The business environment in which we operate is dynamic; with the only constant being change. Adapting to this change is critical if businesses are to remain successful in this highly competitive environment; innovate or die. With this in mind, I wanted to share some of the key business challenges that I feel pose the biggest threat to businesses, of all sizes, at this current stage.
These are all business challenges that I have had to face in my role as a CEO of a growing Australian business and ones that we have had to meet head on to remain competitive.
Global labour market
The global labour market is now more accessible than ever with the continued breakdown of geographical communication barriers. More and more organisations are taking advantage of the competitively priced global labour market. As identified in a recent Deloitte report, the continued rise of offshoring has been driven by largely economic factors as it offers more competitive price points for the same service levels.
Businesses of all sizes are able to access talent for many skilled and unskilled roles at a fraction of the cost of local employees. Although this is not the most significant driver for offshoring, reduced costs allow businesses to reinvest the funds into other areas of the business.
The question you should be asking yourself is, are you leveraging the power of the global labour market? Are your competitors accessing it?
Growing revenues without increasing fixed costs
Cost has always been the root cause of many business challenges. The ultimate goal of any business is to grow without increasing your fixed costs. This is one of many significant business challenges when you take into account how competitive the global business market is. Bearing in mind the costs of adding local labour to service your desired growth, providing operational support in the form of office space, IT and human resources support, while maintaining fixed costs can be a challenge.
Offshore workforces are just one way businesses can grow revenues without increasing fixed costs. Your business can hire highly-skilled offshore employees who are then provided full support in a serviced office. This, in turn, reduces your overheads as your business is simply liable for a monthly, fixed service fee – it’s as transparent as it gets.
Empowering your local employees
It’s an amazing statistic, but in a recent Harvard Business Review article into employee productivity, it was identified that employees can spend, on average, 41% of their time on activities that offer little value and could easily be performed by others. The article states that “we instinctively cling to tasks that make us feel busy and thus important, while our bosses, constantly striving to do more with less, pile on as many responsibilities as we’re willing to accept”.
Employees that are dragged down into low value work are, in my experience, more easily distracted and less engaged. One way to overcome this is to identify the low-value tasks and consider offshoring them to cost-effective labour solutions. Not only does this allow your local, and more costly, employees to focus on high value tasks, it empowers them. They’re able to focus on the tasks that matter, while low-level and process intensive tasks that would usually take up their time are performed cost-effectively offshore.
The local labour market is incredibly competitive; especially with digital and technology roles. As a result, many skillsets and capabilities that are required to effectively service clients are unattainable. They’re either unattainable due to high local wage costs or due to the lack of a sufficiently skilled talent pool.
This may mean not expanding your capabilities to meet the market or having to source expensive contractors. Capabilities such as data analytics, application and website development can take your business to the next level. Although these roles are hard to come by locally, the offshore talent pool is vast, and of course highly skilled.
You can add the capability you need to keep up with constant change.
We all live in the age of now – customers want instant responses and service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Businesses need to meet this need in order to continue being competitive. With the continued advancement of social media and increase in customers using online channels to interact, businesses need to adapt.
Doing this locally may not be possible, however, many businesses are using offshore teams to service customer requests and queries 24/7. Businesses can add social media monitors, customer service staff members and online chat capability to support this need without impacting significantly on the bottom line.
Leverage the power of offshore resources to take your business to the next level
Ultimately, companies are facing more business challenges than ever in trying to remain competitive. There are many approaches that can be adopted to tackle this change head on and one of these is via the use of offshore resources.
Offshore teams are now more viable than ever – however, there is a perception out there that offshoring is difficult to implement and manage. We want to debunk this myth which is why we’ve launched ‘The Art of Offshoring’ – a four-part educational series aimed at taking you through the entire offshoring process – from learning what it actually is right through to implementing and managing your team!
Diversify is currently conducting an industry first survey into the state of offshoring in Australia 2016. This survey aims to examine the perceptions of offshoring in general and understand whether or not businesses who have adopted an offshore approach have achieved success.