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Inside Retail & Satellite Office

Why outsourcing employees could be the key to surviving the next disruption

In the wake of the dramatic shift in trading and operations brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, it has become abundantly clear that many retailers need to scale up their operations to keep pace with the ‘new normal’. 

And with the businesses that grew through the pandemic having, generally, been the those that were prepared for a quick but seismic shift in operations, such as a bigger push into online than would have otherwise been made, the flexibility of a retailer’s workforce has never been more important. 

“After the pandemic, there has been a huge wake-up call for businesses to be prepared for any uncertainties,” said Satellite Office’s founder and chief executive Michael McRitchie.

“Business relies on adapting quickly to the needs and desires of its customers.”

And while one of the most difficult and expensive parts of scaling up is growing a business’ team – this is exactly where Satellite Office can help, according to McRitchie. 

Satellite Office helps Australian businesses to set up their own highly-skilled outsourced workforce, and addresses the growing need for e -commerce and digital talent in the retail industry by vetting each worker it recommends. 

The business got its start when McRitchie, formerly chief executive at DealsDirect, built a 50-man team in the Philippines to handle some of that business’ operations. And, realising the potential this model could bring to other retailers, set out to bring a retailer focused outsourcer to the industry. 

Sourcing from a wide pool of professionals in the Philippines, ranging from customer service and sales, e-commerce managers and coordinators, digital marketing, merchandise assistants, logistics and inventory management, finance, and software development, Satellite Office has already helped a large number of retailers in Australia grow their offer and improve their overall customer proposition. In fact, the company was voted by Australian and NZ retailers as the Best Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) provider at the recently concluded National Online Retail Association (NORA) Awards 2021. 

Pet goods business Pet Circle was able to increase its efficiency and cost savings by utilising an outsourcing model for a number of its internal and customer-facing functions. Kikki.K also set up an outsourced team of highly-skilled professionals to spearhead its digital marketing, customer service, and tech support functions, among others. 

Hello Fresh, Poolwerx, and Nick Scali have also found success with this model, McRitchie said.  

“Our clients are able to save $40,000 to $90,000 per employee compared to hiring in Melbourne and Sydney,” McRitchie said. 

“And while the cost savings are significant, our focus is on getting the highest-quality talent for any given role.”

These workers remain employees of Satellite Office in the Philippines, however, work exclusively for their clients, be it a retailer, tech and digital business, with a strong focus on adopting the culture of the client, and integrating them seamlessly with local teams. 

This is key to the business’ success, as well as the success of outsourcing teams in general, especially with the lack of international talent entering Australia at the moment due to shuttered borders. 

“We’re returning to growth as an economy, but the supply side of employees isn’t growing,” McRitchie said.

“[But with our] expert outsourcing solutions, retailers can scale their e-commerce and operations, improve their logistics and inventory, reduce operational cost, innovate through technology, enhance customer support and enter new markets.”

To know more about Satellite Office and see how they can help you grow your operations, get in touch today