It’s nearly the end of 2016, and with 2017 upon us, it’s time to reflect on the year that has been and what the future looks like for your business.
A Business Year in Review
When reflecting on whether or not 2016 has been a success for you, take a minute to consider these questions:
- Did your venture grow?
- Did your fixed costs increase or decrease?
- Did you team grow or decline?
- Did you expand into new markets?
Ultimately, did 2016 meet or exceed your expectations?
Or did it not?
Taking time to consider the year that has been is important when you begin planning for 2017.
The business landscape has changed significantly and is likely to change even more in 2017. Being adaptive and agile can mean the difference between true success and failure.
2017 will give you and your company a fresh start to adopt and implement new strategies that can potentially assist in increasing efficiency, expanding capability and accelerating growth.
The question is, have you started thinking about how you are going to make 2017 your business’ year? What are you going to do differently to take it to new heights?
Finding the right strategy
There are many potential strategies to consider which can be adopted in 2017 to assist in meeting the goals you set for yourself.
Implementing an offshore team is just one solution that is becoming more and more popular as a proven business strategy.
Offshore teams can assist businesses of all sizes to:
- Grow without increasing fixed costs
- Access highly-skilled talent that may not be readily available locally
- Empower local employees by offshoring routine and process oriented tasks allowing them to focus on value-adding activities
- Enhancing capacity cost effectively allowing for better customer service
By adopting an offshore team, businesses can enhance competitiveness and stay ahead of the changing trends 2017 has in store to position themselves to be more agile and adaptive.
Offshoring is an excellent strategy for companies looking to face 2017 head on.
However, it is a significant undertaking and now, with the end of the year upon us, there is an excellent opportunity to spend some time understanding how your business can adopt it.
Some key issues that need to be considered:
- Budgeting for your offshore team – understanding the costs early
- Raising the topic with senior management – getting the business case right
- Considering the change management impact on your business
- Understanding which roles can be offshored
Understand that offshoring is not a quick fix and to be successful, careful and considered planning and execution are required. However, if it is done correctly, your business will realise the benefits.
Diversify can help your business start on the right foot in 2017. We can assist in creating an offshoring strategy that is right for your business and one that you can help sustain regardless of your size. Drop us a line today to get started for the new year!
There’s a lot that has been talked about with regards to how offshoring can be beneficial for any business. And why wouldn’t there be? Working with a remote team is predicted to be a major trend for Australian companies in 2017 and those that aren’t able to adapt quickly may fall behind the rest of the pack.
However, you might still be put off by offshoring because, from the outset, it seems complicated to take all the concepts presented at the same time. Offshoring is by no means a new concept, but it is understandable to feel hesitant about implementing it, especially if offshoring has just been presented to your business as a viable strategy but without any prior knowledge about it.
To get an immediate grasp and understanding of what offshoring is, you can look at “The five Ps” that make up its fundamental basis. Businesses can be more aware of what implementing an offshoring strategy actually entails and how much management needs to come from their end as compared to something like outsourcing (Hint: It’s a lot).
Offshoring, at its heart, has always meant massive savings without increasing any overhead. By hiring a remote staff to be part of your company, you can get excellent quality of work – or even better output- by having them perform functions outside your local team and at a lower cost. On paper, this looks as if offshoring’s main purpose is to replace local jobs. However, this has been debunked; evidence demonstrates that offshoring processes or labour intensive functions can lead to the creation of more roles locally. By offshoring lower to mid-level functions, more doors open up for your local staff professionally – they can upskill and contribute at a higher level.
The location of your offshore team matters but it is also something that is overlooked. Countries like India and Malaysia have often touted themselves as being the best location to scout for an offshore team. However, Diversify has always maintained that the Philippines is the definitive offshoring location. Geographically, the Philippines is much closer to Australia than most other countries that are viable offshoring locations. With only a two hour time difference between Australia and the Philippines, teams from both sides are able to interact at their most convenient time.
It should also be stressed that while considering the country you will offshore to is important, choosing the right the city or region within it also needs careful consideration. In the Philippines, Metro Manila is considered the ideal location as it has access to the country’s best infrastructure and its most diverse talent pool.
