Welcome to our new blog series, Questions & Answers, here at SupportNinja. This series is dedicated to introducing new hires as well as featuring some of our current employees.
As the Director of Operations, Tim has accumulated more than 20 years of experience as an operations, client services and business strategy outsourcing leader, overseeing and managing a broad range of complex initiatives and companies. Tim has a proven track record in setting-up, scaling and growing high growth start-ups by leveraging industry best practices managing global operations. Prior to joining SupportNinja, Tim served in both executive and consulting roles in the Philippines and Southeast Asia for Personiv, Cloudstaff, Beepo and TDCX.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
“I [was] born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area. [I’m] one of three children that were orphans [which is] kind of a fun fact about myself. [I] was adopted in San Francisco [as well as] my sister and brother. So all three of us were orphans coming from different parts of the country and all got adopted three years apart.”
2. What are your interests and hobbies?
“I have a pretty deep connection with other children and other organizations that I get involved in to help children. I enjoy working for nonprofits and other organizations [in my extra time].”
3. Obviously you have a lot of experience managing the operations side of a business, but could you tell us how you got into the industry?
“I started around 2002. I started my own BPO with some other investors. In 2002, we started doing it actually in Miami. And then we built our first offshore center in South America which is still running as a private equity holding group. [We] built our first center in Costa Rica with 50 seats doing bilingual Spanish and English customer service and tech support. [We then] went from 50 seats to about 200 seats in the first year and then from there we were able to grow [to] about 400 seats. [Afterwards], we opened up another center in Mexico in Monterrey, which has [turned into a major] tech area.”
4. It sounds like you’ve worked in the Philippines and Southeast Asia for several companies. Can you tell us your strategy in how you manage companies successfully?
“Right now, we're looking at a 30, 60, 90 day plan. Where, the initial 30 days is really [dedicated to] identifying the key objectives of the business. For example, what are the targets, what are the milestones within operations, the customer success and implementations onboarding strategies [and] what are you gonna do to help accomplish those objectives? [We then] identify and classify the goals [into] categories such as learning goals, initiative goals, personal goals, and performance goals, and prioritize. If you look at my calendar, it's [packed with] eight, nine hour days [full] of onboarding with all the various departments [where I try to be] a sponge and absorb as much information as possible. That's really [what the] initial 30 day period [consists of]. [Getting] familiar with the various inner workings [of] SupportNinja.
As we get past that initial 30 days, [we then] roll into more [of the] 60, 90 day plans which is when you become more of a contributor [and] really build confidence [to] start working on all the plans and executing. [This is when I start] optimizing strategies, defining roadmaps based on the objectives and getting buy-ins from the other team departments and managers. [I also look] at the processes [and see what] improvements [we can make].”
5. What's the hardest thing about trying to adapt to a new company culture?
“Every country is different. India is completely different. The Philippines is different. Then other parts of Southeast Asia, you have to really know the culture and the environment. If I tell you how I do things in China, [it’s] completely different [from] how I do things in the Philippines or Singapore or Indonesia. Everybody has a different style and methodology and personality. [Although] some managers are really eager to get into the execution mode right away, the first 30 days [should be] when you get to know teams. [It’s important to] tread lightly [and] be mindful.
[SupportNinja has] a great model [which] I've done before [where you’re] assigned [to] different Ninjas (agents) [for one-on-ones]. [You don’t really] know who they are and you don't know what they do, so it's a great way to [break the ice].”
6. Out of the 5 values of our company, which resonates with you the most and why?
“Well, I think, the no BS is great because I always believe in no drama [and] no politics especially in outsourcing. The other one that stands out [is] being humble [because] it's really important to stay humble and be grateful. [Improve everyday] resonates with me as well. I always try to better myself [and] further my learning abilities [by] taking business executive leadership courses whenever I can. It’s a great way to fill my time, learn more and apply it to [my work].”
7. What do you think the future of outsourcing will look like? Do you think it’ll change much between now and 5 years?
“I think it's going to continue to grow. I think this pandemic has really shown us that people realize they can find other ways to get some extra support and lower their operating expenses and their business. Whether they're working from home or they're working in a small startup in Austin or Los Angeles or New York, outsourcing is a great option. It's a great option for them because once they understand the savings [they can focus] on what they really do best. Outsourcing time-consuming and repetitive tasks [really helps whether they start] with five, 15 or 500 [agents], it doesn't matter. And that's what outsourcing is all about is really applying that knowledge.”