The Evolution of Outsourcing

For some, the word outsourcing used to be a shudder-inducing word, invoking images of cost-cutting, poor quality services, mass redundancies and more. Traditionally, outsourcing relationships focused on cost reduction and providing back-office services, often with very little focus on quality.
Those days are long gone. Outsourcing has been quietly evolving for many years, both to keep up with an increasingly competitive market and to accommodate the incredible pace of digital change, creating seismic shifts across most industries.
What organisations want and need now from outsourcing is strategic partners, experts in their fields, who will have quality as a top priority, delivering value-add services, but remaining cost-efficient. They need their outsourcing partners to enable them to secure an edge on their competitors.

Share the risk and reward

At go-centric we believe in sharing the risk and reward with our partners – with contracts based on outcomes rather than outputs. If our goal is to help your business grow and thrive, it makes sense that we agree the right targets and measures and that we’re incentivised to make that happen.

So, when looking at your strategic partnerships, are you measuring the right things? Are your partners truly incentivised to do the right thing for your business, or just hit volume targets regardless of outcomes?

We believe in doing the right thing for customers. Sometimes that means identifying an improvement to the customer experience that is not necessarily profitable for go-centric in the short term. But that is the strategic difference in our approach to partnership. We need to care as much if not more about our clients’ customer experiences.

Make use of technology

What business doesn’t have cost pressures? Cost to income ratio is the key to competition in many industries. But to remain competitive you need to be agile and using cutting-edge technology and digital innovations.

The right strategic partner will hold the expertise and tools and technology to keep you ahead of the game. They’ll also carry the pressure of keeping up with technology and digital developments.

At go-centric we consider it a key part of any partnership to share our best practice and industry knowledge with clients, to help them develop their customer experiences. Our agility means we can offer completely flexible solutions to any size of business – from a sole trader, SME right through to key corporate brands.

We know we can add value to any size of business. The omni-channel technology and 24/7/365 service we offer can utterly transform the service of a small business, providing access to technologies that would ordinarily be out of their reach, as well as providing unrivalled service access for their customers, something they could not achieve internally without significant investment in office space, technology and people.

Our tailored solutions also add value for our national and international corporate clients, through dedicated teams of brand ambassadors. Services that can flex throughout the year to cope with the peaks and troughs of seasonality, as well as offering multi-lingual omni-channel services, making the customer experience completely seamless.

Leverage the flexibility

Outsourcing used to be about off-loading your non-core activities to a partner to make a significant cost saving. But what companies now realise is that cost should not be your number 1 priority. If you don’t make quality and customer experience your top priorities (after looking after your people), you will never compete in today’s marketplaces.

Outsourcing contracts used to be long and hideously difficult to get out of regardless of the service you were receiving. Nowadays, partnerships are completely agile, outcome focused and, in some cases, you only pay for the actual service received on a month to month basis.

For an agile organisation the length of contract shouldn’t matter – because the outcomes are what’s important. If you’re delivering as promised, your partnership will last.

Flexibility is key to successful partnerships. At go-centric we have partnerships based on a ‘pay per call’ basis, ensuring that our clients are paying purely based on that service they are using. Others prefer a fixed-fee arrangement, to ensure they can budget ahead for the year. We have partnerships where we ensure we are incentivised to get the right outcome for our client – and we share the reward of that outcome.

Ultimately the flexibility is being focused on our clients’ needs, what their business challenges are and how we can add value and support in the right way. That conversation takes place regularly, through a close working relationship, to make sure we adapt our offering as the business develops.

You need trust

Like any successful relationship, a strong outsourcing partnership requires trust and honesty. It’s a leap of faith to hand over parts of your business to a supplier, but the rewards and benefits are clear. So, getting the partner right is the big step.

Investing the time in getting to know your partner and their team is worth every minute. We love to visit our clients and we encourage them to visit us at every opportunity. It’s brilliant for the relationship, engaging and motivating for the team and is really productive in helping us to progress the relationship.

To truly be brand ambassadors, our team must be immersed in the client brand, live and breath it. They feel just as important as the in-house team, they’re true advocates of the brand and they care passionately about their customers.

Disruptive outsourcing

There are high profile examples across many industries of the risk of ignoring progress. Blockbuster, Nokia, Tesco, Xerox, Thomas Cook and many more spring to mind.

