What happened to Salmat’s call centre outsoucing business?
Back in the day Salmat, or Salesforce as many of you would know it, was a powerhouse in the call centre outsourcing world.
A multiple winner of the Aon Hewitt Award for best employee engagement and operating one of the largest contact centres in Australia, Kevin Panozzo and his team held a cult like status within the industry.
In 2004 Salmat purchased Salesforce and since then has been it has been operating under the Salmat brand with now over 4,000 people across operations in Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines according to their website.
In 2014 Salmat divested its printing and scanning division to Fuji Xerox and in my personal experience, I haven’t heard much from Salmat since!
Attending contact centre industry events these days its almost unheard of to bump into anyone from Salmat.
I recently got back from a conference on the Gold Coast that had a strong visible presence from most of the contact centre outsourcers in Australia.
But not Salmat.
Talking to a few industry colleagues, there was a general consensus that I wasn’t alone in my observations – Salmat have indeed been MIA from the local contact centre industry for some time.
Now thats not to say they aren’t doing great things and that their contact centre division isn’t firing on all cylinders.
Its just we don’t see or hear from them much. To be fair, I did recently publish a good article by Matthew Carracher, Chief Operating Officer of Salmat (that was submitted by their media partner) so I know they are around!
Salmat recently released their half year results (refer below) however there was no specific mention of contact centres in the Media Release. As part of writing this article I tried reaching out to Salmat directly to ask them however no response was received.
Oh well, I tried.
What’s your experience been?
Update 14 March 18:52 2017
I still haven’t heard from Salmat however it has been pointed out to me that Salmat was at the CCW2017 conference a couple of weeks ago so I clearly need to get my glasses checked….
News also just came in that Salmat is now also being removed from the All Ordinaries index on 20 March 2017.
The All Ordinaries (XAO) is a total market barometer for the ASX and contains the 500 largest ASX listed companies by way of market capitalisation. It is still regularly quoted as a benchmark for Australian equities as Australias premier index since 1979.
Update 23 March 2017
I’m pleased to report that I did hear back from Craig Dower, Salmat CEO who provided this statement:
“At Salmat, we help our clients reach, convert and serve their customers. We have four key revenue generating business lines that enable us to do this: our traditional media/catalogue business, our digital business, our contact centre business and our recently acquired Microsourcing business in the Philippines.
Salmat‘s contact centre business continues to be an important part of our reach, convert and serve story. In the last 12 months we have made significant investments in the business including in our premises, platform and our people.
We have contact centres in Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines and have invested in moving our contact employees into new premises in the Philippines and also in Melbourne where the majority of our Australian contact operations are based.
We have recently introduced a new, market leading cloud-based multi-channel contact platform which is already delivering great benefits to our new and existing clients.
And in terms of people, we’ve strengthened our sales capability with the team focused on growing our contact centre business and demonstrating the value Salmat can offer to a range of prospects across a wide range of industries.”
Related Press Release
Marketing services provider Salmats half year results saw the companys EBITDA and profit before tax rise strongly while revenue dropped by 4.7 per cent $11.1m.
Salmat half year revenue is $224.5m, EBITDA is $13.4m, up 45.7 per cent, and the profit before tax is at $5.4m, compared to pcp at $1.2m.
Craig Dower, CEO, Salmat says the companys transformation program that commenced in the 2015 calendar year is delivering results.
Salmat has transformed significantly over the past two years. The major changed are now complete, our priority is new business and revenue generation. The underlying EBITDA growth we have achieved this year reflects the progress we have made with the transformation. This is the fourth successive had that we have posted earnings growth.
Salmat sold its printing arm or business process outsourcing as it was called to Fuji Xerox almost five years ago for $375m. It remains a major print buyer, it has just produced 20 million leaflets for Pizza Hut as part of an integrated marketing campaign.
Salmat says the revenue drop was due to the new business not yet fully compensating for the decline in revenue following the product and services rationalisation. Reduced discretionary spend and expired contacts also impacted total revenue. New business growth during the half mainly took place in digital and contact.
The EBITDA grew 46 per cent due to cost savings from the transformational program continuing to assist improvement at this line and earnings from new business also made a positive contribution.
Dower says, The business transformation of the past two years has effectively focussed our attention on areas of market leadership, simplified every aspect of our operations and built the foundations for growth. Now more than ever, Salmat is well-placed to take advantage of market opportunities, as we aim to drive further profitable revenue.
Revenue reduced for a period due to the product and services rationalisation but has grown again in this half. EBITDA has increased period on period since we started the transformation. We are maintaining a focus on costs and targeting additional business to continue this course.
While there is still work to be done, we are on track to achieve the sustainable and profitable growth we are targeting.
Update 1 February 2018
Confirmation that Probe Group has purchased the Salmat Contact Centre business to take effect from 30 April 2018 : Salmat’s contact centre business sold
- Read: Does a call centre country location really matter?
- Listen to our Podcast on call centre outsourcing in 2019