Once the domain of our biggest companies, offshoring is an increasingly attractive option for SMEs to reduce their wages bills and address skills shortages.
Yet there are many questions and queries: How do you go about it? Is it expensive? Do you still have managerial control?
My Business editor and co-owner of Momentum Media, Phil Tarrant, discusses his first-hand experience of taking on an offshore team of web and IT-skilled employees in a conversation with Thomas Cragg and Joe Curran of KMC Solutions, an offshore staff leasing and virtual employee provider in the Philippines capital, Manila.
Take a listen and get some valuable insights into whether offshoring could be a viable option for your business!
Announcer: Welcome to the My business podcast with your host, Phil Tarrant.
Phil Tarrant: Good day everyone. I'm looking at My Business Podcast. Thanks for tuning in. Recording today from Manila in the Philippines. We're up here working out of our Manila office for a couple days with our Filipino team. I thought it was a great opportunity to get a couple of guys on the show who operate out of Manila and have done for quite some time in the business process outsourcing space. I hope I got that right.
Today I'm joined with two people. I don't have a co-host as per usual, but I've got two guys on the show. I've got Joe Curran, who is from KMC, and I've also have Tom Cragg, and I hope I got that right because we practiced it before hand and I'm not very good at this sort of stuff.
Tom Cragg: Yeah.
Joe Curran: That's all right.
Phil Tarrant: That's good. Joe is the executive vice president up here and Tom is ... you're sales
Tom Cragg: Yeah. VP for sales.
Phil Tarrant: VP sales. Your job is to find people to provide business processing outsourcing for.
Tom Cragg: That's right. It's two sides to the business, really. The one side is the office space. Obviously we're in one of our conference rooms at the moment. We currently manage around 6,000 desks here in Metro Manila. The other side of the business is what we call "staff leasing". It's essentially hiring virtual teams on behalf of offshore clients like yourselves, hiring them under our corporate umbrella, and managing all of the HR and payroll moving forward, as well as the facilities management; making sure they've got a PC, the bandwidth's up and running. I suppose, in a nutshell, all that's left for our clients is the everyday management of the staff.
Phil Tarrant: I think you mentioned it there, Tom... A bit of disclosure: we choose, and we chose, KMC as our partner up here in Manila, and that was after quite a rigorous process that we undertook to find the right type of person that we felt had the culture and the right sort of attitude to business that we shared. We chose them as our outsourcing provider. There's a number of different models that you can undertake up here in Manila in terms of how you choose to leverage on the human capital assets up here. We're very much for within the BPO space, which is business process outsourcing. Mate, can you just tell us a little bit about what that is, and a little bit of how that started in Manila and why Manila is a hot spot for this type of stuff?
Joe Curran: Outsourcing took off here. Outsourcing in general started in the late 80s, early 90s, going to countries like Ireland and places like that. Offshoring from the US; Large corporates were looking to save on costs, but eventually it found its way to the Philippines via India. A large reason for that is 100 million people, English speaking, Western oriented, good education system. With that outsourcing took off here in the early 2000s. Chevron started moving some shared services work over to the Philippines. Some various third party outsources started to come in as well. It snowballed from there to the point where we're today looking at about 1.3 million people directly employed in outsourcing, contributing close to almost 10% GDP to the Philippine economy.
Phil Tarrant: That's pretty important.
Joe Curran: It's very important. It's become very important aspect of the growth of the economy here over the last decade. That's only the 1.3 million people directly employed. All the ancillary effects of that in terms of residential, in terms of retail, in terms of hotel occupancy. There's so many knock-on effects as well from outsourcing.
Phil Tarrant: Our readers, and I don't know how much you guys know about my business, but essentially, it's a platform for the SME marketplace. We have people who might be two man bands, three man bands, or praying out of their garage looking for that first office space and creating some new product. They might be a small shop owner, they might be a dentist, they might be a carpenter, they might own a plumbing business, all the way through to restaurants, café owners, and then large businesses up to 200 people. We have a diversity of businesses and business owners that listen to the My Business Podcast. What I'm always clear about with these guys is that the My Business platform is more M than S. It's for the medium businesses and people aspiring to be that medium business.