When talking about a country’s talent pool, you are referring to the workforce that makes it up. The ones who make up your business are those who will help drive it to be successful. This is why Filipinos are considered some of the best people to have on your offshoring team. Many of them are highly educated and with a 94% English literacy rate in the country, connecting and engaging with them will make your offshoring experience an easy one. This also means knowing the right people who can gel and connect very well with your local team.
So how do you find these talented people to be part of your offshoring team? By being heavily involved with the recruitment process and knowing who you want. While outsourcing means leaving the recruitment responsibilities to an intermediary, offshoring requires a more direct managerial approach to deciding on who will be hired. The process is much longer and can involve setting plenty of requirements on your part, but being able to hire “the best among the rest” will no doubt be a good long term solution for your company.
As seen in all the previous points, offshoring’s most defining characteristic is how it puts a premium on the importance of staff engagement. Because you meticulously pick who you want as part of your team, you not only directly manage their functions and roles within your company, but you also help steer their professional development as well. By being able to assist in shaping their careers and also furthering their skills for different pathways, your offshore team can become all-around staff members you can rely on and retain.
Of course, there’s a lot more to offshoring than these five points. Like with any new venture, there are risks that come with offshoring that you can curtail and address swiftly if you have a proper strategy in place. Depending on your objectives, offshoring may not also be what you are looking for and a short term, less managed strategy is what you may be after. However, it is important to summarize the basics of offshoring and what potential advantages it may bring for you once you have a team and strategy in place.
Want to give offshoring a chance? Contact us today to get started and see what your business can do.
Bringing the best out of the people you see every day can make coming to work plenty of fun and be rewarding for your entire company. This is true whether you are working with your local staff or with an offshore team. As is the case when you start working with new people, there are still a few things that you need to work out initially once you have gotten to know them on your first day.
Closing the distance between you and your offshore team is already an immediate problem that is solved thanks to current technologies. What was once a complicated task, communicating with an offshore team has become a seamless experience that it almost feels like they’re in the same room with you. Regardless of this, there are still a few delicate intricacies that face to face communication brings that you cannot emulate over services like Skype and VSee. It is, therefore, important that you communicate with your team as frequently and as clearly as possible to assign tasks properly, plan your objectives and meet other challenges working with them poses.
Transition and change are always major issues to discuss in any workplace. Resistance, whether active or passive, should be expected especially if it means talking with your local staff about functions that will potentially be sent to an offshore team. A poor implementation of change strategy may bring uneasiness and uncertainty to your office, which may also result in a number of good staff members leaving for a more stable job.
This highlights the importance of maintaining constant communication and engagement with your offshore team. Everyone that will be affected by changes in management should be communicated with and personalised depending on the level of each staff members. Issues and questions that are raised need be addressed while also giving your staff the floor to be heard as well.
When looking to secure an offshore team for your company, cultural differences are bound to arise. Behaviours that are considered norms in Australia may not be the same case for countries in Asia or America and vice versa. From a Filipino point of view, there are some cultural dynamics which are part of our everyday life that while we don’t notice them, foreigners, on the other hand, may be surprised by them. We’ve touched on the significance of being aware of cultural differences previously and it is important to note that aside from this, there are also particular corporate differences you need to also keep in mind.
Corporate culture in Asia puts a much higher premium on respect and understanding within the workplace. In an effort to minimise any confrontation, politeness and clarity are second nature to many people based in Asia so as not to lose face in front of others. This is also especially prevalent in the Philippines, where the concept of being “hiya” or embarrassed is something that is actively avoided. Australian and American workplace cultures have an approach that Asian cultures might feel is too aggressive for them and being unaware of this may cause plenty of friction among your team.
It may sound tempting on the surface to let your offshore team handle a bulk of your functions in order to free up more local opportunities. You want to expect plenty from your team since, after all, they were through a very extensive screening process. However, if you raise your expectations too high for them, the results may not be what you were looking for in the first place.
You need to be aware of what your offshore team can bring to the table as well as potential risks that may come. It is easy to brush away how managing these expectations aren’t a difficult task but it is also an often overlooked one that leads to even more problems that need confronting. Tempered and properly managed expectations not only become beneficial for the company but also further develop the relationship with your offshore team.
Cultivating the right offshore team for your company takes some time, but it becomes incredibly beneficial in the long run. Diversify prides itself in being able to provide highly skilled and dedicated members for your offshoring staff. Drop us a line today if you want to learn more about offshoring.
