MacKay’s Marketing – how this North Qld family business outsourced for growth

MacKay’s Marketing – how this North Qld family business outsourced for growth

Mackay Family

This thriving business had a problem and StaffLogic helped find the solution - offshore recruitment.

Tayla Mackay’s great-grandfather Stanley Mackay moved to Queensland seeking work as a sugarcane labourer after World War II. Then in 1945, Stanley hand cleared an acre block he’d leased to begin what would become a family legacy. Now, over 70 years later, Mackay’s is a proud North Queensland banana success story!

Mackay’s Marketing was established in 2001, as a true collaboration and partnership between the Mackay and Howe families, to manage all banana marketing and sales from a cooperative of large scale farming families.

And in 2018, Mackay’s do more than just sell bananas!

Mackay Marketing

A growing need

“We sell bananas and other fresh produce like papayas and avocados, and in the past few years we’ve grown, moved offices and engaged more staff. 

Because the business was growing, we identified the areas where we needed additional resources. Fresh produce is 7 days a week, 365 days of the year, and we found there was a real need to have someone work outside standard hours – someone to be available in the evenings and on the weekends.”

Staff Logic source and place highly skilled, English speaking, tertiary educated offshore workers in many positions. Their high performing, quality candidates are not your everyday Upwork or call centre candidates – and Filipino workers have a reputation for being loyal and committed employees.

“Tom talked us through the pros and cons of offshore recruitment and after interviews and screening tests, we employed a virtual assistant to help us with the paperwork and admin tasks that mainly needed to be done outside office hours.”

A different approach

Many people see the cost benefit in recruiting from the Philippines – it’s true, outsourcing can save you a significant amount of money.

But cost wasn’t the primary motivator for the Mackay family.

“The timing piece was critical for us. Our farms don’t work standard business hours and after 5pm or on the weekends, there’s usually paperwork that needs to be done.

For us it wasn’t about the money … it was having someone there all the time. We did have a similar person fill a role here in Sydney but she only worked part time. It became less about saving money and more about the times of the day she would work for us to deliver better service to our customers. We needed the convenience and the flexibility.”

‘Our company has offices based in two states – Victoria and NSW. This causes confusion as to who looks after the admin roles on public holidays… our VA solved this problem and allowed clarity as to who was doing each job on each holiday’.

Mackay Marketing

A traditional family business and a big leap of faith

“There were some initial nerves, because we didn’t have direct control. We weren’t there with her, training her up, and we had to make some allowances for her being in a different part of the world.

We didn’t start with anything too technical. We started with more basic, admin tasks, and throughout the past year the team has become more confident, and as she’s grown more confident, we’ve given more tasks to her. In the past three months the trust has grown enormously.”

Their virtual assistant handles data entry, spreadsheets, generating load paperwork through the Mackay systems and communicating with freight companies and internal staff.

“We’ve been very happy with the quality of work. The setup was easier than I’d expected … our VA has access to all our files via Citrix, and probably the most difficult part of the process was the training which we did via Skype. I had to set aside at least 70% of the first weeks to get her trained up.”

Mackay Marketing

Things to think about...

Because Mackay’s Marketing require someone outside regular hours, they also require someone on the ground here in Australia on call and available outside office hours, on their computer or phone, to respond to any questions or issues that arise.

“Many offshore companies use Skype – and while we do use Skype regularly, we prefer to pick up the phone. Our VA’s english and communication skills are excellent, and we supply a phone and work station so she’s able to contact us whenever she needs to.

We keep the communication high and let her know we are there to help her do her job, just as she’s there to help us do ours.”

Mackay Marketing

Onwards and upwards

“At the moment we only employ one off-shore worker, but as our business grows and thrives, we will need more help. Tom has been incredibly helpful throughout this whole process, and we’re confident in his ability to find us the right person the next time we need one.”

For Mackay’s Marketing, the coming year looks fresh and exciting.

Contact StaffLogic




110 Pacific Hwy,
North Sydney NSW

1300 787 967