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This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the May 7, 2003 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Facing a Downsizing, a Firm Re-Focuses
A 10-year-old programming firm, Allserve Inc., responded
to the economic downturn by restructuring to focus on its new business
line — call centers, says its COO Prime Joseph. With 20
employees here, the company has also closed a handful of its other
United States offices and now has five, inclulding one at 204 North
Center Drive, North Brunswick (732-297-9977; fax, 732-297-9382, www.allservesystems.com).
His financial goals have been rearranged. "We can reach our objectives
and have better than anticipated revenues if we concentrate on call
centers. It’s all part of the business process outsourcing (BPO) trend
in order fulfillment, mortgage processing, and payroll processing,"
says Joseph. Some of the BPO activity can be done from cost effective
locations like India, he points out. AllServe has a center in Chennai
and is starting new facilities in Bangalore and Delhi.
Based in London, the firm has retained three of its eight locations
in India and the United Kingdom. Four of the company’s programmers
in North Brunswick are devoted to working on software products for
call centers, and others do general IT consulting at such client sites
as BMW and Volkswagen.
Joseph, 33, studied engineering in Bombay and came to this country
to work in Santa Barbara. He lives with his wife and preschool daughter
in South Brunswick.
He consolidated his Michigan and Wisconsin offices that did engineering
and CAD/CAM design into one office in Chicago. "The main client
was in Wisconsin, but the manager lived in Chicago as did a good number
of employees. It was easier to shuttle to Wisconsin from Chicago."
He combined software product offices, keeping an office in the California’s
Bay Area (again, where the manager was living) and moving employees
who lived in Seattle and Los Angeles.
"Here in the eastern office we decided to focus on select states.
There is enough business to be taken from fewer of the states, where
we can manage the cost of operations more efficiently. We are working
in Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, and we
have left out states like Delaware, West Virginia, Maine."
"We outsource customer service offshore to get 50 percent savings
for a company," says Joseph. "If the calls are taken in London,
you don’t have to pay overtime for night shifts." In two months
he will be hiring call center personnel for the North Brunswick facility,
where the network infrastructure has been installed.
— Barbara Fox
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