Should I offshore? That is a question that many businesses will ask when they first read or hear about it. Offshoring brings with it many opportunities for businesses to save money, enhance capability, increase capacity and also empower local employees.
These are just some of the benefits that businesses consider when looking at the potential of an offshore program. Each of these ‘benefits’ or ‘opportunities’ means different things to each business. What’s important to one business might not be so important to another, and this is where the challenge may lie – businesses must carefully consider why they are offshoring and why it’s important for the business to do it.
Getting the why clearly articulated from the start will guide your offshore journey and also assist you in determining how important it is to your business.
- My competitors are doing it
- I want to cut costs
- I want to remove time-consuming tasks from my local employees
- I want to become more competitive in a global market
- I want to add capability but local wages make it prohibitive
- I want to use it as a part of my long-term growth objectives
Those are just some of the reasons you might have when considering whether or not to offshore. Why bring these up? These reasons why you want to offshore will ultimately determine the path of your offshore journey and the results you will achieve from it.
We find that businesses looking to offshore just to cut costs will usually experience issues initially as there is a significant investment in setting up an offshore program for success. Cutting costs is a benefit of offshoring, but it should not be the only focus.
Businesses that are looking to use offshoring to become more competitive empower their local team members, invest in long-term growth and enhance their capabilities, and they realise the true value of an offshore team. Offshore team members can take on labour intensive and process laden tasks like graphic design, website development, accounting, payroll, administration and much more. By doing this, you can free up local resources to undertake value and growth oriented initiatives aimed at maintaining or growing revenues!
Most importantly, one of the biggest considerations your business must consider when looking into offshoring is if you’re ready to commit to it as a long-term strategy. Offshore programs are not short-term projects; they require an investment in planning, strategizing, testing, optimising and implementing. Getting your offshore team ready and then priming it to run on all cylinders will take an investment of time, but once these initial hurdles are overcome, your business will start to realise the benefits.
My business wants to offshore; what next?
Okay, so you’ve done your initial research, you’ve documented your ‘why’ and you know that offshoring can play a role in your business strategy going forward – what’s next?
Well just like you would choose a prefered ice cream flavour, there are many different options – you can set-up your own offshore operation (which is fraught with danger and risk, you can ‘outsource’ certain projects on a case-by-case basis (which could pose security or consistency risks) or you can engage a third-party solutions provider to assist you in mobilising your own offshore team.
An offshore solutions provider will assist your business in navigating the complex international landscape – they have local resources ready to assist you in setting your team up. These resources know the local regulations, legislation and local business environment to ensure the set-up process is a seamless one. They’ll identify the talent, they’ll present this talent to you, they’ll on-board to get your team ready for work and they’ll provide all operational support to ensure your team can perform the task required.
Your ‘why’ matters in selecting the right offshore solutions provider
Getting the right offshore provider to meet your business objectives is critical. Depending on your ‘why,’ you’ll look at different providers with operations in different countries and locations. If your main objective is to cut costs, you might look at the provincial areas of the Philippines like Clark which are located far away from major urban hubs. Although it’s cheaper, you’ll find the talent pool is much smaller and you’ll have difficulty finding highly-skilled candidates. Most importantly, you’ll struggle to build a long-term, high-performance team.
Locations like Makati City and BGC which are based in major metro-hubs are the other option. Although the costs may be higher, if you’re business’ ‘why’ was to grow with highly-skilled candidates and empower your local team members, this might be the location for you.
Metro Manila boasts a diverse and highly-skilled talent pool. Put it this way: your company is based in Australia and you’re looking for talented developers. To get this talent, you’re going to look at recruiting in Sydney or Melbourne. You won’t find this talent in rural areas like Gladstone or Tamworth. This is comparable to regions like Clark in the Philippines. To get the best talent, you need to engage service providers with a presence in key locations.
Not only that, the employees are highly-engaged and have access to key amenities and infrastructure, similar to what we enjoy in Australia. Why is this important you ask? Well, consider this; to have an engaged team is to have a high performing team – they’ll work harder for you and provide your internal and external stakeholders with great service. They’ll also stick around for much longer, meaning they’ll become critical components in your extended global team.
Okay, I’ve selected my offshore solutions provider, what’s next?
