A New Normal For Nearshore
Lessons from COVID-19
New York, New York
As the business world begins to emerge from what we hope will be the worst of the COVID-19 crisis, we are entering what will be a new kind of normal. The unprecedented impact of this largely unforeseen global pandemic will have indelibly affected business practices and wider interactions for the foreseeable future. As experts in nearshore outsourcing, KM² Solutions is no stranger to preparedness. With a business model rooted in providing exceptional, uninterrupted service to its clients; risk mitigation, redundancy, and effective business continuity measures are at the core of our proposition. Of all the unforeseen business challenges that can and do occur, COVID-19 has proved to be our greatest to date. The lessons learned during this time will help set a new benchmark as we look to the future of global business.
KM² SOLUTIONS PANDEMIC RESPONSE
Proactive Employee Safeguarding: The health and wellbeing of all KM2 Solutions employees were at the forefront from the onset. Through the early and aggressive delivery of on-site awareness campaigns, and by leveraging our online learning platform, KM2 was able to effectively educate staff with best health and hygiene practices. Increased on-site sanitization, shift-spacing, distancing measures, and the expansion of company-provided private employee transportation was also immediately implemented to limit any potential exposure. Of the thousands of agents in our employment, not one case of COVID-19 has been reported to date.
Good Corporate Citizenship: KM² Solutions has relied on strong, established relationships with local and national Governments and their respective agencies for open dialogue and a unified approach in adhering to mandates and protocols. In some cases, KM² provided resources to assist these Governments with support efforts on the ground. Through our corporate social responsibility arm ‘KM² Cares’ we will continue to work within our communities of operation and further foster good relations.
The Value of Geographic Diversity: The benefits of a diverse geographic footprint are more often heralded in the event of localized anomalies such as extreme weather situations or communications/infrastructure outages. In the case of a global pandemic, cities and whole countries can be affected to differing degrees. With operations in six countries and ever-changing situations on the ground, KM² was able to lean on this geographic strength to react and adapt to office restrictions and temporary closures. Clients who were in multiple geographic locations were able to maintain significantly higher uptime, even during the height of the crisis.
Work-From-Home (WFH) Implementation: Work-from-home models were already being considered as a long-term strategy for outsourcing; with benefits including cost savings, convenience, productivity, and schedule adherence. While regulatory issues were the fundamental concern, the accelerated rollout of WFH brought about by COVID-19 forced the ultimate test of its viability. KM² Solutions’ technology department was able to swiftly deliver secure WFH solutions with more than 50% of the agent workforce operating under this model very early on in the crisis.
Excellent Technology Infrastructure: The greatest reliance throughout was placed on our technology team and infrastructure. Our technology department was able to not only deliver effective solutions quickly across all facets of our operations but maintain uptime through the implementation of redundancy measures to minimize any potential interruptions for our clients. From software solutions, bandwidth management, and remote troubleshooting for WFH; to providing workforce management solutions as we staggered shifts, every challenge faced was successfully met.
KM² SOLUTIONS LOOKING FORWARD
COVID-19 may have been the toughest test we will collectively face in a lifetime and valuable lessons will have been learned as companies adapt and move forward. Nearshore operations like ours have a proven track record in mitigating risk while offering scalable and flexible services. The onset of this pandemic has further proven our ability to readily adapt to the unpredictable and continue serving our clients under difficult circumstances.
The quick deployment of a work-from-home model, while successfully addressing compliance-related concerns, has shown that the model not only works but combined with greater investment in technology infrastructure and remote compliance monitoring solutions will allow for exponential, cost-effective growth in agent numbers moving forward while reducing on-site density. Supervisory and Program Management roles will also be able to expand their control beyond single-site operations to WFH teams and across multiple locations and countries.
We have seen first-hand the value of our close partnerships with clients, offering them the flexibility to halt operations and quickly ‘snap-back’, demonstrating our ability to scale up as quickly as we scaled down. And with an increased demand for collections as delinquencies rise, we continue to grow new business with existing clients while seeing an increased demand in sectors such as healthcare and eCommerce. While most outsourcing companies have scaled-down operations during this time, KM² has continued to expand its footprint and capacity in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Colombia.
Overall KM² Solutions will emerge stronger, and better positioned in the wake of COVID-19 as we learn from our response, and stress-tested our contingencies. We expect a heightened awareness of the need for effective redundancy and anticipate greater reliance on hybrid strategies such as ours for global business needs moving forward.
ABOUT KM² SOLUTIONS
KM² Solutions offers services to companies within the retail, technology, finance, healthcare, telecommunication, hospitality, consumer goods, automotive and utility sectors. KM² provides clients with a host of different solutions including customer care, receivables management, technical support, sales and marketing, data analytics, and back-office processing. KM² also maintains regulatory compliance with many different industry standards including HIPAA, FDCPA, PCS DSS, TCFAPA, and FCRA.
For more information contact Dana Kreiss, Senior Vice President, Marketing (914) 450-7115