Hi I’m Nadine Davis-Atma from affordable staff and I’m here with Stuart Bayliss from SGB finance and we are about to do a case study interview just talking about his experience with us and how he’s getting along we’ll get right into it.

Why did you decide to outsource?

Hi I’m Nadine Davis-Atma from affordable staff and I’m here with Stuart Bayliss from SGB finance and we are about to do a case study interview just talking about his experience with us and how he’s getting along we’ll get right into it.

Why did you decide to outsource?

so I’d been in the industry for a number of years and I felt like you know I hadn’t really particularly grown the business I struggled with getting to see my customers efficiently and being face to face with them and managing their needs and if I was managing their needs I wasn’t getting onto the compliance things that needed to happen and also the compliance was getting heavier and heavier every year, yeah I came up with the theory of the 10-10 if there was a theoretical 10 for a client I should be doing six dollar type tasks my pa should be doing three dollar type tasks and then could we have a VA, a virtual assistant to do one dollar type tasks and take them off off the books for us yeah or with my hands yeah because those tasks um compliance and admin type tasks do take a toll and take a lot out of a business but unfortunately they’re a requirement that does not give you a return on investment it does but we absolutely have to do it and it’s becoming even heavier now.

Yeah okay.

Why is trust an important factor?

So do you think that trust is an important factor in outsourcing?

for me it’s crucial I, I’ve got to trust affordable staff or you know whoever I’m using but for affordable stuff and I’ve got a so you know I’ve got to trust them and I’ve also got to trust the person who’s actually working for me I’ve got to trust the systems I’ve got to have trust in the systems that are there uh like the regulatory and the privacy and all of those things get covered off so um and I feel I have that,

Yeah with Affordable Staff and with your virtual assistant?

Exactly yeah.

Okay, great.

Why did you choose Affordable Staff?

Why did you choose Affordable Staff?

Okay so I chose Affordable Staff well it’s a bit of a back story I had uh I had an order in with another firm and they uh you know not through their fault COVID came and hit and uh they were in Manila uh and so their business basically just fell over during that period I and it hit right at that time I had that order in speaking to some learned colleagues in the industry I uh came across your Affordable Staff’s name and uh they suggested that we speak so you and I spoke, and um you were able to fulfill that order within three weeks. In fact, you had staff waiting for me.

I think we had staff in training yes.

Yes, that’s right.

Would you choose us?

Given the circumstance again I’m just going to throw a little extra question in here, would you choose us? yeah I yeah probably should have stated that I meant that too um so I yeah Affordable Staff have been uh I felt like I you know found my home afterwards because I uh everything’s good all the boxes are text um we’ve got a great we’ve got a great staff member who’s you know he’s part of my family now so he’s um you know we get on the chat in the morning and have a yarn about what’s going on in life and you know how’s COVID going in Bacolod. he’s keeping safe so that’s good yeah yeah and um he wears an SGB finance t-shirt.

oh that’s so good

So we got some shirts over there? yeah somehow some way

It’s in three months I think

Yeah um that was just because um it was difficult to travel you know so everything had to be sent by DHL did you end up using?

No I think we just used like the post, that’s true it just took forever

Yeah sorry about that if I’d known I would have advised you another way but that’s okay. So can I just add a little sub question in there because you were saying um about the support that you have and that you feel like he’s a part of your team.

Yes.

What’s his title in your job–in your company?

He’s the support ninja.

Excellent.

You love that.

I love it so much.

He’s actually, his email address and everything we have a lot of fun with it

Yeah yeah.

So we’ve actually been trying to get uh new titles for the second person that we’ll get fairly shortly. Yeah um but yeah support he loves it too he just thinks it’s hilarious uh he’s a bit of a manga fan actually if you’re watching him so he’s been a manga fan so he thinks supporting just lots of fun and um and you know clients think it’s fun and um I’m the only one with the boring name email address everyone else has good phone email addresses.

We might have to get your your email to be the actual boss.

Do you feel like outsourcing is taking jobs away from Australia?

Do you feel that outsourcing is taking jobs away from Australia?

