Outsourcing through COVID and Beyond

How COVID has impacted customers and employees in the BPO/Outsourcing Sector

In the latest episode of the CX Central Podcast, host Justin Tippett catches up with Peter Monk – General Manager of Concentrix, Australia New Zealand to talk about the impact COVID has had on the outsourcing/BPO industry throughout 2020 along with some great insight into what to expect next year and beyond.

Key topics include: 

  • How COVID has impacted the Contact Centre Industry
  • The changing landscape of contact centre outsourcing
  • Challenges with transitioning quickly to a remote workforce
  • Change in onshore versus offshore sentiment
  • Future Predictions for 2021 and beyond including the impact of technology, recruitment, remote work and more.

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[JT] Welcome to the CX Central podcast and VideoCast, my name is Justin Tippett and this time I’m joined by Peter Monk Country Manager of Australia New Zealand for Concentrix. How are you Peter?

[PM] I’m good thanks Justin, pleased that we’re both getting out of lockdown and at last and able to get into the fresh air.

[JT] Oh, isn’t it bloody wonderful!  It’s been a huge year obviously for the world in terms of COVID and obviously, Australia and that goes right into the contact centre industry because if there’s ever been some disruption to our industry, it’s certainly been this year.

How have you and Concentrix gone through the whole thing?

[PM] As you said it’s been a year like no others, there’s been some highlights and there have definitely been some low lights.

I’ll actually maybe answer the question first of all by looking what’s happened to some of our customer base, then I’ll maybe look at some of the staff aspects and sort of come back to Concentrix in that sort of order.

So you know our clients, we’ve got clients in all sorts of sectors – we’ve got them in the travel and transport industry, hospitality which has clearly had huge negative impacts on them and we’ve sort of had to work with our clients through that huge downturn in that industry which will hopefully start to recover next year.

We’ve had other clients and other industries that have actually, and you know I say, unfortunately, but you know by nature of the COVID situation, have been busier than ever and we’ve sort of had to staff up to support them so a range of impacts across our clients in our portfolio and its sort of balanced each other out.

That’s the advantage of having a big range of clients across a big range of portfolios, that we’ve managed to move resources from clients that don’t need them to ones that can and to work their way through that which sort of leads me onto the staff aspect.

Mobilising the work from home workforce 

As you know, all people living in Australia and New Zealand, and you know we employ several thousand people across the region, we’ve been really lucky with our clients as about half let us move to work at home environment.

Our IT department did an amazing job of carrying PC’s here and everywhere, setting up dongles, testing internet connections and that’s allowed the other half or so of our staff who are working in essential industries that had to stay in the centres to at least space out.  We’ve put in place COVID work safe environments and you know touch-wood, we were very very lucky that throughout the last eight months, we’ve not had a single COVID case.

We’ve done some surveying throughout the period just to make sure staff felt comfortable with the arrangements and we’ve actually had a really positive response to that so if I sort of put those two together from a business point of view, we certainly had a lot of our shared services absolutely stretched over the year trying to support the business, so they’ll be looking for a more normal 2021 I think but in terms of business results, I think onshore we’ve never been busier.

Part of that is again arguably globally for the wrong reason as a lot of our offshore centres particularly in India at the moment are quite severely impacted. Even though we put in place mitigating circumstances of microsites near residential areas or taking up hotels and converting some of the centres to accommodation, but still obviously in other parts of the world the virus still wreaking havoc with the everyday work life.

It’s certainly a year I think none of us none of us will ever forget and it has had I think a lasting impact which is maybe where we’ll go in the interview in terms of where does this take us going forward.

[JT] You’re right it has had a huge impact, you mentioned you’ve used workforce and you’ve got thousands of employees that you know are all under you under Australia New Zealand and interesting I guess the challenge that you’ll be explained then is you have to get client permission I think a lot of people really struggled because it’s their own contact centre going oh god we’ve got to get to work from home but you’ve got that added complexity where you’ve sort of got to get permission from your clients.

I assume that’s based around you know sensitive information or whatever the stuff is that they’re dealing on the phone call itself?

[PM] It is primarily from a client point of view the main thing is around yes, data security and information security. We are we are very lucky as a major global organisation where we can leverage our global IP so we’ve got hundreds of people in that sort of data security area so in fact if you go on to our website you’ll see you we’ve got a whole raft of software.

We’ve got on our work at home solution in terms of use of the video cameras on the desktops to make sure that the area is secure and then all sorts of double, treble authentication to make sure the actual network is secure as well. That was the major concern I think from a client point of view I think from a staff point of view, although it sounded ideal you know people retained their jobs they could work at home which meant for a lot of people you know they didn’t have to commute etc, it does raise new issues around things like occupational health and safety and again a fit for purpose environment at home which we’re still working our way through.

You know, to be frank, and I think a lot of the industry did this, you know day one it was just more important to keep going than to make sure that it was 100% professional.  We’re now obviously doing the cleanup to make sure it’s enterprise-grade across all aspects of IT, personnel and the processes to support it.

[JT] You mentioned you did a sort of an engagement survey with your staff to check in on how they’re going with work from home and you said that was also it was fairly positive results, what are some of the benefits that they’re attributing from work from home?

I think we’ve all got our assumptions but what did you see and hear from the staff?

[PM] I think for a lot of them it was just that they saw job security so I think for a lot of people you know who’ve been in roles where it was reliant ongoing into a cafe in town or working in a retail store you know those jobs disappeared with the lockdown.  I think job security was a major benefit, I think there’s no doubt about it for some of our people, yes, not having to commute is a huge benefit and I think because you’re not having to commute with the kind of rostering sophistication and complexity we’ve got in our environment, it now actually allows you to do a much more flexible rostering because I don’t have to be commuting in and out of the centre at set times I can actually roster myself around things like school pickups now that schools are back, things like other carer duties etc.

So I think from an individual staff point of view it doesn’t suit everybody. We’re now very much operating a blended workforce where if people want to come back in they’re absolutely welcome back in if people want to remain working at home as long as they’re in a client where environment where it’s appropriate then they can remain working at home.

I think this is one of the things we’re going to see as a lasting effect both in our industry but I also think across business generally talking to clients that I think this hybrid model of much more work at home versus you know in bricks and mortar is is here to stay and I think that definitely has huge benefits for our industry.

The outsourcing industry where talent catchment, you know being able to recruit really good people, is an ongoing battle. You know the competition for really good people is tight and I think the fact that now you don’t have to recruit within a commuting range of a certain facility and you could actually recruit from anywhere with things like the NBN around the country it really opens up some fantastic pools of talent that will now be able to get these kind of jobs that historically wouldn’t have been available to them.

[JT] For a lot of the staff I know, when you normally do staff engagement surveys and ask what’s the one thing you love about working in a contact centre it’s typically the people right?  It’s my teammates you know they like being around people etc so I love that you’re giving your guys the option to work from home or to go to the centre.

For the ones that are choosing to go in the centre,  is it primarily because of that they just like being around sort of people or is it to get away from the house or what are they telling you?

[PM] I think it is a mixture of reasons, I think a lot of them because I think they’re working their home environment just isn’t suitable for a permanent work environment. You know, they might be in a sharehouse, they might not be able to have a dedicated secure space to work etc so I think there’s an element of you know my home environment’s just not suitable.

But there is definitely an element of camaraderie and teamship which again through technology like like we’re using today, you know we’ve managed to replicate to a certain extent a lot of team meetings and meetings via Google Hangouts but there’s nothing quite like you know the face-to-face interaction in the breaks or at the end of shift when you go and you know have a snack or get a drink with your teammates and I think a lot of that is hard to reproduce remotely.

In a physical environment, it’s not so much the formal learning, it’s more the informal coaching – the observation you have of what teammates are doing and that sort of ability to really learn from the environment is more difficult in a remote environment.

