The growing number of companies with Shared Services Center (SSC) in Brazil has allowed the creation of discussion groups focused on the exchange of experiences and good practices in the SSC market. Since the back office processes represent the largest part of the centers’ scope, it is possible that companies which operate in different market segments exchange information and improvement tips.

When executives from these companies meet in discussion groups or related events, some issues such as Continuous Improvement, Governance, Staff Retention and the utilization of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) are often commented and questioned.

The use of BPO was among the covered topics in a recent meeting of one of the SSC discussion groups in Brazil, the Study Group in Shared Services (GESC). However, before mentioning what the companies in this group think about the subject, it is important to know the concept of Outsourcing.

Outsourcing is the strategic use of external resources to perform activities traditionally carried out by internal resources and teams. It is the hiring of external resources in order to perform specialized activities within a process.

This concept is really relevant, since nowadays a high number of companies subcontract their services, instead of outsourcing them. Unlike the latter, the subcontracting of people requires little use of technology, as well as hardly any specific technical knowledge. For example, jobs such as cleaning, concierge and security are commonly known as subcontracted services.