Market Testing of Regional Contact Centre Begins

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Work is to begin on testing market conditions and developing a business case which will determine the feasibility of establishing call and contact centres in Hawke’s Bay and Nelson.  The concept was announced by the owner of the internet-based accounting software company Xero, Rod Drury last month and is being strongly supported by Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule and Nelson Mayor Aldo Miccio.

The plan would involve relocating New Zealand based contact centres to Nelson and Hastings, and to attract Australian call centres to the two regions. A call centre mainly acts as an answering service, while a contact centre deals further with customers’ needs. Australian companies are moving call and contact centres out of Asia because their Australian customers preferred English-speaking centres.

Lawrence Yule says “The use of smart technology will be vital in encouraging large Australian firms to relocate their call centres to Nelson and Hastings. Thoroughly testing the model is extremely important and this will be carried out over a month in both New Zealand and Australia. The results will determine exactly what is available in the way of business opportunities and give us a good idea as to the feasibility of the project.”

Lawrence Yule says “Bringing the centres to Hastings and Nelson provides companies with a number of major advantages. It is likely that it will prove cheaper to set up the centres here rather than in Australia or other parts of New Zealand and the lifestyle offered in Nelson and Hawke’s Bay is recognised as being superior to many other regions. We expect that the establishment of these centers will create hundreds of job opportunities and stimulate regional economic growth.”

Aldo Miccio says “IT service company Gen-I CEO Tim Miles has indicated that they are very keen to explore further opportunities on this project. Gen-I has offices in Melbourne and Sydney, and they will put a business model together during the next month, with input from the two regions.”  “If there is one thing that the Christchurch earthquake experience has taught us, it is that any process we develop must be resilient. We must be one hundred percent confident that the service can continue during adverse conditions and this is where the experience of Gen-I will be invaluable. The project will be built around cloud based technology which will give us the confidence that we have a very strong and resilient product to take to the market.”

 The Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology and the Eastern Institute of Technology in Hawke’s Bay would look to work together to provide training for staff at the new centres.

Press Release: Hastings District Council, 26 March 2013

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