ASW General Manager, Daniel Breese sat down with Luke Eagle, Director at Aviso All Points and had a quick chat about his experience offshoring with ASW.
Dan: Luke, can you tell us about Aviso All Points and EEIS?
Luke: EEIS began as a startup in September 2017. It evolved from being a one-man-band myself after leaving the corporate world – from Allianz for a number of years, going into a second-tier insurance brokerage, and then going out on my own. I saw the opportunity to create an insurance brokerage that provides a holistic approach. This means a risk management program covering work off and safety, risk management, workers’ compensation, in general, and insurance needs, and not having multiple providers doing those multiple areas, providing the one contact, providing all bases.
We now have a group of brands that we’re managing under the one business, Eagle Eye Insurance. We’ve got Aviso All Points, Eighteen33, which is a risk management business providing workers’ compensation advisory, as well as work off and safety consulting. And then we also have WageCover, an acquisition providing income protection to roughly 10,000 individuals across Australia at the moment.
What led you to look into remote staffing?
We had a business planning opportunity to start the business from scratch. I was looking at getting an administration and customer service function that had customer service in Australia. In doing that, it wasn’t just as simple as offshoring administration – there’s a process to it. I explored it, I researched it, and went in-depth on work environment, cost, benefits, training, the role requirements, and the providers. I explored it all, and went through a bit of a tender process before meeting with ASW.
How was your experience visiting the offices in Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines?
I needed to see, touch, feel and make sure it met my checklist. I needed to see the environment that they worked in, and how they’re being managed.
The process back in 2017 was we had a number of meetings before visiting the offices. ASW understood my needs, the requirements, and we had completed interviews prior to going over. I was then able to line up second round, face-to-face interviews whilst in the country.
ASW has been very helpful, very beneficial to us. I definitely recommend that to others – meeting your potential offshore team members. The structure that we’re working at the moment is we treat the four staff as part of the team. They’re managed by us – they’re just working in a different location. Right now we have staff working from home, staff working in different offices. To us that’s just another office. We don’t treat it as an offshore function or offshore mobile business unit.
IT data security is very important to us. We have financial service requirements that ASW has been meeting as well.
Tell us about your team.
We got lucky with our first recruit. She had just come out of an insurance company, from a management role, and doing exactly what we were looking for, which was processing scheme-related business. The connection at the time was just incredible, it was a no-brainer – had to recruit her on the spot. We got Rina in, we trained her, and did all the insurance qualifications. We’ve positioned Rina as the team leader and manager in the business, and she has then grown her team from herself to four, whilst we then expanded in the Australian operation and our numbers from one to the 28 at the same time.
They’ve got drive. they’ve got hunger, they’ve got initiative. If you put them on the right path, and take them down the areas where they’re going to learn the right things, they will do it themselves.
How do you communicate with your team in Kuala Lumpur?
We’ve utilised video conferencing since the start of the business. And maybe we were into it before this COVID-19 hit and everybody’s just learned how to use Zoom and Teams. We were doing it for all of our internal meetings. So it didn’t matter whether you’re at home, whether you’re in KL, whether you’re in another office because we do have three offices. All of our meetings are on video with them. We have been able to manage to relocate our staff from office to home-based work, including the KL staff, whilst still paying attention to data management, work-life productivity management, and the like. One of the key areas of that is a toolbox meeting that we have every morning in the different businesses. We check in over video, to get the day started, wrap up what happened yesterday, and focus on to today’s tasks.
What initial advice would you give to people considering remote staffing?
Do your research. You’ve got to get to understand it. It’s a good concept, but there’s a lot more to it. Understand what you need, what roles you’re trying to fill, and then how much you’re willing to pay.
Understand how you’re going to manage that person, the performance, the onboarding, the workload. What are the KPIs you’ve got in place to track their performance? While our offshore staff is in KL, it’s no different to us than having an Australian employee working in front of you, so you have to have the same performance metrics.
What do you enjoy about your partnership with ASW?
Since the start, ASW has taken the time to understand what I’m looking for, what my needs are, and how you can deliver on those needs.
The management of the people, the overseas trip, the incentives, the HR management, and the culture inside the offices over there is incredible because it’s very difficult to match the culture that we’ve got in Australia.
And having the monthly meetings with ASW, getting the reporting that we require – this enables us to drill down in the management of the staff, the time management, KPIs and the like.
With regard to IT, I have relied on and used IT services within ASW outside of my local IT providers.
HR has been another one. We have had some HR management needs, which every business has. It’s been no different managing HR situations, whether it’s being offshore or here.
You understand where the business is going for us. We’ve been on a significant growth curve and had a number of changes and acquisitions in the business. ASW being able to work at our pace has been something that’s been very important because they’ve kept pace with us as we scaled more and more over time.
Has your perception of business growth changed since partnering with ASW?
We are looking at further acquisition opportunities into the future. And in costing acquisitions, I’m able to put a cost model together that is potentially different to other brokers because maybe my overhead costs are different, but I know I can scale up with ASW.
What final insights would you tell people to make the decision to engage in offshoring?
Now is the time to do it. I definitely recommend it. Take the time to understand the roles within your business and the requirements to get jumpstart on offshoring. Recruit for those roles and requirements, which you can do in partnership with ASW. Take the time to consult with ASW to let them understand what you’re looking for. Get those recruits onboard and invest in them.