Hi I’m Nadine from Affordable Staff I’m here doing a case study interview with Adam from Emerge Finance. Welcome Adam!

Why did you choose to outsource?

Hi I’m Nadine from Affordable Staff I’m here doing a case study interview with Adam from Emerge Finance welcome Adam thank you let’s get into it.

Adam hi hello thanks for coming on thank you I really like your new office thank you for having us here yeah cheers okay so let’s get right into it why did you decide to outsource?

I think from our point of view outsourcing was the next uh step in growing our business so as a single broker the way I started the business um you know there’s there was no real other way to grow it apart from maybe getting another staff member you know you can’t do everything as a broker you’ve got to do or have someone else helping with some of the tasks so it was just a really easy way for us to grow the business and take some of those non-dollar productive tasks off our plate yeah so building a little bit more capacity what’s your number one goal I mean as a sole broker you’re doing everything you’re wearing every hat you’re trying to bring in new star clients you’re trying to um you know do the books you’re trying to do the processing so it becomes a time when your capacity runs out so you need to get some more staff on board yeah so sometimes outsourcing actually helps you to be able to do that as well financially correct yeah I mean you know from a cost position that’s very good from and from a cash flow position especially starting out as a broker you know you’re just sort of starting the business so you do have a lot of costs at the start so being able to outsource at a cheaper price point was a great way for us to sort of grow the business and it was actually the stepping stone for us to be able to hire more additional staff here in Australia as well excellent.

Why is trust an important factor in outsourcing?

Why is trust such an important factor in outsourcing?

I think trust is an important factor in every business I mean as a broker we’ve got very similar lenders we’ve got very similar loan options we’ve got very similar interest rates to every other lender and every other broker so our business is built on trust and relationships and people do business with people that they trust so when we go to hire we need to look for a company and staff that are going to fit that mold and I guess fit in with our staffing and our culture as well so I think trust is really important.

And that’s why clients use us yeah I agree trust and good customer service go hand in hand really correct and when you’re doing everything you don’t have time to do good customer service so you need to outsource something so you’ve got more time to talk to clients yeah I kind of you do have a choice good customer service or sleep.

Why did you choose affordable staff?

Why did you choose affordable staff as your outsourcing option?

Um so we had used another outsourcing auction previously I think we bumped into each other at a conference or some sort of connective function so I really like the fact that you were local and Australian based and someone that we could have as a contact yeah it probably goes back to that trust I mean we do business with people that we like and trust so it was great to have you on the ground here and be able to answer our questions and really walk us through the process um I also really like the fact that you had done a lot of work with connective in the past and so that you know our VA’s were sitting in an office with other VA’s that were working with connective staff yeah you were able to train them from a process perspective and also a CRM perspective with the CRM that connective users so for us it was just a really easy way to I guess get that knowledge and that experience and that training that you guys were looking after for us you know with our VA’s yeah we’ve got a long-standing relationship with connective we love them we actually really like their software as well um used to be mercury and now it’s called nexus.

Do you believe that outsourcing is taking jobs away from Australians?

Do you believe that outsourcing is taking jobs away from Australians?

Yeah I mean it was something that I thought about initially when we were looking to outsource but I actually think it’s contrary to that so I actually think it helps our ability to hire additional staff here onshore because from a cash flow perspective I just couldn’t afford to hire someone here to start off with but I knew that I had to get those non-dollar productive tasks off my plate yeah if I can outsource those I can then spend more time doing dollar productive tasks which actually enabled us to grow the business quicker which enabled us to hire more staff onshore quicker so I feel like if I hadn’t have outsourced it would have been a longer duration for me to actually afford to bring someone else on here, but by outsourcing in that we grew the business quicker and that we actually did that quicker. The other thing is I feel like the outsourced staff actually work well in creating a culture and a really great work environment for our onshore staff because we’re able to outsource some of the you know non-dollar productive tasks yes you know as a broker I need to be out you know finding new clients but also our onshore staff need to be spending time talking to clients and processing loans not necessarily doing some of those data hungry tasks so yeah it also you know outsources some of their non-productive tasks as well

Yeah so you’ve kind of moved capacity um to yourself initially and then to your local staff as well so that they can do more customer service customer focused tasks

Correct yeah so our outsourced staff don’t have any client contact they’re all back office so you know eventually I hit a capacity with my ability to speak to clients and be available for clients so we need to get some of our onshore staff to assist with that so yeah that’s where that sort of next step went so once I outsourced some of the non-dollar productive got to a point where my capacity was capped again so then we bought someone onshore to help with some of that client liaising side so yeah I think it works really well hand in hand with an onshore team as well.

What has outsourcing enabled you to do that you previously didn’t know you would be able to?

What has outsourcing enabled you to do that you previously didn’t know you would be able to?

