BPO Meaning: The Definition of Business Process Outsourcing

Business process outsourcing (BPO) is a way of outsourcing your business processes so you can focus on strategic and operational activities. Here, BPO, the meaning of business process outsourcing in simple words, is explained.

What does precisely BPO mean?

What is BPO? Business process outsourcing (BPO) refers to the practice of outsourcing specific business processes or functions to a third-party provider.

This can include various activities, such as customer service, data entry, accounting, human resources, and IT support.

The BPO industry aims to allow companies to focus on their core competencies and strategic activities while outsourcing non-core or support functions to specialized providers who can perform them more efficiently and cost-effectively.

Two core aspects of BPO depend on the type of BPO services offered:

  • Back office BPO focuses on non-customer-facing business processes such as finance and accounting, human resources, and IT support.
  • Front office BPO focuses on customer-facing activities such as customer service, sales, and marketing. 

BPO services can be done onshore, which is when the service provider or BPO company is located in the same country as the business outsourcing the work; offshoring, when the service provider is in a different country, usually where labor costs are lower; and nearshoring, when the service provider is in a nearby country.

Also, BPO outsourcing can offer various benefits to companies that outsource their business processes, such as cost savings, improved efficiency and productivity, access to specialized expertise and technologies, and the ability to focus on core business activities.

However, it is vital for companies to carefully evaluate the potential risks and benefits of BPO before making a decision and choosing a reputable and reliable service provider. The BPO meaning is a bit broader, as you will see below.

The goal of BPO

The goal of BPO is to enhance the business’ operational efficiency, cut costs, and improve the flexibility of the business by allowing them to outsource specific processes to a specialized virtual assistant who can perform the tasks more efficiently and effectively.

BPO is generally performed off-site, often in a different geographic location, and can range from short-term projects to long-term outsourcing arrangements.

That said, BPO or business process outsourcing services have positive and negative aspects.

What are the three types of BPO?

There are three main types of business process outsourcing (BPO) :

Operational BPO:

This type of BPO service involves outsourcing specific, day-to-day business operations such as data entry, accounting, and customer service.

The goal is to improve efficiency and reduce costs by outsourcing repetitive, low-value tasks to specialized providers.

Functional BPO:

This type of BPO operation involves outsourcing entire business functions such as human resources, finance, and IT support.

The goal is to access specialized expertise and technologies that can help improve the business’s overall performance.

Strategic BPO:

This type of BPO business involves outsourcing key business processes critical to the company’s success, such as product development, research and development, and marketing.

The goal is to gain a competitive advantage by outsourcing processes not core to the company’s operations.

It’s worth noting that some sources may divide them into different categories, but the concept remains the same; the classification is based on the level of importance, criticality, and involvement of the process to the company and its objectives.

Is BPO the same as outsourcing?

Business process outsourcing (BPO) and outsourcing are related concepts, but they are not precisely the same thing.

Outsourcing refers to the practice of hiring a third-party company or individual to perform tasks or provide services that are typically done in-house. This can include various activities, such as manufacturing, logistics, and IT support.

BPO stands for or at least refers to outsourcing certain business functions or processes to a third-party provider.

Also, BPO usually focuses on non-core or support functions that are not directly related to a company’s core competencies and strategic activities.

BPO can include various activities such as customer service, data entry, accounting, human resources, and IT support.

In short, BPO is a type of outsourcing, but not all outsourcing is BPO. BPO is limited to outsourcing business processes, whereas outsourcing can include any task or service a company chooses to outsource.

Offshore BPO

Offshore BPO is a growing industry, with companies looking to outsource their business processes to countries with lower living costs.

While this may seem like a bad idea at first glance, it can actually be beneficial for your business.

The country may have a lower standard of living and less access to technology than you’re used to.

However, the quality of work will still be high because they value education more than we do in America (and other developed countries).

While outsourcing can save your company money on labor costs by using skilled workers who are willing to work for less money than their counterparts in America or Europe would charge for similar services – you’ll also find yourself saving time by not having as many employees working on specific tasks within your organization.

Onshore BPO

Business process outsourcing (BPO) is a business model allowing companies to outsource their non-core activities.

It also refers to an outsourcing service enabling companies to focus on their core business by transferring non-core processes and functions to third-party service providers.

Moreover, with onshore BPO, also referred to as domestic outsourcing, a business would outsource services to a third party in the same country. 

By outsourcing their non-core activities, companies can reduce costs and increase productivity while maintaining high-quality standards.

The term “business process” refers to any function performed in an organization that adds value or produces something beneficial for customers or other stakeholders—for example, customer service, accounting, human resources management, etc.

Nearshore BPO

Nearshore BPO is an outsourcing model where the service provider is located in a neighboring country.

It’s often used as a cost-effective way to outsource business processes, especially for small teams that need help with simple tasks like data entry or customer service.

What are BPO’s advantages and disadvantages?

Business process outsourcing (BPO) can offer a variety of advantages and disadvantages to companies that choose to outsource their business processes.

Advantages of BPO include:

Cost savings:

BPO companies or BPO organizations often have access to a larger pool of talented and experienced workers at lower costs, which can help reduce labor costs for your business.

Improved efficiency:

BPO companies can often provide more efficient and streamlined processes, which can help to reduce costs for your business by reducing the amount of time and resources required to complete tasks.

Access to specialized expertise:

BPO companies often specialize in a specific area, with BPO employees skilled in areas such as customer service or data entry. This can help reduce costs for your business by providing expertise in one area.


BPO companies can help to reduce costs for your business by providing flexible options such as part-time or project-based services, which can help to reduce labor costs and improve efficiency.


BPO companies can scale their services up or down as needed, which can help reduce costs for your business by avoiding hiring additional staff during peak periods.

Disadvantages of BPO include:

Loss of control:

Outsourcing specific business processes to a third-party provider can make it more difficult for companies to maintain control over these processes.

Quality issues:

BPO companies or a BPO service providers may not always be able to provide the same quality as in-house staff.

Communication challenges:

When outsourcing to a third-party provider, communication can be challenging, mainly if the provider is located in a different country.

Security concerns:

Outsourcing specific business processes can also raise concerns about data security and privacy.


Companies may become too dependent on their BPO service provider, making it difficult to switch to a different provider in the future.

Cultural issues:

Companies may have to deal with cultural differences when outsourcing to a provider in a different country.

Overall, it’s crucial for companies to carefully evaluate the potential risks and benefits of BPO before making a decision and choosing a reputable and reliable service provider.

The bottom line about BPO meaning and outsourcing 

Outsourcing allows your business to grow without compromising on quality.

You can focus on the core of your business and let an outsourcing partner handle those tasks that require less attention, such as administrative work or customer service.

Plus, you can save money by hiring fewer people for high-priority tasks requiring specialized knowledge and expertise.

In addition to being more efficient and effective at getting things done inside their own organizations – and saving money in the process – outsourced companies are also able to focus on what they do best: providing services like accounting or translation services for other businesses that need help with these tasks but don’t want them taking up too much time from their core operations (or aren’t equipped with internal resources).

To conclude, BPO, meaning – Business process 0utsourcing (BPO) or business process outsourcing management, is a cost-effective way to outsource all or part of your business processes rather than doing them in-house.

This can include everything from legal services to accounting and call centers. In fact, an example of business process outsourcing (BPO) is as follows: Aristo Sourcing. 

The Ultimate Outsourcing Guide:

Aristo Sourcing Dark Yellow

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