The Australian economy is largely made up of businesses that provide either services or goods and services. Service businesses employ four out of five Australians and represent over 70 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the country. Despite operational challenges of scaling a service business globally, a number of Aussie Service companies are not just thriving domestically, they are hammering the competition on the international stage.
Service and service with goods made 40% of exports in 2016
There is a world of potential customers searching for excellent quality services across a wide range of industries. For Australia, the services sector accounts for most of the trading that occurs with other countries. Services made up 21.6% of total exports in 2016, and when goods are considered, they account for 40% of export earnings. The value of the services trade rose by 9.4 per cent in 2018 totalling $190.6 billion, and the share was below average that year at 22.4 per cent.
According to the WTO time-series database, US and China are Australia’s major trade partners for imports. The US accounts for 10.0 per cent of the world’s imports, which is up 4.0 per cent each year since 2013. China comes in second with 7.7 per cent increases each year.
Despite challenges, globalisation offers Australian businesses a prime opportunity to discover potential customers. With the yearly increases in service imports, Australian companies find significant growth opportunities whilst offering their services overseas. However, to truly transform local services into worldwide success, one crucial element is needed: the right technology backbone to support a multi-location business.
Made in Australia for the world.
Many lessons can be learned from local success stories. Poolwerx is one example of a company that is finding success in foreign markets. Having a Cloud ERP system that is global-ready was one of the many key factors that enabled their international expansion.
Poolwerx was founded in 1992, and it revolutionised the pool service industry with its network of pool and spa maintenance technicians. They started a franchise model that utilises the latest pool maintenance technology in Australia. This model facilitated Poolwerx expansion, they have now 160 retail stores and over 575 vans servicing in Australia, New Zealand and America.
Poolwerx success story was featured in the Keynote of NetSuite SuiteConnect in Sydney in February 2020 for its use of NetSuite + NextService. John O’Brien, Founder and CEO of Poolwerx, credited the platform: “With NetSuite, we have better visibility and control. We’re able to have a single source of truth that monitors and reports all franchisee performance, affording us the opportunity to operate as a small team, despite being globally dispersed.”
Poolwerx plans to expand across the US southern tier, the Sun Belt, with a five-year business development strategy targeting verticals in the commercial sector, schools, hotels and fitness centres. NetSuite and NextService will provide technological support for their innovation and international growth.
SprintQuip is another company that achieved success with the help of NetSuite. NextService, a customised field service platform built-in NetSuite was the backbone of the company’s global expansion.
SprintQuip offers cash machine products, including ticket counters, weighers and scales, deposit machines, money safes, sorters, along with service support. Stephen Basford, the General Manager of Systems and Compliance, says the company’s success is due to the efficiencies NextService created in the field and the back-office administration. This has improved customer response times and simplified scheduling and billing systems.
The company now sells and services Cash Machines in Singapore and the UK. Whilst the Head-Office is in Australia, SprintQuip was able to expand into Singapore supported by NetSuite OneWorld technology. The company then entered into the UK by acquiring a local company and quickly onboarding them to the platform. Basford says that NetSuite with NextService was crucial for the business to expand its operations overseas.
The Benefits of OneWorld Technology
Technological advances that were inconceivable even a few decades ago allow us today to connect easier than ever, erasing borders, homogenising cultures and globalising business. But that does not change the fact that companies must be adapted to perform on a local level. NetSuite OneWorld supports global and country-specific requirements addressing the complex multinational and multi-company needs of global organisations.
Businesses exporting their services overseas to access a broader customer-base realise that data transparency becomes a priority when sharing critical information with trading partners and consumers. NetSuite OneWorld benefits businesses by offering real-time visibility into business performance through financial and operational dashboards and reports. These global business insights enable them to build trust and achieve better visibility to all parts of their businesses to drive improvements and react faster and more effectively when problems occur.
Building an international team these days can be easily achieved through partnerships, alliances, and direct hiring, thus having technology that supports global workforce management is essential for companies planning to trade overseas. NetSuite OneWorld is web-based, allowing employees, board members and associates to access the platform from anywhere in the world in their language. It also supports popular mobile devices for data and functionality on-the-go. User permissions management in the business workflow is available within the platform.
Expanding to offshore markets comes with a whole new set of operational challenges in global accountancy, rules, taxation and regulations vary significantly for each country. OneWorld makes NetSuite the leading ERP for global SMEs with its best-in-class currency manager, which includes 190+ currency and exchange rates allowing users to do business across the globe from day one and accepting many forms of payment. Other functionalities include currency conversion and financial consolidation across business units and a comprehensive range of international tax structures. You can adjust for currency, taxation and legal compliance differences at the local level, with regional and global business consolidation and roll-up.
Opportunities to establish a service business abroad
Don’t underestimate the international demand for your services, globalised consumers are increasingly willing to experiment with services that bring something new to the table. Several Australian service companies with innovative technology are growing overseas as a result of a flattening global economy and the possibility to focus on vertical rather than geographic markets.
Australia’s ???????? world-leading services sectors present enormous export opportunities. We've been working with @Austrade & industry to boost our services exports & grow the #economy ????. #commercialdiplomacy https://t.co/RYwWYbe34M https://t.co/MLZtlGL9Jt— DFAT???????? (@dfat) November 28, 2019
The service industry will see substantial growth, the Australian Performance of Services Index (Australian PSI®) is expected to be 46.80 points by the end of this quarter and to continue to grow to 53.00 points by 2021. Australia, Singapore and Sweden have been named as the most prepared countries for technological changes, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). They have also been called the most attractive places for investing in tech companies from 2018 to 2022.
Starting a business nowadays is a simple and straightforward process in virtually every country, and a number of governments actively encourage foreign investors to set up shop, through taxation perks and benefits. With the right technological support and strategy, businesses can start trading overseas in less than a month, and it doesn’t cost thousands of dollars. Technological advances in the past decade like NetSuite OneWorld are taking Australian brands globally more quickly and efficiently than ever offering organisations a way to handle multinational and multi-company needs.
NetSuite not only enables international expansion with OneWorld, it is one of the leading accounting/ERP platforms in the world that also offers Customer Relationship Management, eCommerce, Warehouse Management, Field Service automation and Professional Services Automation solutions. Such a comprehensive platform helps multinational businesses align their complete operations. NetSuite’s Centralised BMP nature gives real-time visibility for businesses, ensuring consistent compliance management and alleviating the need for several disparate software. All areas of the company can be run by a single cloud software anywhere in the world.
Need a specialist’s free advice?
Feel free to call an expert in NetSuite OneWorld and NextService for Field Service Businesses today. Find out how cloud-based technology can help your service business become an international beast.
- Poolwerx Makes Waves Through Efficient Franchise Management
- SprintQuip Case Study from NextService
- The importance of services trade to Australia
- Trade in Services Australia 2018
- Global Business Management in the Cloud
- Australia Performance Services Index
- Australian companies expanding their wings offshore