As you know, the managed business services industry is highly competitive. managed business services firms have historically positioned themselves for growth based on offering a lower cost labor market and the
south of Washington DC. We look at our price competitiveness from a total cost of ownership perspective, which includes the cost per widget or annual employee cost (depending on the client engagement), along with travel time, lower retraining needs, and management structure. We also compare our cost structure to others within the US and are able to provide clients a clear cost reduction from their captive operations.
In addition to cost, our competitive advantage includes the strengths of our people, our ability to leverage technology, our proximity to our clients and our cultural affinity. We bring the strengths of the US military to the commercial marketplace offering our clients resiliency, strategic thinking, dedication and hunger to serve.
Military spouses must be detail oriented, flexible, organized and able to provide structure as needed. These strengths are critical to a successful shared services career and are all strengths we leverage at Liberty Source.
promise of business transformation. Liberty Source is a US based firm, which is actually more price competitive than you might think. We are headquartered in Hampton, VA, on an old Army Base named Ft Monroe.
Ft Monroe was decommissioned in 2011 and is now a National Monument. It is the largest stone fort ever built in the US and it hosted many US Presidents including Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S Grant, James A Garfield, Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft and Harry S Truman. Ft Monroe is steeped in American History, which you can feel the minute you step foot onto the property. It is also located in a very cost competitive part of the State of VA, approximately a three hour drive
Tell us a bit more about Liberty Service. What does your existing pool of clients look like? What is your exact offering? How many employees does Liberty Source have now and where? What are your growth plans ? Where do you want to be in 3-5 years from now?
Liberty Source has just over 200 employees. Our clients today are all multi-national corpo rations who came to us seeking an onshore alternative to serve their US market.
Our model of employing military spouses and veterans enables us to scale very quickly. Those who are familiar with military service understand the mobility and flexibility which is required of military families. In the US, a military family could be asked to move every 2-3 years. They may move to a different state, or across the world. Our model allows our military spouse employees to keep the work they are doing for Liberty Source no matter where their family is stationed. This flexibility not only ensures we are meeting our social mission, but it also provides longevity and consistency for our clients who can rely on the team members assigned to their account for a very long time.
Liberty Source currently delivers a suite of services which include finance and accounting, data sciences (data research, data curation and analytics) and project management. Our services are transaction based, judgement oriented and analytical. We add value to our clients’ organizations by first understanding and preforming a process in the same manner as our client, immediately adding a layer of cultural awareness they may not have in other locations. We work closely with our clients to understand their objectives and long-term growth plans to create a tailored, fit for purpose service delivery program which is unique to their operating model and internal goals. In providing these services we are able to earn the trust of our clients, and therefore the privilege to introduce new service offerings throughout the life our engagements.
We work closely with our clients to ensure a smooth transition; addressing their concerns, understanding their goals and remaining flexible throughout the process. We seek to integrate clients quickly to ensure they reap the benefits of an engagement with Lib erty Source from the very beginning.
Over the next five years we project a 4x growth in our business. Our target clients are those who have proclaimed their support for the US military service men and women, and those who are seeking an alternative to sending work offshore. There will always be specific bodies of work that make sense to send offshore, however there are also certain bodies of work that corporations look to keep closer to home. We aim to be the onshore complement to those businesses which are sophisticated in their outsourcing capabilities today, as well as be the strategic partner for those who are just starting to dip their toe in the outsourcing waters and want someone to stand beside them along the way.
Having military spouses as your workforce is different to a typical managed business services provider. What are your top 3 challenges & opportunities within the People Agenda?
There are over 750 thousand military spouses and millions of military veterans looking for post service careers. Over 88% of military spouses have post-secondary education and all veterans are educated, job trained individuals, however they are often overlooked for steady corporate roles due to their military commitments. These commitments include relocation every 2-3 years. For a military spouse this results in a resume that may appear spotty as they must change jobs every 2-3 years. This does not translate well into the commercial environment. As a result, military spouses and veterans experience unemployment and underemployment rates which are exponentially higher than their civilian counterparts.
Our commitment to people includes continuous training on customer service, commercial leadership and evolving technical trends. We have embedded commercial experience into our leadership teams to ensure we mentor and coach our team members in the right way; harmonizing civilian commercialization with the structure and strategic planning of military service.
We seek to instil job related confidence into our employees, working with them to understand their long-term personal and professional goals. We seek to provide long-term sustainable careers for our employees, which implies we are able to expand our footprint with our clients, constantly challenging the status quo related to the impact a service provider is able to have on a client’s operations and long-term objectives.
Technology revolution is a fact in our industry, what is the approach of Liberty Source to technology adoption ?
In this headlong rush to intelligent automation, we believe there is more opportunity than ever to layer judgement based, culturally empathetic work on top of process automation. To build upon our current base of services we must learn to work with automation, not against it. We must leverage the power of automation to help future proof our organization and meet the expanding demands of our clients.
As we explore automation opportunities, we believe the greatest payback will be found in the digital transformation of the entire operation, not a single-threaded robot over a single process step. The quickest automation wins will be achieved in automating those process steps which are the most cumbersome, transactional and error prone for a human to process. However the longer-term impact will come from analyzing the process end-to-end and repositioning our human workforce at all points where judgement and empathy are required.
The life cycle of a Liberty Source engagement which is enhanced through automation follows a standardized growth cycle:
1. Human touch, transaction based engagement.
2. Automation assumptions identified, inventoried and discussed with the client.
3. Partner supported automation build.
4. Digital workforce management and exception handling.
And finally, do you have any experience with specialists and leaders from Poland? What do you think about our skills & capabilities? Do you see us joining 1st league of Global Leaders soon, next to our colleagues from US, UK, NL and India?
I have worked with leaders and teams in Poland for many years. Prior to taking the role at Liberty Source, I opened a captive operation in Poland to serve our European operations. We selected Poland in part due to the cost structure, but more so due to the leadership, experience, work ethic and transformation capabilities of the Polish workforce. Even though I’m not part of that organization any more, I am proud of what the team in Poland has been able to accom plish and their impact on the larger outsourcing and shared services marketplace. There is no doubt in my mind that the Polish market will continue to expand, the capa bilities of the talent will continue to evolve and the global marketplace will see Poland as a formidable player.