December 15, 2017
Jamie McBrien – How optiBPO was Founded
Last updated August 15, 2019
In this podcast, Derek is joined by Jamie Mcbrien once again as Derek deep dive into Jamie’s optiBPO which is a hybrid kind of outsourcing BPO advisory outfit.
- Jamie has been a management consultant his whole life focused on finance and back-office operations including shared services and outsourcing.
- OptiBPO helps plan to build and manage offshore dedicated teams, they work with clients upfront, onshore in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK mainly.
- They only focus on the Philippines to recruit the right team members
- Jamie’s clients’ range and size are always hard to fully define.
- He states that their expertise is predominantly around the finance and the back office functions.
- It’s important to work with the right partners and to work with a range of different organizations
- In every strategy, there will always be bumps along the way, some of the people are employable some of them aren’t but it’s about making sure you have a strong management structure in place to ensure your success.
- There will always be hiccups and frustrations when you’re running a business.
- Success is created only in building successful teams over time.
Derek: Hi and welcome to another episode of the Outsource Accelerated Podcast. This is number 91, episode number 91 and today with we’re joined by Jamie Mcbrien again. He is the founder of optiBPO, we interviewed Jamie in episode 88. If you want to get a bit more perspective on his fantastic pedigree in terms of a outsourcing advisory and consultancy having worked for the big 4 management consultancy firms for a nearly two decades so really interesting conversation. Today we deep dive into Jamie’s optiBPO which is a hybrid kind of outsourcing BPO advisory outfit, so super interesting conversation I’m sure you’ll get a lot of value from this. If you want to get in touch with Jamie or you want any of the show notes then go to outsourceaccelerator.com/91. Enjoy.
Derek: Hi everyone and welcome back today again we have Jamie Mcbrien he is a has a long long history of business consulting in the outsourcing space and has founded a multiple outsourcing tangential kind of service offerings. One of them being optiBPO and optim2which I’ll let Brien talk about and introduce but effectively this isn’t an infomercial, this is actually me digging into Jamie’s business, how is different and how he conserve the SME market out there to optimize their business. Hi Jamie welcome and thank you for your time.
Jamie: Yeah look, thank you, Derek and thanks for your time today!
Derek: Pleasure and so Jamie we did interview you in a previous episode but can you give us a quick background as to what brought you to your depth of knowledge in outsourcing?
Jamie: Yes thanks Derek I’ve been in management consultant my whole life focused on finance and back office operations including shared services and outsourcing previously in the big 4 price waterhouse until I moving on a global consultancy before starting my own consultancy in 2008 optim2 which spawned off a sister business optiBPO around 2014 which is focus just on the plan building managing of dedicated offshore teams in the Philippines.
Derek: So tell us about I mean I came to know you through optiBPO and I’m intrigued it’s good to see different service offerings because there’s a lot of Manila BPO’s in the Philippines and I mean a lot like literally hundreds. Most of then are kind of seek leasing minimal intervention oversight but you offer something very different. Can you tell us how optiBPO seeks to take on the market ?
Jamie: Yeah absolutely, the as I said out from we help plan build and manage these offshore dedicated teams, so we work with clients upfront, on shore in Australia, New Zealand and the UK mainly to help them firstly to find the BPO strategy, what’s the opportunity for them, thinking through what that could look like, what are the benefits or business cases supports that and what should the plan look like so it’s really important to we think to get that right. People are always going to see the low hanging fruits the like for like replacement but we go further in thinking about how can we transfer our business processes and what additional services can we add, what could that look like, what’s the best roll out plan and how much money are we going to save as a result but as well as that how much is going to cost us to get this right and making sure we have the right management overhead to be effective. We hear lots of people go down your thrown path, make a few mistakes and step away from it. We want to make sure through effective planning and the right planning up front that we get it right. We also then help design and build processes and procedures as required I don’t think many people can put their hand up and say I have fantastic bulletproof processes and so it’s working with clients to think well if we’re going to offshore this functions, do we have the right processes it’s a good opportunity to take stock that get those to find, let’s get them well documented, lets get standard operating procedures in place. Once you’ve done all that we should hope about it to find what it is we are going to build, so it’s out there actually working with a BPO center in the Philippines and we only focus on the Philippines to recruit the right team members so help them to find what works up there in the Philippines which can be different to what might work in your home country in terms of job descriptions, resource mix, outlooks getting out there helping get the right people, getting it set up in transitioning, going live we didn’t get an additional step of helping manage that all on going basis so being interface that you don’t need to be dealing with an offshore provider you deal with us direct in country, we can spend time with you on a regular basis to manage to review where you at and to work out plans for the future. So we think it’s a high touch offering where a whole lot more just a seat leasing operation that you mentioned upfront but it’s about getting confidence and making sure the clients get it right. We have not worked for a client yet but a step away from this is a strategy is always going to be bumps on the way some of them are employable some of there aren’t but it’s about making sure we have a strong management structures in place to ensure your success.
