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NGO / NFP

18
Jan

Easy Offshore is Australia's only full service consulting firm dedicated to helping local businesses implement the offshoring / outsourcing of skilled white-collar teams.

Offshoring is probably the greatest opportunity (and threat) for business in a century.

We've guided our clients to prevent insolvency, boost profit, become more competitive increase their team skills, improve customer service and optimise their efficiency.

Whether you've got a small family businesses, or responsible for a publically listed giant, our research, expert consultants and proven methodologies will ensure your success.


Easy Offshore Consulting is the leader in educating business, optimising their strategy and implementing white-collar offshore teams.

We've guided our clients to boost profit, increase team skills, reduce cost, prevent insolvency, improve service and optimise efficiency.

Whether you’re a small family businesses or a publically listed giant, our research, experts and proven methodologies ensure success.

 
14
Jan
Easy Offshore
25
Jun

  

How to save a business from insolvency in three months using offshoring.

As Smart Company revealed recently, there is no respite for businesses on the edge of insolvency as the ATO doubles its “pay up or wind up” orders. This comes on the back of a period of an ongoing high number of business failures due to insolvency, and the resulting personal bankruptcies as directors run out of money to prop up unprofitable businesses.

These sorts of sobering statistics reveal it’s still a tough business environment out there, as economic challenges mix with unprecedented amounts of change from technology disruption, generational spending patterns, and globalisation.

Having worked on implementing global-resourcing in my own businesses and many others over the past 5 years, it does surprise me that this is not more often pursued as a way to solve business financial failure. I have seen businesses both small and large turn around a desperate situation where directors were facing bankruptcy, to soon becoming strongly profitable within a short space of time.

Yes, in these sorts of situations, there is no doubt that local jobs are shed in favour of lower cost full time staff in a country like Philippines. But the flip side is that without exception for these kinds of rapid turn-around scenarios, more Australian jobs are saved than are lost offshore.

Global-resourcing offers the opportunity to completely rethink the efficiency of a business – both to fix and enhance profit, and also to provide better customer service.

Let me show you an example.

For various reasons, the business was not making a profit for well over a year, and this was gradually draining the cash reserves of the owners. Pride and fear stopped them from seeking help until it was almost too late, and by the time they came to me we literally had 3 months left to start making a solid profit or the owners were going to lose the business and their home.

This business had 24 office-based staff, but the same principle can be used on almost any sized business. This is how we saved the business in 3 months.

My firm did one day of consulting with the business, explaining a blueprint for implementing global teams in a low risk and highly successful way, and how to avoid the mistakes of others. We next examined all 24 roles and broke them apart into tasks. We figured out which tasks could be done in the Philippines, and created new roles.

Lesson 1: In all Australian businesses roles are made up of high skill and lower skill tasks. You should NOT try to shift roles offshore – whether you’re in a rush or not. This leads to many assumptions and failures. Think at a task level and get advice on which tasks can be most readily moved.

We selected an appropriate offshore facility with relevant expertise. This is not ‘process outsourcing’ as such – it’s more like setting up a second team with your own full time staff, in a serviced office, in the Philippines. Recruitment began immediately.

Lesson 2: The “outsourcing” industry has completely evolved over the last 10 years and there are now 9 different staffing models, with any level of control possible. There are also a lot of poor quality facilities, so get help to choose a good and ethical one.

Having looked at all the tasks we could strip off the Australian team for the offshore team, I knew we could combine several similar roles in the Australian team to reduce local staff numbers. 

Lesson 3: It’s important to not lose key people in your team during this process. Keep the talent that you worked hard to assemble, and in time you’ll be able to offer them even greater opportunities. It’s not easy to let some staff go, but its easier than losing your whole business and everyone losing their jobs.

Of the 24 roles, we could safely and easily combine 6 pairs of them to eliminate 6 local roles. We identified another 4 roles that were somewhat harder to shift but still possible if we had to.

Lesson 4: When offshoring, always start with the easy stuff, and if faced with a time deadline, identify the fastest cash wins.

We announced the changes to the Australian team, explaining the financial situation and telling them that we needed to restructure the business with global teams in order to continue, and that 6 people would be losing their jobs, so that the rest would be saved.

We explained a new vision for the business, giving the team confidence in the new plan. Their customers were none the wiser, and the local team rallied to support the transition.

Lesson 5: Be upfront and clear to your team, this is NOT a trial – this is the new business model. Sell the benefits of them being able to do more of the high value tasks, and potentially some will supervise small teams of their own.

We completed offshore recruitment, after careful testing of the applicants. The first 6 roles were a mix of administration, finance and high skill engineering-related positions. Combined, the six roles would save over $26,000 per month in salary and oncosts alone, and by month three they had paid redundancies and started to reduce debt.

Lesson 6: It does not take many offshored roles to potentially save a business. Wages average out at one fifth for a skilled and qualified Philippines team. Even moving one or two roles in a small business can have a huge impact on profitability.

Although that was the end of the immediate financial problem, the business owners now understood the potential for restructuring and optimising their business for greater efficiency. Over the following 12 months they gradually worked on their internal processes to focus more on customer service, which lead them to remove 4 more local positions, and add 8 new offshore positions, including a new marketing department which directly stimulated growth.

