‘Tis the Season to Outsource

Generally, around the holiday season, companies reach out to outsourcing businesses, like KO Business Solutions, for support due to increasing production demands. This time of the year can generate more inbound calls, delivery requests, and temporary staffing need. Although, outsourcing can be beneficial to a company all year round – which we will discuss in our next blog coming soon, “The Ugly Truth About Recruiters – Part 2”. There are many benefits to utilizing an outsourcing company during the holiday season, but for now, let’s focus on the main three: 1) saves your business money, 2) improves your business’s service, and 3) reduces risk for your business.

Save Money

Outsourcing saves you money by limiting the time you spend as an organization trying to bring in the workers necessary to meet your demand during the hiring process. Typically, an outsource partner will have available staff to deploy to your project. If a partner needs to ramp up to meet your demand, they have the processes and team in place to do it quickly and take it off your plate. Outsource partners can help you defray training costs over time. Outsource organizations have defined training and on-boarding processes that can enhance the speed with which employees become operational. Finally, an outsource partner will help you realize savings based upon employee wages and benefits. These costs are absorbed by the partner. As we mention later in this blog, coupling these savings with the fact that employment risk is assumed by the partner- through an outsource strategy, you reduce the internal stress on employees that can create turnover risk and the need to rehire on the fly and reduce any unemployment impact that you otherwise would experience as an organization.

 

Improve Service

Outsourcing a portion of your business or a new demand can have significant and immediate impact on the service levels of your overall business. Through outsourcing, you are allowing the focus to remain on your core business. Time is the most valuable factor in maintaining or driving towards success. Protecting your time and the time of your experts through outsourcing new or growing needs allows you and your staff to improve processes towards better efficiency. In turn, a more efficient process will improve the overall quality of service your business provides. Be mindful in the selection process of choosing your outsourcing partner. When selecting a partner who is an expert in the service of your outsourcing need, your guaranteeing a high service level for your customers that will serve as an extension of your business. An expert tip during selection is to choose an outsourcing partner who utilizes software and processes different from your current software and processes, so you can request access to software for testing and use. You may find that these new software and processes can better serve your current business.

Reduce Risk

Since you’re being careful to select outsourcing companies who are only experts in the services you need and they provide, you can be confident that these companies are know and meet the compliance demands of the specific services they will be providing. Taking on a temporary or immediate need yourself, could put potential risk on your business if your HR is not familiar with or scaled appropriately to meet the compliance demands that result. Financial risk comes right alongside of the regulations and compliance requirements of a new or immediate service, as most times, if the compliance requirements are not met, substantial fees can result from local, state, or government laws. Reduce financial risk by turning to an outsource business highly experienced in a specific service. Other risks may be reduced through utilizing an experienced outsource company, such as staff turnover, poor employer reviews, HR complaints, client satisfaction, and a diminished service level.

If your business has not yet utilized an outsource company, for the reasons stated above and more, there is no better time to try than 2020. KO Business Solutions is an experienced outsource company that provides many types of businesses support during the holiday season, including call center support, staffing support, and compliance-related services. We consider ourselves to be an extension of your business – one that you can call on for temporary or immediate projects and needs throughout the year. We work alongside your Human Resources and Operations departments to meet and exceed the service levels of your clients, and since we’re experienced, we’ve devised proven methodologies throughout our offerings to ensure your business receives only the highest of quality. Call us today if you would like to discuss how we can help advance your business forward!

KO Customer Spotlight – ECSI

KO Customer Spotlight – ECSI

As we celebrate our 3 year anniversary, we couldn’t be more proud of the partnerships we’ve developed with our highly valued clients. We would like to take a moment to spotlight loan management company, ECSI.

I was able to speak with Director of Servicing Operations, Mike Bowman, about ECSI’s service offerings, business challenges and even, what he believes is on the horizon when it comes to staffing and retaining great employees.  I’m excited to share these insights with you!

Q. So Mike, what would you say is challenging about managing a call center in the world of loan management today vs. 5-10 years ago?

A. I think you could ask that same question regardless of industry, Shannon. When anyone contacts your call center today they continue to expect correct, friendly, and helpful assistance, but they also don’t want to wait on hold and they want to be able to contact you through the channel of their choice.

In order to accommodate our customers today we use self-help IVRs, live chat, email, and text messaging in addition to phones as communication channels. Three years ago digital communication made up 10% of our overall traffic. Today, it accounts for 40% of our overall traffic!

Q. Wow!  That’s interesting.  I can imagine many of your competitors see that change as well.  How does ECSI ensure what their offering stands out among the competition?

A. We believe our staff is the number one difference. The company spends a lot of time training staff to become industry and subject matter experts in all things loan servicing. Our clients (and their students) get access to highly skilled business partners; people who are knowledgeable but also creative in solving complex and unique challenges.

Secondly, our quality of work. We take great pride in our productivity, but also our quality assurance. While there are a large number of entities that audit us and watch our work, no one is harder on ECSI than ECSI. We invest heavily in checking our work from legal, accuracy, regulatory, and factual perspectives so our clients never have to worry about the quality of work we provide them.

Q. I love that…  “No one is harder on ECSI than ECSI”.  Aside from the training you mentioned, how else does ECSI invest in their staff and keep them engaged?

A. Employee engagement has always been in the top 5 objectives ECSI sets for itself each year. We began a strategic effort to improve employee engagement in 2017 when we noted how high our turnover rate was. We wanted to create a culture where employees didn’t just “stick around” but willingly contributed their very best effort.

Since 2017 our turnover rate has significantly improved and people are staying with the company. For example, during 2018, 52% of our staff had been with the company less than just one year. Now, in April of 2019, just 21% of our staff has been here less than one year.

Some things ECSI does to keep staff engaged are 1) employee led department meetings, 2) career pathing, 3) formal training paths, 4) job shadowing, 5) regular team huddles and employee / supervisor one-to-ones, 6) company meetings, and 7) monthly lunches with our company executive.

Q. Wow!  It sounds like the staff at ECSI has many reasons to stay motivated and contribute.  In working with ECSI, I can say that I’ve felt that positive energy.  I’d also say that in a short amount of time, KO Business Solutions and ECSI have forged a strong partnership. Would you agree?

A. We like the KO Management. They are seasoned service and operations pros. It is not uncommon for our two groups to share ideas, collaborate on service projects, or troubleshoot problems together. Each group has its strengths and we have found that our backgrounds and experiences work well together.

Should you find yourself in need of hiring help and are looking for a true partner – not just a vendor, we hope you’ll contact us to talk about your business needs.  I’d like to thank Mike Bowman, Director of Servicing Operations at ECSI, again for speaking with me and allowing me to share his thoughts!  For more information on ECSI, please visit their website.