Derek: Fantastic and it certainly sounds like a very management consultancy approach to it where you put in a lot of you really fine tuning the effort in terms of the planning and the lane out of the processes aren’t you then and then executing which is very different too. I think the sort of lower ends smaller end of the SME market where it’s by nature it’s kind of lets hire someone and see how it goes and there’s always a bit of a scramble and a last minute figuring out of stuff
Jamie: Yeah and we were while our clients can often be a little bit larger on that small end really small end of the market we still do encourage our client to start small, prove the concept and then build but with the plan and to get it right and once they get that confident extend so we have a lot of clients to start on that they might start with 5 people in the function that’ll grow 8-10 over the next couple of months and then 15-20 and beyond but it’s about having the plan mapped out and once you start getting into medium sized type business we have arranged a different functions, I often find that people might deal direct with the seat leasing company enough having 5 or 6 people interfacing with that one business all with different ideas, all with lack of coordination over on how to engage, all with different management thoughts but it all becomes a bit of a mess, so we provide that management layer to make sure that we have consistent and effective way to manage the offshore team
Derek: Yeah so just to clarify optiBPO you are effectively a layer between so you are not actually providing the services per say but you’re the meat in the sandwich should we say but do you find then that you inadvertently become you’re the messenger and there’s potencial you’re really adopting business problems because many aspects of business fundamentally are not easy because otherwise everyone will be billionaire in business, wouldn’t they? Businesses is a tough riddle to figure out and do you then find that you are, you take on a contract as being an interlay between whatever head company an outsourced company but then you’re affecting inheriting all of the business problems business complaints things but also strategic business issues ?
Jamie: Yeah and that why it’s important that we work with the right partners we work at a range of different organizations depending on client requirements. All of that clients had different requirements, the certain provider for the better doing certain things and others. We’ve worked with the number of them over period of years not months, we kinda know who we think works well and best and we have a level dialogue that’s with those organizations, it’s above and beyond on one on one relationship that we work with them they know how we want to work with them, we have to find it over time, in some cases we’ve been bettered our own people in those organisation which means that we want them to offer it in a certain way and that supports our clients, it doesn’t mean that there’s no issues, it doesn’t mean that there’s no hiccups, it doesn’t mean there’s no frustration all of those things happen in business but it’s how you actually work through those things that’s what the extra layer that we provide we think delivers that’s the benefit of it.
Derek: Interesting, and it’s funny you know we are on a very similar space and I position Outsource Accelerator as an outsourcing advisory and you’re very much consultancy in the space but also it’s very different aspects of the market, I think. I’m really focusing on the early stage decision making where people are not all aware of outsourcing and also in the set of smaller SME market and you’re up there in the kind of bigger SME market. How big are your clients typically?
Jamie: Our clients range and size is always hard to fully define what is a perfect client been asked a number of times. A smallest clients our 10 to 12 million $ in Australian revenue but with some massive growth aspirations. Our largest clients 2.2 billion revenue with 3,000 employees. So we have a broad spectrum of clients fully averaging out in around 200 to 300 employees. So, one organization typically might have a CFO that are looking for growth, thinking how they can do it effectively as I say we got some opportunities at the moment with smaller businesses that have a big growth aspirations looking for us to help them and 1 or 2 larger ones so it’s always hard to put our finger on exactly where our target market is but I think those businesses are either growing rapidly to get to their larger size or they are at point in time where they’re thinking to themselves how can we best finetune our operating model to make sure we do things on an effective manner
Derek: And how far do you go because you’re obviously in management consultant you’ve got a lot of ideas you’ve got a lot of theories that are no doubt very effective in business development and that smaller company that is keen to grow. What if hypothetically I had a $20 million company and I said look Jamie I want to grow this to a hundred million can you handle my Marketing Department, Sales Department and also improve the product and grow 3 new markets and come back in 3 year when you’ve done it? Like how much of the kind of rubik’s cube business will you take on for your clients?
