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77 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 48677 17-Nov-2009 08:18
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Thanks Vodafone and Salmat for supporting NZ by giving Phillipinos in Manila a job.

This must stem from that recent situation where your entire call centre of 450 staff in New Zealand are completely untrainable for Broadband support, and there's definitely a lack of candidates in the NZ market looking for work. 

There's also no office space left in Auckland at all, and these days it's so hard to hire experienced middle management, you'd have to wait for someone to graduate this year with a business degree and then get a few years experience.



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970 posts

Ultimate Geek

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Vodafone

  Reply # 273739 17-Nov-2009 08:59

Hi there,

Nobody is losing their job through this trial - it's not about reducing head count but increasing capacity. It's a three to six month trial using one particular type of call (the first call to set up a modem that we send to new customers).

I'm hopeful that having this kind of straightforward call handled offshore we'll avoid the "Where is Eketahuna can you spell it please is that E for Eric or A for Horses" kind of conversations that go on. Plus it will mean the broadband team here can concentrate on the trickier calls.

Some of our guys will be heading up to Manila to work there for a few weeks to help set up: great opportunity for those involved.

Cheers

Paul

 




Paul Brislen
Head of Corporate Communications
Vodafone

http://forum.vodafone.co.nz




77 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 273741 17-Nov-2009 09:03
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I'm aware that there will be no job losses, but at a time of rising unemployment it is socially irresponsible to take this course of action.

It would have been much better if the guys that were heading up to Manila for a few weeks to help set up were instead helping to set up a new centre in NZ.

 
 
 
 


970 posts

Ultimate Geek

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Vodafone

  Reply # 273744 17-Nov-2009 09:08

So... no jobs will be lost and the local staff get to dump a tedious job and move up the training ladder to the next step and it's socially irresponsible?

I can see that you would want local staff employed over non-local, but at what cost? Should we keep all jobs local or just the tech jobs? What about basic tech like this? Where's the cut off point?

Serious question - this is something businesses struggle with all over the world. I'm keen to understand.

cheers

Paul




Paul Brislen
Head of Corporate Communications
Vodafone

http://forum.vodafone.co.nz


3533 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 273752 17-Nov-2009 09:56
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PaulBrislen: I can see that you would want local staff employed over non-local, but at what cost? Should we keep all jobs local or just the tech jobs? What about basic tech like this? Where's the cut off point?

Serious question - this is something businesses struggle with all over the world. I'm keen to understand.

Having been an employer in a previous life, I can see there are two sides to this argument:

-  Giving local people a job, no matter how tedious is better than leaving them to languish on the dole
-  Surely it is possible to train some out-of-work locals to answer such basic questions as this

And then -- playing Devil's Advocate:

-  Maybe NZ's Minimum Wage Laws make it impossible to hire a local person for anywhere near what it would cost overseas
-  Maybe the infrastructure cost in providing those extra bums on seats is just too high in Auckland

Now I can see two possible solutions to the problems above:

-  WINZ will provide employer subsidies to help people get back into work
-  In Kaikohe, near where I live in the Far North, there is a call centre run by Top Energy which employs local people to provide services to Auckland companies at a very reasonable cost

Surely it is worth at least exploring these options in order to avoid exporting jobs?

Looking forward to your comments Paul.

Cheers,
Grant.



77 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 273760 17-Nov-2009 10:14
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This is something that businesses struggle with all over the world - exporting of jobs has the potential for much larger profits.

However, there's also the flipside. As long as this practice continues, New Zealand will continue to be a leaky boat both people and money-wise. Eventually this will impact Vodafones profit here.

We're all in this together, and there are mutual benefits. For every Kiwi you give a job, there's another taxpayer instead of a beneficiary, another household saved from ruin, and at least one person that will continue to pay their bills, including their Vodafone bill, plus another Vodafone advocate!


970 posts

Ultimate Geek

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Vodafone

  Reply # 273845 17-Nov-2009 12:54

All good points - and as I say, it's something companies struggle with. Manufacturing plants look to move offshore because it's cheaper to build in China than in Taihape. Service companies move service to another model because it's more efficient/cheaper/faster/whatever.

We're facing an issue where the cost of adding more service reps in Auckland is more prohibitive than adding them in Manila by a long chalk. Adding a new call centre in another part of the country is also more costly because we don't have any existing infrastructure in place to manage that, so it's not just as simple as opening a building and putting some seats in. Salmat already have an operation in Manila and want to maximise their time on the phone (or whatever metric they use for such things) and they already have the physical infrastructure in place.

But it is a trial and if we don't like it we'll stop, and by we I mean users of the system. That includes customers. All feedback gratefully received.

cheers

Paul




Paul Brislen
Head of Corporate Communications
Vodafone

http://forum.vodafone.co.nz


65 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 273856 17-Nov-2009 13:35
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This thread was my initial thinking after reading this article on NZ Herald. I can't help but think of the negative stories I've heard of friends and family having dealt with off shore help desk support both in Manila (Telecom) and Egypt (Vodafone).

Nothing wrong with what Vodafone is doing, just something some people might frown upon. Best of luck with the trial though.


79 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 275084 22-Nov-2009 01:01
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To be fair call centers are high turnover cost centers, with no return on investment when looked at from a purely financial perspective.


If the operators can master the local accent, that's half the battle won, bean counters would think, as no-one really expects the first line of support to solve anything past basic issues like "is the computer turned on". A call center is not really regarded as a high value job, unfortunately, and as such is easily outsourceable since only basic training is required.


If you change your approach though, and realize that for a company like Vodafone service is the majority of what they do....the risk is that the company outsourced to has little to no alignment with the core values of the company outsourcing to it. 


As companies like Dell and Apple have found out to their chagrin, moving support operations back to the US from India. 


If Vodafone sets great store by its brand, which all the advertising would seem to indicate that it does, poor execution by their offshore partners will reflect quite badly. I realize they're a global company currently hurting (as everyone is). 


But if service is a large part of what you do, make damn sure it's not the first thing that gets the chop. 


Telecom was humbled, and are now getting as hungry as Vodafone used to be. 

"Who dares wins" at VF is now "Who rests on past laurels wins" ?

450 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 276159 25-Nov-2009 12:06
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Kitanai: Thanks Vodafone and Salmat for supporting NZ by giving Phillipinos in Manila a job.

This must stem from that recent situation where your entire call centre of 450 staff in New Zealand are completely untrainable for Broadband support, and there's definitely a lack of candidates in the NZ market looking for work. 

There's also no office space left in Auckland at all, and these days it's so hard to hire experienced middle management, you'd have to wait for someone to graduate this year with a business degree and then get a few years experience.





Jebus we're not dragging up the outsourcing dead horse are we? Maybe a time machine is in order so you can go back to the 90's and stop whoever cameup with the idea, terminator style...



That boat has long since sailed......

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