Once you’ve selected a solutions provider, the real journey begins. This provider will work with you and your team from start to finish; from mapping out and refining processes while also answering the questions “what functions should I offshore?” through to identifying and recruiting talent and on-boarding your team.
Your solutions provider will ensure your team members have all operational support – from the set-up and maintenance of their IT needs through to marketing and human resources support. All that is left is for you to manage your team member’s workflow and ensure they’re completing the tasks required.
Your provider will work closely with you to get the best out of your team members. It might seem like a daunting process but, if you’ve selected the right service provider, this process should be seamless. Always remember that getting your offshore team up and away is not a short-term process, there will be teething pains and there will be problems that may arise, but stay committed… you’ll realise the benefits once these are overcome!
By asking yourself “should I offshore,” you will help determine if it becomes a vital part of your business strategy. If you think you are ready for it, drop us a line today to get started.
The latest Commonwealth Bank Legal Market Pulse results are in, and offshoring continues to be a major option for legal practices looking to reduce costs and offer significant value to clients. More of them are realising the opportunities an offshore workforce can deliver; opportunities that can be realised by businesses operating within any industry sector.
Over the next two years, the survey indicates that the number of larger firms offshoring work will grow from 9% to 14%. This percentage of mid-practices offshoring will increase from just 1% to 7% as more of them realise the potential offshoring can offer in reducing costs and maintaining or improving margins.
The perception of offshoring continues to shift, with businesses realising that the approach does not just bring on the opportunity of cutting costs, it allows for costly local team members to be liberated from lower-cost activities, letting them focus on the areas that can deliver the greatest value to your business.
More and more firms are starting to express the view that offshoring can have a positive impact on their profit margins. In the survey, research and discussions conducted by the Commonwealth Bank indicated that:
- Offshoring can help firms take control of their future, rather than relying on market conditions to improve; and
- Firms who spend on offshoring are more likely to be neutral about business conditions rather than negative.
Although this survey was conducted on the operators’ within the legal sector, the findings apply to all business. Offshoring can reduce cost pressures that are building on business, empower local team members to focus on growth activities and, most importantly, maintain or grow profit margins.
Some key quotes contained within the survey by leading Commonwealth Bank executive, Marc Totaro, Head of Professional Services, included
- “Outsourcing offers the opportunity for firms to focus their investment in hiring and retaining quality staff in the areas where they can achieve the greatest impact. The key is to closely examine each step in your processes to identify the areas where you have the greatest competitive advantage.”
- “Firms who master the art of successful price negotiation not only achieve higher margins, they can also increase client satisfaction and build stronger relationships by highlighting the value they offer, rather than the costs they charge.”
If you would like to learn more about how an offshore team can deliver value to your business, get in touch with Diversify today. Also, take advantage of our complimentary offshore readiness review – we’ll schedule a discussion and overview of your business and see which functions can be effectively offshored.
Whether as a child or as an adult, eating ice cream has always been something to look forward to. People, regardless of their age, find simple joys in those short moments having it especially during summers, as a dessert after meals or as go-to “comfort food.”
So what does it have in common with offshoring?
When you think about it, eating ice cream has many similarities to choosing the best offshoring provider for your company. For one, there are different flavours that many may not be aware of like wasabi or salted caramel. For people that love these particular flavours, they often want to recommend that others try it to dispel preconceived notions about it (“Why would ANYONE want to put salt in their ice cream?”).
In the same way, there are people that may not be aware of the benefits offshoring brings and have only some initial views of it that may be negative. Companies that have adopted offshoring want to let others know how beneficial it can be for them, especially in the long run.
The similarities don’t end there as well.
There are many different flavours to choose from
There are different flavours of ice cream that you can try. There are some big name brands you can choose flavours from or you can get ice cream from a smaller, more local outlet. Just like selecting your preferred flavour, there are many different offshoring providers that you can choose from. Each of them provides different roles and functions for your company.
Ask yourself what you want
When you’re about to buy ice cream, you ask yourself questions like “Do I want my choice to go with anything else?” or “Am I in the mood for something fancy like Rocky Road or do I just want simple like plain vanilla?”
The same works for offshoring. What your business is looking to get accomplished will also depend on the offshoring provider you need. If your company requires plenty of back office functions that need to be offshored, it is encouraged that you seek out more complete providers rather than cheap ones.
