How a leading fast food retailer realised the power of a multi-functional offshore team

In a rapidly changing and dynamic sector that has been disrupted heavily by advances in digital communication, competition has never been so fierce in the fast food industry.

Customers expect excellent service and great value without product quality being compromised.

The fast food franchise engaged an offshore solutions provider to fully review the company structure to identify the key roles which could be offshored effectively. This involved a detailed process and procedure review, position description review and offshore readiness assessment.

The company was concerned about perception and the impact of offshoring on its local workforce, however, realised that they did need to adapt to grow.

As a result, the solutions provider identified key back office services which could be effectively offshored without impacting on local employees.

The tasks identified were process and labour intensive and could be administered efficiently by offshore team members.

Functions that the retailer has successfully offshored include:

  • Finance – Accounts Payable, Accountants, Payroll and Business Analysts
  • Marketing – Social Media Coordinator, Graphic Designer and Digital Marketing Specialist
  • Customer service – Call Centre Operator, Customer Care Moderator
  • IT – HelpDesk and Software Development
  • Legal – Paralegals

The retailer realised that each operating function within their business could be empowered by offshore team members.

More than 20 roles were offshored across a myriad of functions including marketing, customer service, finance and administration.

No local roles were lost as a result of offshoring – the company simply cost effectively added capability.

By offshoring these functions, local employees were able to focus on the main growth initiatives, providing exceptional customer service and were also able to be upskilled.

The company has seen the benefits that offshoring can deliver in addition to the significant cost savings and increased competitiveness.

Offshoring has given the company the ability to more efficiently allocate costly local employees – as a consequence, they were able to grow their profit margins.

It is important to remember that the success of offshore programs is dependent on the processes and procedures that underpin them. Ensuring whether or not processes are working effectively at a local level is critical; any sub-par processes identified were re-assessed and re-engineered.

Diversify works with organisations to ensure they are prepared for an extension of their workforce via offshore teams. This means working with the client to recruit, onboard and implement their offshore programs, and assist with change management.

The client successfully adapted to an offshore model and are now reaping the benefits of a global, highly skilled and digitally enabled workforce. Not only that, local employees are now aware of the value offshore teams can play in enabling and empowering them to do more and be more.

What does this leading retailer see as the biggest success of their offshoring strategy?

– Ability to allocate process and labour intensive tasks to low-cost resources and allocate local (and higher cost) employees to high-value tasks and strategies.

– In many cases, employees who were previously allocated these process-based tasks were provided with access to upskilling and professional development opportunities.

– This fast food franchise can now offer services that they were previously unable to due to cost restraints.

– They were able to add extra capacity to effectively service their customer base.

– Offshoring gave this retailer the ability to focus local resources on strategic initiatives which have allowed them to solidify themselves as one of the biggest players in the market.

What advice would they have for others considering offshoring?

– Most importantly, if you’re looking at offshoring as a vehicle to only cut costs, your business is getting into it for the wrong reasons and you will not realise the full value that offshoring can deliver. Get into it for the right – strategic – reasons!

– It’s important for any business considering offshoring to carefully assess the roles they’re looking to offshore and whether these roles are feasible.

– Communicating the potential change with your local workforce is critical. An offshore approach will not be successful if the change is not managed effectively and there is no buy-in at a local level.

– All processes and procedures associated with the functions being considered for offshoring must be well-mapped out and working at a local level. If they aren’t working for your Australian employees, there is a high chance they won’t work offshore.

Regardless of your industry, Diversify can help your business plan a seamless offshoring roll-out. Contact us today if you’re ready to take that next step.


The Secret Weapon Marketing Managers Have at Their Disposal

In this digital age, where agility is king, ensuring your brand appeals to your target market can mean regular change. This can be especially true for offshoring marketing.

Refining, redeveloping and relaunching a brand can be a time consuming and incredibly costly exercise for marketers.

