Why Setting Up Shop in Montego Bay Was the Key to Paul Herdsman’s Success
For Paul Herdsman, with over a decade of experience in consumer software and online customer acquisition, his success at NICE Global proves that hard work, dedication, and a positive attitude will take anyone far. Paul’s company offers top-quality customer service support to businesses of all sizes, because his team knows that the best customer interactions bring about the best business results. NICE’s highly personable and trained staff are available for customer care, customer retention, billing inquiries, quality assurance, business analysis, inbound sales, chat and email support, data management, client management , workforce analysis, software auditing, market research analysis, collections, and level 1/2/3 technical support.
And where does the magic take place? Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Despite being the country of his birth, it really was by chance that NICE ended up opening their operations in Jamaica. Paul and his team knew nearshore was where they wanted to be, but Jamaica wasn’t one of the destinations on the list. Instead, they looked at Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Panama, Honduras, and a few others. All of these destinations have been in the outsourcing delivery industry for a long time so it was the obvious choice when they went looking for a site to house their operations.
It wasn’t until Paul had a conversation with his father about his plans that he even considered Jamaica. After a few phone calls and some additional research, they came to find out that Jamaica was actually a growing destination for small, medium, and large BPOs. Companies like Teleperformance, Sutherland Global, Xerox, and Hinduja were all already operating there.
With this information, NICE added Jamaica to the list of candidate countries. Ironically, Paul was born in Jamaica, but he had never dreamed that he would open a company there. Paul left when he was four years old so what he had remembered about his birthplace certainly could not help NICE with opening a company there. After a full due diligence and a few trips to tour different parts of the island, they decided Jamaica was the right place. NICE ultimately setup operations in a private Freezone in Montego Bay. JAMPRO was instrumental in helping NICE start operations in Jamaica, and Paul readily shares he owes them a great deal. JAMPRO is an agency of the government of Jamaica’s Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Agriculture. Their core function is to help promote business opportunities in export and investment to the local and international sector. Starting a business can be difficult in another country, and they help minimize some of the headaches that go along with it. Document submission, legal recommendations, work permits for ex-pats, licensing, banking, Freezone approvals, the list goes on and on.
Paul has nothing but good things to say about his interactions with other countries and their workforce, but he can’t say enough about his team in Jamaica and how they deliver day in and day out. Jamaica is such an attractive place for BDO providers. According to Paul, the number one on the list is the people. They are warm, compassionate, smart, friendly, and want to succeed in everything they do. Understanding the culture is big part of being able to effectively manage in Jamaica, and once an entrepreneur gets it right, then wonderful things can happen with your workforce.
Second, the island has a solid, healthy infrastructure which is extremely important when running a 24/7 BPO operation. The power grid has to be strong, there needs to be multiple options for fiber connections on the island and routes to different destinations off the island, access to clean water is paramount, good roads with a strong public transit system, and a nearby International airport that services that majority of the US market all make Jamaica a great place to do business. NICE was happy to see all of these things already in place with an added emphasis from the government to continue infrastructure improvements.
Third, the government has recognized this new source of employment opportunities for their country and have devoted resources and are committed to keeping up with this growing industry. They’ve started a new training initiative which will produce more qualified candidates for employers, they’ve committed incentives for outside investment to spur job creation, and they’ve setup specific BPO organizations to work with the employers to make sure they have a voice with regards to regulation and guide them through a political system that may be unfamiliar to outside operators.
Last, location of the island in relation to the US has been extremely beneficial for NICE. A lot of household names are currently being serviced out of Jamaica. Companies like Spotify, AT&T, Humana, VistaPrint, and Brother Printers are just a few of them. NICE company members used to travel to much farther areas of the world, and now a business trip is the proverbial “hop, skip, and jump” away. Instead of being onsite every other month, NICE operatives can be there every other week. Paul visits at least monthly.
Jamaicans by their nature are very warm and compassionate individuals, this is a perfect fit for customer care and helping resolve complicated frustrating problems for our clients’ customers. NICE has also observed that their clients have found their Jamaica operations attractive for all the same reasons NICE finds it attractive. Most clients have a long due diligence package that they cover before they become a client. All of the things that NICE requires are the same things they are going to require.
It’s also not bad when clients have to visit Jamaica for training sessions, site visits, quarterly business reviews, and meetings. Clients get to wake up and take a stroll on the beach, head to the office for a full day, and then back to the hotel for a cocktail and to watch a beautiful sunset over the mountains. Paul recommends a Red Stripe or the Rum Punch during their downtime and the jerk chicken and jerk pork at Scotchies. The clients thank him every time.
In the very near future, NICE is likely to need another facility as they continue to expand their operations. Quite possibly, they will open another location in Jamaica and setup operations in another country. In Jamaica, they may stay in Montego Bay or set up a new sister location in Kingston and tap into a new talent pool there. Opening another location in another country will give NICE some additional reach to a new client base. Paul is considering opening an office in a Spanish speaking country so they can tap into the bilingual outsourcing space. There are lots of options, NICE will have to analyze what’s the best fit for them as a company and where they want to be in the next three to five years.
But in the meantime, they’re thrilled to call Jamaica their home away from home.