[JT] You mentioned you’ve widened the talent pool now across right across the country which does open up as you said a completely different aspect to recruitment for BPOs and all contact centres but one of the things I see the challenges in is around induction.

Normally you have everyone in the room and it’s nice and easy to train you know 10, 15, 30 people etc.  Do you think that’s going to adapt well to the online environment or is that something where you go oh wow you know if we can we’d still have to bring people in for induction?

[PM] That’s certainly what we’re doing at the moment and as the talent catchment gets more remote this gets more difficult is we are trying to again bring people in at least once to one of our centres preferably in the very early days to give them our standard locked down equipment to work with which they take home with them.

It also enables a face-to-face interaction with their team lead with their Ops manager with their HR partner so they’ve got a core of people that they’ve met and as I say there’s a physical interaction in that early stage and then you can do the process and technical training remotely.

I think as we get more remote, I think just we’ll need to get better with the use of technology and potentially even flipping the model and saying to some of our people they might have to go on more of an outreach program where they take responsibility for a wider geography where once a year or whatever they will pop in to an agents home and have a face-to-face session with our advisors.

[JT] You mentioned staff coming into to get some equipment. Without making other people jealous,  what what do you supply to your guys that do work from home?

[PM] We have had some programs where it’s been BYOD bring your own device and we did that this year just because the demand on us was so huge and the supply chain around equipment was so fractured with a lot of the equipment coming from China, it was the only way we could physically get things going but our preferred model is absolutely Concentrix provided equipment and part of the reason for that is it allows us to ensure that it is an absolutely locked down platform that he advisors are using.

That means we’ve got guaranteed security and you know the old adage, there are two sort of companies – those that know they’ve been hacked and those that don’t know they’ve been hacked!

It’s potentially a sort of enterprise threatening event in an outsourcing industry and we are absolutely determined to be as tight as we can be to make sure that we’re not opening up any windows for exposure. So we basically provide everything from an equipment point of view.

[JT] I know one of the reasons in the past was companies were resistant to working from home a lot was about the professionalism. If someone hears a baby crying or a dog barking in the background you know they’d be mortified –  they didn’t want that happening to their customers but my view is I think just culturally we’ve moved past? I actually don’t think anyone cares anymore if there’s a baby crying or a dog barking – in fact, in some respects, it makes it a bit more human.  Is that sort of something you guys are experiencing or are your clients are comfortable with now?

[PM] I think you’re right, I think getting more comfortable because I think we’ve all lived it I think because we’ve all lived the lockdown we all understand it and we can sympathize with it.  It was on the radio down in Melbourne recently where a caller who called in, and didn’t obviously mention us because we always work as a client,  but mentioned the client’s name.

They said they were on the phone and they could hear the chickens in the background and the commentary, luckily as you say, was actually taken in the right vein which was he said you know I said to the advisor “do you think you should feed your chickens because they’re making a lot of noise?” and apparently our advisor said “um, well I would do sir but unfortunately they are the neighbour’s chickens!” so as I say, it was taken in the right vein and I think probably that’s the point you’re making which is I think people are much more understanding of it.

I think now opening up job opportunities for people who couldn’t get a job in you know in an urban centre is seen as a great bonus from a society point of view and I think you know to me, I do come back to you need to have people having enough trust in the brand to look after your information and data.

The brand is going to look after the staff be it on their own payroll or an outsourced payroll so I think there is definitely the potential for unprofessionalism in the industry to creep in but I think that would soon be effectively found out by consumers and get stamped on.

So I think as long as your brand is reputable and you value your brand, you’re going to make sure you’re doing things properly.

How and where Peter’s career started

[JT] We’re going to cover off a lot more things in this podcast including how outsourcings has changed around more just more than phone calls, what next year looks like etc but I wanted to just digress for a second and talk a little bit more about you.