I know a lot of people, when they set up a business and they get going it might be two, three, four years in, and once that scale in the business get greater efficiencies, often business owners get stuck doing the $15 an hour jobs when they should be doing the $200 an hour jobs. Looking towards Manila and the Philippines as an outsourcing place, people can start to look at removing those $15 an hour job, $20 an hour jobs, up to here and get them done, and concentrate on their important stuff. Do you see this as a regular theme for people looking towards the Manila or the Philippines to outsource to get those business efficiencies?
Tom Cragg: Yeah, absolutely. I think it's a lot of ... Every company is slightly different. Some CEOs will always want to do a lot of hand holding, especially initially when we set these teams up, but taking a long-term view, that's exactly right. It's really a time saving device for those senior management guys where a lot of the back-office stuff can be handled here in Manila, whereas they've got some of the more customer facing roles still on the ground there in Sydney or Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, wherever they're based. Absolutely, I think that's typically the sort of starting point with these accounts and then people come into the landscape here, realise that there's additional talent or some of those more creative roles or web developers, programmers. It typically starts with more of the back-office stuff and then grows into something much bigger.
Phil Tarrant: What sort of jobs do Australian businesses ... What tasks or roles do Australian businesses typically get their Filipino workforce to look after?
Tom Cragg: If we opened up our recruitment tracker today, we'd probably be looking at anything up to 60 different roles.
Phil Tarrant: Okay.
Tom Cragg: There's 100 per cent, we're still doing the technical support, the lead generation, even data entry roles, but at the other side of the spectrum it's java developers, PHP, MySQL; you name it, we've probably hired for some of those roles here. I'm not trying to dodge the question. It's a very tricky one for me.
Phil Tarrant: It's a very broad one.
Tom Cragg: It's so broad. People typically come in with an idea and then someone like Joe or myself would sit down with them and say, "Hey, have you considered doing some extra SEO work from the Philippines?" or something like that. It's really for me, or for my team, to really sit down with the clients and see what other opportunities are available for them, and that's how we've been able to develop these long-term relationships.
Joe Curran: I guess a lot of the times as well people aren't fully aware of the extent of which roles or scope can actually be outsourced. A lot of people think it's just the virtual assistant or someone like that, but it actually goes much further beyond that to a lot higher value roles or more KPO type work that's been done over here.
Tom Cragg: Initially when I first joined KMC, it was always how much cheaper it was in Manila to hire some of those roles. I've sort of started to move away from that now and really just focus on the talent. Whereas somewhat perhaps in Australia wouldn't necessarily want to do some of these jobs, it's considered a prestigious job here in the Philippines and it would be the main bread winner for the family doing that role.
Phil Tarrant: My experience up here and when I went through the recruitment process, which was quite a rigorous process, there was web interviews and then formal interviews, et cetera. I was really quite surprised by the depth of the, number one, the education of the candidates. Pretty much everyone had a university degree.
Tom Cragg: Yeah.
Phil Tarrant: Most of them do it in English, right? Therefore, the English-speaking capabilities were exceptional, and for us, in terms of outsourcing, why we chose Manila over, say, India or there's other parts in Asia which are getting a reputation for good outsourcing is, the English capabilities is excellent. It's seven and a half hours’ direct flight from Sydney up here, so you can jump in a plane overnight.
Tom Cragg: Time zones.
Phil Tarrant: The time zones is two hours, two hours off I think from Sydney. Our team in Manila work our Sydney hours.
Tom Cragg: Yeah.
Phil Tarrant: It's just like having people within our office and it works really well. What I'd like to have a chat about, and interesting like ... I'll try to paint a picture for our listeners, we're in BGC at the moment which is the ...
Tom Cragg: That's the Bonifacio Global City.
Phil Tarrant: Bonifacio Global City, which is also called The Fort. It's amazing. The standard of the facilities here is exceptional. It rivals Sydney in many ways. It's very clean, it's very modern, the infrastructure is great. It feels like you could be downtown anywhere in the world, really, which I found quite surprising, personally. We've chosen this particular area to set up our operations but there is other areas in Manila and in the Philippines where there is outsourcing hubs as well, is that right?
Tom Cragg: That's right.
