DHL opens $30-m call centre in Jamaica
20 jobs created as courier service centralises operations to grow salesWednesday, January 14, 2015
BY STEVEN JACKSON Business reporter email@example.com
COURIER service DHL Jamaica has set up a $30-million call centre that employs 20 new staff.
The Caribbean Telesales Centre started operations on Monday with the remit of seeking new business from 26 countries in the Caribbean.
"It's all about selling on the phone. So we do all the inbound and outbound [calls] where we are selling... DHL services," stated Donovan James, general manager for Jamaica and commercial director for the Caribbean, yesterday.
James, along with four regional managers, answered Jamaica Observer queries at the DHL head office on Haining Road in New Kingston to mark the launch of the operation.
Prior to the start of the centre, agents in various territories hunted new business. The team believes that centralising agents in one location will garner better results.
"What we had before was people in different countries around the Caribbean. It didn't lend itself to a real focus to sales, increasing revenue, productivity, and so forth," James said.
The new staff expands the Jamaica employee complement to 93 in 2015. DHL started operations in Jamaica in 1988 with seven employees, according to a company release.
"A key market segment that we are going after is the small and medium enterprises (SME)," said James. "In fact, a lot of the effort for the centralised telecentre will be going after that market. We are aligning all our efforts around assisting SMEs."
Reiner Wolfs, managing director, DHL Express, Caribbean region, said that Jamaica remains a profitable operation despite challenges across the region. DHL Caribbean aims to grow its business by double-digit levels this year, driven in part by the call centre. But the company declined to reveal dollar estimates.
"2014 was a challenging year, but we had double-digit growth. In some markets we grew 20 per cent. So we certainly expect an incremental growth from the telecentre," said Wolfs. "Again, we expect double-digit growth over and above what we had last year for the teleservice channels as a direct result of this centralisation."
Valerie Blandin, project manager for the call centre, indicated that DHL chose Jamaica over other territories based on its competitive advantage in call centre services.
"We had the option to set up in another country, but we chose Jamaica because of the skills of people, the good education, the potential of the country... and the work ethic," she said yesterday.
DHL Jamaica remains the biggest Caribbean operation among 30 countries managed by DHL's Caribbean operations, a release stated. DHL Jamaica accounts for 20 per cent of the Caribbean's revenue, 26 per cent in terms of volume of shipment and 34 per cent of the kilos shipped to international destinations.
"DHL market share is approximately 49 per cent in Jamaica and across the region," the release added.
As a region, documents account for nearly two-thirds of outbound packages while non-documents account for 96 per cent of inbound packages, DHL stated.
Effective January 2015, DHL increased rates by roughly 4.9 per cent in Jamaica as part of its annual adjustment across the globe.
DHL recently completed the installation of solar panels and energy-saving light bulbs in its office. The installation should cut its energy bill in half.