I think our business has grown really quickly with outsourcing staff um we doubled last financial year so you know that has been a really big catalyst with the outsourcing staff um I think because we are outsourcing a lot of that non-dollar productive it means I can focus on that and that’s helped us grow the business so I think that’s probably the biggest sort of measurable I guess but also that team culture as well so yeah you know I have weaknesses in part of our business so by being able to outsource those weaknesses I can then focus on my strengths and the weaknesses that I outsource is our outsourced team’s strengths so it works quite well

That’s why we do it the way we do it yeah I think it’s very important to have the right people in the right roles as well not just you know with your outsourced team but locally so well it doesn’t matter if they’re on shore offshore they still need to be part of the team and you still need to build that culture and work with them so so staff morale correct yeah that’s it everyone has a good time and I think that portrays to the clients as well and that’s what attracts clients to working with our business

Excellent.

How are your local team working with the offshore team?

How are your local team working with the offshore team?

So I guess there’s a lot of tech now that can assist with liaising so we have slack channels or some sort of messenger system that can help so there’s plenty of means and fun stuff that happen as well but we obviously engage with the VA’s via Skype and teams just to get in touch with them and get details. We also have a channel that effectively gives us updates on where it runs on every file so the VA’s can put on their work that has been completed so everyone is across it from a transparency perspective, so that’s been really helpful. And also ringing banks and things like that, so our VA’s are able to do that as well and which again frees up time for the guys here.

Yup. Excellent. So that’s 2 hours of waiting time that your team doesn’t have to do?
Have you found that you are able to do cross-training with your staff as well?

Yeah I mean we just hired some additional onshore staff and that’s been really helpful because our VA’s know how to do a lot of the process so they’ve been able to work with our onshore staff to train as well and vice versa. So we’ve been able to use them to teach the VA’s some of the work that we do here. That’s been really helpful for my office side of things because we still got clients coming to work with us and we will be focusing on that but um being able to train our staff here with some of the processes that the VA’s have set up has been really valuable to us. And you know we’ve been quite diligent in creating processes for every part of our business so that whether if onshore, offshore we’ve got a process that they follow and they can learn from. and I guess that was the great thing about working with you guys is that you spend a lot of time at the start on when we did bring out our first VA and then our second VA on how they fit into our process because it’s quite unique when you got additional staff joining the team and how they all fit in together so that was really helpful as well.

Yeah, I find that bit of thing that processes and like documenting your process more importantly is you really only have to do that once the hard work is done once and done via your VA mostly. – Correct -So most importantly then you as the business owner or your key local staff are not having to do that level of training.

Yeah I think it’s always something that’s improving as well to make the process better to make a better customer outcome. So whether that includes offshore-onshore is all the part of the team to have a great customer outcome.

Yup, fantastic!

What measurable results have you found with outsourcing?

What measurable results have you found from this experience with outsourcing?

So I think especially from a cost position you know definitely much cheaper to hire offshore but also the other measurements have been our volume so our volume has grown very rapidly so and I don’t believe that would have been possible without having the offshore on onboard um and also I think it was what I said before about you know team morale so you know being able to offshore or outsource some of those tasks that you know we know we have to do but we don’t really enjoy them, yeah and then it makes it means that we have more fun because we’re doing I guess all of the tasks that we enjoy yeah and that are dollar productive

Yeah it allows you to continue to do what you love

Yeah correct I mean you don’t become a broker to do paperwork until 1 am every night so if you can stop doing that’s ideal definitely I’ll be a broker but not paperwork um well

What advice would you give to others looking to outsource other brokers?

Um I definitely think they should take it on board I think to do it earlier rather than later that’s probably one of the things that we found probably do it three or six months before you probably think you need it because again there’s going to be a training time frame to get them up to speed and I guess the plan for that extra volume or that extra business that you gonna get um so I think it’s definitely worthwhile and that’s sort of how we’ve run it as well and we’ve seen the results in that

Yeah and a lot of breakers are probably already in that position of all of the additional volumes happening

Yeah that’s one of the silver linings out that our volume has increased dramatically so yeah you know it might almost be too late but you know there’s no better time than now to start never too late I guess I had a really good quote a couple of years ago that said you know if you don’t have an assistant you are the assistant and so you know as a broker you’re not getting paid to be an assistant you’re getting paid to be a broker and for solving clients and solving and getting them financed to you know to buy their properties so you know if you’re too busy doing the paperwork or you know ordering valuations or pricing then you know that’s not really dollar productive because it’s not quite facing

Yeah, absolutely and I just think that’s a magic term that I shall borrow “if you don’t have an assistant you are the assistant” wow.

Well, thank you Adam for doing the case study with us today and allowing us to use your beautiful new office yeah for coming in thanks for your help with the outsourcing no problems I love helping so this is Nadine from Affordable Staff just finished our case study interview with Adam from Emerge Finance signing out!