BPOs keep jobs on the back of logistics, e-commerce

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 07 2020 02:03 PM

Residents walk on an almost empty Poblacion street in Makati City on March 26, 2020 as the enhanced community quarantine is enforced all over Metro Manila. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- Logistics and e-commerce drove demand for outsourcing during the lockdown, offsetting the decline in its traditional markets and helping save jobs, the head of an industry group said Thursday.

With millions hunkered down in their homes and buying their needs online, business process outsourcing demand "balanced out," said Jojo Uligan, Contact Center Association of the Philippines president.

There will "definitely" be an impact on BPO revenues but the CCAP has yet to come up with an estimate, Uligan said. None of the CCAP's members are shutting down, he said.

"There are industries or companies that got affected by this COVID-19, affected their volume in terms of the numbers of calls, chat went down because people were not calling," Uligan said.

"There are businesses that also have a positive effect primarily the online retail, logistics. Their businesses and volume continue to grow because most of their customers are ordering," he said.

Metro Manila and other urban areas are under lockdown or enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until May 15. If it ends on schedule, it would have lasted 2 months. The rest of the country is under general community quarantine (GCQ) with fewer restrictions.

NEW NORMAL

At least 30 to 35 percent of IT-BPM (IT-Business Process Management) employees are working from home while up to 30 percent are operating on site, Uligan said.

The industry is currently working on a "hybrid set-up," he said.

Work from home is likely to become the new normal for the industry, said CCAP Board Director Tonichi Parekh.

The group is also working the with government and telecommunications providers to ensure the stability of data infrastructure, Uligan said.

"This pandemic really brings out the good and the agility and the resiliency and how we work together and how we will be able to protect, the industry and our people," Uligan said.