Showcasing our region’s outsourcing opportunities

Next week, we’re off to showcase the North East as the prime location for shared services and outsourcing firms looking for a UK base.

 We’re part of a Northern Powerhouse partnership attending the 17th European Shared Services and Outsourcing Week, a key event in the sector’s international events calendar.

The acclaimed three-day event in Manchester’s Event City from May 15 to 18 attracts some of the industry’s biggest names with the Department for International Trade one of its lead sponsors.

Invest North East England – the first point of contact for companies looking to invest in the region – is attending the conference representing the seven North East Local Authorities and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, in partnership with the Northern Powerhouse and LEPs from Tees Valley, Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester.

As part of the event, we’ll be part of a bespoke Northern Powerhouse panel entitled ‘Brexit and Digitisation: Why it’s time to re-consider an onshore location.’ Panel members will also include representatives from the private sector within the Northern Powerhouse area.

Event host, the Shared Services and Outsourcing Network (SSON), is the industry’s largest and most established community of professionals with more than 85,000 members worldwide.

The SSON event gives us the opportunity to put North East England’s compelling investment offer directly before some of the industry’s biggest and most successful firms.

Our highly skilled, flexible workforce, connectivity to global markets and low cost base are a powerful incentive for any business process outsourcing company looking to invest or relocate in the UK.

Added to this, we have a proven track record when it comes to delivering back office solutions and shared services – for example, we have more than 145 contact centres, employing 40,000 people for global companies including, Barclays, EE, Santander and Virgin.

Construction giant Balfour Beatty relocated to the North East from London, choosing Quorum Business Park in North Tyneside as the base for its customer support centre called WorkSmart.

Ian Dawson who was at the time the Business Services Director at Balfour Beatty said that they chose the North East of England as it provided a skilled and flexible workforce and the best supply of buildings in the UK suitable for the new facility. He also told how savings achieved in the first year following their move exceeded £15m and headcount grew beyond initial estimates to around 450 as new shared services were added.

Other top business process outsourcing companies have chosen to locate and expand in the North East, including Sitel, Teleperformance and Convergys who have recently established their new Centre of Excellence in Newcastle.

The North East’s financial and business services cluster boasts 17,500 companies, employing 130,000 people.

Its key strengths are in customer contact centres and legal, financial and insurance services.

A Financial Times Benchmarking Study rated the North East as the UK’s most cost competitive location for business and talent – savings of more than £9m per year for a 350-person customer contact centre operation when compared to London.

Armed with these impressive stats, we’re looking forward to meeting potential investors and starting their journey on the road to North East England.


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