HfS Network

Why HfS is the first analyst to deliver real-time BPO price-benchmarking

April 18, 2011 | Phil Fersht

PriceIndicator™ is launched! HfS becomes the first analyst to deliver BPO price-benchmarks (click to view details)

Today marks a very special day in the life of HfS Principal Analyst Jamie Snowdon. Not only does he turn the ripe old age of 40, but his life's work is revealed to all and sundry:  the brand-spanking new HfS BPO PriceIndicator™ is officially born (SEE PRESS RELEASE).

Thanks to Jamie and his team's superhuman efforts, we've managed to crank through our database of over 800 live BPO engagements, sift though insurmountable reports on local wage rates, tax policies, inflation and exchange rate fluctuations, infrastructure costs and provider margin-uplifts, to deliver an incredible database of BPO rates across 12 countries and multiple staff roles.  Want to know how much a Chinese Sox expert during transition costs? Well, you've come to the right place...

So why did we enter this market?

For all the right reasons one offers a new product. There isn’t anything comparable available in the industry, we are in unique position with visibility to over 800 recent BPO deals, and most importantly, our clients are telling us they really, really want it!  The number one request we get from buyer clients is for support with pricing - most analyst discussions with buyers (and this applies to most analyst firms) results in the their requesting the analyst validates their rate-cards . We're simply developing a methodology to support these needs, but use our analyst time to advise them towards smarter pricing strategies.  Moreover, one of the main purposes of PriceIndicator™ is to steer the industry towards business outcomes and transactional models (if possible), and away from the creaking rate-card model.

HfS Research’s network produces the largest, most accurate and up to date deal database. Because we’ve earned the trust of both buyers and sellers of outsourcing, we can validate and ensure accuracy in real-time. And because we have an incomparable team of BPO experts who cover, in-depth, all the core horizontal and vertical business processes that are being sourced by enterprises today,

What does the HfS BPO PriceIndicator™ do?

  • It gives our clients access to up-to-date pricing information for the BPO market. And we’ll soon add Application Development and Maintenance PriceIndicator™, to give our research members even more value from their investment in HfS Research.
  • It provides all of our clients with a  quarterly report on pricing and the trends impacting the fees associated with BPO services
  • It ensures accuracy by doubling back—we take deal data and normalize it so it is useful, but we verify our conclusions with detailed “ground-up” analysis of all the inputs in over a dozen popular outsourcing destinations. Finally, we leverage our powerful network to validate both of the analyses.
  • It gives our clients the option of ordering specific data-cuts from our database, narrowing in on pricing, for example, within a certain industry or a secific type of role.
  • It enables HfS to give clients knowledge and coaching to steer them away from simply relying on "bums on seats" FTE pricing, and to evaluate more strategic pricing methodologies, namely outcome-based and transactional-based approaches.
  • It addresses a woefully underserved and historically unreliable sector of the benchmarking industry.

So please forgive us - just this once - for a rare sales-pitch. This capability is borne out of years of hard graft and experience from our analyst team, and marks a major inflection point in HfS' development as an analyst organization, just 14 months after we launched our business.

For more information on HfS BPO PriceIndicator™ please click here for a detailed methodology, and feel free to email Tom Ivory directly here.

Posted in: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)Buyers' Sourcing Best PracticesFinance & Accounting BPO




  1. Paul McCullough
    Posted Apr 19, 2011 03:11 AM | Permalink Reply

    The global sourcing business is in dire need of some reliable pricing data for FAO - I assume you will be proving data across finance processes?


  2. Phil Fersht
    Posted Apr 19, 2011 05:47 AM | Permalink Reply

    @Paul: Yes, finance and account data is at the heart of the pricing we cover. We cover 11 roles across 12 major countries. We also look at unique roles that may not fit into everyday F&A categories, such as SOX accountants, or even medical coding staff in healthcare revenue cycle,


  3. Paul Ellis
    Posted Apr 19, 2011 06:36 AM | Permalink Reply


    You and your team must be commended for delivering excellent research and value to clients. Your competition seems more focused on quadrants and vendor rankings to make its money, whereas you guys actually deliver practical insight, research and data. Bravo!


  4. Dennis Howlett
    Posted Apr 19, 2011 09:54 PM | Permalink Reply

    Well done HfS peeps. A much needed tool.

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    Posted Apr 20, 2011 06:04 PM | Permalink Reply

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  6. Jerry E Durant
    Posted Apr 21, 2011 02:57 PM | Permalink Reply

    Sounds interesting but I'm assuming that you are not suggesting the comprehensive pre-selection evaluation give way to simply a pricing index? If so, this would be equivalent to pricing a car without a test drive.

  7. Phil Fersht
    Posted Apr 21, 2011 03:37 PM | Permalink Reply

    @Jerry - very, very good point. pre-selection is oh, so so important. PI provides a checkpoint to help clients think more smartly about how they pay for services. We want to move buyers away from the "rate-card" mentality and have them thinking more intelligently about outcome-based initiatives, transacation models etc


  8. Yatin Ubhaykar
    Posted Apr 21, 2011 07:03 PM | Permalink Reply

    Definetely one of a kind I would say. Nothing like this exists before. Wonder how HfS has access to such data from buyers and sellers...

  9. Phil Fersht
    Posted Apr 22, 2011 03:34 AM | Permalink Reply

    @Yatin: HfS analysts track all multi-process BPO engagements on a daily basis through both buyer and supplier interactions. With 50K+ regular subscribers to our research across the industry, and the fact that we spoke to over 8000 companies directly over the last year puts us in a unique position to track deals and pricing dynamics. Moreover, our intimate research relationships give us real-time access to sourcing pricing strategies on a rolling basis,


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