Summary points from 15 April ZOOM Roundtable for BSC Leaders in CEE
HR: Issues such as emotional and physical health (while on lock-down) have become more acute and centre-stage. (One participant said they are offering daily online Yoga streaming sessions. Another is doing morning coffee “Chats” as way to build/keep morale and the spirit of a team. Yet another is making an effort to build a “digial social life” with end-of-day community videochats/tea-times, etc.)
“We've seen more discussions about moving operations from further offshore to near-shoring”.
There appear to be clear winners and clear losers among the BSCs. Winners include IT/Tech centres, pharma, medical, etc. Yet BSCs with global exposure to sectors like AirTravel, Hotels, etc. will suffer and will contract substantially. “When the front office has no clients, the back office has almost nothing to do.”
Currency issues. While the point came up that one advantage for BSCs in CEE is that currency-weakness might be to their advantage, most everyone agreed that “playing this card” can turn quickly against you, is unpredictable, and as global corporations it is mitigated by impact on top line in other markets. Of course for those BSCs in Euro-zone, there is nothing to discuss.
Job Market/Staffing. Clear weakness and one said this is “huge opportunity” for his centre. Most all BSCs are reviewing both bonuses and base salary levels. One exec said that his staff are even more motivated now than before and more productive. Another exec said that expectations about promotions or pay increases have been lowered.
Changes “norms” of work behaviors: “It used to be that home-office option was an incentive; now we think that offering “work-office” might be an incentive!”. Several expressed concerns that team-building virtually not as effective as in a physical environment.
Technology and licenses. Some BSCs were caught “flat-footed” in terms of software licensing; they had to expand licensing to include home-office computers. Loads of different or new technologies being used/tested. “All our physical Whiteboards are now Digital Whiteboards.” “ MS Teams is just great”.)
Perspectives from HQ's:
For those with delivery-centers in lower-cost countries with devalued currencies (Argentina), they are shifting some work there.
Looking for further ways to reduce costs as their global “top-line” has been hit. Tactics such as more technology, smarter working.
Encouraging BSCs to take full-ownership of end-to-end processes.
Several have been encouraged to move more resources to Accounts Receivables, to speed up cash-collection.
Use this crisis to look at changing ALL cost-prices.
We had these SSC Directors/Advisors registered for the call:
Albemarle (Budapest) - Attila Hernold
PWC (Krakow) – Romek Lubaczewski
Frista (Warsaw) - Szymon Stadnik
Western Union (Vilnius) – Sarunas Suipis
Trumpf (Warsaw) - Pawel Plocki
Carestream (Bucharest) – Dragos Marin
Thom Barnhardt, CEE Business Media – Moderator (Warsaw)
Oscar Reitsma, Transparent – Co-moderator (Holland)
Our last Roundtable in this series is scheduled for: