A few months after expanding into Springfield, a 5-year-old Bolivar company is on the verge of rapid staffing and revenue growth.
Promoveo LLC owner Will Westmoreland says the customer-service outsourcing company plans to add 50 new jobs in Springfield this year, with hopes of increasing its employee count up to 100 from 37. The company maintains a Bolivar office, where it employs 26, and opened at Hammons Tower in September. Westmoreland says an account with an undisclosed client will go into effect in April, fueling the hiring needs.
As a result, he projects revenue will grow 300% this year, potentially surpassing $2 million.
“In 2021, not only are we going to be growing our front-line head count, but we’re really going to begin hiring some high-level positions to accommodate for those management needs we’re going to have,” Westmoreland says, noting the company primarily serves the recreation, financial services and health care industries.
Promoveo operates a traditional call center in Bolivar and what the company calls contact centers, in Bolivar and Springfield, essentially a next-generation central point for reaching a company’s customers. Westmoreland says consumer interaction today goes beyond phone calls, so Promoveo uses omnichannel communications of email, text, video and social media in its contact center work.
“A lot of people think about a call center and envision people in seats just taking phone calls. One of the reasons we also operate as a contact center is that we have the ability to do a lot more than that,” he says, noting Promoveo uses a cloud-based platform in its contact centers.
While declining to disclose most of his clients, Westmoreland says his company works with Roslyn Heights, New York-based US eDirect Inc., which provides software to government agencies to manage revenue from outdoor recreational activities. It’s through that connection that Promoveo handles incoming calls from people making reservations for the Missouri State Parks system.
“Not everyone can afford, nor do they have the experience level, to offer contact center services,” Westmoreland says, noting he’s been involved in the call center industry since 1995, including management experience with Sprint Corp. and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T).
The US eDirect relationship also has fueled revenue growth for Promoveo, increasing roughly 120% year over year to $501,000 in 2020.
“US eDirect is sending so much business our way right now that we have focused all of our efforts internally – not only financially but from a staffing and talent perspective – on growing these accounts,” Westmoreland says.
Melonie Kolega, vice president of general administration for US eDirect, says Promoveo provides call center services for several other unnamed government clients of the New York company, adding Westmoreland has been on top of any requirements thrown at him.
“It’s not just a vendor or a blanket service that we’re looking for,” she says. “Throughout the past couple of years, we’ve really looked to him.”
Kolega, who declines to disclose Promoveo contract details, says more US eDirect client work is headed to Promoveo in the coming months.
“We see a lot of opportunity coming our way and we’re looking forward to partnering up with Will for it,” she says.
Making an investment
Promoveo’s expansion in September cost around $160,000, including office renovations and information technology installations, Westmoreland says. Springfield was selected over Columbia and St. Louis.
“Given the amount of growth we’re experiencing, we really needed to rapidly move to an area where we had a better technology backbone and, even more importantly, a larger base of potential employees to choose from,” he says.
Promoveo hopes to qualify for incentives via HUBZone, a U.S. Small Business Administration program designed to increase business growth in underutilized business zones. The designation means at least 3% of federal contract dollars are awarded to employers within the business zones. Westmoreland says Hammons Tower is in a federally designated HUBZone.
As the company looks to boost its staff, officials hope to get closer to the 20% goal of its Service to Warriors program. The initiative, started in 2015, aims to employ disabled or honorably discharged veterans, their spouses or caregivers as front-line agents. Roughly 12% of Promoveo’s workforce currently is in those categories, Westmoreland says.
“I generally do the hiring. I try to onboard the best people possible for the position,” says Brent Van Deren, call center director. “If someone has served our country, in any way we can, we try to accommodate them.”
The hiring goal isn’t the only one Promoveo has in the crosshairs. Westmoreland wants to get all the company’s front-line employees to $15 per hour within the next 12-18 months. Average starting pay is currently $12 per hour, he says.
A goal in the next five years is to open a large call center in Springfield; he envisions 400 employees.
“This would be a separate facility outside of Hammons Tower,” he says. “We haven’t done facility identification for that, but it will probably be inside the HUBZone.”
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