Spring Lake Firm Uses India Links

May 21, 2004
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SPRING LAKE — Opportunity Group co-owner and project manager Clint Six likes to stay ahead of the competition. Actually, he’d prefer to be so far ahead that the competition hasn’t even entered the market yet.

Six co-owns several Internet-related businesses, among them a resume delivery firm, resumeXposure.com, that delivers an applicant’s resume to over 7,500 employers. When Six launched that site, there was virtually no competition. But over the last three years, he said, competition appeared, with no less than 30 similar sites today.

“Obviously, competition happened,” he explained. “And so when I was confronted with reduced revenues on a monthly basis while looking at the rising costs of IT, to keep up with competition — and as far as development, there was no content and no features — I had to start looking at some alternative methods to help me.”

So the former employment recruiter and nuclear engineer began to personally search out IT providers in offshore locations.

“It was hit-or-miss, to be candid. It was just like it was with American developers,” Six recalled. “We tried a company in Latvia, one in Croatia, another company in India. Ultimately, I had a project done by this company in India that we have since contracted. We started giving them larger and larger products. It was always done on time and at the quoted price.”

The Indian firm developed Six’s resume writing service, tailoredresume.com, in its entirety, providing a Web site database, e-commerce system, flash development and even a backhand that would allow the search to power resume-writing systems on other sites.

Now, two and a half years after he began his overseas experiment — and with trust in his Indian source in place — Six joined with Greg Dawson, also an employment recruiter, to again beat the competition to a market.

Their new company, Opportunity Group, offers low-cost IT solutions to companies with tight budgets.

“We can over-deliver with a budget and provide additional functionality,” Six explained. “Or if there are a specific list of requirements that need to be accomplished, we can do it at a fourth or fifth of the (competitor’s) cost.”

According to Six, an IT project outsourced to India can easily cost one-fifth of its U.S. price.

Recognizing that although offshoring is now commonplace, it is still an unknown quantity to most companies and a cause of fear and resentment, Six and Dawson spent the first three months of the company’s existence developing a business model that would wrap its track record together with its experience with the Indian firm.

Opportunity Group benchmarked the quality systems of the Indian firm, allowing the Indian writers a quality assurance code that will successfully ensure error-free copy up to 5,000 objects. Then they added another layer of quality assurance stateside.

In Spring Lake, the customer specifications are reviewed once more, and then given a thorough grammar review.

In essence it is not a true outsourcing system, Six said, because the project is finished in Spring Lake.

In April, Opportunity Group began marketing its service.

“I am impressed with our ratios so far,” Six said. “We had kind of assumed that we’d land a third of the projects we’ve quoted. But we’ve actually landed about 80 percent. That was surprising.”

Currently, Opportunity Group has a staff of four local employees, but between tailoredresume.com and a developing solution for the staffing industry, the company plans to add an additional 14 employees.

In India, 11 developers are under contract: three graphic designers, seven software developers and a network engineer.

“We’re selling it as, ‘Just let us quote it and you’ll be surprised,’” Six added. “And if you have a budget set aside, we’ll just over-deliver on content and functionality.”

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