SOFTWARE PARADISE A BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING SUCCESS STORY
Switching to a Managed Services business model enabled UK online software provider, Software Paradise, to cut operational overheads by over 60%. This released budget to fund critical additional resource for business development and ongoing staff training.
An online software shop with personal service
Software Paradise (part of Avanquest Software SA) has over 20 years’ experience of sourcing and selling software – as a download or in a box – to the channel, within education and to business users.
Their aim, “Name any software and we’ll find it for you” inevitably means that the business is people-centric; it is not a ‘click and buy’ ecommerce reseller business model which runs in automatic mode.
People are increasingly turning to ‘those in the know’ to source that hard-to-find or bespoke bit of software for them, rather than waste hours surfing the Internet and then trying to nail the best deal for what could be a one-off purchase. Software Paradise’s business is therefore increasing.
It is essential that Software Paradise maintains a consistent and high level of customer service. Their customer service operators also need to have good knowledge and understanding of the software they are selling in order that they can provide customers with unbiased advice as well as providing a competitive quote.
More resource was needed to maintain good customer service in line with growth
It was becoming harder for staff to maintain the high level of customer service, they needed more resource, but workforce budgets were fixed. Software Paradise’s differentiator is their knowledgeable customer service staff, and this can’t be compromised.
Outsourcing provided the solution
Richard Vincent, General Manager of Software Paradise, explains: “Software Paradise had demonstrated profitability year-on-year. However, costs were steadily rising, which was slowly eroding the bottom line. Our staff were working harder and harder for less overall gain. In the current economic climate, it was unlikely that this trend would reverse. Software Paradise turned to business outsourcing provider, ProcessFlows, a member of the same Avanquest Software SA group of companies, to help. We have not looked back. Operating as an outsourced business saw Software Paradise’s profitability rise by 200% in year one.”
Operations moved lock stock and barrel
The entire Software Paradise business is now carried out by ProcessFlows Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) operation based in Sofia, Bulgaria. And Richard went too! He was sent ahead to train the ProcessFlows’ BPO staff on Software Paradise’s processes, products and business ethos so they would be able to hit the desk running on transfer day and ensure business continuity. After a few ‘to be expected’ glitches, the virtual Software Paradise team in Bulgaria were dealing with all customer service queries and order processing and it was business as usual. Richard continues to be based in Sofia. He is responsible for the overall management of Software Paradise’s business and a dedicated team of 14 ‘virtual’ staff.
A good business decision
Peter Doyle, Financial Controller of Software Paradise said: “Outsourcing was a good business decision, albeit a very hard one from an HR perspective. No Manager wants to lose good staff, but if costs which are out of your control continue to rise, you have to make hard decisions. Outsourcing allowed us to close our Devon facility, reducing our monthly spend by £16,000; enabling us to invest in the additional customer services resource the business so badly needed.”
Feedback from Software Paradise customers is good: “Friendly, knowledgeable staff. Fast, reliable delivery and excellent customer service. Why would I look anywhere else?”
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