Using Offshore Teams as Part of Business Contingency
What is contingency and business continuity planning?
There’s an old saying that if you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail. Of course, no business owner wants to fail. You work hard on product development, customer acquisition and staff retention – and while those are all important for the future of your business, they are not future-proofing your business. That’s where business continuity planning comes in.
A contingency or business continuity plan identifies the points within your business that are most susceptible to risk. If these stress points do fail in the future, your plan will prepare you for ways to recover as quickly as possible.
When we think about contingency planning, we often think of natural disasters. However, the way you deal with earthquakes and floods will require emergency responses. Contingency planning is about understanding the long term risks to your company and how you will recover from them.
No business is completely immune to shocks and risks. A tourism business can be destroyed by a few seasons of extreme weather. A retail company can be hamstrung by changes to logistics pathways. A software provider can be shut down by new laws and regulations. Taking the time to consider these risks will future-proof your business and also allow you to see new opportunities.
How can businesses take advantage of outsourcing services in times of unforeseen challenges?
The early 2020s have shown that businesses need to be resilient and flexible to survive. Those businesses which were already geographically diversified have fared the best during the upheaval of the past few years. Companies which were rigid or which relied too much on centralised operations have been hit the hardest.
But the challenges of natural disasters and a global pandemic forced many business owners to change the way they operate. For some, that has meant shutting their doors forever. And for others, it has provided exciting opportunities – such as outsourcing.
Working from home has become the ‘new normal’. CEOs and human resource managers have come to realise that many business operations don’t need to be done in an office. Now is the perfect time to test which roles and operations can be moved offshore.
Outsourcing parts of your business can actually strengthen it, especially in times of unforeseen challenges. This is for two main reasons.
One, outsourcing forces you to look at the fundamental ways that your business operates so that you can determine what’s going to work in an offshore setting. Very few business owners take the time to really understand the nuts and bolts of how their business actually runs – you will be surprised by what can be chopped, changed and moved.
Secondly, outsourcing creates a geographically and culturally diverse workforce that strengthens your whole business. Think the spokes of a wheel. Even if one area is drastically impacted by, for example, a pandemic or extreme weather event, other areas can take over. In a more drastic example, if you are no longer able to offer your core product, it’s a lot easier for your team to pivot to other peripheral products or another vertical altogether.
Many people think that outsourcing is simply about shoving unwanted but necessary parts of the business into an offshore location. But an offshore company that uses outsourcing successfully understands that their offshore operations are just as important as any other part of the business and works to strengthen the company as a whole.
How offshoring to the Philippines can help companies ensure business continuity
A business continuity plan can’t take into account every potential risk. What it can do is have strategies in place so that your company can recover and keep operating after any disruption.
If your main onshore office is shut down, and you’ve taken advantage of offshoring Philippines staff, your backend operations can keep going while you work on your recovery.
A lot of people don’t realise that business continuity should focus on protecting the core business. That allows you and your senior staff to decide how to cope with the unique risk or disaster that you are facing, without having to worry about the small details. Your highly trained offshore staff will continue to take care of the administrative and processing tasks that can’t be sidelined while you figure out the next steps.
Big brands that use outsourcing and offshoring as part of their business continuity procedures
Before the pandemic kicked off in 2020, design startup Canva had just 5% of its workforce working remotely. Now, the majority of their staff are remote. What started off as a necessity has now become part of the company’s culture. Canva understands that a flexible workforce is key to its strength and it announced that, as restrictions ease, staff will only be required to come into the office 8 times a year. This isn’t a small company; Canva has more than 60 million users worldwide, and a staff of more than 1000 people. In the Philippines, Canva employs designers, writers, content creators and engineers to ensure a constant stream of content and uptime.
Other large companies that offshore to the Philippines include Samsung and Amazon. These aren’t for cost-savings measures, but rather to ensure that they can provide tech and support services 24/7.
Offshoring is not just for the big guys. Family-owned Australian moving company MiniMovers revolutionised moving by offering a hybrid model. As their business expanded across Australia, they offshored part of their operations to the Philippines to make sure their customer support was always available.
Offshoring part of your business to the Philippines is a smart solution for companies that want to ensure business continuity in times of crisis and uncertainty. A geographically diverse workforce means you can offer improved customer service, content delivery, and continuous back office operations, no matter what is happening. And with online collaboration easier than ever, there’s never been a better time to see how outsourcing can make your business stronger.