You can’t ignore or delay acting on industry disruption. The disruption to outsourcing gives agile companies a chance to quickly drive positive change and gain competitive advantage.

Customer experience is about to overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. Do you think your customer experience is or will remain ahead of your competitors? Do you stand out enough?

Don’t let your customer experience risk you being left behind your nimbler competitors. Come and talk to us. We have the solutions, the expertise, the people and the technology. Our focus is the success of your business.

Call us for a free consultation today on 0333 014 4401

Introducing our new Finance Director, Jamie Beal

Introducing our new Finance Director, Jamie Beal.

Jamie officially joined go-centric in May 2019, having acted as an external adviser to the Company from October 2018 whilst working with a mid-tier Scottish accountancy firm.  His return to an FD role within industry from professional services after a period of ten years allows him to leverage against an enhanced skill set, having specialised in a wide range of activities including debt, grant and equity finance raising; business acquisitions and disposals; MBOs; MBIs; corporate venturing and strategic advisory.

His previous time spent as a principal, as well as an advisor, enables him to better understand the operational and people issues within businesses, and their impact on the financial and commercial well-being of the organisation.  He is a valuable addition to go-centric, ensuring we have a clear financial strategy and robust financial management, whilst also providing input on all new business proposals and cost-benefit analyses in relation to new and existing suppliers.  Jamie is a qualified Chartered Accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland.

Welcome to the team Jamie!

How Outsourcing Can Make Your Business Better

Invest your time, money and resources into doing what you do best. As businesses grow in size, they inevitably get more complex. More people, more space, more governance, more cost, more control.

As a fast-growing industry, outsourcing proves there are a number of reasons why it can be the right strategic choice, and make a significant contribution to the success of your business.

  1. You’re tapping into resource and expertise

You’re buying specialist services, with extensive knowledge and expertise in specific products, processes or services. Your outsourcing partner constantly builds on best practice, learning from what works and doesn’t work across multiple clients. You’re also buying the ability to run a 24/7/365 business, without the overheads.

  1. You’re mitigating your risk in terms of business continuity or disaster recovery

A good outsourcing partner will have robust business continuity and disaster recovery plans in place, to ensure your customers don’t take the hit if anything happens. They can provide you with overflow or emergency services, so if your system fails or the phone lines are down, your customers will continue to receive a consistent, seamless service.

  1. You can more easily offer 24/7 services in multiple languages

Recruiting a multi-lingual team is complex and expensive. A good outsourcing partner will help you go global, with skilled resources providing services across a number of languages.

  1. You can save money

The right partner will provide you with a cost-effective service, costing you far less than the recruitment and headcount, office space, technology, training and management costs you would incur delivering in-house. Their services will be flexible and scalable, to support the peaks and troughs of your volumes, without the need for costly headcount.

  1. You can utilise technological innovation

Keeping on top of digital development and trends isn’t easy, for any size of business. It takes significant time and investment. The Cloud enables your outsourcing partner to connect with your systems seamlessly, and their development team will constantly be looking for ways to innovate and improve your customer experience.

The one thing that outsourcing won’t do? It won’t harm your customer experience. At go-centric we’re committed to delivering an outstanding experience for you and your customers. From omni-channel customer services, through to membership services, administration, social media management and back office solutions, we can support your business and help you thrive.

Please come and talk to us about your business goals.

https://go-centric.co.uk/get-in-touch/

Is Your Business Seasonal?

Is your business seasonal? Have you considered the benefits of outsourcing to support seasonality? At go-centric we support many seasonal peaks for our clients, ensuring their customer experience does not suffer during their busiest times of the year.

Did you know…. nearly 85% of seasonal businesses in the UK are being forced to secure extra finance in order to fill gaps in their cash flow?*

Perhaps unsurprisingly, over a third (36%) said cashflow was the biggest issue they come up against when adapting to seasonality. And managing stock (22%), staffing (21%) and planning (20%) were their biggest problems.

Is your business one of many that spikes during certain times of the year? To prepare, you need to adopt a strategic planning approach. You can harness and make the most of your peaks, and by doing so, will soften the need for cashflow during off peak times.

