Derek talks with Dale Pearce, the COO and Partner at Platinum Outsourcing.
Derek and Dale discussed Platinum Outsourcing’s beginnings, introducing outsourcing to Australian businesses, and the impact of the rise of automation on the BPO industry.
About Platinum Outsourcing
Platinum Outsourcing, an Australian-owned and managed BPO company, focuses on four verticals: Customer support, creative and development, finance and accounting, and back office and admin tasks.
The company was founded by Tim Webb. Tim’s Bali-based company started as a non-customer-facing business, but after generating interest, Tim decided to make it a customer-facing business and opened an office in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Dale joined Tim when Platinum Outsourcing was incorporated in late 2019.
Introducing outsourcing to Australian businesses
Dale discussed how businesses have some understanding of outsourcing, but often lack knowledge about how it works in practice.
“The way I would frame it is businesses certainly have an understanding of what outsourcing is as a concept, but there’s still a way to go in terms of educating them on the different models and how it works and how it’s not just for big businesses.”
He added that the pandemic and rise of remote work have helped legitimize the industry, demonstrating its effectiveness for businesses of all sizes.
“I think that opened up a lot of people’s eyes to how remote work, wherever they work, has a place within their business – not just in large multinationals, but also in small and medium business.”
Further, the Platinum Outsourcing COO identified three barriers to fully incorporating outsourcing into Australian businesses:
- Preference for local hiring
- Perceived lack of control when outsourcing, and
- The misconception that outsourcing is a complex and lengthy process.
Dale emphasized the need for continued education to overcome these barriers and help businesses understand the benefits and practicality of outsourcing.
Selling the benefits of outsourcing
Dale addressed the challenge of convincing businesses to try outsourcing for the first time.
While “selling” outsourcing can be a challenge, he said, “I don’t think we’ve ever had a case where someone has done [outsourcing] for the first time and not scaled their team.
I think those businesses that go into it, they’re making the long term decision. And they’re finding pretty quickly that there is a huge amount of value in it.”
Instead of focusing solely on cost savings, Platinum Outsourcing highlights other benefits, like reduced risk, resource realignment, and access to the vast talent pool in the Philippines.
“There are really clever people across a variety of industries that are just waiting for an opportunity to work for an Australian business.”
As a smaller player in the BPO industry, they emphasize their agility, speed to market, and ability to maintain close relationships with clients.
By targeting businesses with 500 employees or fewer, they ensure that they can provide personalized service and maintain strong connections with their customers.
“Particularly with the market, we’re trying to target businesses that have sort of 500 employees unless we find [customer connection] really important for them as well. It seems to have served us well to this point.”
The rise of automation and ChatGPT
Dale believes that automation and ChatGPT will not immediately have a major impact on the outsourcing industry, as it has continued to thrive despite other technological advancements.
“I guess I don’t necessarily buy into the hysteria that [automation and ChatGPT are] going to steal everyone’s jobs and become this magic wand for everything that we do.
Like anything, the outsourcing industry has seen all of these technological advancements happen and it’s continued to thrive and continue to grow.”
He notes that before BPOs are affected, there must be widespread adoption of these technologies in onshore environments, which can take a long time.
After the initial excitement fades, businesses will evaluate the true value of such technologies and their effects on roles and realignment. Dale thinks it will be some time before any significant impact on the BPO industry occurs, and he remains open to having his opinion changed.
To learn more about Dale Pearce and Platinum Outsourcing, visit their website at https://platinumoutsourcing.com.au/