Joe Curran: When outsourcing first started to come here, we mentioned in the early 2000s, there was very little adequate office supply for these locators to go into, in terms of air conditioning systems weren't flexible, floor plates weren't very efficient. They really didn't have any choice but to go to some of these prime grade buildings in the CBD and Makati CBD, which is the main CBD in Metro Manila. Over the last 10, 15 years, the market has evolved so much that their building designs have kind of changed. The floor plates are more efficient. We've got more flexible air conditioning systems. Business districts like Fort Bonifacio or Bonifacio Global City, BGC, where we are now, have mushroomed up around Metro Manila.
A large part of that is also companies wanting to go out and be closer to the workforce, and not have to have everyone ... We haven't mentioned the traffic. The traffic is really bad. It's hard to get away from that, but part of it is people naturally commute long hours, three, four hours a day, coming in and going home from work. A lot of smaller campus-type developments have sprung up in fringe areas of Metro Manila, and, like you said, around the Philippines as well a lot of outsourcing companies have gone out to the provincial areas to tier two cities, tier three cities, and established campus facilities as well. Again, a lot of it is to do with tapping into a new labour market, or an untapped workforce, I guess. As well as some cost savings from some of the more expensive business districts in Manila as well.
Phil Tarrant: This is the more expensive part of Manila where we are now.
Joe Curran: Yeah, it is. For us, as we build this business, our facilities are showcase facilities, so we don't want to be your typical sweatshop operator in an old grade C building in tiny little chicken coop workstations. We want to invest into our facilities and make sure that we use it as a showcase.
Tom Cragg: Just to put into perspective, looking around where we are right now here in BGC, ten years ago when Joe and I first arrived ... I think you had been here for almost ten years as well.
Joe Curran: 12.
Tom Cragg: Just checking, just checking. BGC, all of these buildings you see around you at the moment, they weren't here a decade ago.
Phil Tarrant: You said that outsourcing now contributes 10 per cent to GDP.
Tom Cragg: Yeah. Almost 10 per cent. Close to 10 per cent.
Phil Tarrant: Is everything we're seeing here now because of outsourcing?
Joe Curran: Look, a lot of it is. A lot of it is. A lot of these, like Tom mentioned, this was a green field site around ten years ago... that was the only structure that was really there. There was a nightclub there and you used to come over and party here. Then a couple of the developers started taking a chance and putting up... we're only three kilometres from the major business district of Makati. We're pretty close and it's quite central within the Metro. This was an old army base, so this used to be an old military base, and as part of the conversion, the base's conversion, development authority, they master planned this entire green field site, sold off the lots. Some developers started to construct in the early 2000s, early to mid-2000s, more pioneering developers, and they were rewarded for that.
A lot of the occupiers in these office buildings are captive shared services centres. A lot of third party outsourcing operations have had to move out because the rents have become too expensive. Your typical third party outsourcers have had to leave, whereas a lot of captive shared services centres have set up operations here. Not only that, actually, we've seen a lot of big migration of just corporation HQs moving over from Makati as well. The stock exchange is consolidating here next year, obviously, you see the Shangri-La has come up now, the hotels are here and the transport's improved, the FNB offerings have improved.
Phil Tarrant: Once you're here, it's good, and we're only eight [kilometres] from the airport, is that about right?
Tom Cragg: That's correct.
Phil Tarrant: Or 20 minutes, or two hours, right?
Tom Cragg: Depending on what time, yeah.
Phil Tarrant: That is something that we're conscious about when we try and book our travel up here, to make sure we play that as well as possible.
In terms of infrastructure here, internet's great. There's no problems at all in terms of connectivity with the outside world, it's very stable, the power is always on. All those...
Tom Cragg: That's because you're a provider.
Phil Tarrant: I think a lot of people have preconceived ideas about outsourcing into Manila and part of my role, hopefully, in doing this podcast, is to potentially get people thinking a little bit more laterally about how they can empower and supercharge their business by looking towards Manila.
