June 3, 2019
Bryan Lockyer – Direct Sourcing Solutions and Clark
Last updated August 15, 2019
I’m talking to Bryan Lockyer of Direct Sourcing Solutions. Bryan has been doing business and coming to the Philippines for about 12 years now. Bryan has been working out of Clark, which is a satellite city of Manila that houses a lot of excellent outsourcing companies. It’s a really good chat to Bryan about his own evolution within business and outsourcing. I really enjoyed this conversation and I’m sure you will too.
Derek Gallimore: Welcome to the Outsource Accelerator podcast. This is a short format podcast where we explore business and outsourcing mastery. My name is Derek Gallimore and I am really excited to bring you the leading podcast in outsourcing.
Derek Gallimore: Welcome back everybody. This is episode number 241 today I’m talking to Bryan Lockyer of Direct Sourcing Solutions. Bryan has been doing business and coming to the Philippines for about 12 years now, which, which in Philippine years is a really long time. He’s been working out of Clark, which is a satellite city of Manila. And certainly you know this city, and in Manila has really gone through massive changes over the last 12 years and certainly, as has the outsourcing industry. So it’s really good to have a chat to Bryan about this and his own evolution within business and outsourcing of course. So I really enjoyed this conversation and I’m sure you will too. If you want any of the show notes then go to outsourceaccelerator.com/241 enjoy.
Derek Gallimore: Hi and welcome back everybody today on joined by Bryan Lockyer. Hi Bryan, how are you?
Bryan Lockyer: I’m great. Thanks. Thanks Derek.
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, thanks for joining us. And, you are the founder and now Managing Director of Direct Sourcing Solutions or DSS a and it’s an outsourcing supplier based in Clark, but I’m super happy to have you on the line here because a, you’ve got vast experience in the Philippines and in various aspects of outsourcing an it outsourcing. So really happy to tap into your experience here. And, I suppose I should just mention initially that you are, you’re based in New Zealand, which is where I was actually brought up. So, it’s a, it’s a bit of a home becoming conversation maybe, but to so welcome. Welcome Bryan.
Bryan Lockyer: Well, thanks very much Derek. You’re right. So I’ve, I’ve had businesses in the Philippines for well over 12 years now, three different businesses, all really focusing me down that path of outsourcing or BPO. so yeah.
Derek Gallimore: Well, what initially brought you to the Philippines because you know, I’ve been here maybe on and off since about 2011 and it’s really come a long way. I know that when you started coming over here 12 years ago, there was probably a lot less going for it than there is now. What was your initial impetus for coming here?
Bryan Lockyer: Well, so I had a business in Hong Kong and we were delivering payroll software. We actually were struggling with recruiting enough software developers. One of my clients actually had a back in the Philippines and had it encouraged me to come over and have a look at what they were doing and offered to park some people in his office for me. So that’s really where it started. and I think I’ve made my first trip to, to Clark in, 2003 via Manila by, a private plane to bring it, bring me up to Clark. It was quite a low deal to get here. but but a great place and I could see its potential back then, although you’re right, it was very slippy and very quiet.
Derek Gallimore: The Clark is now the new hub just outside of Manila and also, was home to huge USA enforced space and a massive airport runway. but it’s really come a long way in the last 10 years now.
Bryan Lockyer: Yeah, certainly has. I mean this direct flights and they’re in the process of building a brand new terminal, which will be, you know, world class and it has, it’s really starting to boom, they have a Clark Global city, which is where our offices are located, which is being developed very similar to BGC based in Manila.
Derek Gallimore: I’m super excited about that because that’s meant to be like a kind of new Singapore. They certainly kind of slightly to be quite a highly advanced city or what are yours?
Bryan Lockyer: Well, we were actually the first tenant in, in those buildings. We’re in one west, which overlooked the airport and the runway and it’s right across the road from the Medical City, which is a large international standard hospital, right on the SCTEX. So that’s the exit that comes off the NLEX from Manila. And we’re very, very happy. our, our offices are, are very similar to what you would expect out of an A grade office in most parts of Asia or even Australia and New Zealand.
Derek Gallimore: Wow, fantastic. So what do you do then? You’ve gone through a few iterations and you’ve seen, how have you seen the whole outsourcing progress over the last 12 years that you’ve, you’ve seen it because 25 years old, so you’ve already been kind of writing it for at least half of the slide for almost half his life. How have you seen it evolve?
