What's stopping SME Business Owners from Outsourcing?

by Andrew Mault - Country Manager, hammerjack

Originally published on LinkedIn

Last (last) week I joined others from the ANZCHAM BPO committee, for a discussion around trends that we are collectively seeing across the outsourcing industry. Derek Gallimore founder and CEO of The Outsource Accelerator led a panel discussion, with panelists Thomas Cragg VP of KMC Solutions and seasoned offshoring expert, and me. We were fortunate to be joined by other outsource services providers and experts from across the Philippines, as well as those that managed shared services or captive centers for Australian businesses, including Telstra and QBE.

We covered many interesting topics and it was great to hear that we are all pretty much aligned with our passion for outsourcing and our approach to marketing and selling the benefits of outsourcing and offshoring. 

With a huge industry focus on small & mid-size businesses, there has never been a better time for SME’s to explore offshore. There are many service providers in the Philippines, with a whole range of different service model options to suit budget, business model or personal preference.

One topic of conversation was why isn't everyone outsourcing – what’s stopping them?

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It was widely agreed that awareness and knowledge of service options, what it takes, and the real cost of outsourcing were blockers. There are probably hundreds of thousands of SME’s that have talked about offshore but just don’t know where to start, and who to trust. Like any industry, there are great providers, good providers, ok providers and cowboys. With so many providers in the industry (over 700 in the Philippines) it is no wonder that SMEs are skeptical. 

My opinion, and that shared by many attendees, was that there needs to be more of a consultative, rather than one size fits all, approach. Regardless of customer preference we need to have an  understanding of what the customer is trying to achieve. Why they are outsourcing? What does their end goal looks like? It’s also important to flag possible risks and/or suggest a better way, even if this means delaying the move (and closing the deal). We are the experts after all and have a duty to share our expertise and experience.

Outsourcing and offshoring should fit as part of a longer-term strategy, not a band aid solution just to remove costs. Small businesses and startups are leveraging outsourcing and offshore capability to grow and add more value to their customers, whilst remaining competitive in a very competitive space. 

If you are serious about offshore or outsourcing for your SME business, then you can reach out directly to me or perhaps contact Derek Gallimore who represents almost all of the providers in Manila. There are plenty of great providers that you should consider before making a decision.

The Australian & New Zealand Chamber (ANZCHAM) is a vital organization that supports and promotes business relationships between the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand. I have been a member of ANZCHAM for around 5 years and hammerjack supports the Chamber as a major sponsor. The BPO round table committee is just one event that ANZCHAM hosts, for more information on their other events you can contact them directly or visit their website www.anzcham.com.