Yeah that’s not a tough question for me because I guess fundamentally the answer is yes but I’m a bit of a humanist I don’t I don’t think necessarily like an Australian, like I think if everyone’s got to put food on the table so if uh if they can do a job that uh well for a good price um I think that’s fair and I’m okay with it I like it. Also I think it’s expanded our business like we’ll probably take on some more Australian people like sorry local people yeah at some point so I think that it’s actually um allowed us to advance the business more than it would have anyway yeah as a small business person you have to look at cost all the time we can get these people into these um we can get these VA’s in to do the minor tasks there which helps us grow then we can you know get more Australian local people in if we need to so I think it’s good

Yeah and with a little bit more of an expensive cost base you could have your local Australian people doing activities that bring more money into the business which enables you to grow further, yeah

I love the um our VA’s the mentality of the way they come into the business and they work so hard um for you know a lot less cost than we would pay in Australia and they’re so adamant about how they want to work and they’re just they’re keen to impress all the time and you know the attitude is just so easy to work with.

What has outsourcing enabled you to do that you didn’t think you be able to before?

What has outsourcing enabled you to do that you didn’t think you’d be able to before?

Well I you know we mentioned numbers earlier when we were talking off-camera um so you know I was probably doing average two million dollars per month which is okay in the industry it’s not shooting the lights out um and I would say we’re probably after having um after having Kim for a year and a bit yeah just a year.

Just coming to a year I think actually yeah.

We’re probably up to about the four million average now and I wouldn’t um it’s allowed me to put a lot more processors in place like um you know Facebook groups and advertising and all that sort of thing and because my customer facing is stronger therefore um I’m getting more referrals as well and I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re at the average six very shortly yeah.

Yeah because you’re consistent keeping your um customer service levels up at the same time as everything else that’s going on.

There’s a software there too we’ve put some software in and that’s integrated the team as well so that’s been good yeah.

Is that software broker engine?

it is Broker Engine.

I’m a big fan

I’m a massive fan!

Yes so we actually include some Broker Engine training now in our training block, I don’t know if you had that before um.

No, I brought it to you I told you about it.

Thank you! Thank you for bringing broker engine into my life.

What are your local team feeling about having an offshore team?

What measurable results have you found from outsourcing?  

Well, I know that we certainly have written a lot more business this year than we probably could have handled without the Vas. And you know, it’s been a busy year and I guess that most people know that you know, there’s been an influx of business and we haven’t had to turn that away. Whereas previously you know, not having the level of staffing that we have now. We probably would have had to turn that away, and you know. 

Which no one wants to do.  

Turning away. 

Oh well, in a battle he would have been lying on the floor right now.  

So, no. We just were a bit, I guess we utilize the team in that regards which we still do, but it’s dependent on the customer’s circumstances. So for example, even though I’m arguably at capacity now, if I get a loan that doesn’t require a face-to-face visit. It’s something that I can take on without really having to diminish my time. So the guys can process that loan for me that with minimal involvement from me especially if they customer doesn’t require a face-to-face visit. For example, they’re an existing customer or they’re interstate, so a lot of that is enabling us to take on more volume. We wouldn’t give it away per se. But it may go to the other guys. So our brokers may not like it as much. But I may take on more in that regards than I perhaps would have otherwise. 

Yeah, so it’s allowed you to actually continue to take on the growth without the business falling over or an individual just having way too much to do.  

Without it affecting our clients’ experience 

Yeah. Which has stayed at a good customer service level.  

Yes. 

Yeah. Okay great.

What advice would you give to others who are looking to outsource?

What advice would you give to others who are looking to outsource?

I think brokers often have a “I’ll just do it myself because I know what I’m doing” right? yeah and that’s you’re much better off building a process and getting it off your hands and definitely Affordable Staff the staff there are skilled enough as they come into the job to be able to do that.

Yeah I definitely find that um if you are doing the admin yourself what is that doing to your hourly rate as a broker.

Absolutely the 10-dollar theory right yeah so somebody could be doing it at um 10% yeah that’s right yeah.

I don’t even mean money necessarily, I mean um I mean just that it’s an entry-level job like you said so if it’s an entry-level job pass those entry levels off yeah um solicitors and lawyers and accountants have been doing that for ages you know the senior accountant looks at your books like once or for an hour because they’re 300 dollars an hour and then the mid-level accountants you know look at your books for you know 50% of the time because they’re 100 dollars an hour and then they have the admins that punch in the numbers and they’re I don’t know thirty dollars an hour or forty dollars an hour or something like that. Do I want to be paying three hundred dollars an hour for the account to be punching numbers in I know so no that’s why I like that theory too.

Me neither, okay well thank you so much Stuart for your valuable time and I really appreciate you traveling to Sydney to do this interview so that was our interview with Stuart from SGB Finance and I’m now signing out Nadine from Affordable Staff bringing business efficiency through outsourcing.