To further develop the country’s seemingly increasing and (I hope) competitive BPO industry, it is essential for employers to come up with ways on how to technologically, and I mean hardware, software and peopleware, develop their businesses in order to sustain the current competitive advantages that they have. As I write this piece, the Philippines is already losing accounts to India, China, Malaysia, etc. And in order for us to sustain our advantage over them, it is now time to elevate the outsourcing activities to knowledge-based operations.
Issues such as supply of talent pool, which can be traced to the educational system of the country is the biggest problem that these BPO are currently encountering and will definitely encounter when they opt for more value-added services. Thus, again, the government needs to create and implement an educational system that would develop critical and analytical thinking of the population to increase their competency in technology research and development, needed for the KPO. This is a very broad problem that requires academicians, government and industries to develop and implement this model in order to improve service-related industries. We have the quantity already, the quality is what we are after, as this is another obvious way to increase competitive advantage.
Fields of knowledge-based industries where Philippine BPO companies can really be competitive at are as follows: architectural designs, animation, IT and other related activities such as programming, and other functions such as training, formulation development, product testing, in vivo studies (for products that are not market type sensitive), planning and strategizing, feasibility studies, banking systems, etc.
The KPO advantage, on an HR level, would also mean being able to keep technical people and reduce the turnover rate. Most technical people would be opting to stay if the companies enable them to grow more technically and to provide more venues for their creativity to flourish.
KPO is also a way to keep people from leaving the country as they will be given high-paying jobs, since technical jobs are by nature value-enhancing and value-adding for business development.
I hope the KPO industry will flourish soon. Big BPO companies are already starting with architectural designs for furnitures, what would be the next?