In this episode, the OA podcast features Tremayne Murphy, a Director at 24×7 Direct. Once an onshore call center company, 24×7 Direct has transferred to offshore operations with most of its staffing based in the Philippines.
Derek Gallimore talks with Tremayne Murphy, Director at 24×7 Direct. Headquartered in Melbourne, 24×7 Direct provides offshore staffing solutions for small and medium-sized businesses throughout Australia.
In this episode, hear how 24×7 Direct transitioned from onshore outsourcing to offshore solutions. Derek and Tremayne will discuss the labor shortage in Australia and how offshore solutions fix this.
24×7 Direct’s journey from onshore to offshore staffing
24×7 Direct was founded by Devang Parikh in 2003 as a contact center operation based in Melbourne. Per Tremayne, the company is a performance-based outsourcer, showing “a sign [of] where things are going.”
The company then decided to get offshore support functions since “it was cost-rational.” The pandemic even triggered the idea that “virtual staffing was no longer something [for] the medium to larger size businesses.” It is now for small businesses, too.
Currently, 24×7 Direct caters to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), taking the business “back to its origin in 2003.” They have over 120 staff across different clients taken care of in terms of recruitment, workforce management, and other aspects.
They have also moved from a typical outsourcing model to building virtual teams for their clients.
How aware are Australian businesses of offshore outsourcing?
Tremayne shares that companies in the telecommunications and finance industries have “accustomed to speaking and dealing with [a Filipino workforce].” He is also positive that the business community in Australia is used to speaking with Filipino employees over the telephone.
The existence of Filipino immigrants in the country and the advent of virtual assistant (VA) services even made the notion of a global workforce more possible for organizations in the country.
Yet, some SMEs still believe that offshore outsourcing is exclusively for large businesses, with a few even discouraged to delegate their services. Tremayne explains that “customer experience is Psychology 101,” where people’s experiences help form their perception of something.
This is why he continuously explains how offshoring can benefit them in the long run. So far, offshoring has benefited their clients, especially in terms of staffing.
Bigger opportunities for offshoring in the future
Tremayne believes that companies can continue to outsource “a role [they can] systemize and optimize [themselves].”
Though, Tremayne helps clients new to offshoring services in terms of building and optimizing their processes. From there, their clients can personally see how offshoring benefits them when it comes to their speed, competency, and requirements.
The notion of “outsourcing your problems”
Tremayne explains that 24×7 Direct mostly deals with “[supporting] clients to recruit staff and build a team that [can] augment [to their] Australian team.” Theyare hands-off in managing each staff’s performance daily.
Per Tremayne, he sometimes encounter businesses getting nervous on their outsourced service since “[they] don’t have a training manual” for it. While the company helps these types of clients in offshoring, he advises that businesses “cannot outsource [their] problems.”
Breaking down the cultural barriers in offshoring
Tremayne agrees that work culture in offshore staffing is now homogenized, even in Australian businesses. He recalled that one of their client’s customer service heads with staffing in the Philippines has integrated their offshore team as “a part of the company.”
Tremayne adds that the only challenge in understanding outsourcing is that “some SMEs don’t understand how to make [offshoring] work.” A few have even tried DIY-ing their services by hiring freelancers.
With this, he continuously advises his clients to seek support from businesses that made mistakes like these in the past and to understand what worked and what didn’t.
How 24×7 Direct prices their services
24×7 Direct offers a flat fee per employee hired by a company. They don’t offer lock-in contracts though they keep their pricing transparent as possible.
Per Tremayne, keeping a good relationship with their clients helped them to grow in return. This is what they have observed with clients having an offshore staffing with them for at least seven months.
Tremayne added that staffing salaries in the Philippines takes an interesting shift in terms of working from homel. While some clients prefer managed office solutions for their business, the company has adapted to a work-from-home setup, making it easier to tap bigger talent pool.