There are so many things to remember when outsourcing your BPO or call center to the Philippines. Here are a few outsourcing tips that come to the top of my head. When Outsourcing to the Philippines:
1. Always use licensed software! If you run an outsourcing company in the Philippines with fake software, you will get caught. You will have an disgruntled employee who will report you. This is a circumstance to avoid at all costs. You also have the risk of running outdated software, as updates are generally disabled with pirate copies. Additionally, most pirate software has viruses installed right on the install disk! You are doomed before you ever get started outsourcing.
2. Test your employees, not just for English skills with ProSpeak, but test them for drugs, TB, and pregnancy before you officially hire them. You don’t want to hire a pregnant girl if you don’t have to! She gets two months paid leave at delivery.
3. Maintain an accurate record of employee infractions. Tardiness should not be tolerated. Infractions should be written up and signed by both parties. Protect yourself. Laws in the Philippines are skewed to favor the employee, you need to be in a position to prove your side.
4. Sacks of rice are cheap (P1200) and make much appreciated bonuses for your outsourced workers in the Philippines! You can feed their whole family for weeks!
5. By Philippine labor law, you will have to pay every employee one month salary bonus for the portion of the year they have worked. It’s called the 13th month pay. Budget for it now because it will mean a large outlay in December, when you need it most! There are some exceptions, but generally not for call center or BPO employees.
6. When you rent an office, it’s likely you will have to pay a few small “tips” to the fire marshal and the fire extinguisher salesman, the electrician and the building inspector. Accept it and move on. Also, it is likely that you will need four months rent up front, and you will have to write post dated checks for the balance. Yes, we know it’s weird writing all those checks, but that’s how it’s done in the Philippines, get used to it.
7. When your company is big enough, think about outsourcing your payroll to a local payroll company or your bank. They best know how to understand all the rules of doing business and paying your employees in the Philippines.
8. When choosing a physical building location for your call center outsourcing company in the Philippines be sure that there is no contract in place to provide exclusive internet to the building by one provider only. It defeats the purpose of having backup internet from another provider if they aren’t allowed to install in your building. This has happened to me, we had to move buildings!
9. Wherever you get your BPO office, air conditioners could be a large upfront expense. Buy the best you can afford and be sure you have enough horsepower to adequately cool the whole room. You don’t want your call center employees falling out or sleeping because the office is too hot! Clean your filters at least weekly.
10. Always consider wind, rain, flooding possibilities (disaster plan) when planning for your BPO or call center outsourcing location in the Philippines. Ask other people near you, other tenants details about the last storm. Find out if the front steps of your building are flooded out during a heavy rain. Always store enough gas to run your generators for at least three days.
11. Avoid the foreigner tax. Always have your trusted #1 girl assistant take care of starting up the business for you. Let her do as much as she can, you just sign the papers. For example, she will go out and search office space for you, take pictures, report back, you choose, then negotiate the rent for you.
12. Feed your employees lunch in the office. The less time they spend in an elevator shaft and waiting in line for lunch the better for you. It seems ALL Filipinos MUST go to lunch at 12 noon, you can help them avoid the daily crush by feeding them in the office.
Contact PI Outsource when you need more advice on outsourcing your call center or BPO to the Philippines. Remember we can help you skip all the steps above. We can place managed outsourced labor in our existing offices in the Philippines for between $5 and $8 an hour depending on the task.