Industry Research : BPO Europe | New Models for De-risking the Eurozone Crisis
According to IMF collated statistics Europe accounts for 20% of all US exports. The subset of 17 Eurozone countries accounts for 14% of exports behind bordering neighbors Canada and Mexico. The UK and Germany are the most important US export markets in Europe. The Eurozone crisis is complex and its impacts are far reaching across the political, social and structural landscape. The downturn in Europe, for example, is clearly hurting US automobile exports.The US banking system is intrinsically connected to Europe through investments, bonds and complex hedge fund instruments. It does appear that US business confidence in Europe’s ability to drive sustainable growth is shaky and at worst non-existant.That helps explain the Presidents emphasis on finding a solid solution to the Eurozone crisis. Although this European crisis is not the only factor impacting US business, the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) is a stark reminder just how far confidence has fallen.
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The lazy analysis may suggest that Europe is not a priority for pursuing new opportunities for US export growth. There is a consensus that high growth will be in markets with demand dynamics like Brazil and China etc.
Our analysis is that opportunity in Europe is not only significant, it’s critical for most export/growth oriented US businesses. In the current environment, exploiting European opportunities needs new and flexible business models for both US firms already in Europe and those considering new market entry. This is where BPO can be part of a reliable business growth strategy that de-risks the current complex and multi faceted challenges.
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The business headlines today, for example, are full of political and economic uncertainty in Italy. The fact is that US exports to Italy have grown in 2011 in the midst of this crisis. The Euro Crisis is creating a number of opportunities for US firms, including:
-The global recession has re-shaped consumer expectations across Europe, making them more price conscious and demanding of quality and service. Online technology and services are much more mature in the US. Our prediction is that e-commerce enabled services will be high growth in Europe, with smart firms using European BPO providers to provide contact center support.
-Secondly, many European industries need dramatic transformation (banking, public sector, health care, financial services etc.) In many cases American business models are very pertinent to enabling these required transformations. Uniquely, non Europeans are probably more able to take a pan-European perspective, and organise operations on a continental, rather than within national boundaries! Again, BPO can bring in pan-European expertise for certain business processes.
In summary, the current crisis in the political and economic life of the Euro-Zone is generating opportunities with genuine demand for change coming from consumers. Forward thinking US firms can be part of the transformation process, with BPO a key enabler!
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Published: Thursday, November 10, 2011
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