The Ultimate Guide to Data Entry Outsourcing
With so many moving parts to running a business, outsourcing time-consuming and tedious tasks like data entry is best for your business.
Data entry is a tedious and time-consuming task that’s essential for many companies to operate. Most individuals find data entry a boring task they would rather not do. Company leaders often choose to outsource their data entry projects rather than hiring new full-time employees or overwhelming their existing staff with a mundane job.
Outsourcing is a proven business strategy to complete the necessary tasks while improving efficiency and the bottom line.
We’ll go over everything you should know before outsourcing your data entry project to ensure it goes right.
What is Data Entry Outsourcing
Data entry outsourcing refers to the outsourcing provider completing any of your data entry projects such as:
- Order entry
- Invoice entry
- Transcribing documents
- Entry of survey data
- Converting paper data to elect
- Inputting back-office accounting data
- Data entry of product details
- Inputting customer data to a CRM
You can outsource any of your data entry tasks to a third party. Many outsourcing providers take on specialty or unique projects and customize their services to fit the needs of their clients.
Once you have a relationship with an outsourcing provider, it’s easy to pass the torch when a time-consuming data entry project comes up.
What Are the Benefits of Data Entry Outsourcing?
The top three benefits of data entry outsourcing are:
- Cost savings
- An increase in productivity
- Speed and accuracy
In everyday operations, it’s easy for businesses to get bogged down with lackluster and time-consuming data entry work.
Some businesses continuously have a great deal of data entry tasks that are essential for keeping things running smoothly. It can take one or more full-time employees to handle the workload for some companies.
Here are more details on the three benefits of data entry outsourcing:
1. Cost Savings
Hiring staff in-office to tackle the data entry workload is costly. You have the time and expenses for headhunting, interviewing, and onboarding. Then, you have to fork out salaries, benefits, employee taxes, supplies, and office space.
There are also times when your data entry project is complete, and there’s no work for the employee that you now have on staff, which is a whole new set of issues.
With the time and money it takes to in-source, data entry outsourcing is a no-brainer. You only pay for the services you need when you need them – nothing more, nothing less.
Outsourcing data entry means you don’t have to invest in the technology and software needed to get the job done accurately and quickly.
Of course, technology is forever changing, and staying up-to-date is costly at times. The outsourcing provider will fork out the cost for any technology and maintenance needed.
If you choose an outsourcing provider overseas, they commonly have lower cost of living, wages, and overhead costs to run a business. The data entry outsourcing providers in these countries provide their services at a much lower rate than in the US.
Many countries have highly skilled professionals that are educated and experienced to deliver excellent products at a lower cost.
2. Increase Productivity
Outsourcing data entry means you have a team ready and waiting to tackle your projects quickly. Your existing staff can focus on the core business functions and tasks that drive more revenue — music to every company leader’s ears.
After all, while needed, data entry isn’t typically a business function that directly increases revenue.
If you chose to insource data entry, you would need to pull an existing employee off production to tackle the job. If not, you have to spend the time and resources it takes to find, hire, onboard, and train new staff to handle it.
Focusing on data entry in-office will ultimately lead to decreased production in other more critical areas of the business.
3. Get It Done Quickly and Accurately
When you have an outsourcing provider that you can trust to get the job done accurately and on time, it’s simple to send over new data entry tasks for them to tackle right away.
Most data entry outsourcing providers have an existing team that’s experienced, skilled, and qualified to get the work done. When you have bigger data entry jobs, the provider has the staff and resources to put several workers on the task to complete it in no time.
When you partner with an outsourcing provider with an excellent track record, you will receive high-quality work done by professionals with years of training and experience. The provider also has the latest tools to get your data entry work done quickly and accurately to minimize costly mistakes.
Options for Data Entry Outsourcing
Outsourcing is done in a few ways:
- Onshore outsourcing – When you outsource data entry onshore, you hire a company that is in the same country as you. The location is attractive, but this is the most costly form of outsourcing.
- Nearshore outsourcing – Outsourcing data entry nearshore is hiring a provider that is near but not in the same country. An example would be if your business is in California and you hire a company in Mexico.
- Offshore outsourcing – When you outsource data entry offshore, you hire a provider in another country that is far from your business. An example would be if your company is in New York and you hire an outsourcing provider in the Philippines. Offshore Outsourcing is the cheapest way to get the job done.
All outsourcing options are the same as you hiring a third-party company to complete your data entry processes.
What To Ask Before Outsourcing Your Data Entry
Get the answers to these six important questions before outsourcing your data entry tasks:
- Does the Provider Have the Software and Technology Needed To Get the Job Done?
- What Are Your Security Risks?
- Does the Provider Understand Your Company and Needs?
- How Much Will Your Data Entry Projects Cost?
- What Other Services Can You Outsource to the Provider?
- Can the Provider Meet Your Deadlines?
Just like with most companies, not all data entry outsourcing providers are created equal. You want to be sure you partner with a capable company that you work well with.
1. Does the Provider Have the Software and Technology Needed To Get the Job Done?
A reputable company with the right resources takes pride in maintaining top-of-the-line technology and software to deliver accurate work quickly. Outdated technology slows your data entry project; also, if they’re relying on workers alone, you have the risk of human error.
Some companies don’t have the resources to stay up-to-date with the latest tools to handle all of your data entry projects quickly and accurately.
2. What Are Your Security Risks?
Reputable data entry outsourcing companies have the right policies, procedures, and software needed to protect your data. Ask the provider the hard questions before hiring them to ensure your data is safe in their hands.
Without a doubt, there are some security risks when providing a third-party company with valuable data related to your business. When you work with a reputable data entry outsourcing provider, the good news is that your risks are typically low.
Do your due diligence to be sure you hire a company that you can trust with your critical data.