If I understand this right, you’ve got a bachelor in chemistry so how does someone who’s got a BA in chemistry wind up leading thousands of employees across Australia New Zealand, and you also grew up in another country?

[PM] I grew up in in the UK and you’re right, my degree was in chemistry and then I did a masters in crystallography because I sort of thought I didn’t want to get a job yet so I’d stay at uni for a little bit longer!

My first job was actually with Shell, the oil company which sort of had a vague connection to chemistry I suppose but it was really in business and as a graduate trainee, you rotated around departments.

I got into the computing department and I thought this is quite a good career I think this will be around for all the years that I’m going to be working and this was in the days when the computer was bigger than your kitchen fridge and has less computing power than your phone today!

I changed around a couple of companies, I ended up working with the Mars Corporation (the sweets and pet food people) in the Middle East which is where I met this gorgeous Queenslander who is now my wife which explains why I ended up in Australia.

I remember arriving and she had a unit out at the Gold Coast and we’re sitting on the coast veranda looking at the waves and I just remember thinking 200 years ago we sent the prisoners out here, and we stayed in dirty smelly polluted London. Boy,  did we get that decision around the wrong way!

So very much Australian now with three grown-up boys so I’m definitely Aussie first! I then got into consulting and joined the Coopers and Lybrand, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and that got sold to IBM so I joined IBM and that got sold to Concentrix.

During the time at IBM, that they sort of looked at the process knowledge that I had and at that stage, I was managing the CRM practice and you know they sort of said like, hey rather than just telling people how to run their processes, why don’t we run them for them and that’s how we got into the BPO business.

So it’s actually been it’s been really good, you know I’ve had to keep changing company keep changing focus without having to apply so I’m a very lazy job hopper in that sense!

[JT] It seems to have worked out pretty well for you mate so and is it seven years you’ve been at Concentrix now?

[PM] Yes,  Concentrix bought the CRM outsourcing business from IBM seven years ago so it’s really meant that we’ve managed to get very very focused on customer experience.

I think with IBM it had that lost ‘bigness’ so much that it felt you could do something for anyone where with us, it’s very clearly customer experience and it’s very clearly that we want to infuse digital transformation in the solution.

It’s not saying we can’t just do the straight outsourcing but the real value I think we bring to the party and the industry generally is you know we’ve made these huge investments in digital capabilities and so you know by coming to an outsourcer, you can just leverage those capabilities rather than having to buy them.

We’ve got the omnichannel telephony platforms already installed in the clouds, we’ve got social media monitoring skills, we’ve got messaging and chat skills that you can, as I say, leverage and buy.

It’s very much the likes of uh and many of our clients are in these industries, in the gig economy industries, of sort of Airbnb and Uber and Trip Advisor etc which says you know I’m going to bring my expertise to the party so that you don’t have to replicate it.

[JT]  I’m glad you touched on that because it’s so true – I mean for outsourcing I think a lot of people have got that perception that it’s your call centres and it might be inbound customer service or maybe some outbound telemarketing and never thought much beyond that.

But clearly now as you said, it’s that whole entire customer journey now and you’re covering all the channels and importantly making all the channels talk to each other!

[PM] Absolutely/ I mean it’s quite funny being in the industry and I’m sure you’re the same Justin, and I’m assuming a lot of people in this call will have also experienced the same – there’s nothing more infuriating than when you try and call someone and they ask maybe for your credit card number or some kind of identifying information. And at the moment you get through to a live agent, the first thing you’re asked for is your identification!

It’s like yep, oh boy we’ve got some problems!  So to me, that’s awesome because that’s a prospect that I want to go and talk to because there are much smarter better ways of doing it these days and certainly with some of the technologies coming in, you know they’re still what I say the technology vendor speak will always be a little bit ahead of good adoption, but I think one of the things we are seeing is clients already talking about and planning their digital transformation journeys.