Lesson 7: Although reducing costs is often why businesses start the offshoring journey, it’s my belief that the biggest win is ultimately to optimise the business for throughput as opposed the standard method in Australia of simply minimising the number of staff. This builds a stronger business which is more able to survive financial challenges, and more able to grow into new markets.

Not only did this business survive, with its new structure, high profit, and confidence in operating outside of Australia, it is now looking at selling into other countries. They’ve already hired several new Australian positions because they are growing again.

The owners feel very grateful that they saved their house and business, have a strong and capable offshore team, and that this team helped them to save many Australian jobs, and create more local opportunities now and in the future.

By all means talk to pre-insolvency advisors and your accountant about your own options, but many of these advisors have no direct experience with offshoring so are unlikely to suggest this as an option, so you may want to seek additional assistance as well.


Scott Linden Jones is the founding adviser at Easy Offshore , providing global-resourcing educational and implementation services to Australian businesses via tours, seminars and consulting.

25
Jun

 

Establishing an offshore team to complement your Australian team can be an extremely effective way to produce a more efficient and more profitable business. Thousands of small and medium Australian businesses have already done exactly that, and are innovating and improving their businesses as a result.

The evolving nature of the offshoring industry has made it extremely easy and low cost for any sized business to get started with hiring staff offshore, without significant capital and without significant knowledge of the culture and industrial relations laws of other countries.

Still around half of the businesses who start offshore fail to get their expected result. This failure usually either takes the form of extremely low productivity, or an inability to integrate the offshore team successfully into the Australian business processes.

The failure rate is so high precisely because of the low barriers to getting started. Anyone can use Google to find 100 providers of staff in Philippines or India, and all of them have a glossy website and promise whatever you want to hear. So too, can any director or CEO use Odesk and hire one or one hundred skilled office staff willing to work for an appealing price. Those who begin their offshore journey in this optimistic but unstructured way almost always end up dissatisfied with the result.

Establishing a highly effective offshore team is not difficult, but like most things it requires a basis for understanding what is a good versus a poor decision. If you fail to prepare and arm yourself with the knowledge, then your decisions (and the end result) will often be poor.

Here are the top 10 (extremely common) reasons for offshoring failures.

1. Choosing the wrong business model for housing your team. There are currently eight different ways to employ staff outside of Australia. Only one or two of these will match your business needs.

2. Choosing the wrong providers for staff leasing, office provision, legal, accounting. Like any other aspect of business in Australia, there are good and bad providers – how do you tell the difference?

3. Inadequate recruitment processes, or relying on facilities that have inadequate processes.  Offshoring is, to a large extent, a recruitment game. There are specific things that need to be done differently with recruitment in order to reliably hire the best staff.

4. Poor salary packaging and/or lack of transparency as to what staff are actually getting paid. It’s not always obvious that some providers are underpaying their staff, or that the way you are structuring salary packages is missing the aspects that people value the most.

5. Paying too much (which wastes money and creates the wrong culture) or paying too little (which, like Australia, leads to staff retention problems).

6. Lack of cultural and local factor understanding with management practices. Being oblivious to cultural differences will lead to poor productivity and loss of key staff.

7. Failing to do the “internal sell” properly with the Australian team, causing key detractors, motivations to see the strategy fail, and fear of job losses affecting local productivity.

8. Having no plan for integrating another geographical office location. (This is the same challenge with setting up another branch location in a different Australian city – a basic logistical and communications strategy is required to make sure information is shared effectively.)

9. Going too fast with execution, for example, hiring 10 staff offshore immediately without proper process. In most cases, the SME businesses that get offshoring right the first time start with only one or two full-time staff, and build the team gradually.

10. Insufficient team communication, or having a “set and forget” attitude. Your offshore team players are just normal people exactly like Australian workers, and they need leadership and communication in order to be effective.

Watching other businesses make all of these common mistakes (and making quite a few of them myself in the early years) became the basis for the training that I now provide to directors and CEOs. None of these are difficult to solve; in fact, all it takes is a three-hour briefing and a written guide, but they all MUST be solved in order to succeed with your offshore team.


Scott Linden Jones has built several businesses in the IT industry since 2002. He is the founding advisor at Easy Offshore, providing offshore educational and implementation services to Australian businesses.

18
Jun

 

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WE OFFER SPECIAL SERVICES FOR NOT-FOR-PROFITSnonprofit

If your organisation is a NFP with more than 20 staff, we offer some additional services.

At no charge we will come up with a plan for how you can simultaneously put substantial savings to your bottom line, AND expand your work to have global reach.

Not only will your offshore team love you for their work opportunities, but some of the savings can be put into programs in their local area.

Imagine not only doing your wonderful works in Australia, but also being able to offer them in Philippines for example.  

All at once you could:

- Perhaps save $100,000 or $1M per year on wages (helping you deliver more services here),

- And employ some very grateful offshore staff,

- And help their their community by investing a percentage of your savings into community programs,

- And still save $80,000 (or $800,000) per year!

Even $10,000 or $20,000 per annum stretches a very long way in some of these countries, and there is a good chance that they could do with your help.

We can help you establish relationships with the right people in order to spread your great work as your business adapts a global model.