AusPhil Outsourcing Solutions is an Australian-owned and managed contact centre based in the Philippines, founded in 2009. As the name suggests, we specialize in inbound and outbound telemarketing, customer service, and back office services. AusPhil secures the successful transition to outsourcing of your business.
For more information, visit their website: http://ausphiloutsourcing.com.au/
Wayne Bucklar: Ben Smithwick of AusPhil Outsourcing, welcome to the program.
Ben Smithwick: Thanks for having me Wayne, I’m glad to be here.
Wayne Bucklar: Ausphil Outsourcing gives me some idea of what you do but it doesn’t give me the whole picture Ben. Can you fill me in on what products and services you offer and what geographical footprint you work in?
Ben Smithwick: Yes, sure Wayne. Look, we cover all aspects of outsourcing, from telemarketing right through the back office and inbound customer support. Our core focus of our business is outbound which is primarily telemarketing, lead generation, appointment setting and sales but we basically cover all aspects of the outsourcing industry. As by the name suggests, AusPhil, we primarily focus in Australian market. We also have clients in Hong Kong, clients in the UK and also clients in the US. So there’s more of a global demand for the outsourcing industry, so we no longer just focus on Australia, we focus on the entire world.
Wayne Bucklar: Ben, give us a little bit of an idea as to how big you are because someone once said “On the internet no one knows if you’re a dog” and you can look at websites and not know how big a company is or how small it is. Can you give us some sense of your size and how long you’ve been around?
Ben Smithwick: Yes, sure. We founded the company in 2009, so we’ve been around for 7 years now. Our current facility holds up to 300 seats and it’s roughly about 13 hundred square meters. So that’s basically 300 seats that we can have, we’re going around the clock basically.
Wayne Bucklar: And Ben you’re located in the Philippines as I understand it?
Ben Smithwick: Absolutely. We’re based on Clark Freeport Zone which is about 80 kilometers north of Manila. So it’s just a quick run up the motorway. It’s basically becoming a major hub for the outsourcing industry, very secure and safe business part where we have our office located.
Wayne Bucklar: Ben, that’s a substantial size of enterprise to have that number of floor space and that number of people there. Is the market for outsourcing in telesales and appointment setting and telemarketing that big?
Ben Smithwick: Absolutely. It is just been a huge difference since we first opened up 7 years ago. Really we’re still in the infancy, it’s now the small to medium size enterprises that are all realizing they really don’t have much of a choice but to come to the Philippines to keep up with everybody else that is. So even though the industry’s been around for about 17 years, if not more, we really still in the infancy and it’s growing and growing and I hope by the end of 2017 that we outgrow our current facilities and we’re in something that will hold 600 people during the daytime and 600 during the nighttime.
Wayne Bucklar: I know that for Australian consumers outsourcing by some of the bigger particularly the Telcos in Australia, two Indian call-centers have been going on for a number of years. Is the Philippines different to India as a destination for outsourcing?
Ben Smithwick: Look, absolutely. We know the Philippines overtook India as the number one destination several years ago and it continues to go that way and headed in that direction. The Philippines is great because the Filipinos in general have a neutral accent so for anything to do with voice whether it’s outbound or inbound, it’s the number one destination now. You’ll see even if you call your local bank or airline or whatever it may be in Australia, it seems about 80-90% of the time now you coming through the Philippines not to India anymore so the Philippines has certainly overtaken and surpassed India as the number outsourcing destination.
Wayne Bucklar: You said the accent is neutral Ben, but is there difficulty getting english speaking staff in the Philippines?
Ben Smithwick: Absolutely not. There’s no shortage and especially over the last 10 years probably more so the last 5 years, parents would really encourage starting english with their kids and throughout the schools. I mean it’s, I think it’s the 3rd or 4th largest english speaking country in the world because most people do speak english and a lot of them speak english very, very well.
Wayne Bucklar: I did notice recently some of the, I think it was new president delivered his speech in english, so I guess it’s becoming a very common thing then.
Ben Smithwick: I mean it’s everywhere, every roadsign, everything that you see, read, hear is pretty much english is the first option and then the local tongue, Tagalog as the second option. So I’ve personally been here for 8 years and I’ve never hadn’t need to learn the language because everybody speaks english. So english is a second language but only a close second.
Wayne Bucklar: For Australian businesses looking for telesales, lead generation, telemarketing, in fact any voice outsourcing work, I guess having a native population that is english speaking as broadly as that has got to be a big advantage.
Ben Smithwick: Absolutely, it’s huge and I mean I don’t know the exact figures at the moment, it’s so always very hard to get exact statistics but I mean there’s well over a million people in voice-based call-center jobs now in the Philippines. Even at our local area where we are, I mean it is at least quadrupled in size since the time that we’ve been here and but there’s more education, there’s more training programs, there’s more qualified people coming out of university, there’s just unlimited opportunity. So the industry will only get bigger and bigger and I don’t see that slowing down anytime soon.
Wayne Bucklar: Ben can you give us a bit of idea how big a firm I have to be to consider outsourcing?
Ben Smithwick: Not very large at all. Basically we are geared up for the small to medium enterprise so you might only want one or two or three full-time employees and that’s all you need. There’s certain things that we can’t do like a lot of people do request part-time work and that’s something we really we don’t deal into. We’re dealing full time employees, but you don’t need to be a big organization at all. Even some of our clients here have two employees in Australia and one employee here so you don’t have to be a big organization at all.
Wayne Bucklar: I’m sure Ben there’ll be a lot of Australian businesses on seeing this will be interested to know that there is a solution for them even if they’re quite small who can help them in telesales, telemarketing and that whole outbound call area. How can people get in touch with you if they want to know more?
Ben Smithwick: Look, as you said, I mean it’s a pretty scary thing especially for the small businesses going offshore. So we’ve done always really well because people could always contact me or another Australian that works here and there’s always that ease of communication to come and contact us. You only have call our 1300 number, just 1300 115 335 or visit our website ausphiloutsourcing.com.au but from a day to day perspective of doing business it’s an Australian number that you can contact us on. We work around you, we would become an extension of your business and you can have as much involvement or as little involvement. It’s what we do here, it’s completely up to yourself.
Wayne Bucklar: Ben Smith, CEO of AusPhil Outsourcing. Thank you for your time today, it’s been a pleasure having you on the program with us.
Ben Smithwick: Thank you Wayne, I appreciate your time.