe selected EDM to provide high volume processing and storage services. As part of its consultancy service, EDM set up EDM Online, a secure information management system. This system allows Avis’ shared service centre to access essential customer information from any branch – all at the click of a button.

Around seven million documents a year, out of a total of 15 million, are now shipped to EDM’s Manchester mailroom in the UK for capture and storage on EDM Online. The remaining documents are added to the system through dedicated on-site scan stations, which are located at individual Avis Europe locations and securely connected to EDM Online via the web.

BPO in Financial Services

Within financial services, bureaucratic and administrative workloads can often become excessive. Nationwide’s merger with Portman generated an increase in the volume and variety of customer records, which highlighted the need for a centralised, audited and efficient document management service for the business and its customers. The solution needed to bring together information in multiple formats and locations, including a microfiche/film archive in excess of 40 million frames, 68,000 boxes of customer records and 25 million scanned images.

EDM designed and implemented a purpose-built document archive and retrieval solution through its secure Scan-on-Demand service. EDM’s transition team catalogued all customer records and managed their secure transfer to a dedicated facility purpose-built for Nationwide. Now, as records are requested, EDM scans and uploads documents to its hosted web service, EDM Online, to give Nationwide staff secure and instant access to archived customer data from any networked PC across the organisation. The complete service assures seamless document security.


It is apparent that emerging technologies and economic activity continue to change the face of BPO. Business process outsourcing manages to drive a range of efficiencies in a number of different types of organisations.  A wide variety of organisations will continue to benefit from BPO in these austere times which can also support a collaborative approach to contract negotiations.

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