Jamie:Yeah, our expertise is predominantly around the finance and the back office functions but for me a lot of that processes will do when I look at those processes, the end processes do go into the front end so we do a lot of clients around defining things such as how can I do sales support function that will supercharge my onshore sales team and that’s our support function for me is more of a back office function. How can we build a purchasing team that can see the charge up procurement. How can we build some what processing will super charge our customer service and how can we build efficient back office processes in a manner that means as we grow we don’t need to add incremental additional cost in the back end so all of those things for me are areas that we think about as part of the strategy sessions that we do with clients and building those strategies to get right so in the end getting between a hundred millions dollars that’s going to be up to the client but after providing the framework and the baseline of foundation to do that is exactly what we do, we just want to, and they are up and coming private equity back business, I won’t go to much into the details cause people are going to start to guess but they will look into build a team in a specific discipline to help support their business. They’ll look into build that team in Europe initially they even look in the opportunity using University students and they started using University students for a while. It’s just that the function is a high level of direct entry and recruit and analytics and we’re working with them to build a team for them right now in the Philippines to help support them but the team is actually scalable that we can actually retain unlike University students.
Derek: Yeah they’re actually dedicated to the course in the Philippines aren’t they? Data entries is actually a thing here and people, that’s what they do I suppose University students they’re never really going to be that into a data.
Jamie: Yeah, what they said they enable certain parts of Europe that I can get a University student for a similar price you know well good luck and what this organization is looking for is actually a little bit more than just data entry. There’s a level of interpretation is required we’ve found in great candidates for them they’ve been building a team between their building is university educated they’re switched on they’re engage, they want the role and they see the opportunity of where this can take them so the clients are starting to get excited and where this can potentially can take them.
Derek: Interesting and you know you say that your clients they’ve genuinely want this structure and they need this for them sum their venture out. What I notice in the smaller part of the market and this can you know very successful business people whatever 10-50 million turnover and a few million credit in a bank and a lamborghini kind of thing but inevitably I find that they start gingerly with 1 or 2 staffs in a seat leasing they quickly move up to 20 or 30 because they’re related with the results and they’re excited but then very quickly the next thing they want to do is move out, they incorporate, they get their own office because there’s that sort of thing of entrepreneurs they want to control everything they want to grow and expand and then the next step is that they have a few spares seats so then they’re offering BPO services to other people do you kinda cross that much?
Jamie: Ah yeah, I do know those sort of people we’ve pulse a case where an organization done that, they’ve been entrepreneur they’re excited to be growing to 20 and then the business here realizes they’re spending a whole time managing a seat leasing business. We got 1 at the moment that’s been speaking to us on that front and said well I meant to be running my business here in Australia but in the end I’m running someone else’s business in the Philippines so we’ve had a few who had made that switch but hopefully the thing for us and we say this to all of our clients. All of that clients can leave us, I know that this period is reasonable if they decide that the layer we provide is a waste of time is a opportunity to opt out. The challenge for us is to make sure that we provide equal right of service that means their concern is not focused on the BPO their concern is focused on running their own short business and while they’ve got all the option on setting up and incorporating their own business look there’s enough good reasons for them not to if we continue to provide good service for them.
Derek: Absolutely and then just very quickly I am so curious how does your pricing structure work how do people get you onboard?
Jamie: Yeah sure look there’s 2 or 3 from past but hopefully transparent straight forward there’s the consulting it from upfront that we charged for a fixed cost scope basis so we will work with you to scope that effort out and then we go to a stage as we go through that planning phase and as we get to the build and manage phase that is incorporated to an ongoing manage service fee so there’s the cost of the employee are fairly straight forward how much they cost plus the manage service fee which includes all of onshore support, ongoing account management working with you to improve your processes and structures is embedded in that 1 fee so really it’s the manage service on the ongoing cost which is the important cost for most clients is manage service fee plus the cost of the resource.
Derek: Is it typically in line with each employee or is it based on size of the potential revenues what do you __ into pack into?
Jamie: We pay to the employee. In the end there’s a lot of different ways to do it. We pay it to the employee, our success is created only in building successful teams overtime if we were to just bring on 1 person and do nothing while we still have those sort of 1 client like that at the moment so we were 2. They’re pretty happy, our success is only created in building successful teams so we think the only way is to peg it to the employee and pegging it to anything else we think would be unfair
Derek: Fantastic And if people want to carry on a conversation with you Jamie, how do they get in touch?
Jamie: Look my email is email@example.com our website is www.optiBPO.com which includes the contact details of Sydney and London offices.
Derek: Fantastic and of course we’ll have all of that in our show notes, thank you for your extreme insight and business intelligence, Jamie.
Jamie: Thank you.
Derek: That was Jamie Mcbrien talking about optiBpo again I don’t want this to be an infomercial and i hope that you agree that you get a lot of value from this by exploring the different office and service provisions that people in the outsourcing world have, so a lot of options a lot of opportunities if you want any of the show notes want to get in contact with Jamie Mcbrien then go to our show note which is at outsourceaccelerated.com/91 and if you want to ask us anything then of course please do just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org