Carol is the Senior Sourcing Manager; she managed the Outsourced Providers with offshore operations in the Philippines, India, China, Egypt, Mexico, Romania, Poland etc. Her company outsourced ~6,000 FTEs across all those locations.
Carol’s manager introduced her to me a couple of weeks ago. Carol and I agreed to meet for lunch at Purple Café. Purple features an extensive wine list that features over 80 glass and 600 bottle selections. On top of that, the food is just divine as they feature an expansive menu that utilizes the freshest, local ingredients that change with the seasons.
I got to the restaurant a little early and texted her. She responded quickly “Perfect. Headed down now” … This sound promising. Nothing like an enthusiastic contact for a productive conversation.
Carol was good lunch company; she had lots of experiences in the area of offshore and had been at the present company for almost 6 years. She maintained a good balance between operational details and strategic perspective.
Her current situation:
- She managed five major outsourced suppliers with significant offshore components.
- The majority of her volume is for Voice BPO (almost 70%), with almost 30 different languages
- She constantly looking at new suppliers and/or shifting volume across the five
- Vietnam hadn’t been in her radar the last few years (she looked at VN about 3 yr ago and didn’t think the market was mature enough – She was surprised at some of the new info from my SIG presentation – which is promising)
- She received a lot more marketing calls from Pseudo governmental agencies promoting Africa as the next offshore destination. She doesn’t think those locations are ready yet.
- Customer services KPIs are critical to her business.
- Her suppliers focus a lot on tool training, and look for operators with industry experiences
Some interesting insights:
Her company is not price sensitive as I originally thought. This is because of the large direct customer interactions with the offshore resources. Customer service’s KPIs are critical to her business. Her company monitored these KPIs daily and there are tough penalties for suppliers who doesn’t meet the service level
She advised her suppliers to setup operations away from “typical locations”. This may sound counterintuitive but this does help reduce the turnover rate since the worker can’t just walk across the street to get another job for 10cent more.
She shared with me that one of the growing areas of outsourcing is here in the US. She is using a new supplier who recruited part-time workers with industry experience. The supplier setup these workers with remote access so they can working from home.
I shared with Carol my vision for Non-Voice BPO from Vietnam and want to continue to explore opportunities with her company. She suggested that I should also talk with ITO since they are using quite a few IT providers from India. She agreed that longer term Vietnam will be a major offshore location.
She also agreed to meet with my potential partner from Vietnam in December to discuss offshore requirements. This would be an excellent opportunity for us to work closely with a potential US customer to develop the Vietnam BPO solution.
I am looking forward to catch up with her in a couple of weeks. Fingers crossed!