TAKING THE STIGMA OUT OF OFFSHORING

Written on the 30 October 2015 by Jenna Rathbone

TAKING THE STIGMA OUT OF OFFSHORING

AIMEE and Mark Engelmann are eliminating the stigma associated with offshore staffing, proving it is a great way to grow business and create more local jobs.

The husband and wife duo have been rewarded for their efforts, taking out Trailblazer of the Year at the Brisbane Young Entrepreneur Awards.

The founders of Beepo, a company assisting Australian businesses successfully outsource to the Philippines, say they don't aim to dent the local employment market, but instead establish more skilled jobs in Australia. 

"There is a perception that offshoring is shrinking jobs in Australia, but what we have found with our clients is that it is actually the opposite," says Aimee.

"By having access to staff offshore, businesses can then use additional resources to grow their business and become more sustainable and can hire more people in Australia.

"For example, a marketing assistant or digital marketing manager in Australia might be $60,000 to $80,000 a year, but they might be able to get the same qualified and capable person in the Philippines for $20,000.  That then allows the business to invest that extra money in their company.

"It is a bit of an education process because a lot of people perceive it to be taking jobs offshore, which is absolutely not the case."

The duo founded the business after noticing there weren't many reputable Australian-owned and operated offshoring firms.

"In our previous business we had quite a lot of failures and challenges with offshoring in the Philippines and it was through that experience that we identified a gap in the market there is not really anyone in Australia that is doing it very well," says Aimee. 

Beepo's message appears to be gaining traction with the business reporting significant growth during its 17 months of operation.

Beepo grew revenue by 3849 per cent in its first year, and is forecasting 267 per cent revenue growth this financial year.

During FY15 staff grew from 32 to 168 and by the close of 2016 the Engelmanns predict they will have more than 600 staff.

"It has been fast and furious growth and it is really exceeded our expectations," says Aimee. "At Christmas last year we had already tripled our growth forecast.  It has been very crazy, very busy, but very fun."

The couple attribute the growth to a strong performance-based culture.

"Filipino staff love knowing what their goals are and knowing what their KPIs are and having goals to work towards," says Aimee.

"So having a culture that is all about high performance and all about delivering client value has been key to our growth."

Mark adds that tough economic times have also played a large role in the growth of the business, with SMEs looking to save money. 

Beepo manages a large facility in the Philippines and offers staff supervision, while providing reward and recognition programs, culture and training and development.

"For all intents and purposes, the staff member becomes a part of the client's team because they are kind of contracting the staff in the Philippines," says Mark.

"The client allocates daily tasks, gives feedback on the quality of work and we provide supervision and management support around the behavioural aspects.  We make sure they come to work on time, they take breaks when they need to, and we make sure they are being productive and not spending all day on Facebook."

Beepo offers a range of services including sales and lead generation, data mining, social media management, graphic design, web, software and app development, administration, bookkeeping and accounting.

"Basically if can be done in front of a computer, it can be done at Beepo," says Mark.

Prior to founding the business, Aimee ran a marketing agency for eight years, while Mark worked at University of Queensland as a business improvement specialist.



 


Author: Jenna Rathbone
About: Jenna Rathbone is a Queensland-based journalist who writes on a range of issues including business and property affairs and social issues.
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