Bryan Lockyer: 10 or 12 years ago in the model of a shared service center? where low cost administration was pushed off. but what, what we’re starting to see now is, is, and what the most of the people we employee, we would pull them, you know, knowledge workers, software developers, business analysts, process analysts. We have, very strong VPMO or virtual project management office, which is running, projects for clients around the region and most of the, the thoughts of their thinking, the smarts behind a running our office in the Philippines. So I think things have started to migrate a, from a low value administration tasks to high value tasks that would be quite expensive to hire in country, even if they’re available. So that, that’s the biggest, biggest innovation. I see.
Derek Gallimore: Yeah. The outsourcing is high volume, high repetition that had been doing by the big boys, but the smaller, smaller, medium size BPOs, now they’re actually catering to the small and medium size businesses of the world and they require a lot more engaged, dynamic, professionalized kind of services yeah. That are just working alongside their staffing. so scene, things really climbed a skill leaner and a lot of people ask me about, the choice of location, whether everyone should come to Manila or whether there’s opportunity out in the provinces or satellite cities. how have you found the staff resourcing the depth of roles and qualifications out in Clark?
Bryan Lockyer: I think the, the talent pool is very good in class. There’s about 18,000 graduates a year from local universities. What we used to see, a lot of those graduates would migrate towards the Manila looking for, you know, the big, big city and the, and the, better opportunities. we pay Manila salaries and we offered them a much lower cost of living and a commute time of might be 10 or 20 minutes. And I think after some time, away from home, it’s quite a positive and a popular choice to move back when you can make the same money and have a, a cost of living. so yeah, we, you know, there’s always this, there’s always a demand for good technical talent, but we have relationships with a number of the universities where we bring it, bring through graduate programs, et Cetera, which a lot of our competitors are doing as well. I, I think there are, there are other, so for us, our next, we ha we used to have an office in Manila, which we closed. and our, our intention now is to move into other satellite areas, potentially into Baguio. We have a, we have a large catchment pool around, Zambales and Subic area and then possibly even down towards, Dumaguete, which also have a large, university, population,
Derek Gallimore: There are big universities about 650,000 graduates per year. A lot of people coming through the system. And how do you find, you know, obviously the grand jurors needed a little bit more warming up than the grand jurors in New Zealand or Australia or the US, but how do you, how do you find the comparison between someone with maybe two or three years post graduate experience, in the different countries? Because even in New Zealand, Australia, the West, you’ve still got a kind of, well teach people what they know of you and take them through the process and say, how do you compare and contrast Philippine, youth all millennials to the West?
Bryan Lockyer: I think that, I mean, we have millennials in Oakland, which is where I am at the moment. And they look very similar in the way they dress and the way they operate. I think that it’s important to have training programs with graduates as they come on board. however, you know, that being said, our clients are actually finding that graduates can sometimes offer better, results and then people with five or 10 years experience. Now, let me qualify that by saying that that’s primarily because they’re able to train them in the way they want them to work. And you know, Philippine resources are very good at following instructions. as long as there’s a clear path for them. I think possibly, you know, western graduates are very good at, at problem solving and thinking outside of the box, but when it comes to delivery, sometimes you don’t want millennials thinking outside the box. You want them following instructions and working as a team. And I think that we’ve had very good results at that.
Derek Gallimore: Right? Yeah, that’s a good point. I need to go through maybe five or 10 years of training to get your, your foundations, your disciplines, the kind of true understanding of the thing. And then you can be free to kind of create, so maybe, yeah, it’s better that people are kind of constricted to within a framework a lot more when they’re, when they’re junior. and as you say, I think the Filipinos, they, they are more inclined to, to stick to frameworks out and they want clear processes. They want, you know, kind of clear tasks to execute and they feel more secure in those processes we’ve done.
Bryan Lockyer: Yeah, that’s right. I’d agree with that.
Derek Gallimore: Okay. And then, so if people, when you get new clients in as an example, what is the process of the process mapping? Do you generally find that you get new clients and actually it’s a bit of an education of the actual client to, to get what they have in their head and put it down on paper and, you know, kind of map out processes, or do you find it’s equally the onboarding of the staffing? where do you find sort of most, I suppose, points of friction but also, easy means of success?
