Using hybrid staffing to optimize costs and boost efficiency
Most sell-side teams use a traditional one-to-one support model, where a dedicated offshore analyst supports a single client analyst/team. The two main drawbacks of this model are failing to fully use the outsourced resource, and being limited to the skill set available. Our client’s existing offshore strategy was based on a dedicated one-toone support model, with very few analysts having access to offshore teams. The client wanted to widen their offshore teams to a wider analyst group without increasing their overall outsourcing cost. They wanted to give their analysts the flexibility to outsource tasks as required, irrespective of volume variations or skillset required.
- · Optimum utilization of resources
- · Access to diverse skill set
- · Flexible teams for peak season
Before the engagement started, we held a detailed discussion with all the analyst and their team members to understand their requirements. While some depended on sector-specific expertise delivered on a continuous basis, others needed more unpredictable, ad-hoc support. Our solution was to provide one-to-one support for the former group, while also creating an additional pool of analysts to deal with occasional needs and peaks in demand for the latter. We assigned a dedicated supervisor to the shared pool, to manage workflow, carry out quality checks and streamline delivery. They ensure uninterrupted service with the help of standard operating procedures and cross-training within the team. Before this set-up, only a few of the client’s analysts were using offshoring. Now, the sharedpool concept allows any analyst to reach out to the pool supervisor with a research request. Moreover, the client can tap into offshore associates who work across multiple sectors and offer a wide variety of skills: fundamental research, data analytics, automation and visualization. These focused skills deliver specific benefits for the client. For example, our automation specialist helped to eliminate redundancies and boost efficiency by automating repetitive tasks, while our data scientist used statistical techniques to help produce differentiated research. The analyst team also began using our proprietary Model update tool to manage model updates more efficiently during earnings season and new company initiations. To help the client take control of their workflow, we deployed Researchstream, our proprietary workflow platform. Researchstream makes research workflows transparent and functions as a one-stop platform for request tracking, prioritization, MIS reporting and providing feedback.
The hybrid model has made the client’s operations far more flexible. The available hours are used much more effectively, helping them to optimize costs, while the shared pool model allows them to tap into diverse skill sets. At the same time, automation has provided a sharp efficiency improvement by cutting turnaround time for repetitive tasks. With a supervisor always available, and pool analysts cross-trained in repeated tasks, the service can be seamlessly delivered – reducing dependence on any specific associate. Finally, Researchstream gives the client a clear vision of how the shared pool is being used, plus the ability to analyze the content of workflow and where it is being allocated. This, in turn, provides improved transparency and budget control.