Thursday, 8 November 2012

How our Business is Developing Internationally

From Small Beginnings

Over the last 10 years or so, SouthWestern has developed from a small public sector outsourcing company to a developing international brand, focused on niche markets in Ireland and gathering momentum in the UK and international markets.

Whereas our first experience in outsourcing was in the provision of key services for the Irish Department of Agriculture, our first experience in international delivery started with the media sector.  This developed into the delivery of service to other private sector businesses where we sold into international markets.  We developed relationships in our core sectors of Agriculture, Media, Travel, Food, Manufacturing, Financial Services and Utilities that were borne out of the Irish market and targeted to new markets.

Clear Market Focus

The UK outsourcing market, for example, is well served by the major outsourcing companies, like Capita, Serco, HCL, Firstsource etc.  These companies service huge contracts which are valued in the tens of millions to hundreds of millions of pounds in value.  They employ thousands of people in large contact and processing centres, often from India and the Philippines. 

SouthWestern offers a more customer focused and friendly choice to organizations which may not have this massive scale, but nonetheless want to take advantage of centralized service, managed compliance, and lower costs.  We approach some of the sectors as follows:

Food and Agriculture

We have developed the animal traceability systems and processes based on the EU requirements and the needs of the Irish Government.  The Irish traceability system is internationally recognized to be one of the best in Europe.  It protects key elements of Ireland’s €9bn annual food exporting business.  Furthermore, in the agricultural sector, we represent Ireland's national food marketing organization, Bord Bia, in the inspection and branding of Irish produce for its Quality and Sustainability.  Our field auditors have been trained to carry out Quality and Carbon/Green sustainability inspections.  We have also formed strong relationships with farming organizations in Northern Ireland, including Countryside Services Ltd. and AMT Sybex who provide Electronic Identification systems for Northern Ireland and other rural development programmes.  We provide many other agri-related data services for Cattle Breeding Federations and artificial insemination services.  Agricultural data processing is a core competency of our company.


In the media sector, we already provide back office services for international and regional newspaper and magazine titles.  This is a ready-made, "Back Office in-a-Box" service.  It includes everything from advertising and distribution orders to cash processes, vendor management, order and payment processing, human resources administration to payroll management.  These services are underpinned by our capabilities in financial and data reporting.  Our service offering has been designed to provide a flexible and low cost delivery model for an industry that is undergoing seismic change and completely reinventing itself from a very old to a very new technology led industry.  Our specific workflow systems allow us to take the cost out of the transactions and to process the back office more effectively.


In the travel sector we provide a complete "administration, reservation management, customer query and back-office, in-a-Box” service.  This is done in a multilingual centre covering 15 languages in a dedicated call centre which has webchat, email and web reservation support.  For example we manage corporate reservations for Accor Hotel in Poland and car reservations for a major company covering the United States, Canada and all the countries of Europe.  We also provide treasury services and back office accounting and administration for a mid-sized international airline.  Our belief is that you can’t buy this level of quality, multilingual, social technology based capability in this market niche anywhere else.

Financial Services

We run customer experience compliance measurement for a number of international banks, which is used for Net Promoter Score Measurement and FSA compliance and we provide efficiency to financial services companies through our lean management of closed books of business.

Other Sectors

We have a similar product set in Finance and Administration outsourcing for the Food, Manufacturing, Retail and Distribution sectors as well as in the Utility and Telecom sectors.  Once again, our workflow technologies take out the cost through converting paper to digital format and speeding up transaction times through clear and controlled work-paths.  Our bespoke systems for accounts receivable processes have really improved working capital management for a number of our clients.  Faster cash, cheaper, with no bad debt write off!  It is end-to-end finance.

Delivery Centres

We have delivery centres in the south of Ireland, Poland and England and these centres provide local and experienced service to the clients in these regions.  We have sales offices in Dublin and London. SouthWestern is a founding member of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce and international standards and certificate holders in many sectors.  Our company’s roots are in West Cork, an area well known for its agriculture, hospitality, friendliness and gentle ways.  These traditions combined with the most efficient, technology driven processes in the sector and our dynamic and long-serving employees ensure premium customer service is delivered to all our international clients

Our business growth over the last number of years has been exciting but the good news for our clients and our people is, we are only just getting started.  We invest in long-term relationships with our clients and we are proud of our reputation in delivery.  With niche expertise, our technology enabled workflows and our customer friendly approach we believe we are the ideal outsourcing partner for the mid-large scale market.  We are here for that market and we have an unrivalled track record in delivering it.

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