Now, let's talk about that. Let's talk about cheaper workforce. That's typically when people think about outsourcing to Manila, people think, or wherever outsourcing in general, that you're doing it because you're getting cheaper staff. The answer is, yes, you are, and the journey that we went down in looking at outsourcing in Manila was... That was part of our findings, but I think when we came up here and did the rounds to find a provider, it really opened our eyes and probably changed our paradigm a lot, to get away from the cost thing and get more towards the empowerment thing.
The fact that you can get great people up here and, you said it before, Tom, great people who are highly educated, speak very good English, who are very, very happy and proud to work for Australian business and they're driven. They're extremely loyal and they work really hard. For us, a lot of the work we're doing up here is very challenging to find Australians to do it back at home. A lot of data type work. Can you chat through that a little bit? The cost versus empowerment type thing, please, Tom?
Tom Cragg: Yeah. Give me the easy ones!
Phil Tarrant: You're the guy who's meeting with Aussies most of the time. Let me frame it this way: When you first meet with a potential Australian outsourcing client, do they go, "Tom, find me some cheap people"? Is that typically the first thing they say?
Tom Cragg: No, I have to be honest, it's ... If it starts going down that road and if it starts becoming just purely costs, then we need to manage their expectations, because obviously at some point it becomes a false economy. If you're just looking for the cheapest guys, then typically the work ethic isn't going to be there or they're not going to be as well trained or educated as some of the slightly more senior. If you're not careful and you just go purely on the price, then the output's just not going to be there.
Quite early on in the discussions, I think the first thing that I did with your team, was have a look at some of the job descriptions for some of those initial roles, sit down with our recruitment team, and really discuss how much are these guys going to cost, but also to go back to you guys and say, "At a junior X role, it's going to cost you this. For a more mid-level it's going to be this, and for a senior guy, a guru, it's going to be this, but the output is going to be so much more."
It's really a bit of a juggling act and, quite honestly, with the way that we've structured our business, as you will have noticed when you did the recruitment, we will have put some more junior people in front of you, and it's really up to the client to say, "Well, this guy is junior but we think with a little bit of fine tuning we can get him up to that acceptable standard," or perhaps you would hire a senior guy and put a few junior guys underneath him to get the benefits that way.
No, I have to be honest, when it ... Particularly with that Australian market, the way that the salary ranges are in Sydney, for example, at the moment, people will see the benefits anyways, from a cost perspective. I'm always trying to promote the talent and trying to take a long-term view with it to make sure that it's not something that's going to go up fast and then go down just as fast. It's got to be sustainable and in order to achieve that you need some quality.
Phil Tarrant: Yeah, it's important. I don't have our numbers in front of us about what it costs us to operate out of Manila, but by memory I think it's about half. It's about half of what the costs would be to have a similar person sitting in our Australian office. The way we view it, when we did our costings around operating in Manila, we looked at the costs of the staff and then costs of the office space, the facilities, and then we also costed in regular travel up here, accommodation, cocktails over at the bar.
Tom Cragg: Of course.
Phil Tarrant: All the essential expenses. All the fringe benefit tax, of course. I already look at our journey, and this is something we've been doing a little while now, and my thoughts, when we first come up here, versus where we are today are two very different things. We're fortunate that we have guys like you and you're on hands and you can help us understand some of the dynamics of operating out of Manila. What do you think the biggest mistake is that Aussie businesses make, or Aussie execs who come up here and shop around for potentially moving up here, make when they look at outsourcing? Whether it's Aussies or Americans, whatever. It's probably the same thing. What are the big mistakes they make?
Joe Curran: I think stakeholder buy-in is crucial. You guys are here regularly. You mentioned you come up here quite a bit. I think that's so important for your team, your remote team, again, because they're not in your office in Sydney or Melbourne, or San Francisco, or wherever it may be. To have that constant interaction with head office or HQ and to feel that involvement and to feel like they're part of your culture, they're part of your team.
Tom Cragg: Not just a number.
Joe Curran: Not just a number or you're not just the voice on the phone that they never see your face. To actually ... To really buy into it. If you want to go full outsourcing, this probably isn't the right model for you. Better to go to a third party outsourcer and let them deal with everything. Whereas if you go under this model, there's also a certain amount of involvement or responsibility or onus on your side to really make it work as well. That's just from a management standpoint. Obviously on the HR side, we can hold hands. On the facility side we provide great facilities and we take care of the recruitment, but, I think it's probably that for me seems to be the biggest mistake, or some people just being too hands off with their teams in Manila. Then, obviously, the morale isn't there and the people aren't as motivated and so things don't work there.
