Derek Gallimore hosts our very first podcast episode and features Andrew Mault. Andrew Mault is the Country Manager and owner of Hammerjack. He’s been working in Operational Management for the last twenty years. He is taking enterprise service outsourcing and brings it to the SME space. Andrew and his family moved in the Philippines and they have been staying here for five years.
- Andrew is originally from Australia and has been working in operational management in the last twenty years.
- Andrew and his wife and two kids are staying and residing in the Philippines for five years now.
- He shared his experiences in the enterprising and corporate level operations – how he strived to reach his position as the Country Manager and owner of Hammerjack.
- Andrew shared his experience in the Philippines. How the people are very hard working and professionals. He learned a lot in terms of lifestyle, traditions and how to be more mature in terms of handling a company.
- He entered the BPO Industry and has been working with operations and he already has hundreds of people working for his company at this moment.
- He also discussed about the SMB or small and mid-size businesses and how it works in business outsourcing. He also mentioned about how the SMB can help people in this kind of business.
- Hard working is the key to success and it will be the way for you to reach the top.
- Handling people professionally and understanding the people behind the monitors and computers are also the key and the secret to make the business grow. Appreciating their hard work is also a big help for them to work hard.
- Hire good people when you are starting a business most especially in the BPO industry.
Derek: Hi, and welcome to another episode of the Outsource Accelerator Podcast. My name is Derek Gallimore and this is episode number 165. So today, I’m talking to Andrew Mault of hammerjack.com.au. It’s a value add outsourcing vertical and it is basically taking enterprise service outsourcing and bringing to the SME space. Andrew Mault has about twenty years of operational experience and about ten years working in enterprise corporate level outsourcing. So, I’m drawing on his knowledge and experience in the outsourcing sector and his recent start up is about three years old now of Hammerjack, which is bringing those enterprise level and outsourcing services into the SME space. So, again, this isn’t an infomercial. I’m not getting paid for this. But, I’m just giving you insight into the services and provisions out there in the outsourcing world. So, I’ve got a lot of value from this from this and I’m sure you will too. If you want any show notes or if you want to know any more about Hammerjack or this episode, go to our show notes which is outsourceaccelerator.com/165. Enjoy!
Derek: Hi and welcome back everybody. Today, I’m really excited to be joined by Andrew Mault of Hammerjack. Hi, Andrew! How are you?
Andrew: I’m good, Derek. Thank you. How are you?
Derek: Fantastic. Fantastic. And it’s coming to the end of our week. I am really excited to have you on board because you’re an Australian. I have spent a large, a lot of my time in Australia and I am actually sitting in Sydney at the moment. And we’ve met in the Manila Network and you are launching what is a very interesting kind of vertical within BPO and it’s very much a sort of high value add BPO service. So, I want to deep dive into that. But, I supposed initially, just want to get your background. You have a lot of corporate experience in this sector. So, it’s really interesting to learn from you. I supposed initially, can you just introduce yourself and how you came to be running Hammerjack?
Andrew: Yeah sure. So, yes, I am Andrew Mault. I’m the Country Manager of Hammerjack. I’m a Director and owner of Hammerjack. About my background, I’ve been working in operational management for the last twenty years, specifically in outsourcing for the last twelve to thirteen years. As I’ve mentioned, I started in the enterprise space. Working with a lot of large global finance companies and global brands such as American Express, Westpac Bank and so on in Australia. Moved over to working with, actually, a reseller of Telstra. And that’s actually what brought me over here in the Philippines. So, there was an opportunity to transition a lot of functions and operational activities for the company that I was working for at that time. And I came over here to the Philippines five years ago and started on my journey. And I guess over the last, over those three years, grew the company from zero up to around three hundred and fifty-six. So, yeah, and that’s what we really have here today.
Derek: And then your experience of and as you’ve said you’ve done twenty years of enterprising corporate level operations, did you like, and then about ten years ago you moved in to the outsourcing aspect of that. Is that because you saw the rise of outsourcing within operations? Or is it more and it became more present in every kind of operational function? Or is it just because you sort of switched jobs that kind of led you down that part?
Andrew: It was the latter. It was really – actually, I was working at the UK and I went to Australia in 2006. I just happened to join an outsourcing service provider and really from my background in manufacturing, and operational management, I was able to transition that across. So, that’s pretty much how I got into the scene.
Derek: Right. And what was your opinion then of outsourcing when you are first introduced to it? I supposed it was ten years ago, so it was relatively less mature than what it is now?
