The latter part of the year means it is rainy season for a specific part of the globe, which is where majority of the outsourcing companies are located. We have previously written about the blackout in India with "Massive Blackout in India Tests Outsourcing Companies' Back-up Plan" as the title of the article. The article relays the recent issue about India's electric consumption being over the top and causing alarm to both residents and businesses in the country, primarily those who engage with international businesses like that of the outsourcing industry. But it is not only the power shortages that companies should prepare for because there are also natural calamities that may happen which can also affect one's business. Bad weather is bad for the business, as many would put it.
Businesses in different industries based in the northern part of the Philippines were forced to halt their operations because of the heavy monsoon rains that fell during the early days of August this year. The heavy rain that happened has caused for major cities in the Philippines to be submerged in flood. Unforeseen circumstances like these can affect a business' revenue and flow of operations which is why it is highly recommended for business owners looking to delegate their operations to an off-shoring partner to know whether a contingency plan is in place. During the calamity, the Philippine government has issued notices that all operations including that of the BPO industry are to be stopped and have the employees go home. Business process outsourcing companies have complied with the government notice but are still hopeful that the bad weather would stop and that their employees and their respective families are safe. The situation significantly improved in the following days and some employees were able to go back to work and businesses were able to resume their operations.
For companies offering contact center services, one of the proposed measures during unforeseen national calamities was to forward or redirect incoming calls to a different site that is not affected. This way, there won't be an opportunity to miss any calls that might be converted into revenue or sales.
As for those that do not have other facilities in the country, it is best to give the client a prompt notice of the situation and if feasible, suggest a work from home or remote access alternative. It is also common practice among companies to have a skeletal force, to be comprised of team members who live near the area and who are not affected by the rains.
During the calamity, call centers such as Convergys (NYSE:CVG) have turned a part of their facility to serve as evacuation areas for employees who are stranded to guarantee their safety. Business process outsourcing companies value their employees and reports of workers' rights violations are now being acted upon by the Business Process Association of the Philippines (BPAP).
A sound contingency plan and business continue plan could be a parameter to be considered when choosing the right outsourcing partner for your company. Great weather and effective strategies can always bring businesses to cloud nine.
Author: Jamee C.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.