There is always a preferred spot to go to for ice cream
You make it a point to always go to your favourite spot for ice cream even if there are other places that offer the same flavour. Maybe you get along with staff that serves you and often want to engage in conversation with them. You may also find a particular location much closer to you than other branches, making it more convenient and accessible to you.
This is why location matters in offshoring. Even if you manage to choose a provider that offers the functions that you need, it is also essential to note where they are based as they can be a much better option for you. Offshore staff in the Philippines for instance are very articulate English speakers compared to other countries and are much easier to get a hold of due to minimal time zone differences.
It doesn’t matter if you want ice cream in a cup or cone. Everyone can have it
Historically, ice cream was once considered a very costly dessert that only wealthy people could have. By the early 20th century however, ice cream became less expensive and was starting to be sold by street vendors and at fairs. With the advent of cones sometime in the 1920s, ice cream became a very accessible dessert to more people. While there were still those that preferred to have it in a dish or cup rather than a cone, ice cream was now no longer limited to just being eaten on one platform by a select group of people.
One of the biggest concerns people have about offshoring is its cost and that it is only something that bigger, more established companies can afford. While this was true for awhile, current technologies and faster Internet speeds have made it possible for small and medium business owners to make offshoring work for their company. No longer limited to just big businesses, offshoring can now be embraced by any business of size in the world.
Premium ice cream is available too
Of course, if you’re looking for something that will provide you with the biggest satisfaction, ice cream companies have different premium flavours available. While they may cost more than average or cheaper ice cream, you know that what you are paying for an extra “kick” or richness in flavour that these companies want to guarantee you will have.
Diversify is an offshoring company that is just like a premium ice cream flavour. We’re not content with providing you just average services or very basic staff members. We want our clients to be highly satisfied with the services we offer. With a premium standard that great, it means we are committed to hiring the best and brightest for your offshoring staff and offering top quality services at the best rates. If these are the services that you want out of an offshoring company, feel free to reach out to us so we can help you get started.
ICT (or information communication infrastructure) is the backbone of any successful offshoring model. Without reliable infrastructure, any outsourcing or offshoring project is doomed to fail.
Why is this? Having access to reliable ICT infrastructure allows your offshore employees to interact and communicate with your local team seamlessly. We have discussed just how important it is to communicate and engage with your staff frequently and if your connectivity is not consistent, or high speed, these interactions could be arduous and frustrating which will be an impediment to the success of your program.
We cannot stress enough, how important it is to get this right. With the breakdown in geographical barriers due to rapidly advancing digital communication technologies, businesses of all sizes should be able to leverage the power of offshore workforces.
However, we are starting to see more and more businesses engage offshoring solutions providers who don’t have the ICT infrastructure bit right. They don’t have reliable and efficient systems, they don’t have experienced teams who know how to get things humming, and they don’t know how to roll out successful offshore programs.
With the right infrastructure, businesses can communicate what they need from and also temper their expectations as if their offshore team was right there with them. If you want to get the most out of your offshore team, your business needs to look closely at the locations you want to offshore to.
Keep in mind, picking locations close to key metro hubs is going to give you access to more reliable and advanced infrastructure.
The further out you go, the less likely you are going to experience reliable and efficient infrastructure. Put it this way, businesses in metro areas like Brisbane and Sydney have incredibly advanced infrastructure when compared to rural areas like Gladstone or Townsville.
In the Philippines, Metro Manila is home to the most robust IT infrastructure in the country. Compared to other offshoring locations in the Philippines like Cebu and Davao City, major telecommunications providers base their operations in Metro Manila. Businesses have been able to leverage this to their advantage and enjoy excellent internet speeds and connectivity.
While being connected to the Internet is now a luxury that we often take for granted, it’s good to be reminded why having a constant and robust infrastructure in place will be very beneficial to you and our company.
Manila’s IT Infrastructure
The Philippine government has continued to make strides in improving the Internet connections in the country. Despite the entire country being interconnected, the biggest IT hub still remains Metro Manila.
Major companies such PLDT and Globe have their headquarters located in Manila and compared to other locations in the Philippines, is considered the fastest in the country. As the home of the country’s business hub as well, it was important for these companies to ensure their IT infrastructure was in the strongest where it would be needed most. Although still incomparable to the United States and Australia, Metro Manila offer internet speeds that can peak at 50 Mbps. Compared to other offshoring locations in the Philippines, provincial areas such as Baguio and Davao City reach only to about half that.
