Customer Care/Contact Centre Workgroup
Moderator: John Shabaan, Call Centre Manager, Ken-Tech Data, Kenya
What outsourcing operators are offering services in the particular area?
BPO operators in Kenya offer this service and the representation we had in the focus group were from:
What costs AND Quality/expertise advantages can be demonstrated?
In this area the operators explained that there have a number of technical procedures in place to safe guard their clients’ data – read only capability of the operators’ serves, paper less floors, quality monitoring, recording of all calls, on demand walk in site visits for the clients etc.
This session led to the representatives of the NGO’s asking the operators how would/are they dealing with the following which are concerns to NGO’s outsourcing their work:
opportunity to raise their profile as they seek to attract additional funding. Outsourcing functions like customer care, supply management, contributions management to an operator who will provide them with a world class solution – will then raise their profile. The operators affirmed that they will do business with anyone whether they are a registered NGO or not.
Terminologies: Some NGO’s also expressed a concern about the terminologies in the industry such as Agent – with its negative connotations’. The operators are moving away from such terminologies to more appropriate designations such as Customer Service Representative or Technical Service Representative
We did not get into the costs advantages in the focus group.
What examples are there of successful outsourcing in this area?
There are a number of operators in this area who run the entire customer care function for their clients and others who train their clients in this area. From the representatives in the forum the:
Direct Channel –Simba Tech: Training KCB contact center staff
Kencall – Orange Telkom customer care
Ken-Tech Data – KDN butterfly customer care
What factors should be included in a service level agreement in this area of activity.
In this area NGO’s raised concerns that they face as well and wanted to hear from the operators how they handle the same issues as well as how this can be put down as part of the agreement.
Mitigating Factors: NGO’s would like to know what mitigating factors the operators have in place in the SLA as well as their basic operations to prevent a breach of confidentiality. As mentioned previously the area of costs and quality.
The areas of concern to NGO’s that can be included in the SLA and in some cases are specified in SLA’s in other markets and industries are:
Staff turnover & compensation
Investment in & incentives for staff
Electronic & physical security of the account
Software systems utilized for the account
Equipment assigned specifically to the account
Structured exposure of staff to sensitive client data
Creating an enabling environment for account staff
Penalties and clients recourse when breach of contract occurs
Financial Services Workgroup
Moderator: Barry Ryan, CEO, Fintech,Kenya
This group consisted of approximately 30 people of whom 20% were from providers and the rest from the NGO sector. Participation was good with many comments being raised from the participants.
The four objectives were listed on the screen and discussed as follows:
What outsourcing operators are offering services in the Financial Sector?
Operators in the financial sector included companies such Kenswitch which provided shared ATM’s to a community of banks. Other companies were identified providing
Participants also noted that there was a need for
What cost and quality/expertise advantages can be demonstrated?
This was discussed in a generic sense with recognition that shared services provided
Provide employees with a vertical career paths e.g. IT employees in banks may have better prospects working for specialist IT outsourcing company.
What examples are there for successful outsourcing in this area?
This point was partly covered in the first question. In addition to mentioning Kenswitch other examples relating to the microfinance and SACCO sectors were given.
What factor should be included in a Service Level Agreement (SLA)?
The definition of a Service Level Agreement was discussed. In some participant’s opinion the SLA is an opening document used to engage a client prior to full long term contracts. Others believed that the SLA came after contract award as a method of servicing the project over a period of years.
The SLA should contain amongst others the following sections -
Details of the Parties
A number of participants explained that SLA should be simple and as brief as possible. There should be a preference for “plain English” and no fine print. Trust was considered an important intangible and the importance of the provider placing themselves in the shoes of the customer is important.
Pro-Active Management of the SLA is also considered essential for success. Regular meetings with the providers and review of performance are important activities to ensure a successful relationship.
It was noted that the SLA provides a continuum between the end-user and the provider via an internal management point. SLA may also be between departments within the same company – “Internal Customers” and may be part of the overall delivery chain of serving the customer.
Other Discussion Points
In addition to the four objectives the participants were asked how the NGO sector could benefit from shared services.
Distribution of Funds – A number of global NGOs had funds available but had difficulty in the disbursement due to the multitude of reporting conditions given by the donors.
Financial Management – Smaller NGOs quickly out grow their capacity to track funds and provide proper accounts.
These NGO’s would benefit from an organization providing on demand/web based accounting services.