Bryan Lockyer: I think the whole engagement process and onboarding process of a new client is something that we’ve spent quite a bit of time on because it’s, it’s the area that can be the most problematic. it’s very easy to say, hey, we can, we can reduce your costs and handle all of this for you remotely, or it sounds great, but without good interaction with the client. those promises of doing things cheaply or, more efficiently can, can often go out the window very quickly and acquiring a client, well, sorry, keeping a client as always a cheaper and more effective than just acquiring a new client. So as I mentioned before, we have very strong engagement process. We actually have, we’ve hired the ex head of PMO for Cathay Pacific based out of Hong Kong. he was also a senior consultant with Microsoft in Singapore is an Australian guy and he’s, he’s come on board to really manage that engagement process and make sure that good procedures I put in place with the client and that, expectations are well set with the client early on. most of our clients visit our office on a regular basis or send their teams or parts of their teams down to the, the onsite location from time to time as well. So the better the engagement, the better the results kind of like, you know, how do you fall out of bed because you’re not far enough in, is kind of the same with outsourcing. If you don’t really commit to it, then it’s very difficult to get a good result.
Derek Gallimore: Yeah. Getting those, those kind of quick wins, it’s not, otherwise I think people are quite to find flaws with outsourcing and kind of write it off as a, as a, as a broken solution. But it’s fantastic that you get people over to actually see the people and the facilities. Do you notice a step change once people come over? Like are they you know, is it of a different perspective? They have,
Bryan Lockyer: I think it works on both sides of the fence. I think they then see the environment that the resources and a better appreciation for the opportunities and also, the constraints. and it’s also good for the resources to actually either client, you know, face to face and then that’s just the person they can’t let down. because they, they, you know, because somebody was sick or they were late to work or things like that, which can often creep in to an outsourcing arrangement. When you just work on the end of the phone on the end of an email, you don’t have that same connection. So I think it’s been really positive on both sides and you know, the [inaudible] or golfing or you know, visit or something like that. So there’s a lot of benefits on both sides.
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, absolutely. In Clark has some fantastic golf courses, isn’t it? It’s quite well known for them actually.
Bryan Lockyer: More than happy to invite you up at some stage.
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, absolutely. And so then we kind of round off here, but if, you know, if, if you, you obviously see a lot of clients come through and if any of them, if you give anyone advice in terms of how to really nail outsourcing as a sort of two or three key aspects, you, you often tell people, to, to help them along their journey.
Bryan Lockyer: I think, a key thing for me is having some structure around the engagement. so that’s not the pricing schedule or the resource list. That is a clear definition of the work tasks and the KPIs that are going to drive success out of the relationship. So I think that’s, that’s a key one. And then I would also encourage, potential clients to be looking at the culture that’s driven in the organization. is it a happy place to work? Is it a place that values their resources and provides a higher than basic standard of reward. And that’s not necessarily to salary. It’s about how they treat them with private benefits, how they treat them with stuff, activities. Philippine workers are very family oriented and if that is not the corporated somehow in the work relationship, that can be a major turnover issues. So those are probably the two things I would, I would look at.
Derek Gallimore: Yeah. And that’s so important isn’t it? Because people, I think, you know, with outsourcing, people can forget that there’s kind of a human behind the monitoring and it’s important to remind people that it’s still people in the Philippines and they have career aspirations and, and you know, a lot of the similar aspirations that anyone does in any countries. So that it’s, it’s important listening. Great. Thank you so much Bryan and a if anyone wants to contact you and I want to get you back so that we can deep dive into, what direct sourcing solutions is and DSS, and you know specifically where your value proposition is for people, but if people want to get in touch with you in the meantime, how can they do that?
Bryan Lockyer: Well, they can have a look at the website which is just dss.asia or send me an email on Bryan, which is email@example.com.
Derek Gallimore: Amazing. Thanks Bryan.
Derek Gallimore: Okay. That was Bryan Lockyer of Direct Sourcing Solutions. If you want to get in touch with Bryan or learn any more about anything we discussed in this podcast, go to outsourceaccelerator.com/241 and as always, if you want to ask us a question, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org see you next time.