How to Outsource Your Data Entry
A report from Business Wire predicts that in the four years between 2019-2023 the outsourcing of data entry is expected to grow by more than $350 million. It’s also expected that organizations who outsource data entry can expect to reduce related operating costs by 40-60%.
Why Outsourcing Data Entry is a Good Idea
Whatever your business specialty is, chances are it is not data entry, but this is one task that many businesses need to get done regularly. It can draw your employees away from your overall business goals and prevent growing your business in a meaningful way. Companies that provide outsourced data entry services care as much about their business as you do about yours. This means they can provide systems that will allow for faster entry of data, and better integration with your workplace system. You may even find that sharing technology will make other company tasks easier. It will give managers the freedom to manage their teams’ ideas more and processes less, which can lead to better productivity and innovation across the board.
Common Forms of Data Entry
Doing your data entry in-house means investing a lot of resources into a task that many employees consider busywork. An invested employee needs to feel like they are part of your company’s mission. Someone hired and trained for data entry only may seek other positions fairly soon after training, forcing you to spend more resources on training new staff. Your choice of a data outsourcing company is not one to be taken lightly. Not only does the outsourcing company need to be efficient in the work that they do, but you also need to be able to trust them with sensitive data, and feel confident that they can handle all privacy and security needs so that your clients and employees stay protected. Common data entry services may include
- Entering Claims Data
- Entering Product Data
- Working on Excel Spreadsheets for Accounting
- Entering Survey Data
- Converting Raw Data
- Processing Forms
Employees that work for data entry companies can either work with onshore staff in the country that may work from their companies office or remotely from home. They might provide services for different businesses, which can keep their work more interesting. There are also companies that operate offshore, in a different country, such as the Philippines or India, which can save money but may also make integration more difficult.
Keeping an in-house data entry staff is not practical for many businesses, especially smaller ones. There may be seasonal spikes in work where an in-house employee has to make a judgement call on whether to prioritize their main job or to take the time to update records. If data is not entered in a timely matter, it makes communication between departments more difficult and reduces productivity as well as morale.
Preparing to Save Money On Data Entry
If you are going to outsource an area of work in your company, it is important to have your ducks in a row. When you take the time to fully analyze your various needs, and what is expected of employees in different departments, you’ll be able to see what areas make the most financial sense to outsource. Before you ask an outsourcing company to share your workload, you’ll need to know what they need to bring in order to get the job done and make sure they can provide those things at a price you can live with. Some areas you’ll need to look at include
- The company’s ability to adapt to change and growth in your business. They should be able to customize tasks when the need arises.
- The ability to provide proper communication and customer support
- The presence of safeguards that will protect the privacy and security of your data
- The presence of proper staffing and skill to get the work done in a timely manner
- The ability to provide the services you need at a reasonable price
Developing a Short List of Potential Outsourcing Partners
List five or six companies that appear to be good candidates to meet your data entry needs, picking one or two favorites. To accomplish this, you’ll need to look at company websites and look for other reviews online that can tell you about their values and the services available. If possible, speak to representatives from the company to get a feel about who will be the best fit. Both your company and the outsourcing company should be comfortable with the impending partnership.
Choose Your Outsourcing Company and Make a Transition Plan
When hiring an outsourcing company, there can be some initial confusion as your own employees adjust their roles and learn how to access the data they need in the new system. It is important to develop a uniform way to collect and retrieve data in order to prevent pieces of important data from getting lost or winding up in the wrong hands. Keeping frustration levels minimal and keeping company data safe need to be the top priorities of everyone involved.
Complete System Integration and Set Up Quality Checks
Once things appear to be fully integrated, it is time to take a closer look. Quality checking random samples can help identify problem spots and foster better communication and efficiency between your company and the outsourcing company. Continuing to cultivate this relationship can help assure that your business resources and put to the best use possible to achieve your goals.