Everything – from the big ticket items (rethinking the brand’s messaging and meaning), to the smaller details (new stationery!), not to mention redesigning and relaunching creative, website and social media – comes under the microscope.

My most recent marketing role has taught me that a full rebrand and relaunch doesn’t have to destroy your entire budget.

How I got here

My story as head of marketing for national offshore solutions specialist Diversify OSS is an example of how major rebrands can be achieved on a slim budget in the digital age. It’s a strategy where you can still leverage the vast talent in your local community, empower your local team and let them focus on the bigger picture.

When I recently took up the head of marketing role at Diversify, I had a mandate to make significant changes to re-position the business as the best offshore solutions provider for medium to large companies.

To do this, we needed to reinvigorate the brand through new messaging, a new look and a digital presence that set us apart from competitors.
With a relatively limited budget, the rebrand had the potential to devour our entire marketing budget within a few months.

We needed to deliver a quality digital presence and brand within budget, and not sacrificing quality.

We did so by adopting a strategy we recommend to our own clients, using local and offshore talent.

With a marketing background for professional services and financial services businesses, and having never worked in an offshoring business before, I was sceptical about managing a market team with employees on the ground and offshore.

This scepticism was quickly extinguished as I saw the great quality work that could be delivered, and here’s how we did it.
Number one, we didn’t offshore the whole process as the Australian creative market is second to none.

It was crucial to find the right Australian creative agency who could design something unique and ground-breaking but also work with our offshore team on implementation.

A comprehensive tendering process resulted in chosen agency, 40/40 Creative. This young Gold Coast firm hadn’t worked with Filipino developers before but were very receptive to the idea and understood the cost benefits that our business could achieve.

We chose the agency first, so 40/40 Creative could have a say in recruitment of an offshore developer from our staff in the Philippines, a highly educated and developed offshoring community.

We engaged 40/40 on a retainer basis to conduct regular quality assurance exercise as our offshore (and now full-time) developer went to work, ensuring the coding being undertaken was clean and effective.

Our mixed-model approach allowed us to enjoy the benefits of having our full-time developer working on the site and have an experienced creative developer, ensuring a high product standard.

Assembling the Team

Of course, building the website is just one element. Scaling up the team, we also recruited highly experienced offshore staff for the content writer and digital marketer/graphic designer roles. This allowed me to focus on executing the overall strategy while my team focused on all of the operational elements of the marketing function.

While I was a sceptic at first, for marketing managers to successfully manage offshore teams I’ve found it’s all about efficient and prescriptive leadership. Using Skype, Trello and Basecamp, I could communicate quickly with my team, manage their workloads, push them when needed and oversee major projects easily. My offshore team were as easily accessed as the person right next to me in our Brisbane office.

I’ve become very close with my offshore team. We have regular catch-ups, one-on-one discussions and team meetings. They’ve become incredibly high performing, in many cases delivering work that is comparable to, if not better than, Australian workers (especially in the search engine optimisation space). Their technical abilities are excellent, and I’ve learned a fair bit from them.

All of my initial offshore marketing team members are now full-timers, and all had a huge role to play in our now-launched website.

The value an offshore approach can deliver shouldn’t be underestimated by Australian marketers.

Local employees mostly want to be working on the big picture items, growth activities and strategies, and they can do this by overseeing offshore teams who can execute and implement.

My offshore team members allowed me to hire experienced local resources I wouldn’t otherwise have had the budget to bring on board.

Better yet, I was able to hire locally based and highly skilled contractors to work on the big picture pieces such as our new creative and approach.

This is where you want to spend your time and effort (and budget), not in the operational elements.

Mark Evans is the head of digital strategy, marketing and business development at Diversify, a national offshore solutions specialist that works with large and small listed and private companies to help grow their businesses by establishing tailored offshore teams. With offices in Australia and the Philippines, Diversify helps businesses identify and solve their unique problems, by nurturing and fostering high quality, high-performance teams. Learn more about what Diversify can do for your business through offshoring.