Tom Cragg: I'd go along with that. The other thing to consider in Manila is the churner staff. It's something as a company where we're incredibly mindful of. We've got a Christmas party that we're hosting for the team. We're hosting basketball tournaments, sports days, trips to the beach, all of these things. It sounds like a small thing to us, but it goes a long way for the employees here. As a company, I think particularly in the last two or three years, we've put some extra emphasis on retention of employees.
Phil Tarrant: Engagement.
Tom Cragg: Just trying ... Engagement, exactly, and also sitting down with clients and saying, "Hey, you know, this is an additional benefit. It won't cost you much." For example, the healthcare packages we've talked about in the past, it won't cost you a huge amount as the employer, but goes a huge way for the employees and makes sure that they're getting the best possible healthcare and they're back at their desk a bit quicker for you guys.
Phil Tarrant: Most of the people in our team would be the primary breadwinner, I guess?
Tom Cragg: Absolutely.
Phil Tarrant: It's really important to secure a job with a foreign company in Manila is, in many ways, a Holy Grail, right, for people?
Joe Curran: Yeah, absolutely. For young grads who are coming out of university, who have traditionally had to look for employment opportunities overseas or have had to go to the Middle East or have had to go to Australia, work and nurse overseas, or work as domestic helpers overseas, this whole growth in the outsourcing industry has provided them opportunities here in Manila where they don't have the emigrate. They can actually stay here, be close to their families. To score a job for a foreign company working in Manila, as a young person coming out of college, who wouldn't want that? To be the breadwinner in the family and be able to afford a down payment on a car or a condo.
Here it's like any emergent market. You have an emerging middle class. 100 million people, about 40 per cent of them between the ages of 18 to 45, so that's a huge workforce and those demographics are pretty positive for continued growth in the outsourcing market.
Phil Tarrant: Are these great for the Philippines as well, to actually hold on to the human capital, rather than their best and brightest to head off overseas and lose those guys? Generationally, this sort of incubation of outsourcing, the guys who are coming out of university now, as far as leaders here in the Philippines. It's great for Manila, great for the country, which is good. What are the... I know looking back for when we first come up to Manila to look at outsourcing, there's a number of different models that you can look at. Can you explain, Tom, the different ways in which you can establish yourself up here in the Philippines from an outsourcing perspective?
Tom Cragg: Sure. Joe's touched on a few of them. The first one, I suppose, would be setting up your branch or representative office here in the Philippines. Going in whole hog and actually setting up the company here. Your own entity and, as Joe mentioned, a lot of the large captives, the QBs, that's their approach.
Phil Tarrant: They incorporate up here in the Philippines.
Joe Curran: They incorporate and they build out a centralised shared services centre under their company name.
Phil Tarrant: Okay.
Tom Cragg: That's option one. This is in a nutshell, by the way. I'm sure there's other ways of doing it. The other way would be to go for that fully traditional BPO model where you're going to that third party outsourcer, you're essentially giving them a script, and it's over to them. It works for some companies, but as far as we're concerned, you lose a little bit of control over the every day management of the staff. Then you've got a set up like ourselves where it's a blended model where you've got all of the headaches are taken out of it in terms of the HR and payroll, working your way through the local labour code can be quite daunting when you first come into the Philippines, so it's good to have some assistance in that respect.
Basically, through our model, you keep that control of the staff, given that you're the ones that are actually assigning the task to the team day to day, you're the ones putting their KPIs together, appraising the staff, and everything else. It's really just KMC, which is, as Joe mentioned, assisting you with the recruitment. For every role that you're throwing at us we're probably getting 100 CVs. You're probably...
Phil Tarrant: I don't want to deal with that.
