As tempting as it was to start our first blog post of the year with a 2020 vision gag, we thought in hindsight it might have been a mistake. So we’re ditching the sayings and moving forward, starting with an in-depth catch up with our new Head of Operations, Matthew Musumeci.
Matthew joined the team in November 2019 and has already employed his vast experience to the betterment of the Sherpa team and its customers. We wanted to share a bit more about his journey and how he landed here with us.
Tell us about your previous role? What was the catalyst for the move to Sherpa?
I used to work for a Dutch company called Cleeng, which is a Subscriber Retention Management platform that specialises in OTT. I acted as the Director of Customer Services there managing teams out of our support hubs in the Philippines and Mexico. My role was to ensure that we provide world-class B2B support for our clients and B2C support for their end-users through a 24/7 omnichannel approach.
I think the catalyst for the switch was two-fold. Firstly, the OTT industry is rapidly consolidating, with the likes of Disney, Apple, Prime and Netflix aggressively eating up the market which has made it difficult for smaller businesses to flourish and survive. Secondly, coming from a logistics background, I’ve kept a close eye on the rise of on-demand and same-day delivery in Oz, which isn’t even close to peaking yet. I believe that Sherpa is really at the forefront of this space and have made incredible progress over the last few years to develop a strong foundation and a sustainable model that exceeds customer expectations.
What’s the most prevalent difference between working in that industry and working in the SDD/LMD space?
The main difference is obviously working with digital vs physical products and the unique complexities of each. There are in fact a lot of similarities, however, as both OTT and Last Mile Logistics are on-demand services.
Customers expect a seamless user experience no matter what and don’t have a lot of tolerance for anything in between. Both industries have very complex challenges in their own right and both are constantly innovating to gain and maintain a competitive advantage.
You recently returned from visiting our support team in Manilla. How is the support team going over there? Have there been any changes?
The team in Manila is growing and is doing a fantastic job at successfully handling our support activities. There are no big changes apart from a small restructure of the team roles and responsibilities, to make better use of individual expertise in various functions. This continues to be an important area of investment for Sherpa.
Sherpa HQ has 7 different nationalities in just a 12 person team. What’s it like working in such a multi-cultural office?
I love it, and I’m very used to it as I’ve lived and worked abroad over the last few years. Plus multi-cultural environments are the norm these days. All my previous jobs have provided me with the great privilege of meeting and learning from a lot of different cultures and I’m pleased that Sherpa sees the great value of hiring smart and diverse people.
What excites you most about 2020?
It’s hard to pinpoint just one thing, but I think seeing how the on-demand delivery market will grow and the types of new vertices that will enter this space.
As the Head of Operations, what is that you hope to bring to Sherpa. What would define your success?
I’m hoping that my eight years of international operational experience will bring a fresh set of eyes to a well-established company that fosters innovation. I like to keep things simple, I believe that for the business to be successful and scalable we need to ensure we can onboard clients seamlessly and fulfil our delivery guarantee. If we can succeed in these areas I’ll be super happy!
I’ll also be putting a large focus on client retention, which will be one of our key operational pillars in 2020 and beyond. I’m also looking forward to meeting more of our clients and hearing how we can be better!
What kind of strategies have you found work best for team success in Operations?
Communication! Simply allowing the team to be transparent on what they believe does and doesn’t work to cannibalise and innovate our current processes. I utilise a more democratic leadership approach. Surrounding myself with intelligent and hard-working people (and encouraging them to speak their mind) is of the utmost importance, and fosters stronger relationships.
The Sherpa team is growing rapidly. Stay tuned for more staff spotlights in the coming weeks.