Virtually every client is now looking at what’s happened this year and going you know what, we need to accelerate this and I need to turn a lot more of this into reality because I was too dependent on the people and I need to make sure my client base, my customer base can do more self-serve.

With enhanced digital capability, if I do get disruptions like this where my centres get taken out the business can still run so I think we will see even more focus or acceleration on digital implementations coming into 21.

How automation is changing outsourcing 

[JT] You mentioned around digital, I’m glad you said that because around automation in particular,  it’s almost against what you’re trying to do because typically call centre outsourcing is based on a per-hour, per-call, per transaction, per minute cost model yet a lot of stuff now is moving to self-service where they might actually not talk to a live agent.

By helping businesses with automation,  doesn’t that hurt the bottom line for your business because it seems like a bit self-sacrificing?

[PM] It is, and I think at Concentrix we do run a bit of a contrarian business model on this so the mantra we would run right through our account manager, our operations managers and all our advisors on the floor is you know if you’re doing an activity and you’re saying there’s no value in this for us as an enterprise, there’s no value in this for the customer on the end of the transaction how do we eliminate it?

How do we automate it?

And how do we just get that out of the system because that is consuming cost and time but it’s also adding no value and so virtually all of our programs have that as an underlying mantra that says how do I get these valueless transactions out of the system.

But you’re right, it absolutely cannibalizes our business but I would take the attitude twofold.

One is it’s the right thing to do and you know, you’ve got to do the right thing by your customers and secondly, if we don’t do it frankly someone is going to come along and and and do it.

To us, we absolutely do it and what we’ve found by doing this, and as you mentioned, we’ve been running as Concentrix now for several years we’re finding one of two things;  we’re finding first of all where we’re doing it with clients they are rewarding us with “hey you’re generating fantastic value for us, can you do this, can you do that so the scope we’re working with clients is increasing through that whole cx value chain so that’s sort of in a way replaces lost revenue.

The other thing that we’re doing is we’re seeing, which is to me a sign that again we’re doing the right thing by clients, is referrals. We’ll often get people phone up and say hey I was talking to so and so they said we should talk.

So you know in a market like ours in Australia and even more so in New Zealand, you know the market is fairly defined and I think reputation goes a long way in whatever industry you’re in.

I think no more in the outsourcing industry than other industries so it’s really about just making sure you’re doing the right thing and if you do it, it’ll pay you back.

[JT] I think that’s a great customer retention strategy, and if you don’t do it as you said, someone else is going to so you’re better off helping them with everything and you’ll start signing them up for years instead of just churning them. So much work goes into onboarding a client the last thing you want to do is lose them right?

[PM] Absolutely I mean it’s a loser – everybody loses. The clients lose, the outsourcing companies servicing the clients lose – it really is a very old-fashioned business model.

The perception of Outsourcing in Australia

[JT] You often travel around world and speak to different people and one of the things I’ve always tended to see in Australia as opposed to say somewhere like the U.S is we’re always running a little bit behind on some things.

Around the use of Outsourcers,  in the U.S it’s very common that as you said, it’s seen as an area of specialty for a business and they go you know what – I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m just going to get the professionals in to come in and whether that’s running my customer inquiries by the call centre, my email chat, my live chat, my social media or whatever I’ll just get the professionals to do it while I focus on my core business.

And yet over here in Australia, it seems to be you know, we’ll try and do it ourselves and then it gets a little bit too hard, or it grows and then we might try and find someone.

Do you think that’s starting to change though now and do you think this crisis has maybe accelerated that way companies just go”hey, we don’t know what we’re doing,  we just haven’t got time to muck around either we just need someone to hit the go button and get it all sorted for us”?

[PM]  I absolutely think it has made people think and again it’s probably a 2021 statement, but I think people are going to definitely reassess their CX network and make sure that it is more agile, more fit for purpose and it is more cost-effective so that might have a range of different outcomes.