Tom Cragg: Exactly. That's a huge ... It's almost an impossible undertaking for a company which ... You've got things to do back in Sydney, right, so you need to come in, sit down with five strong candidates, and chose the best. You won't have time to go through 100 CVs. We can definitely save you some time on the recruitment side, and hiring the guys under our corporate umbrella means that the employment liability is all KMC Solutions'. Therefore, we would be handling anything that falls under HR and payroll and the facilities management, as Joe mentioned earlier, making sure that the bandwidth is tip top. Just about every company with KMC is hugely reliant on that stable internet.
Phil Tarrant: Yeah. The model that you just explained is the one that we've gone for initially up here in Manila. What we liked about that was that we could build our own team and our own culture but without a lot of the legislatively compliant headaches associated with that, and for us that made a lot of sense. It allowed us to get up here and start working and understand.
Tom Cragg: The nice thing about the model... You'll walk into some of our office space and everything in that facility is KMC Solutions. The staff are hired by us, we're providing the PCs, the workstations, the private office and the staff, of course. But when you walk in it's like you're walking into the Australian company's facility, because all of the branding, the frosting on the glass, all of the branding on the wall, the clocks with Sydney time and everything else. It's really like you're walking into an extension of that company's Sydney or Melbourne office. That's how we want the staff to feel as well. Yes, they've signed an employment contract with KMC Solutions, but we want them to feel very much like part of your team. As Joe mentioned, we really encourage the teams from Melbourne, Australia to come over here, or vice versa, if you want some of the guys to do some training back in Australia, then that's something that we encourage.
Phil Tarrant: Putting KMC aside, if I'm an Aussie business and I've been thinking about coming up to the Philippines to look at enhancing, whether it's processes, or looking to grow, or what are your reasons for doing that, what are the three things you think you should ... What are the three questions you should ask a potential partner when you're going through the process of choosing one? What would those three things you're really need to know?
Tom Cragg: I think a lot of companies are offering similar things. I think you need to really be focused on the key differentiators or the unique selling points for each company. One would be, probably branding. What they're doing to get the company name out there and make sure that the company is known as a reputable employer.
Phil Tarrant: That gets you best candidates.
Tom Cragg: That gets you the best candidates. That's number one talent. Number two, you've got to consider location and facilities because nobody wants to come into a sweatshop and work touching their neighbour. You do need to consider that and make sure that there's the staff are being well treated and everything else. The processes in terms of the HR and payroll, making sure that everything is being tracked on online portals and things like that. That's something where a lot of investment in the last two years has been made by KMC to make sure that all of our biometrics, all of the fingerprint access on each of the rooms is fully integrated with those online portals that we have for the staff. As you know, Blair ...
Phil Tarrant: Blair is our head of digital and he runs our Manila office. He's just sitting in the wings here drinking coffee.
Tom Cragg: He's got the easy job. But as you know, employees can apply for official business or apply for leave and it'll come through to your laptop or to your phone back in Australia for an easy approve or decline. I'd say probably, in no particular order, the other fourth one's got to be bandwidth. Our manager director, we're very lucky, he's a very technical guy himself. He came over to run a software company initially, so very IT savvy. He was the one that really set up the server rooms initially and every one of our clients, particularly ones that we absorb or we take from other companies here in Manila, a lot of the time it's down to the IT. They come in, they'll do testing in our facilities, and very quickly realise that we're particularly savvy on the IT side.
Joe Curran: People, places, and processes. Do they have the people? Or who the people are? It's cheesy. It's actually our tagline. It actually just came ... When he was talking through it came to my mind and he hit on it. Tom hit on it. The first things he said were the people, and then the locations and the facilities and then, are the processes there? Do they have their ISO certification? What kind of recruitment tools are they using? What kind of finances tools are they using? What's the ticketing system like for IT? Really dive into those kind of details because there's a lot of different opportunities, a lot of different vendors. Really do some good due diligence, and obviously come up here in person and kick the tires.
Phil Tarrant: I think that's really key. Our experience, speaking of a whole bunch of different process suppliers, and they're not created equal, I can tell you that for nothing. You guys aren't the cheapest, but there's a reason for that, and I think this is a people process and the facility stuff and I think that's key. If you want to come up here and try to cut corners and try and penny pinch, you're probably not going to have a great experience, I think.
Tom Cragg: I agree.
