What is a Rate Card? What role does it play in Business Process Outsourcing?

Posted on:
February 7, 2023
min read
Mark Daniel
Table of Contents
What are the benefits of outsourcing to developing countries?
What are the challenges of outsourcing to developing countries?
Top 5 Most In-demand Developing Countries for Outsourcing
What are some successful examples of companies that have outsourced to developing countries?
What are the best practices for outsourcing to developing countries?
What Is a Rate Card? Understanding Its Role in BPO
KDCI Outsourcing
September 6, 2023

Business process outsourcing (BPO) is becoming increasingly popular, with companies looking to outsource certain aspects of their operations to improve efficiency and reduce costs. One key factor in BPO is the rate card: an agreed-upon fee that covers the entire scope of the project. In this blog post, we’ll answer some of your questions like “what is a rate card?”, “why are they important?” and how BPO companies create one.

What is a rate card in BPO?

A rate card in the BPO (business process outsourcing) industry is a pricing document that lists the cost for different services or tasks that a BPO company offers to its clients. It helps clients understand the cost of outsourcing specific processes and makes it easier for them to compare prices with other BPO companies.

A dynamic image of a Filipino outsourcing provider discussing the rate card with a Filipino business owner.

The rate card may include the cost per hour, per task, or per project, and may also list any additional charges or fees that the client may need to pay. By using a rate card, clients can make informed decisions about which BPO services to use and how much they will cost.

How is the rate card used in the BPO industry?

Rate cards are an important tool in the BPO industry, allowing companies to clearly communicate their pricing and services to clients. Here are some real-life examples of how a rate card is used in the BPO industry:

Determining the cost of customer service

BPO companies use rate cards to set prices for their customer service operations, such as inbound and outbound calls, email support, and chat support.

Setting prices for data entry services

BPO companies that offer technical support services use IT rate cards to determine the cost of services such as data entry, data processing, and data conversion.

Calculating the cost of document management services

BPO companies that specialize in document management use rate cards to set prices for services such as document scanning, document indexing, and document retrieval.

Pricing for back-office operations

BPO companies that provide back-office support use rate cards to determine the cost of services such as accounting, payroll, and human resources.

What are the factors considered in creating a rate card for BPO services?

Creating a rate card for outsourcing services requires careful consideration of multiple factors. Here are some factors that BPO companies take into account to ensure that the rate card accurately reflects the services being provided:

  • Labor Cost: The cost of labor including salary, benefits, and overhead expenses is the biggest factor in determining the rate card.
  • Skills and Experience: The skill level and experience of the staff will determine the rates charged for their services.
  • Overhead Costs: The cost of running the business, such as rent, utilities, and technology expenses, must be included in the rate card.
  • Market Demand: The demand for the services provided will impact the rate card, as supply and demand play a significant role in pricing.
  • Competition: The rate card should be competitive with similar services offered by other BPO companies in the market.
  • Complexity of the Work: The complexity of the work will impact the rates charged, as more complex tasks will require more experienced and skilled staff, resulting in higher rates.
  • Volume: The volume of work that a BPO company is able to handle will impact the rate card, as large volumes of work can result in economies of scale and lower rates.
  • Location: The location of the BPO company and its proximity to its clients will impact the rate card, as local BPO companies may be able to offer lower rates due to lower transportation and communication costs.
  • Service Level Agreement (SLA): The rate card should take into account the SLA agreed upon with the client, as higher SLAs will require more resources and result in higher rates.

What is the process of developing a rate card for BPO companies?

The process of developing a rate card for a BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) company typically involves the following steps:

  1. Identifying services: Determine the types of services the BPO company will provide and the level of expertise required for each.
  2. Cost analysis: Evaluate the costs associated with delivering each service, including labor, overhead, and any other expenses.
  3. Market research: Research market rates for similar services in the industry to ensure the company's rate card pricing is competitive.
  4. Pricing strategy: Develop a pricing strategy that balances cost with competitiveness and profitability.
  5. Rate determination: Determine the final rates for each service based on the cost analysis and pricing strategy.
  6. Review and adjustment: Regularly review and adjust rates as necessary to stay competitive and maintain profitability.
  7. Presentation and distribution: Present the rate card to potential clients and distribute it to sales and marketing teams for use in proposals and negotiations.

Can rate cards vary from BPO to BPO?

Yes, rate cards can vary from Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) to BPO. The rate card refers to the pricing structure of a BPO, which outlines the cost of the services they offer. The variations in rate cards are mainly due to the following factors:

  1. Location: BPOs located in different regions may have different operating costs, which can impact their agency rate cards. For example, a BPO in a developed country may charge more than one in a developing country due to higher labor and infrastructure costs.
  2. Scale of operation: BPOs that handle large volumes of work can offer competitive pricing due to economies of scale.
  3. Service offerings: BPOs can offer a range of services such as customer support, data processing, and back-office operations. Each service may have a different pricing structure based on the complexity of the work and the skills required.
  4. Quality of service: BPOs that offer higher quality service may charge more than those that offer lower quality service.

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