Andrew: Yeah, it was. I guess it was my first time I’ve been exposed and I probably came in with my own misconceptions of the outsourcing space. I was working within contact centers in particular, so, what it has been for me as like my eyes, firstly to the kind of businesses, the size businesses outsourcing their services. And then the levels of service and capabilities that is being delivered as an outsourced service provider. So, it was known and to me and I worked in operations and exciting prospects and I’ve seen a lot of potential as a career path for me.
Derek: Right. And, so you were dealing with the big boys, the big end of town and I assume the operation service with a hundred or thousands of staff doing specific functions. And now, you’ve sort of more on that kind of SME market. How do you see the contrast there in terms of the different structuring, the different processes? Or isn’t there that much of contrast?
Andrew: There is a pretty big contrast. I guess it’s really for an SME space. It’s no different in as much as how demanding the customer is. The small business expects the same as the largest brands that you’ve worked with. There is probably an extra level or layer of education required for that market place. And that’s good because SMEs, I wanted to learn and I am really interested in it and hungry driven to outsourcing. So, it is good, it crosses over and as much as the markets mature. There’s a lot being learned. A lot of mistakes made. This means I am ready to take the services I get to a smaller market at a lower cost, and i’ve been through that experience.
Derek: Have you seen the market mature over the years you’ve been in outsourcing? And as a part of that it is a kind of democratizing. Isn’t it, like it is becoming more available to the SME space?
Andrew: Yeah, a hundred percent. I’ve seen that mature. I think for me, I’m based here in the Philippines. And the most exciting part about my job while I am here in the Philippines is what I’ve learned here in the Philippines and see what is available here. The big players here in the Philippines, they are really good at what they do. They invest really heavily in their people and their processes and their approach. So, I’ve been able to have exposure to that and for me I guess, like I’ve said, SMEs their not really interested in talking to SMEs which means there’s a huge market out there with the number of SMEs in that space for somebody to come along and to take and to really provide their services.
So, what I am saying I guess is that, what we’ve learned in the enterprise space, we’re now able to take that to the smaller-mid size business space.
Derek: Right. As an outsourcing advisor, mentor, I suppose I encourage everyone to come over to the Philippines if they have any interaction with outsourcing or have a team here. Because it really is so different when you visit the places and actually see the people and see that there are people behind the monitors and not just kind of computers doing work. And what are some of the main takeaways that you’ve got when you moved in to the Philippines in the outsourcing space?
Andrew: I think probably the eagerness to learn and the fact that the people that I was working with were focused on their career in the BPO space. So, like I’ve said from my experience working in Australia when I was working in outsourcing, in particular, in the context and the space where I was in at that time was more of a pass through or some filler type of role, great environment and a great culture, don’t get me wrong. But, here in the Philippines, you’ve got the BPO and outsource service providers. They are truly professionals. So, that was the biggest things that I noticed, it was great. It was a pleasure to work that I need to convince somebody, of why they should be doing, what they’re are doing, they are already convinced. And for me, the level of their education – very highly educated. There’s an analytical thinking and problem-solving capability and the ability to follow a process, which is often said in a bad light without the fact that processes are being followed. So, probably some of that is one of the key things and the other one was the level of capability they are able to high straight into our business here. They are already been through the big BPO’s and outsource service providers here. And as I’ve mentioned, these guys invest heavily in training and the training that they have – it’s outstanding.
So, the leaders that we bring into the business were already exposed to working with technical problems and so on and so forth. So it’s a big help, its good coming here as an Australian business to be attached straight into this pool of capabilities.
Derek: It is really I think that’s a sign of the industry have been matured now, and that you’ve got kind of twenty five years of that corporate executive experience in the Philippines where people started off pretty fresh, but now, they are really worked top the ranks. They’ve got corporate discipline, corporate experience, and you are able to find pretty good calibre of people you will be working with an increasingly broader range of skills.
Andrew: Correct. We’ve got a lot of time to choose from and I guess what works in our favor and what works for SME’s is that the industry here in the Philippines and globally is really looking at the SME market. Seen as a huge opportunity and everyone kind of wants a piece and what that means for the SMEs obviously is a competitive space, a space that where people are offering great prices and openly offering more, I guess. So, it’s kind of a win-win.
