From Start-up to Maturity – Yempo, Four Years On
As Yempo moves into its fifth year of operation, we have numerous employees, particularly amongst my back-office team, who will also be celebrating four years of tenure with the business. They all took a risk in joining Yempo; back then just an ambitious start-up with a handful of employees and two clients, working from a humble office in Cebu. These pioneering employees now contribute to the success of a thriving business with hundreds of employees, across three locations with many clients around the world.
Along the way, we have automated our manual processes, formalized our informal practices, refined our employee benefits to solidify our position as a premium employer and established enterprise-class internal systems. But most importantly, we’ve clearly defined where our solution sits, amongst a plethora of service providers with offerings of varying qualities, inclusions, prices and terms.
When my business partner and I started Yempo, we didn’t follow the traditional or recommended route for new businesses, which includes analysing the competitors and the market opportunity. We had both come from global corporate environments and had end-to-end experience of offshore outsourcing, therefore we knew what worked and what didn’t work from a customer perspective. It seemed logical to us to build our model from the ground up, without the distraction of what others were doing. To this day we don’t study our competitors or try to replicate their strategies for attracting or retaining clients. We are proud of the path we are on and prefer to lead than to follow.
Our clients, particularly those that have transitioned to Yempo from other suppliers, tell us what they like about our model, and are open with their feedback on how we work. This is our preferred way of refining and improving our service offerings. We also listen to feedback from our staff about the clients they work with and how they are treated, and we consider the impact of particular staff types, clients, geographies and industries on the overall culture of Yempo.
When we started, we didn’t have the luxury of turning away clients with requirements that weren’t a perfect fit for our strategic plan. Consequently, we learned the hard way not to offer, for example, outbound sales callers for clients wanting to try this as a marketing experiment. This isn’t an area where we have depth of expertise, and short-term cold calling campaigns tend to attract the more transient workers which is disruptive to our culture. These days we refer clients wanting telemarketing campaigns to other companies in the Philippines that can better provide this service, therefore still giving the client a positive experience with offshore workers.
In addition to taking a position on some role types, we’ve also had our share of clients that weren’t a fit. I’ve learned that a client that wants to haggle with us is probably looking for an experience different to what we offer. There are cheaper services available for those clients on a tight budget; the Yempo experience is better suited to clients wanting to significantly reduce costs while still having a long-term relationship with both their offshore resources and the service provider hosting them. These clients are seeking a fulfilling and professional working experience for their resources and a collaborative partnership with Yempo.
In our Program of Work for 2019 we are developing a reporting process to assist our few clients that experience rates of attrition higher than our average. We are very proud of our extremely low employee turnover and have identified the factors common in our many clients that have high retention rates. In sharing this information and guiding our clients on effective utilisation of their offshore resources, we can enhance both the client and employee experience to ensure all parties meet their objectives.
In celebrating my own four-year anniversary with Yempo, this isn’t my longest tenure in the same company, but it’s the longest I’ve held the same job title! But my role has been anything but static. Starting out required me to build something from the ground up, to learn how to establish and run a company in the Philippines and to immerse myself to an uncomfortable depth of detail in every aspect of the business. These days I have mature and experienced managers that comprise the leadership team, leaving me time to think about the continuous improvement required to keep our staff productive and engaged, our clients delighted with their experience and new clients keen to learn how they can achieve great results with offshore workers.
I’m pleased that my long-tenure staff and I are in a constantly evolving business, working in roles that offer continuous learning and development. We are all looking forward to whatever 2019 and the coming years brings us.