The importance of being able to provide an Impact Analysis to the donors was discussed and again a central service provider would be useful.
Numerous opportunities could be seen for providing services to the unbanked.
The group reviewed the objectives and recapped the key points for presentation to the wider conference audience.
I would like to thank those who attended and provided excellent feedback for their participation in the discussion and trust the above accurately reflects the session.
Human Resources Workgroup
Moderator: Caroline Juma, CEO, Kenya Computer Recruitment
Salary survey when negotiating with donors. BPOs to assist in finding out salary scales within NGOs.
Job evaluation for NGOs rely on renown methodology.
BPOs to link with other services providers to make analysis
BPOs t link informal sector to govt and budget allocation
Gap between informal sector and government
Policy and ethics guidelines development within NGOs
Working with specific NGOs to formulate policies
HR processes- BPO develop that function also one stop shop to offer that specialized social responsibility/ service in NGOs.
Out sourcing the function of HR management BPOs moving out of Nairobi.
Think of the smaller NGOs outside of Nairobi especially in remote areas ad develop products focused on them so the NGOs can do their own work.
BPO payroll, data handling /reports
CV profiling, job profiling, and match so NGOs don't keep advertising.
Interpretation of labour laws. Both as a surcharge or have a BPO do this function for different NGOs.
Upgrading training -social services to include new technology especially use of computers /PD A's etc
Develop training also on the soft skills, understanding of the challenges facing HR when out there.
OD and transition and change process from initial charge management phase to implementation.
Advisory as part of social function
Social responsibility -organizations taking responsibility of the places they set up. Safety, health , occupational hazard of the human resource in set up places /locations.
Work permit related issues are a nightmare for NGOs
Credible BPOs to work on proposals for NGOs
BPOs to recognize other outsourcing centers/ services .e.g. cleaning transport etc
BPO society to come up with ethics that govern them.
HR communications largely through mails and SMS systems that can manage such can be made for the NGOs.
Moderator: Adam Bricker, CIO World Vision International, USA
This group consisted of approximately 35 people of whom ~35% were from providers and the rest from the NGO sector. Participation was good, with several specific examples of successful outsourcing from both the NGO and the provider community.
The four objectives were listed on the screen and discussed as follows:
Examples of successful outsource in IT across service management, office equipment, data entry, etc.
The group largely agreed that there are a number of “tier 2” providers in specific areas (e.g., help desk, hardware services, application development) within the Kenyan market, and thus NGOs seeking to outsource can drive a competitive procurement process across multiple competent providers. However, there are no “tier 1” providers with a broad spectrum of services. Further, it was strongly advised that the NGOs keep some capability in house due to the risks involved with outsourcing to the local tier 2 providers.
The areas that appeared to be the least mature in the market specific to NGOs was in the area of field service management, wherein technicians are having to drive many hundred of kilometers each week in order to reach their internal customers, and are not being leveraged efficiently, invested in for technical skills, and are not recording their actions such that a deeper sense of root cause analyses and economies of scale can be assessed.
Examples of NGOs coming together to aggregate demand, standardize operations, and thus ease outsourcing.
The Rockefeller Foundation has funded a significant effort among NetHope NGOs, including FHI, Save the Children, IRC and World Vision. The purpose of this initiative, among others, is to seek aggregated demand, shared services management, and outsourcing governance. This has been a highly productive initiative to date, with a selected and implemented top-tier global service management system (ServceNow), a standard ITIL-based set of service management processes, and preliminary governance recommendations.
There were other examples of Kenyan NGOs combining forces on a monitoring and evaluation system, and a group discussion ensued on the viability of a field IT service for the Kenyan operations of international and local NGOs. A discussion and joint proposal on this matter continued late into the night and a side meeting the following day.
The group recommended that the providers need to continue to be wary of small NGOs and their ability to accept SOPs, ITIC, etc. necessary to drive the economies of scale and services design necessary for the providers to achieve profitable, scalable services. The larger NGOs need to keep this concern in mind as they chose smaller NGOs with which to partner and achieve these economies of scale. Thus, the Rockefeller-funded work is (or should be) of importance to many of the participants.
Finally, the group discussed the 'control' issues in some organizations and how losing control can place emotional burdens on some leaders and might expose the other skills needed, but not resident in their organization to make the outsource successful (e.g., vendor management, partner management measuring current and future state performance measures). Unless the control issues are dealt with up front, this will make aggregating demand for common services very difficult.