Lowest Bidder??

In the BPO business we often think we need to be the lowest bidder to win the next RFP and continue to grow our businesses, but do we?…

In the BPO business we often think we need to be the lowest bidder to win the next RFP and continue to grow our businesses, but do we? Obviously, John Glenn was joking (I think) when he said “As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind – every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder,” but the message is clear…Quality should be as important as cost.

The difficulty is not the message of quality. Deep down and on some level we all believe in it. So the real problem is conveying the message in a way that clearly shows that quality is cost-effective. Sometimes, in some industries, this is easy to establish. More often than not however, we have to take it on faith that quality is good business. Not a faith everyone shares unfortunately.

What we really need to understand is that mistakes cost money and mistakes happen when you are providing BPO services in a cut-rate environment. It is incumbent on the BPO industry to make this message clear and not just lower prices to win bids, knowing that by doing so we will NOT be able to provide the kind of quality processes our client needs and deserves.

TQM (Total Quality Management) and CQI (Continuous Quality Improvement) may be yesterday’s buzz words, but the concepts are critical to future success for every business. Even the non-believers will recognize this just as soon as they stop making Quarterly statements (read Profits) the top priority and try (just try) focusing on the future of their companies.

To sum this all up, after 42 years in the center of the Call Center/BPO business, I can say that we as an industry have hurt ourselves in the past. Indiscriminate telemarketing led to Do Not Call legislation and poor quality control in scripting led to huge CFPB fines.

So…Be the Best Bidder, not the Lowest!



Jon Hamilton, President of Insurance Services


Jon T. Hamilton, heads up Premier’s Insurance Division. He came to Premier from Dialogue Marketing, where he was VP of Strategic Solutions. During Jon’s 40-year career, he has run Operations and Client Services for several companies, including Colonial Penn, Y&R, SafeCard Services, ICT Group and TCIM Services. He was also a Founding Partner at InterMedia Marketing, specializing in insurance call center services. Jon is Past President of the American Teleservices Association (now PACE) and Past Chair of the DMA Teleservices Council.

  • jhamilton@premierbpo.com