“I had been running my outsourced transcription business privately from home since the late nineties and while the business was going well, I found the tapes were taking too long to get to me – jolly old Royal Mail!” quips Phillips.
“I remember reading about the new trend of digital dictophones and that’s when I realised there was a business here. So I tried it out on a few clients and thought ‘Hey, presto – this is just perfect’.”
Phillips went on to set up her website OutSec in 2002 which is catered towards transcribing large bulk reports for professionals and corporate companies, typically in the medical, surveying, legal and insurance markets.
All the clients and typists have a password and login so they can access the OutSec website. Once the client uploads a sound file onto the site, it gets allocated to their personal, dedicated secretary which, as Phillips explains, is hugely important for quality reasons.
“Our clients like to know they can rely on getting a consistently high standard of work as well as someone who is familiar with the nature of the company’s work. Most of our typists were previously secretaries to PA’s and have around five years experience in a given sector. Otherwise the grammar would no doubt be up the spout! In fact, I’ve discovered that 99.9 per cent of transcribers that haven’t been properly trained aren’t going to be 100 per cent accurate.”
OutSec also ensures a consistently high standard by allowing their typists three times the length of the duration of the soundfile to carry out the transcribing.
“So we give them ninety minutes to type up a thirty minute soundfile. Of course, they don’t need that amount of time, but we deliberately give that leeway so they can double and triple check their work and carry out Google searches,” says Philipps, “It’s really that fine-tuning and attention to detail that makes us unique in the market and explains why we’ve grown so fast – we’ve never lost a single client.”
Philipps says that OutSec’s 350 clients probably equates to around 2,500 users as their clients range from sole individuals to, for example, a legal firm that uses up to 100 dictators.