Telecommunications company LIME’s deal to contract out some of its work to global firm Ericsson is crucial to helping the firm “stay competitive” and improve services to customers, CEO Bill McCabe said Thursday.
The move has garnered attention because it means 39 LIME workers will lose jobs with the company. They will, though, have first refusal on roles with Ericsson, which is setting up an operation in Cayman to do maintenance, installation and repair work on behalf of LIME.
It is a switch that has been made across the Caribbean as LIME moves to an operating model that has proved effective across the globe, Mr. McCabe said.
He added, “We are not the first company to do this anywhere in the world – it is a tried and tested method to deliver better services.”
He believes most, if not all, employees laid off by LIME will be taken on by Ericsson. He said it was not clear at this stage how many of the workers even want to move to the firm but insisted it is a great opportunity for those who do.
Mr. McCabe has been involved in talks with the affected employees over the past few days and he said many were excited about the development. LIME’s main responsibility, though, was to stay competitive, keep the company in business and provide “world-class services” to customers, he said.
“We live in a competitive world. If we can’t improve our services, we are going to get left behind,” Mr. McCabe said. “This is an initiative to deliver better services to customers, and these guys are global experts coming in to partner with us.
“They have to build the capabilities here, very quickly they need good people working for them – the guys working for LIME know the LIME systems and infrastructure better than anyone else and they have first refusal on the jobs that are being created by Ericsson.”
He said Ericsson has the equipment, IT and management systems in place to do the job more quickly and efficiently than LIME could manage itself.
“They have invested a huge amount – over a billion dollars – in processes and systems to enable them to provide better services to customers on behalf of telecommunications companies. That’s the kind of investment that a small company like us could never make,” he said.
He said companies worldwide are finding that subcontracting road work, such as instillations and maintenance, is allowing them to focus on other aspects of their business.
“This is all about improving the service that we deliver to customers. Telecom companies around the world are trying to focus on their core business, which is developing products and services that delight their customers.
“Having a specialist can help drive a more efficient business and improve service and speed of delivery to customers. Ericsson is a global master of this. They provide these managed services to telecom companies in over 100 countries,” Mr. McCabe added.
He said the move represents a big opportunity for the workers who make the switch to Ericsson and he insisted that many are excited about doing so.
It seems likely that there will be some net loss of jobs, though Mr. McCabe said this was not certain. In Barbados, Ericsson hired 130 of the 200 employees laid off by LIME. According to Barbados Today, LIME found roles for other employees who did not move to Ericsson. Mr. McCabe said the company is open to rehiring those laid off, but only if there is an “unmet need.”