Modern businesses simply cannot do without data. Everything from optimizing internal operations to reducing wastages, data in many ways is the life-blood of modern organizations. Data entry continues to an important process for almost all verticals within the organization, including sales, marketing and client relationship management. While setting up an internal data entry team might be too much of an investment, working with a data entry outsourcing partner is a viable alternative for many businesses.
In many businesses, data entry is often an essential or even crucial task that can make or break the business’s operations. However, we also know that data entry can be repetitive and time-consuming, and at the moment, not all data entry operations can be reliably automated, and so we have to assign at least one person to execute the process.
To tackle this issue, many businesses are turning to data entry outsourcing services, allowing the data entry process to be executed off-site, and so our valuable employees can instead focus their attention and time on more important tasks that can help achieve the business’s objectives.
Table of Contents
What Is Data Entry Outsourcing
Data entry outsourcing is, simply put, hiring external help to handle the data entry tasks needed by your organization. The actual tasks may vary depending on your business’s needs and objectives, but they can include:
- Document management services
- Image data entry
- Invoice data entry
- Offline data entry service like forms processing
- Filling in MS Excel sheets for back-office accounting
- Survey data entry
- Raw data conversion and data input
- Transcribing handwritten document
- Claims data entry
- Product data entry
So, why might you need to outsource the data entry process? The main purpose is to free up your employees from the need of executing the repetitive and time-consuming data entry tasks, while at the same time eliminating the need of hiring a data entry specialist and/or building your data entry team.
In short, you can save both time and money by allowing your organization to focus on core business processes that can grow your business.
Data entry, albeit seemingly simple, often demands specific expertise and diligence, especially regarding accuracy, and an honest data entry mistake can actually cost a lot. In 2019, a seemingly simple data entry error caused a public school in Oklahoma a whopping $2.1 million shortage in revenue, and that is just one of the so many similar cases.
Even a small data entry mistake can cost your business a lot, and a third-party professional data entry expert can help maintain the accuracy of your data to avoid these mistakes, but also to generate accurate reports that you can use to make better-informed decisions for your business.
Oworkers has offered data entry and content moderation services since 2013 and can manage data outsourcing operations in more than 20 languages with trained data entry experts from all around the world.
Outsourcing to the right service provider will also guarantee you are getting accurate and error-free results from the data entry operations.
How To Set Up Your Data Entry Outsourcing
Step 1: Figure Out Your Needs
The first and arguably most important step is to conduct a thorough analysis of your business’s needs and objectives. Evaluate all business processes that involve data entry across various departments, and go through the different steps these processes are being carried out at the moment.
You might want to check whether the data entry process can be thoroughly eliminated, and figure out whether outsourcing this specific data entry task will be beneficial. Ask key questions like whether it will help improve your efficiency or reduce your operating cost.
Step 2: List Your Requirements
Once you’ve identified your data entry outsourcing needs, you can break down the specific things you’d expect from your future data entry service provider, including but not limited to:
- Budget: depending on your objective, how much are you willing to spend on your data entry needs
- Workload: whether the outsourcing provider has the required manpower to handle your data entry operations, quantity-wise.
- Technology requirements: whether you’ll need specific software (i.e. OCR software) to fulfill your data entry needs
- Data security: security is obviously important for any data, but if you are especially processing sensitive data, more advanced security measures might be necessary
- Deadline: how fast you’d like each data entry task should be completed
- Customer support: whether you’ll need 24/7 customer support from your service provider
- Scalability: how fast you’ll expand your business and how fast your data entry needs will grow
Step 3: Create a Shortlist
Based on your requirements, prepare a list of prospective service providers. Nowadays you can easily search for outsourcing data entry services on the internet, but you’ll still need to dig deeper about each of them. Check their website about their past clients, experiences, and the specifics of their services, and check previous clients’ reviews/testimonies, if any. Make a shortlist of at least four companies as your alternatives.
Step 4: Contacting Possible Partners
Schedule a consultation with your selected providers on your shortlist. Some of them might also offer a quick quote feature so you can get an estimate for your cost by just filling out a simple form, which can be useful when you want to filter out candidates based on budget.
Communicate your service requirements, and study their offers carefully. Make sure they understand what your needs are, and on the other hand, you should ask about their methods.
Step 5: Setup Integrations and Monitoring System
Once you’ve made your choice, your chosen provider should come up with a plan for transition. Ask carefully what will you need to prepare on your end for this transition period, and properly plan the transition period. If you are working with an experienced outsourcing service, this shouldn’t be an issue as they typically have an integration system in place that you can simply follow right away.
You should also prepare a monitoring system on your end to assess the performance of your new outsourcing partner. Gather feedback from everyone in your team who is impacted by the transition, and review the data entry process regularly to understand whether the decision to outsource has provided a significant benefit for your organization, and which areas can be further improved.
Outsourcing your data entry process can provide significant benefits for your organization especially in saving more time and money. By outsourcing the repetitive data entry process, you can free up your valuable team and let them focus on core tasks that can help your business grow.
However, choosing the right partner is still very important, and the success of your data entry outsourcing would depend on whether you and your outsourcing partner are properly aligned in pursuing your data entry objectives.
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