Outsourcing is a task that has changed and developed alongside technology and evolving business needs. And these days, it doesn’t matter if the business process is core or non-core; they can all be outsourced. Transcription — converting audio from live or recorded speech to text — is one of the more commonly outsourced processes. However, not all companies are taking advantage of the benefits of outsourcing their transcription needs. Often, that’s because business owners are not aware of the benefits outsourcing brings. So let’s discuss them now.
A Brief History of Outsourcing
Let’s first talk about the process of outsourcing itself. Most experts agree that business process outsourcing (BPO) started in the 18th century, during the Industrial Revolution.
With the introduction of labor- and cost-saving machines came a distinct thirst for new ways to maximize profit while minimizing costs. So, these early companies outsourced labor and raw materials needed for their factories, cutting their processing time while saving on overhead and production costs.
Between 1950 and 1980, businesses noticed the marked benefits of outsourcing, and so they incorporated the process into their operations. Things like parts manufacturing, customer service, finance and accounting, security, and housekeeping were commonly outsourced, and the process brought in skilled laborers at a fraction of the cost.
The introduction of the Internet opened up many possibilities and expanded the scope of outsourcing. Here is a list of the most commonly outsourced business processes today:
- Customer Support and Service
- Information Technology (IT) Services
- Human Resources (HR) Functions
- Finance and Accounting
- Data Entry and Data Processing
- Content Creation
- SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
- Logistics and Supply Chain Management
- Quality Assurance and Testing
- Manufacturing and Production
- Research and Development
- Legal Services
- Facilities Management
- Sales and Lead Generation
- Language Translation and Localization
- Healthcare Services
- And more!
You’ll notice I highlighted “Social Media Marketing” and “Transcription”? Transcription is apparent, as we’ll discuss its benefits in depth. But the other one, we’ll talk about a bit later. In any case, let’s get started on why outsourcing transcription is beneficial to businesses.
Advantages of Outsourcing Transcription Services
Outsourcing transcription tasks to expert transcriptionists has several notable benefits. Here, we’ll discuss the five most important ones.
Saves Time and Money
The best argument for outsourcing transcription — or practically any business process — is that it saves time and money. In-house transcription is time-consuming and costly. The business needs to spend money finding and hiring competent transcriptionists (which can cost up to 24 days and $4,000 for the search), provide a decent salary and benefits package (which can cost up to $60,000 a year for salary alone), supply them with the necessary equipment (which may cost up to $2,000 each, depending on the quality of the equipment), and provide continuous training and development so that their skills do not stagnate.
Outsourcing to a transcription service provider allows you to avoid all that HR hassle and save on operational costs. They take care of hiring, training, retaining, and providing equipment. All you need to do is send them the audio files, and they’ll transcribe them. Another way outsourcing helps with resource management is that when you enlist transcription companies, you no longer need to provide additional office space for your in-house staff, significantly reducing overhead costs.
However, you don’t want to sign with the cheapest transcription company to save a few bucks. They might transcribe audio at eye-wateringly low rates, but then you receive your transcripts and they’re chock-full of errors. This doesn’t do anything to save you time and money; in fact, it costs you more money as you spend more time fixing their mistakes. There has to be a balance between the quality of their work and the amount they charge. In other words, don’t go for cheap; go for affordable.
Enlist The Services of Experts
The beauty of outsourcing is you get to hire a team of experts. A transcriptionist from a reputable transcription company usually has more hands-on experience with a wider range of projects than newly hired and less experienced in-house staff. Businesses can leverage the expertise and specialized functions of transcription companies to streamline their processes instead of, as mentioned previously, investing precious time and resources that are better allotted to more important things (more on that later.)
Also, consider the competency of your transcription service provider. While most companies can transcribe audio to text for any recording, some offer specialized services for different industries. The most common business types requiring transcription are law enforcement agencies, legal firms, medical and healthcare facilities, businesses, and academic institutions. There’s also general transcription work, which can be anything from press conferences to video transcription.
In any case, specialization means that the company has in-depth knowledge of how the industry works and what clients expect from their completed projects. They have experienced personnel that they can deploy for any task at hand quickly and efficiently. They can access the latest transcription technology and processes to ensure faster turnaround times and accelerate project completion.
Ensures Accurate Transcription
Professional transcription companies are experts in their field (or they should be, at least). That means that they offer accurate rates that are significantly higher than the typical automated speech recognition software, or ASR. Most ASRs can get to about 80-86% accuracy. Human transcriptionists can achieve 90-95% accuracy. The best and most competent transcription service providers, meanwhile, offer 99% accuracy. To be clear, that doesn’t mean they’ll ensure that there’s always a 1% error in your transcripts. Almost every transcription service provider that offers 99% accuracy rates leaves that 1% as a formality to capture the rare errors when, in reality, they consistently produce 100% accurate transcripts.
Scalability and Flexibility
Business process demands can be forecasted, but forecasts can fail to anticipate all situations. This can happen with your in-house transcription teams. Say you have three transcribers on payroll, and you can provide them with constant work for the first three months. However, your transcription needs changed after those first months, and now you need a couple more to cover your projects. So you hire two more. But then, a few months pass, and the work dries up again. You let go of three transcriptionists since there’s no point in keeping them on board when the amount of work isn’t there. But a few months pass, and the work picks up again…
Rinse and repeat. Transcription is essential work, but oftentimes, it doesn’t align with your core focus. Business resources that rightly should be reusable or transferrable are instead assigned to a single business task. That’s inefficient. Outsourcing your transcription projects makes it easier to scale the work — and your expenses — to better fit your business requirements since staffing flexibility will be their concern.
Allows You To Focus on Your Business
As mentioned earlier, transcription is often a necessary but secondary business process. The agencies and organizations that require transcription services — police departments, law firms, universities, corporations, hospitals, etc. — are often oriented towards different core competencies. Designating resources to transcription takes away precious time and money that is better spent on the business’s central operation. By outsourcing, you avoid that potential resource drain while getting the services of experts, saving money, and maintaining operational efficiency. It’s a win-win situation all around.
Outsourcing Works — And Here’s Proof
Just as our clients need our quality transcription services, we needed to outsource our social media marketing to a true expert. I’m not a marketing specialist, nor are the people in my office. I had been trying to just wing it with social media, and I finally realized that wouldn’t be good enough anymore.
Since we turned over our social media to the experts at Social Marketing Solutions, my company has made some major strides in ways we couldn’t have ever envisioned just last year.
We started the year with about 1,500 followers on LinkedIn and Twitter. We are now at over 13,000. Many of those followers are now visiting our website, and as a result, traffic is up by 50%.
Lastly, and most importantly, our profits are up by more than 25%!
I got out of the tweeting business forever, and it was the best move I’ve made this year.
Ready to Outsource Your Transcription Needs?
The benefits of outsourcing transcription services are as numerous as they are undeniable. If you’re ready to talk, we at Ditto Transcripts will handle your outsourced transcription requirements.
Ditto Transcripts is a Denver, Colorado-based transcription services company. We provide fast, accurate, and affordable transcription services for individuals, offices, departments and agencies of all sizes. Call (720) 287-3710 or fill out the contact us form today for a free quote, and ask about our free five-day trial.