BPO Outsourcing Models: Onshore, Offshore, Nearshore, and Hybrid Explained

BPO has become an increasingly popular strategy for businesses looking to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and focus on their core competencies. 

BPO involves outsourcing non-core business processes to third-party service providers, who can perform these processes more efficiently and at a lower cost than the business itself. There are several BPO outsourcing models, including onshore, offshore, nearshore, and hybrid. In this article, we will explain each of these models and explore their advantages and disadvantages.

Onshore BPO

This refers to outsourcing business processes to a service provider located in the same country or region as the business. For example, a company in the United States outsourcing its customer service operations to a service provider located in the United States would be an example of an onshore BPO.


  •  Better communication and collaboration due to shared language, 
  • Same time zones
  •  cultural similarities. 
  • Usually subject to the same regulations and laws as the businesses they serve


  • The main disadvantage of onshore outsourcing is service price. Hiring specialists from your country will be much more expensive in comparison to the costs that you will have to bear if you prefer offshore or even nearshore outsourcing.

Nearshore BPO

This refers to outsourcing business processes to a service provider located in a nearby country or region, often one with a similar time zone and cultural affinity to the country where the business is located. For example, a company in the United States outsourcing its customer service operations to a service provider located in Mexico would be an example of nearshore BPO.


  • Easier communication and collaboration due to shared language,
  • Similar time zones
  • and cultural similarities. 
  • cost savings over onshore outsourcing
  • Travel. While more difficult than doing a site visit to an onshore partner, visiting the home country of your nearshore development team is less complicated than a more distant provider


  • Cultural differences that may affect the working process;
  • Rather complicated options for conducting offline meetings.

Offshore BPO

This refers to using a BPO  service provider that is located in a different country, typically in a lower-cost location than the company’s home country.

Offshore BPO has become increasingly popular due to the cost savings it offers companies. By outsourcing certain business processes to a lower-cost location, companies can save on labour and other operational costs while maintaining or improving the quality of the services they provide.


  • Rates. Favourable rates remain the biggest reason for offshore outsourcing.
  • Talent Pool. Tapping into the global talent pool allows you to shop for the best rates and find a partner with experience in your industry or the specific technology your business needs.
  • Aids global expansion


  • Cultural and language differences;
  • Different time zones;
  • In some cases, lack of control over your process due to minimal possibilities of real-life communication.

 Hybrid BPO

For companies wanting the best of two worlds, the hybrid approach exists. The BPO outsourcing hybrid model combines both onshore and offshore resources to deliver business process outsourcing services. This has advantages but it is also important for companies to carefully consider the potential disadvantages and ensure that they have a robust plan in place to manage any challenges that may arise.


  • Ensures Top Quality. The hybrid model capitalises on global offshore development talent, sourcing specialised staff depending on project requirements 
  • Cuts Communication Barriers. Instead of communicating with providers on the other side of the world, the hybrid model brings daily communication closer to home by managing projects from home. 
  • Offers Flexibility. hybrid outsourcing gives you flexibility in team composition and sizing to fit your needs and budget.


  • Complexity: The hybrid model can be more complex to manage than purely onshore or offshore outsourcing.
  • Communication and language challenges
  • Cost: While the hybrid model can be cost-effective compared to a purely onshore model, it may not be as cost-effective as a purely offshore model. 
  • Security risks: The use of remote resources, particularly those located offshore, can increase the risk of data breaches and other security incidents. 
  • Regulatory compliance: The use of offshore resources can raise concerns about compliance with local regulations and laws,
  • Cultural differences

In summary, each outsourcing model has its advantages and disadvantages. Onshore outsourcing provides control and communication but can be expensive. Offshore outsourcing provides cost savings and access to specialised skills but can be challenging to manage. Nearshore outsourcing provides proximity and reduced communication barriers, but may not have access to specialised skills. Hybrid outsourcing provides a customised solution but can be complex to manage.

When choosing an outsourcing model, businesses should consider their specific needs and objectives, as well as the capabilities and limitations of each model. You should carefully vet potential service providers to ensure that they have the necessary skills, experience, and security measures in place to meet your requirements. By choosing the right outsourcing model and service provider, businesses can benefit from cost savings, improved efficiency, and access to specialised skills, while also maintaining control and communication over their non-core processes.

Choose Centrevo for more than just BPO:

When you outsource your business to Centrevo you get:

  • Tailormade business solutions 
  • Proven performances and deep domain experience within the team 
  • Insights, analytics and performance improvement strategies that support and transform your customer journeys and reduce your cost.

Working with us means more than just a host of fully scalable and customisable solutions. It’s also about the time and resources that this union will save you. With less wasted time and money, you can refocus and retarget hours and resources into the areas of your business that need it most. When we’ve got your BPO 2.0 under control, you can get back to what you do best. What could be better than that?

To find out more about our solutions and how you can start working with us, please contact us using these details.

Telephone: +27031 538 4000 | Email: info@centrevo.co.za

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