Aside from convenience, a sturdy IT infrastructure will also mean reduced costs for your company. Additionally, by being well equipped to troubleshoot any issues that may rise, it means avoiding any potential loss that may incur due to downtime or disconnection from your offshoring team.
Troubleshooting In An Instant
When you’re at home relaxing, losing your internet connection is just about the worst thing that could happen! If you’re at work however, the effects of being disconnected, even for just a few minutes, are much more severe. In today’s fast paced and interconnected society, companies are relying more and more on a solid IT infrastructure to ensure the flow of the data remains stable for their day-to-day operations. Still, technical problems beyond a company’s control can arise.
That’s why it is important to have a solid IT department that can troubleshoot any potential issues in the quickest time possible.
It is advisable for companies to have two ISPs to minimise redundancy and downtime. That is why Diversify has taken steps to ensure that not only does it have two ISPs in its infrastructure, but is also located in areas where power generators can help keep workflow running amidst bigger issues such as blackouts. We understand the importance of staying constantly connected with your offshoring team and have invested in not only having a stable system to ensure things run smoothly on both your and a client’s end but we also have highly skilled technicians that can readily address issues that may arise. If you have been considering hiring an offshore staff for your company, we have taken steps to ensure that will be a seamless experience for you.
It’s a worrying time to be a small to medium business owner if the results of the latest Scottish Pacific SME Growth Index are anything to go by.
The report, initiated by Scottish Pacific, engaged a leading independent researcher to conduct six-monthly polls of 1200 small to medium business leaders across a number of states and territories.
Some of the key findings outlined in the Index include:
- Business owners are working up to 80 hour weeks
- They are losing sleep over cash flow, and it has been named as the top concern – 72.5 percent of respondents say cash flow keeps them awake at night
- There isn’t enough time to get things done – 55 percent of respondents said they don’t have enough time to get things done
- Digital disruption isn’t always a good thing – 17.3 percent were worried about the disruption of their business models
- One in four are predicting revenue to decline through to the end of 2016 – the number of businesses predicting decline has almost doubled from 13.2 to 24.2%
- Small businesses are looking to non-banks for funding to ease cash flow concerns
- Technology isn’t always a good thing – Almost half of the respondents (44.6 percent) believe that mobile and digital technology has had a negative impact on their work life.
For more detailed information, please visit the report home page by clicking here.
In a rapidly advancing global and digital environment, businesses, of all sizes must become more competitive, leaner and agile in order to maintain growth and success.
In order to meet these challenges head-on, business owners have to look at alternate strategies which can drive efficiency and accelerate growth.
Meet these challenges head-on with an offshore team
Here at Diversify, we understand the challenges that small to medium business face. That’s why we offer businesses, of all shapes and sizes, access to highly-skilled and digitally-enabled workforces in the Philippines.
Offshore teams are more viable than ever with the breakdown in geographical barriers through advancing digital technology channels. You can access a global team by simply putting on a headset and using Skype… it’s that simple.
More and more businesses, especially the larger end of town, have realised the power of offshore teams – maybe it’s time you considered it for your business. Why?
Well, let’s look at how offshore teams can address some of the issues identified in the Scottish Pacific SME Growth Index.
- Reduce your workload by offshoring labour or process intensive tasks – Business owners can free up time and resources by offshoring time-consuming and low-value tasks.
- Access cost-effective Filipino employees – Business owners can realise more than 70% in savings by offshoring. Businesses can look at offshoring back-office roles and invest the savings in other areas of their business. This can also assist businesses in increasing their bottom line.
- Increase capacity with offshore team members – Businesses who are struggling to keep up with demand can increase capacity by adding offshore team members.
- Digital advances have made communicating globally easy – With technology advances, you can communicate with your offshore team as easily as you do local team members.
Diversify Offshore Staffing Solutions works with businesses to identify how an offshore program can work for them. We’ve assisted businesses in adopting an offshore strategy successful and working with them to realise the benefits.
If you’d like to learn more about offshoring and how it can assist your business in meeting the challenges raised in this report head on, please contact me via private message or visit our site.
Reference: Scottish Pacific SME Growth Index – http://www.scottishpacific.com/