Smartgroup CEO Tim Looi and COO Sarah Haas recently sat down with Giuseppe Tauriello from Adelaide's leading newspaper The Advertiser to share insights into why investing in digital education is key for customer growth.
The article is available online at Smartgroup investing in digital, education to drive customer growth if you have a subscription, and below is a key summary.
A strong growth strategy has resulted in Smartgroup becoming valued at $1 billion with annual revenues nearing $250 million, as a salary packaging provider to over 3,500 employers and 375,000 of their employees. And while a recent takeover bid didn’t proceed, Looi views the initial offer as an endorsement and thinks there’s a significant opportunity for the business to engage with potential new customers, a number which Smartgroup estimates could represent more than 1.1 million.
Making a significant investment in digital
Over the next three years, Smartgroup will invest up to $6 million annually in its digital platforms including redesigning customer portals, migrating to cloud infrastructure and software, and investing in business automation. To date, the company has almost 80 permanent team members specialising in technology and IT, in addition to outsourced partners.
“We actually have access to market directly to, and educate directly to, one in eight working Australians across the employers we have as clients - it’s really powerful.” Looi said. “Our growth is predicated on a lot more education, a lot more engagement with customers, and we still have a bit of work to do there.”
A major expansion in South Australia
At its office in Keswick (the second largest Smartgroup office), Smartgroup employs a team of 150 staff working in call centres, vehicle operations, sales, outsourced payroll, technology and marketing – with plans for a larger presence as the company continues to grow at a rapid pace. Currently, Smartgroup services about 150 clients and 15,000 of their employees in South Australia in sectors including education, not-for-profit, health and corporate.
“We’re growing here and the traditional way of working has certainly changed - so we’re looking at how we think about collaboration spaces, innovation hubs and those sorts of things.” Sarah Haas said. “We’re also exploring at the moment a graduation program for technology - it’s a great way to bring people in and build the talent pool locally.”
Read the full article here: Smartgroup investing in digital, education to drive customer growth