Offshoring Strategy: Tips From A Businessman Who Succeeded At It

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Businesses that offshored company roles were buoyed by the benefits of cost reductions, flexibility, and access to global talent pool of highly skilled professionals. However, successful offshoring requires not just a well-defined framework but also a solid commitment to seeing it through.

Rob Brough, the founder and CEO of offshore staffing provider Agility Staffing Services, has been in the offshore staff leasing industry for 13 years. He initially operated in the healthcare space with Healthscope Services, but has broadened his reach to other fields with Agility. Here, he presents a list of useful information to assist businesses in making informed decisions when considering offshore staffing. 

His success story is self-made; and it is from this experience that he is able to help clients. From building teams in the Philippines and moving company roles from his former LA-based company across the globe that saved costs by millions, there are a few intangibles that businesses need to be clear about when considering offshore staffing:

Offshoring requires a real commitment

“Without the commitment of the whole business, it’s very difficult,” Brough says. “And by that I mean the C-suite or the business owner, the CEO, the management team, and the employees of the business have been properly educated on why. It’s so that they understand what the business is doing and how to build the onshore and offshore employees into one team. 

Assess processes and risks

Identify the business operations and the roles in those departments can be offshored, and rank then according to importance to your company. It is also vital to consider the risks of offshoring the roles. Talk to your offshoring company about how to mitigate them like using monitoring and other management tools that allow you to remain in control. 

The right provider can spell the difference

It’s not a good idea to choose a provider based solely on price. There are a number of providers who will cut costs to offer businesses the lowest quotes, but you have to wonder what aspect of the business it can affect. “If you go chasing every last dollar, there’s an old adage that you get what you pay for,” notes Brough. The lower the price a vendor quotes, the less people are getting paid. It also means less is being put into providing a great working environment for and rewarding staff. “This means people will churn out and look for another job! I don’t want that for my business, and I certainly don’t want that for my clients,” Brough exclaims!

Watch out for that churn rate

The number of customers or employees that leave a company during a given period does affect business. Churn rate can also refer to the amount of revenue lost as a result of these departures. Ask about an offshore vendor’s churn rates, advises Brough, and with good reason. “Any low single-digit churn rate is great. Ours is around 2%,” he says of his smaller offshoring company. “The big BPOs, they suffer 40% churn rates simply because most of their contracts are with giant companies that are chasing to save every cent. This means they can’t pay people as well, or put as much into their people, which goes towards clients’ customers not having a great user experience.” Happy and secured remote teams also feel like they belong to a team and are more inspired to work well for the vendor’s clients. 

Training is imperative

“I strongly advocate for my clients to send trainers from the US,” Brough notes. Not doing so may save you a few thousands, but you get so much out of face-to-face interactions. “It binds the team to that manager or trainer. The offshore manager will understand the idiosyncrasies of everybody; where the strengths and weaknesses lie in your team. We’re dealing with human beings here, and that relationship lasts.” This also allows you to evaluate your team early on. 

You can start small

If you are chasing margins, Brough says you don’t have to go all in all at once. “Start with a pilot of 5 or 10 staff members in the area that is the biggest pain point for you,” he suggests. “And then you can build out from there. Get some experience, get the team settled, make sure you are happy with your vendor, and then you can start adding people.” But he also recommends keeping 20% of your staff onshore who are your employee experts or more senior managers that can train your offshore team and manage the institutional knowledge.

Find potential leaders

Within a few months and as you are building your teams, potential leaders will rise up. “We like to recognize outstanding performance. And we provide leadership training,” Brough says of his offshoring company. “If they have leadership capability, we like to see them promoted to Team Lead positions and, later on as the team grows, they can be Operation Managers or QA managers.” It is possible over time to supplement your onshore management by creating offshore managers that can help run your operations remotely. 

What roles to transfer

This list is wide and more than just customer service or virtual assistant roles: The roles can be anything from back-office support to those in accounting, marketing, inside sales, creatives, IT and even human resources. In healthcare, it can be anything from patient care, patient services to Revenue Cycle Management. “It’s such a wide area,” Brough notes, “and the simplest way to think of it is, could this person do the job during COVID when everyone had to work from home? And if the answer is yes, that’s a job that could be transferred offshore.”

In conclusion, offshoring jobs can be a growth strategy for your business. The nuances associated with it are understood by people like Brough, who had to do it himself and successfully built his own offshoring company that now helps several US businesses. The tips outlined in this article provide information based not on online sources but actual experience. 

Find out more about his insights on offshore staffing in his podcast at https://youtu.be/OWVRbMO27AU?si=6ImRRDn5p9vS4CET

Rob Brough is the founder and CEO of Agility Staffing Solutions. Together with his other company, the healthcare-focused Healthscope Services, he has over 13 years of experience in the offshore staffing field and continues to help businesses succeed. His remote teams can deliver up to 70% savings in staffing costs, with an annual churn rate of less than 3%. Agility and Healthscope have offices in Manila and Pampanga in the Philippines, currently serving clients in the US, Australia, and New Zealand.