Cloudstaff is helping businesses meet their staffing needs with ease, speed, and wallet friendliness.

Business leaders are learning volumes about flexibility these days. For innovative staffing firm Cloudstaff and its founder and CEO Lloyd Ernst, the ability to quickly and cost-effectively respond to change is built into everything they do and has been since their start in 2005. The rest of the world is finally catching up.

The Sydney-based enterprise has a single, clear mission. “Cloudstaff is all about helping businesses grow, and we do that by providing a flexible workforce for them. Now the entire world is experiencing a distributed workforce,” Ernst told VENTURE.

Since establishing Cloudstaff, Ernst and his team have been committed to reshaping the outsourced staffing industry. “We talk about our secret sauce, which is people and technology. We've been working on our technology for a number of years and working on the technology to help people work remotely. Everything we do is about growing good businesses.”

Cloudstaff’s skilled workforce, based in the Philippines, is supported by custom software, procedures, and processes specifically tailored to the needs of small- to medium-sized businesses in a plethora of industries across Australia, the US, and the UK. They support growing companies’ efforts to manage skill shortages, labour costs, and time management issues, common pain points that can hobble the most ambitious expansion plans.

That support takes a number of forms, Ernst said. “We help some clients by setting up customer service teams so they can better look after their customers by operating over extended hours. For other customers we might create teams to support their back-office operations, to support their e-commerce plans, to clean up photos, process accounting, do fraud checks—all that sort of stuff. You have other customers who are using Cloudstaff for digital or software development. It's all across the board, and it's amazing.

“There are about 270 different role types that we provide for our customers. The common thread to all of this is that everything is done by the cloud. The cloud makes this available.”

Controlling Costs

As the world reels from the effects of the pandemic, Cloudstaff is well positioned to help their customers adapt to a slew of new realities, including an ever-pressing need for cost containment. “We think that more and more businesses, as they start to see how their particular industry is going to recover, are going to be looking at how they can do more with less,” he posited.

“Cost is not just about the salary of the employees, even though that's a big part. Businesses have to ask ‘what's the cost of managing staff? What's the cost of office space? All kinds of costs factor into running a business, and they will have an important role in recovery. People are acutely aware of the cost structures at the best of times. But now businesses have to start thinking about their customers working longer hours as flattening the curve has meant flattening work hours.

“As employees have more flexibility with the hours they're working, businesses need to start thinking about the fact that their customers also have flexible work hours and are working from home, and how they can support that. The hours that people are working are probably going to be the big drivers as companies return to work.”

At many companies, planning for recovery is happening now. “A number of our customers are spending this time to regroup and look at their CRM databases,” Ernst noted. “We have big demand at the moment with clients telling us they have to go through databases and understand more of what's happening with their customers. They're trying to get more insight into where their customers are, what their CRMs are like, and those sorts of things. COVID-19 has actually pushed some of those drivers.”

Mobile First & More

In a flash, companies considering digitisation have now been thrust into a climate where connectivity is an imperative for their survival and continued health. “Everyone's starting to think about how we operate in this digital world. We’ve seen customers that have compressed their five-year business plan into one year. It’s now about working from any location, at any time.”

As the pressure to recover and find new ways to thrive mounts, Cloudstaff supports enterprises in a few different ways. “There are existing businesses that want to move their processes to the cloud and are wondering how to optimise those efforts,” he stressed. “Our people look at customers’ premises and offer solutions for doing things better, improving quality, and getting better insights into their businesses.”

That focus on continuous improvement informs the way Cloudstaff works. “Internally, we have about 60 or 70 people that work in our development team. Our methodology is Agile, and we apply Agile principles not just to development but to our business teams as well, through a process called Biz Scrum,” Ernst said. “Our growth strategy is simple. If our customers are growing, we are growing.”

The company’s “mobile first” people management strategy is another key accelerator. “We realised early on that business is all about employees. They're connected to a mobile phone 24-7. As we started to build our own system, we realised that everything happens on our mobile phones, so we make sure we deliver our services on the mobile phone as well as the desktop. We are attuned to a world where not everyone is sitting at a corporate desk all the time.

“The key is making it secure. The apps that we use check to make sure that your PC is up to date with virus checkers, make sure that you're corrected to a VPN, and we do task management as well. We work on those things all the time. That's a big part of our strategy.”

One thing’s for sure: This is a company with its feet planted firmly on the ground as cloud services expand and help create a strong future for companies of every size and scope. As Ernst put it, “Engaging your workforce via the cloud is here to stay. It's not going away. Businesses that make this a more integral part of their overall business strategy are the ones that are actually going to be able to reduce their costs, improve their customer service, and also build a better world. That’s what we are trying to do.”