Date: 19.05.2021

The outsourcer’s outsourcers

We have been providing outsourcing services since our inception 40 years ago and this critical service has grown over four decades, with the development of our UK and two international business process outsource (BPO) operations.

Metro has spent 40 years managing and transforming the outsourced supply chains of ambitious globally trading businesses in the UK and overseas.

By taking responsibility for their supply chains our customers are free to concentrate on making their business successful, by seizing new sourcing opportunities, developing and creating new products, accessing new customers in new markets and generating economies of scale for further cost-saving. All unhindered with the complexities of how to transport their products around the world – that’s our contribution to their success!

Our documentation and process outsourcing solutions are entirely bespoke for each client, with a situation and needs analysis that reviews, audits and maps operations, financial and compliance tasks and requirements, to optimise documentation, streamline processes and, whenever possible, introduce digital efficiencies.

Paperless since the turn of the century, Metro’s ‘digital first’ mantra has seen the BPO team form very close links with their Technical Solutions colleagues, in seeking digital solutions for each new requirement.

The correct paperwork and digital declaration is vital for every shipment and differs enormously by country, mode and product, so it is critical that we get it right, first time, every time, or we risk incurring delays, financial penalties, or worse. This has been magnified and become even more prevalent since leaving the EU, which Metro has developed a bespoke brokerage solution for, with many of our clients taking full advantage of our market leading customs solutions.

Our business process and outsource (BPO) function has grown consistently and currently completes in excess of 15,000 functions each week – equivalent to three-quarters of a million individual functions per annum – to expedite the global transport and border clearance of 1000’s of individual consignments of raw materials and finished goods every day.

The first Metro BPO operation was established in Malaysia in 1998 and absorbed into Metro, as MDATA in 2006. MDATA has since grown to over 30 team members, with more personnel scheduled to join with further expansion in 2021.

In 2018, following the EU exit referendum and in anticipation of the function capacity increase that Brexit would create, a further outsource operation, MISC, was added in India (now 40 strong and growing), together with a new dedicated BPO team in the UK, to coordinate activity and quality across the three sites.

Today the UKHQ based BPO team analyse new customer requirements, looking for  technical solutions that will streamline/standardise/digitise the process and then decide which location is best suited to process the functions.

In addition to devising, enhancing and allocating new process functions, UK BPO also ensure that workload capacity, customer requirements and quality are being met at each site and are in line with issued SOP’s and KPI’s. Every task is monitored and measured in real-time and where improvements can be made, they are.

Post-Brexit requirements have been particularly challenging, due to the massive surge of critical new and additional functions since the 1st January – requiring multiple shift patterns in three locations – complicated further by the COVID pandemic and the need to move all BPO personnel to home-working, at all locations globally. Even in those areas of India and Malaysia with limited digital infrastructure. 

By integrating systems and BPO team members in each location, we can digitise and automate function processing and data manipulation throughout the supply chain, to create the real-time visibility that improves agility, speed and quality, to optimise performance, drive productivity gains and cut operating costs.

We continue to invest in our global platforms and operations ensuring that we have 24 hour coverage every day of the week and year. Although this ‘unseen’ element of our model does not always get the recognition it should we are proud to have developed a Metro ethos and philosophy across the Globe in some of our major markets and lanes.

For further information please contact Andrew White or Simon George who will be delighted to discuss how we can assist you with your own requirements utilising our proven and established back office platforms.