Derek: And what do you, why do you think SMEs are more in the space now because outsourcing is now accessible to SMEs. In Australia, it’s very prolific for people to be outsourcing now or certainly I think the awareness is higher thatn most countries. They are on the hold. They’re still not that many small players using outsourcing to boost their business. Do you have any insight as to why that is? Is that awareness or reticence?
Andrew: I think it is the small businesses that are like other business owners. They are very close to their business. They want to be in control of every aspect of their business. Even though at times they don’t but they generally do. So, it’s a maturity thing probably. There are a lot of new startup businesses and even more established businesses, they know they want to look at outsourcing and they know that they should. But there is a kind of stand of business to make any moves on that. So, I think it’s just nervousness. People tend to – there are types of people to deal with it, tend to have to know somebody that has already made to make a move out here. And I guess it’s all about, if it’s a lot of kind of the jones theory that has been enough for them. And people specifically in certain industries are already here for more than the other. So, the finances that you’ve seen are a lot.
Derek: Absolutely! And that can be an easy entry point, kind of people move over their accounting and it can kind of bleed out into operations and things. One of the roadblocks I see as well is that there is a kind of a slight fear factor. There’s the unknown that they can’t necessarily see or touch it. But it’s a developing country. There’s kind of questionable politics at times. But you actually moved out there, you moved out to Manila and your entire family is in Manila. Can you share a little bit about your thoughts on when you moved out to Manila and how you see Manila as a lifestyle now?
Andrew: Well, I’ve already been here for five years. I have great years and you’re learning from a lot from great people that they’ve been here for a lot longer than I have. And I’ve seen a lot of changes in the last five years that I’ve been here. A lot of growth. Excuse me. A lot of growth and you know, I guess from a lifestyle standpoint, there’s quite a significant change. I’ve mentioned, I moved out here with my wife. We have two kids out here. And it took a little bit of giving used to the outdoor living with what we’ve been used to in Australia, isn’t quite the same here. We’ve spent a lot of time, about a lot of time in shopping in malls, isn’t it that cool? But it’s really growing, it’s growing quickly. I think what’s great in the industry here that I am working is that our industry is responsible for a lot of that growth. So, it’s a great place to live. It’s very safe. You know in the spaces that I’ve been around, I guess probably one of the things that were a surprise package for me is that as a foreigner coming in here was the network that’s here and these capable people that are willing to share their experiences and also help you out as a foreigner when you come here.
Derek: It’s a very powerful network. As far as, and that also helps businesses start outsourcing because you can actually get things done through networks and through kind of expat networks.
So, you moved out there with a job and you’ve had a family and then you’ve founded Hammerjack which is a, I supposed scratching an itch instead of finding a need in the market as a result of your enterprise experience. I want to get you back and really deep dive into what Hammerjack does exactly. Can you give us an overview of Hammerjack and why you were inspired to start it?
Andrew: Sure. I think I’ve got touched so much about it earlier on. It’s the enterprise capability and I had a lot of exposure to what enterprise outsourcing businesses are doing and providing for their customers. And the fact that they are probably, you know, they have been doing the same level of service available for SMEs or there wasn’t. So, we thought that we wanted to take the enterprise capability in delivery and start talking to SMEs about the outcome, about based service models and performance based service models. So, essentially what we are is a single source outsource vendor aimed at the smaller and mid-sized market in Australia.
Derek: Right. And it’s kind of going back to the old school as for BPO, which is really delivery, deliverable-based as opposed to more of the kind of stripped out, stripped down seat leasing kind of operations now. Is that right?
Andrew: Correct it is for us and the opportunity for us is that there are very few people doing that. And I handled I believe if it is, it’s actually quite hard to do it really well. So, that enterprise is really about the governance and that’s what we take from the enterprise – basic governance and the structure that sits behind the delivery of some of these solutions and services.
They are very unique and accustomed to a small business that has to be right and no less demanding in the enterprise customer if not more. So, you need to be able to back it up and support it. So, that’s where we really focused on. And that’s where I think a big difference from what we looked from.
Derek: Fantastic. Thank you, Andrew. So, I want to get back on you and deep dive about exactly on what Hammerjack does. In the meantime, if they want to get in touch with you or learn more about Hammerjack, how can they do that?
Derek: Thank you for your time.
Andrew:No problem! Thanks.
Derek: Okay, that was Andrew Mault of hammerjack.com.au. If you want to get in touch with Andrew and know any more about this episode, go about the show notes at outsourceaccelerator.com/165. And of course if you want to ask us anything, then, just email us at [email protected]. See you next time.