Traditionally, if you think of a bell curve of companies, you know the guys that have really adopted to outsourcing are either the guys that are at the tail end of that are in strife and it’s like I’ve got to do something, I’m going to cut costs, I’m going to outsource or they are at the leading edge of it which is I don’t do this stuff well, I don’t want to have all of this sitting on my books, I’m going to focus on what I’m good at and I’m going to outsource everything else.

Not just BPO and outsourcing but I’m going to outsource manufacturing, I’m going to outsource logistics etc.

That’s the business model of the digital disruptors and if I look at where our client base is growing, it’s at that digital disrupter end. You think of any electronic advice any of those big economy companies that you use, they’re probably being serviced by Concentrix and it’s probably in a digital channel.

There’s actually very little voice work that goes in with them so I think though the laggards and the leaders are the traditional base, I do think there’s a middle ground now where there’s never really been the urgency to move.

In fact, it’s often quite problematic to move because you’ve got the legacy built up in-house and obviously to move that legacy is both difficult and risky and time-consuming so it’s sort of you look at it and you think, now it’s not really broken so I’ll just stay where it is.

I think people might just use this disruption in the industry as a bit of a checkpoint that says actually let’s have a look at everything.

Should I be doing it a hundred per cent in-house or should I do a blended model that adds a bit of flexibility? It adds you know geographic flexibility, it spreads the investment need etc so I think we will see people reassessing their networks now. Whether that means more outsourcing, I think it’ll be a client by client type decision but I think in terms of offshoring again, I think it comes back to brand.

Is offshoring going to be a thing of the past?

[PM] I think a lot of the smaller BPO organisations will struggle to come across credibly to protect your brand and I think we’ve seen that during this year. It will definitely shake up the market a little bit, the market globally has been going through a consolidation period for several years now you know either companies closing or companies getting bought and I think we’ll continue to see that.

I think one of the trends that we’re seeing is you know you will you either have to get big and that way you can really capitalise on the IP and the assets you’ve got or you need to get really niche and specialised and do it better than anyone can do it.

I think those middle of the road companies as I say we’ll continue to see consolidation happening in the industry.

[JT] There’s certainly been no shortage of mergers and acquisitions in the last couple of years and I’m sure there’ll be plenty more to come so one of the things you just touched on then was around cost.

As you know, I run a business where I help people find Outsourcers that are a good fit for them (CXConnect) but I think we sort of need to bust the cost perception a little bit where everyone sort of goes “it’s going to be more expensive if I go to an outsourcer because if I could just pay the people myself and then the BPO will also put their mark up on it etc” how could it possibly be cost-effective?

It’s a simplistic look at it but the reality is when when you outsource work, when you outsource functions to BPO you can drive costs out because the good outsourcers are specialists at what the do, are very efficient (it’s their core expertise) and they can often transition a lot of work to automation – is that something again that you feel like you’ve still got to remind people of and we’ve got to get that message out or is that perception changing now?

[PM] There’s certainly there’s less focus I think on cost than there were a few years back when a lot of outsourcing was a cost reduction exercise and that’s where we saw the big offshoring programs which did generate significant cost savings no doubt.

But I think now the pendulum swung a little bit more about actually can you get me a better customer experience by sitting in your environment and I’m looking at all of the tools you’ve got so things like whispering tools so that you know as the advisors talking, the system’s actually saying into the headset advice to the advisor in terms of you know look at this, I think that’s what they’re looking for or you should be asking these kind of questions because I think that’ll get their answer – so you’re actually getting a better customer experience and a lot of clients are I think looking for a better customer experience.

Cost always does come in so although often people will say no no it’s just the customer experience,  the cost has to add up to at least being on par, if not offer a significant reduction.

You’re right, I mean we pay the same as customers would pay, we have building costs and we arguably higher IT costs but the kind of efficiencies we can run and the non-value cost we can drive out in our experience more than makes up for that and you can generate a very healthy business case for onshore outsourcing.

