At our recent Business After Five event, Rodney Frost (Integrated Office Solutions) shared how small and large businesses can use offshore outsourcing models to grow their businesses effectively.
Here’s what you need to know when considering outsourcing for your business this year.
- What can a business do to get the best out of offshore outsourced teams?
Treat your offshore team members as an extension of your business and your culture. They are as much a part of the team as you are. Share the vision of the business and how they contribute to that. Learn about them and their families, and make an extra effort to stay connected. Ask for feedback, and advice on improvements that can help them succeed. On top of that, invest in the hardware that you use.
- What sectors of business are the greatest users of your services?
We currently partner with businesses of all sizes and verticals. Our partners range from a three-person manufacturing business in Sydney to a 47,000-strong global technical business. Throughout COVID, we have seen that all businesses have many tasks that can be done from home or anywhere in the world.
Outsourcing allows your team, regardless of sector, to work on high value tasks locally. It can also give your business competitive advantage by allowing you to operate 24/7. An example of this is a cabinet maker that has three sales representatives. They all come back to the office at 4pm with their proposals and 3D CAD requirements for the day. All three are jostling for the estimator’s preferences, but he’s at capacity already and will get to it as soon as he can. The business owner can’t afford another software licence or estimator, but he needs to win more business. The solution? An offshore team member with the appropriate rights logs on at 4:45pm each day, and drives that machine until 1:45am, so that everything is ready for sign off each morning for the estimator. Sales have increased dramatically as the competition can’t keep up.
- Why do you think using offshore outsourced services fails (mistakes that businesses make, not the service providers)?
The number one reason is a lack of effort to see the offshore team as part of the business. Whether it is having a weekly video call, including the team on town halls or even just the odd skype message to say hi. Companies that treat these amazing people like another inbox will not succeed. The other reason is selecting the wrong model. For example, a BPO (business process outsourcing) requirement – high volume tasks, two days a month only – wouldn’t work well in our model. Similarly, someone looking for what we have will fail in a BPO. We welcome the opportunity to help members find their perfect model.
- How big does a business need to be to consider your services?
There is a cost that you don’t see in your financials called an opportunity cost. Basically, if you had someone doing all the busy work, what sales/margin/improvement could you achieve?
Our average number of around $22,000 AUD per year per team member would be the tipping point at which you should investigate outsourcing. Add on to that work/life balance and other benefits such as an engaged team working on what they love.
- Do I have to document all of my processes before I can engage a business like yours?
Under our model you do not. Under a BPO or standard outsourcing model, you should.
Integrated Office Solutions has a special offer for Sydney Hills Business Chamber members:
- Free recruitment of a team member for anyone that mentions this article (value $150 USD per team member)
- A one-hour session to see if a member’s business is offshore ready and what outsourcing model would suit them best.