By finding the right partner, you can alleviate your cashflow issues and remove the burden of staffing issues. Working with a specialist organisation who can absorb your peaks, will save you time and money. By utilising the right partner, you can save costs for managing your peak period, for recruitment, headcount and all the costs associated with increasing your onsite resources and increase the quality of your customer experience and therefore revenue.

Outsourcing during peak times of the year gives you the ability to have a partner that will be an extension of your brand. They will handle the increased workload, with the right people, systems and levels of service to make a measurable difference. At go-centric we also provide data intelligence that will help you manage your peak periods more effectively.

Then when your peak/season ends, you can turn it off. Safe in the knowledge that when it comes around again you have a partner ready to go.

If your customer experience is paramount, and your business has seasonal peaks, we’d love to talk to you about what we can do to support your organisation.

 

  *According to research conducted by the Royal Bank of Scotland Great British Entrepreneur Awards and Esme Loans 2018.

go-centric exhibiting at SFHA Housing Scotland Annual Conference

Next month go-centric are exhibitors at the Scottish Federation of Housing Association’s Housing Scotland Annual Conference. The event on the 11/12 June, at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow is one of Scotland’s highest profile housing conferences.

The Housing Scotland event provides the chance for people in the industry to build skills and network, along with showcasing who future customers will be and what homes and neighbourhoods will look like in 2040.

Kelly Arrol, Service Delivery Director at go-centric will be joined by Partnerships Director Matthew Griffiths on the exhibition stand, and commented, “Having worked with a large number of housing associations over the past 20 years, we consider ourselves as partners to the industry, with significant knowledge and expertise to support organisations in delivering an outstanding service to their customers. We’re delighted to be an exhibitor and to attend such an important event for the Scottish housing association sector.”

The conference also features workshops from the likes of NHS Scotland, Social Bite, Keep Scotland Beautiful and Shelter. Speakers at the event include:

  • Sally Thomas – Chief Executive at the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA)
  • Andrew van Doorn – Chief Executive of HACT, a UK innovation charity, social enterprise and industry-focused think/do tank established by the housing association sector.
  • Professor Sir Harry Burns FRSE – Professor of Global Public Health at the University of Strathclyde
  • John Loughton – Chief Executive of leadership company Dare2Lead, and Founder of The Scran Academy – a business providing employment support to disadvantaged young people

go-centric as Commercial Associates of the SFHA, are looking forward to what we know will be a fantastic event.

For more information and how to attend, please visit: https://www.sfha.co.uk/whats-on/event-details/sfha-annual-conference-2019

go-centric Workflow Innovation

At go-centric we develop bespoke in-house solutions to streamline the customer journey. One of our solutions has proved particularly beneficial to our housing association clients, although it can be adapted to service any industry with a requirement to allocate work or tasks to a dispersed workforce, or contractor list.

We can customise steps to engage with your contractors and engineers via SMS, call or email. The main aim is to automate part of the process, make it simpler, faster and reduce the risk of errors as well as the time needed on outbound calls. This improves the experience for customers/tenants and saves precious time spent on the phone.

Our workflow tool speeds up the process of passing along jobs with easy access to details for engineers using our custom-built app. We have built a real-time dashboard portal so you can see your jobs in progress at any time along with a full suite of reports. Our video above showcases the benefits of the workflow system.

Here’s what one of our valued clients has to say about it:

‘We have seen a number of benefits since the implementation of the workflow system, both for our organisation and for our tenants.

We can now upload the on-call rota ourselves whereas, prior to the portal, we had to email and await confirmation that it had been uploaded. We can also make ad-hoc changes live which is really beneficial, particularly if a change is required at short notice, allowing us to manage our on-call service more effectively.

Customer service has also improved significantly due to the system’s ability to send jobs via the app, which means that there is no longer a delay between the call being received and the task being allocated to the appropriate on-call operative. It also means that the operative has all of the relevant details on their phone, rather than having to take a manual note.

The implementation was also relatively smooth, with only minor teething problems which were quickly picked up and resolved. It is a pleasure to work with such a helpful and pro-active contractor who really does aim to deliver excellent customer service.”

Isobel Deighan, Operations Manager, Fife Housing Group

If you’d like more details on our workflow app, or any of our other innovative solutions for delivering outstanding service to your customers, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.