SERVICES

Costa Rica 2018 | ECONOMY | B2B

By outsourcing services, companies can focus on their core operations and leave other aspects to the experts.

Pablo Sandoval
PABLO SANDOVAL
Managing Director Latin America
SBM
Oscar Zárate
OSCAR ZÁRATE
General Manager
Sodexo

How has the company evolved in the market?

Pablo Sandoval SBM was established 35 years ago in Sacramento, California. We are a world-class soft service provider and currently have a presence in seven countries. SBM provides various services, with a focus in Costa Rica on janitorial, landscaping, light maintenance, waste management, and cleaning and sanitization (GMP) services. SBM has been in Costa Rica for 17 years; our first client in Costa Rica was a manufacturer that we had already worked for in the US that asked us to provide our services here. After that, we started growing by working with other companies.

Oscar Zárate We opened in Costa Rica because Glaxo persuaded us to have a local operation with it. We then started to get clients like Coca-Cola, Hologic, FIFCO, and Cemex. Today, we have a portfolio of 25 corporate clients in the country. We currently have 520 employees; we are growing our number of employees by 10%. In addition, in 2017 our client portfolio is growing by around 8%. Currently, our customer satisfaction surveys are showing levels of customer satisfaction between 90 and 92%.

How important has Costa Rica become for your global operations?

PS This is definitely the company's platform to grow in Latin America. We currently have a presence in Costa Rica and Puerto Rico. We have 22 clients in Costa Rica and 95% of them are international companies. Our vision is to apply all the services and expertise we offer in Costa Rica across Latin America.

OZ Sodexo in Costa Rica started as a service provider. The composition of our income is 75% from food service, and the rest from other services like reception, messenger service, maintenance, cleaning, air conditioning, and civil works. Therefore, Sodexo offers solutions oriented to several aspects, first to innovate, second to generate savings, and third to improve the quality of life of our clients.

What sets the company apart from others in terms of soft services outsourcing?

PS Companies find us to be a world-class, leading service provider in facilities management that can support their day-to-day operations. We see ourselves truly as our clients' partners in their daily operations. There are different companies in the market; however, what is needed is a company that gives great value addition. Safeguarding clients' safety and turnover are important and our human capital is key to this. We have committed people working for us and clients know that working with us makes the difference. We regularly conduct internal employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction surveys in order to receive feedback and improve every day.

OZ One of the advantages of contracting companies such as Sodexo to serve non-core business services is getting a high-quality product or service with seriousness and transparency and the most important, getting a tailored solution that generates significant savings. Sodexo as a multinational company is always thinking on how to innovate. We do a lot of benchmarking work, not only in Latin America, but also in Europe and North America. This is a strong added value we have. We can also bring products not available in local economies.

How can the current boom in the outsourcing services sector here help you grow?

PS This is an important issue for companies, as they require responsible service providers when they outsource. By outsourcing certain support services, a company can focus more on its own business and leave matters such as cleaning to the experts in that field. We are able to help companies with their day-to-day and this is the main reason they have started to look for outsourcing services. SBM is a multinational company with different standards to local companies and therefore has a great deal of value to add.

OZ This boom helps every company focus on its core business. Despite having a multiplicity of services that we can offer, Sodexo guarantees the customer that we will always offer a high-quality service. If we did not generate savings for our clients, they would not perceive this as an attractive opportunity. That is one of the reasons why, in the country, there are more companies looking for allies like us. Companies here want to focus on their core business and outsourcing companies like us can offer tailored services to generate savings for them.