Thursday, April 23, 2009 [ sunstar.com.ph ]
By Nancy R. Cudis
A CEBU-based business process outsourcing company is expanding its facility to cater to more small and medium-sized corporations in the United States.
Live2Sell Inc. will be adding 110 seats this year to the current 75 seats in its office in A. S. Fortuna St., Mandaue City. Sixty of these seats will be available next week and the remaining 50 will be added by the end of May.
“With the (global) economy now, the small and medium-sized corporations that comprise about 99 percent of the economy in the US are the ones really embracing outsourcing in order to save on cost,” said Live2Sell chairman and chief executive officer Chris Ducker.
He and his partner Francisco Lim, Live2Sell president, started the company with 15 seats in March last year.
Citing figures from the US Small Business Administration, Ducker said the average small business owner spends up to 40 percent of his time on routine administrative tasks.
“Through outsourcing, they can also build their business by using that 40 percent of the time finding new clients, meeting existing customers and working on new product releases instead,” he added.
Through its subsidiary Live2Care, Live2Sell offers these business owners virtual assistants who act as personal assistants and handle business presentations, e-mail and voicemail, phone calls, customer service, human resource and research assistance, and take down minutes of online meetings, among others.
Live2Sell also provides outbound telemarketing while Live2Care gives inbound customer service to Internet-based service providers, health care, financial services, recruitment, real estate, hospitality, consumer and travel companies, among others. About 60 percent of them are based in the US.
Ducker said there is “no shortage of clients” since outsourcing as an industry has continued to grow and attract more businesses in the past five years.
Ducker said the company does not have problems with keeping its agents because it offers a competitive pay and incentives, and treats employees as partners. He added that the company’s location is also an advantage as it is not found “in the middle of an IT park (surrounded by) recruiting competitors.”
“(But) there is a problem with hiring for upper management positions in this (call center) industry and the big reason is that a large majority of call center agents hop from one job to another. All the big call centers are their worst enemies because they all start trying to beat each other with these sign-on bonuses and all the (perks). These does not create a very good
face for the industry,” Ducker said.
Along with its expansion plan, Live2Sell partnered with Microsoft and chose Thinking Tools Inc. as its information technology supplier.
“Being a Microsoft certified partner, we assure our customers that Live2Sell is reliable and safe and that we are (equipped) with the right IT infrastructure and genuine Microsoft products. (For us), that is important in dealing with our customers who are hundreds of miles away,” he said. (NRC)