The following are illustrative examples of BPO work I’ve witnessed being accomplished successfully in Vietnam across multiple suppliers. As a caveat, the information has been “sanitized” to make sure I don’t inadvertently reveal sensitive data and get myself into trouble.
Example 1: Review and classify medical diagnosis for medical insurance companies.
Detail: Code diseases, signs and symptoms, abnormal findings, complaints, cross referencing with medical history, and circumstances of injuries/diseases based on the ICD-10 (International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems).
As an add-on to a client’s system, the Vietnam outsourced company developed an OCS software platform that can improve productivity by 25%.
Example 2: Process secured forms (containing sensitive information) for global enterprises in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech.
Detail: A “trenching” concept was developed to unlink sensitive personal data and separate them from secured forms. Different groups of operators working independently in different locations can capture and analyze data and the results can then be merged together. Operators are specially trained for security matters and have mastered the skills to recognize medical terms.
Example 3: Process invoices for clients across multiple industries, e.g. telecommunication, manufacturing, hotel, medical and utility.
Detail: Process invoices that cannot be sufficiently read by OCR software. This includes non-structured invoices, handwritten invoices, faxes, purchase orders, credit notes etc. Sort and categorize invoices as needed. Manage invoice exception queues (this is a larger effort than invoice processing). Data can be exported offline in different text formats or software/interfaces can be developed to export data directly to a client’s ERP system (e.g. SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft). A small amount of invoices is in non-major languages. Operators can handle invoices in 30 different languages.
Example 4: Convert fax orders into various order processing systems for multiple industries, e.g. telecommunication, medical, professional services and finance.
Detail: Process faxed orders that cannot be read by OCR software. Some Vietnam outsourced companies have made the investment into acquiring “Best in Class” OCS software that can automate a large amount of faxed orders. Conversion capability is up to 30 different languages.
Example 5: Provide content management including multi-media, e.g. text, photo, video, website/online.
Detail: For e-commerce – create/update web pages and catalogs of information like text, prices, photos, videos of the products. Also, provide re-touch/clean-up of media (e.g. photos and videos) for better presentation.
For travel agents – manage and update new contents (e.g. hotels, tours, user feedback) in all media.
For residential real estate agencies – manage listings, retouch/post pictures, respond to customer inquiries.
For commercial real-estate agencies – similar to services performed for residential agencies with the addition of creating/updating CAD floor plan drawings. In one case, one company has the capability to create a new floor plan based on “laser” measurement of the home.
Able to work in multiple languages such as English, Spanish, French, German, Spanish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Dutch, Russian and Italian.
And … my favorite example (because I think it is amazingly cool)
The client is a National Postal Service in Europe. The scope is the shipment of mail across the country. The client’s equipment in the local sorting centers read all addresses of letters and parcels automatically with OCR software. For any exception where the machine can’t read an address (e.g. due to missing information), an image of the address is sent to Vietnam.
A Vietnam outsourced operator researches the address in the database and adds the missing information. The Vietnam operator has 19 seconds from the capture of the image to correct the address … this is the cool part, “one-nine” seconds to correct the address! Since the process is part of a real-time movement of the post through the conveyer belt in Europe, a turnaround of 19 seconds is critical as an interruption on the line and can cause a backlog in the system. This allows the National Postal Service to improve their service quality and lower their costs.
High availability and an uninterrupted capture process are absolutely necessary. This Vietnam outsourced company has implemented a flexible capacity management to make sure that the certain number of operators is always available to handle the volume 24/7.
During my research of Vietnam’s BPO companies, this one company stood out in terms of the strength in their processes and capacity management expertise. The majority of this company’s volume (over 75%) is less FTE based (staffing based on dedicated teams) and more deliverable based (price per form, line of data, webpage etc.). The company was able to cross-train staff to be able to work with different clients and processes in order to schedule and balance the capacity real-time. Therefore, the operators’ throughput is much higher and the work content for the operators is much less mundane.
I love to hear from the readers if they have seen good examples of this approach in India, China or the Philippines.