3. Does the Provider Understand Your Company and Needs?
You’ll want to be sure the data entry outsourcing provider you hire knows about your business and exactly what you’re looking to achieve. When they are on the same page, you have a good chance of them meeting (or exceeding) your expectations.
Before you take the leap to hire a data entry outsourcing provider, you’ll want first to map out your exact goals and needs. When you have a clear understanding of the end product you’re needing you can articulate it better to the provider.
4. How Much Will Your Data Entry Projects Cost?
When you know exactly what you need, you can get a cost breakdown for data entry outsourcing. Providers charge a variety of ways depending on your needs. Typically outsourcing providers charge hourly or a flat rate per project.
For example, you might have data entry projects come up from time to time and would pay for the services provided as needed. On the other hand, you might have a data entry project that requires work daily and may pay an hourly or flat rate.
5. What Other Services Can You Outsource to the Provider?
Business functions commonly outsourced are:
- IT services
- Customer service
- Graphic design
- Human Resources
- Web/software development
- Administrative tasks
- Back office support
Keep an eye out for the additional services they offer that would help your business with other essential duties. Are there other services you currently need or are projected to need in the future?
When you find the right company, they will feel like an extension of your business. It’ll be easy to pass off work to them as it comes up, and you can trust it will get done accurately, on time, and for a fair price.
So, it’s best to find a provider that you can work with long-term to reach your goals.
6. Can the Provider Meet Your Deadlines?
You never know when emergency data entry projects might come up, so you want to be sure the company you choose to partner with is flexible and can adapt to your needs. Especially if scaling your business fast is the goal. You’ll want an outsourcing provider that can easily scale as your needs increase.
Some data entry projects just need to get completed at some point with no firm set deadline. Others are critical and cause production delays if not completed on time.
Be sure the date entry outsourcing provider has the staff and resources to get your projects done on time, without fail.
How To Manage Your Data Entry Outsourcing
There are two primary management tools you’ll need:
- Effective Communication
- Project Management Tools
Choosing the right provider is merely the first step of a smooth data entry process. The next step is managing the process correctly. Of course, if the provider is experienced and skilled, they have the best practices down pat and will guide you through it all with ease.
Effective Communication Is Essential To Managing Your Outsourcing
Effective communication is critical for most projects to run smoothly, but it’s super important when having a third-party company handling some of your business processes. Miscommunication with data entry outsourcing can lead to errors that can cause a whole bunch of headaches and money loss.
Be sure when you start a relationship with a data entry outsourcing provider, you discuss means of communication, especially if you and the outsourcing provider have a big-time difference. Ask the company when and how is the best way to contact them. Know who will oversee your project and the best way to contact them.
Ask the company what communication tools they use. They’re so many handy tools that are easily accessible that make project management organized and painless. Effective communication tools commonly used are:
- Instant messaging – When you need to do a quick check-in or questions come up, instant messaging is an easy way to get answers fast. You can also send files through many instant messaging programs.
- Video Conferencing – Sometimes, it makes things much more effective when you share your screen for better clarity when explaining things. When working with a data entry outsourcing provider, you want to be sure they completely understand your needs, so they deliver the product exactly how you want it. When in a meeting and it’s easier to show specifics, share your screen to make it easier to understand.
- File storage – Data entry outsourcing requires a lot of file sharing. Programs like Google Drive allow you to save files then pull them up on any device by simply logging in. Sending a link to the file will enable others to access it whenever needed easily.
Project Management Tools Keep You Organized and on the Same Page
Project management tools allow you to monitor your project while keeping the focus on more critical tasks. It’s great because you can check in and see where production stands at any time.
The best project management tools enable you to:
- Assign and delegate
- Track status
- Share documents
- Monitor production
- Simplify workflow
When utilized correctly, project management tools simplify working with a team on a specific task by holding all parts of the job in one place that all contributors can easily access.
How To Find the Best Data Entry Outsourcing Provider
Establishing and maintaining a solid relationship is the key to success when outsourcing. The best data entry outsourcing provider is competent to deliver what you need on time. Since you will be working closely with a third-party company, you’ll want to choose a company you can communicate easily with, is knowledgeable, and cost-efficient.
If you choose to hire an offshore data entry outsourcing provider to reap the benefits of lower cost, be sure English is fluently spoken. When the company speaks and writes well in English, it will make for a much smoother working relationship without miscommunication frustrations.
Most company leaders understand the importance of company culture. Company culture is the way people within the company work together, their values and beliefs. It involves the attitudes and how things are done around the office. Winning company culture will undoubtedly add to the success of a business.
Data entry outsourcing is hiring a company that will act as your partner by helping you complete some of your business essentials. Company culture between your business and the providers is just as important.
The provider will be operating almost as an extension of your business. No, you probably won’t invite the provider to your next happy hour, but choosing a provider with a similar culture will help foster a successful partnership long-term.
When interviewing with a data entry outsourcing provider, pay attention to their interest level in your business and goals. You want to partner with a company that is on your team, rooting for you to win, and who is on board with helping achieve your goals.
What To Do Next
Data entry outsourcing is an excellent business decision since it gets the time-consuming and tedious task completed on time for less money. It also helps your company increase production and focus on the core functions and growth.
Choosing the right data entry outsourcing partner is crucial for a successful long-term partnership. Be sure to work with a capable, reliable, and experienced company to avoid a bunch of headaches and mistakes. Having a similar company culture will help foster a great working relationship long term.
Contact Awesome CX to partner with an awesome data entry outsourcing provider, increase your production, and improve efficiency.
The Costs Of Training New Employees, Including Hidden Expenses | Forbes
Four Reasons Your Startup Should Consider Outsourcing | Entrepreneur