Work doesn’t have to go offshore if it’s more important for your brand to be delivered locally, for local knowledge, local brand value and local vocal accents then you can still generate a very healthy business case.

Forecasts for 2021

[JT] If you’re listening to this podcast now it was recorded in November 2020 just to date stamp it so where do you see it heading? Obviously, we’ve got work from home now, do you think that that’s something that’s just going to stay and you’re going to continue that sort of optional model for your employees and therefore are you going to look at reducing the footprint of some of your bigger facilities?

[PM] I think it will become much more blended and hybrid so you know people previously were fairly black and white of no I want to be in a brick and mortar or you know if I’m running campaign type work and I’m happy for the whole thing to be work at home.

I think a blended model will become probably a fairly accepted norm.  I think some clients that prior to this year felt they would always need to be in secure premises as they’re looking at the kind of security you can put into remote systems, I think they’re getting to a level of comfort that says okay now I get this.  I think we can have some of our processes work at home so I do think we’re going to end up in a hybrid model.

I think the other thing we’re seeing in ascension is where I disagree slightly maybe with my technology vendor colleagues is we are absolutely seeing the adoption of digital technology so there’s no doubt about it – social media interactions and even chat and email is still there, and those volumes are growing significantly.

Voice volumes are, in our experience, not declining so it’s actually that people are looking for more interaction and if like again I’d come back to a hypothesis that says as long as that interaction is improving the customer experience, and so long as it’s adding value to either the customer or the enterprise, the fact that volume is going up should not worry people as you’re getting a stickier customer on the end and that’ll have a payback for you.

[JT] In terms of facilities, do you see a shift starting to happen in that?

[PM] I certainly think the CBD facilities are going to become less and less popular as people don’t need to commute into the CBD.  I think they will choose maybe more urban fringe and we’ve deliberately got got some of our centres in those urban fringes as well as one in the CBD.

I think CBD real estate is gonna to be in for a rough ride and that’s not an outsourcing statement, I think that’s a general commerce statement um uh but as I’ve mentioned earlier,  there is a lot of camaraderie in outsourcing and a big focus around the teaming aspects and so I think there will be some programs where cohorts of advisors in a facility will work better for them but maybe as a facility in rural or countryside rather than CBD so in a way you’re getting the benefits of both worlds.

[JT] Concentrix has a global footprint right across not just Australia and New Zealand, and we’ve already touched on the sentiment around the trend in offshoring coming back to Australia,  do you see that continuing throughout 2021?

[PM] I don’t see a huge move.  I mean that there are definitely, and there have been maybe half a dozen and you know Australian enterprises go public about repatriating some roles, and I think some people are now looking at it and going yes maybe I went a step too far I lost agility so when you know my offshore centres got shut down I lost the ability to maybe run some fairly essential activities.

So I think we will have people assess the extent to which they’ve offshored, but I do see that as an ongoing sustainable business model.  We service multiple clients where we service them offshore and from a client experience point of view, you would actually not necessarily know where you’re being serviced from.

[JT] In terms of challenges that you foresee coming up,  obviously you’ve touched on tech, you’ve touched on home, how are your like management team going because I can imagine having worked in outsourcing, there’s never a spare moment and there’s always been so much happening. How do you keep those guys up and about?

[PM] At the moment if I’m brutally honest, when you’re busy you don’t have time to worry and I think that’s probably where most of us are at – we’re really really busy and just don’t have time to worry.  We’re in a lucky position where we’re growing quite significantly year-on-year and that gives everybody opportunities and it means we can invest in the teams so people are managing to bolster their teams and get the support around them.

[JT] Peter, you’re an incredibly busy man so thank you for giving up some time to spend to us and talk to the listeners today and I look forward to catching up again next year and hearing how everything is going.

[PM] I look forward to it Justin,  enjoyed the chat and I always enjoy talking to you – your knowledge of the industry is fantastic and I think I’ll learn as much as hopefully, someone can learn from what I’ve said so really appreciate the opportunity.

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