Joe Curran: You know, it can be done. Like you said, there are a lot of cheaper offerings in the market. It can be done, and you're absolutely correct. We've had to let clients go in the past. Some clients that have come here and really tried to take us to our knees, I guess, and there's a point at which we're willing to talk away and say, "We don't even want to get into it," because it's just going to blow up in our faces and we're going to have to clean up the mess later on.
When we take on the employee, the employment liability as well, we have to be really careful, also about who our clients are and what's their business and what are they doing, because they're in our facilities.
Phil Tarrant: I think the important thing is that you guys can do what you're doing and do it as well as you can, and that's cool, but it's still incumbent on the business owner who is managing a team and chatting with you guys and other Australians who I know you operate out of here, one of the things I heard Tom talk again when we're looking at setting up was that you need to make sure that you lead and guide your team the right way. You need to give them the road map for them to do their job. You need to be very process orientated and let them know what your expectations are and how you can help them do their role and what that role is. When we went through the recruitment process one of the questions we asked everyone was, "What can we do for you to help you enjoy your job more effectively?" and they always said training. I want training. Training, training, training. I found really quite bullish about, because they said to me that the team that we're looking to recruit wanted to learn, be better at their job and such an important thing for them.
I guess everyone is thinking about their career path, right? What's next for them. If they can gather skills along the way, and I hope our team stay with us for as long as possible, but they're very ambitious and everyone is looking to ... I think it's a great thing about the Filipinos is that they're all ambitious and looking to grow and evolve. I think as a business, us included, if we can actually give them greater scope and greater bandwidth to do their jobs better and take the time and effort to actually train them, you're going to get such better outcome from them.
Tom Cragg: Absolutely.
Phil Tarrant: That's probably one of my key findings, thus far, and we're doing an okay job at it. I think we can do it more effectively, and we spent some time yesterday with our team trying to explain to them different aspects of the different industries that we work within. Guys, we've run out of time. This is... you could sit around chat about this all day. There's a whole bunch more questions I want to ask you guys but what I might do ... I think you guys are down in Sydney in early next year, 2017, so we'll get you back on the show then and ask some questions. For any of our listeners, if you want to know a bit more about ... If you're exploring the idea of outsourcing out to Manila or outsourcing in general, there's lots of stuff on the website, mybuisness.com.au. We'll also write some more articles on this particular topic. Tom's just put his hand up and said he's going to start writing more often for My Business, which is great.
Tom Cragg: Yeah. That's right. That's right. It's the least I could do.
Phil Tarrant: The three, ten tips you need to be a guru in outsourcing in Manila.
Tom Cragg: Sure.
Phil Tarrant: I appreciate both your insights on this because I think there's a real opportunity for Aussie businesses who haven't yet thought about the benefits of outsourcing or are thinking about it and looking to make that next step. In many ways, you've just got to get going and get at it and start doing it. Get up here, get on the ground, you can't do everything by the phone. You have to get on the ground and start chatting to people because not only will it expand your mindset or your paradigm around what it means to be outsourcing in Manila, you'll start learning pretty quickly about how you can make it most effective for your business. You need to get up here. If you want to meet any of these guys, let me know, I'm happy to pass on their details. Thanks guys.
Tom Cragg: No, thank you.
Joe Curran: Thank you so much.
Phil Tarrant: We'll keep chatting. I will see you in Sydney in February?
Tom Cragg: February, yeah.
Tom Cragg: KMCsolutions.us. I was thinking of my email ad.
Phil Tarrant: Nice one. Thanks. Thanks for tuning in. We'll see you next week. Bye bye.
Listen to other instalments of the My Business Podcast:
Episode 43: Natasha Chadwick, Synovum Care Group
Episode 42: Steve Hughes, Mood Media Australia
Episode 41: Finding a partnership between digital and physical
Episode 40: SumoSalad CEO shares the secret to corporate social responsibility
Episode 39: Evolving innovation to suit your business needs
Episode 38: Lessons from a serial entrepreneur
Episode 37: Juggling product ideas with commercial realities
Episode 36: How exporting is driving growth for ambitious SMEs
Episode 35: Trumped or pumped? SME sentiments revealed
Episode 34: Anytime Fitness Australia founder talks expansion and competitive markets