The need for a good knowledge of Australasian geography and its multitudinous soil types meant that when Ravensdown decided to expand its customer services call centre there was never any chance that it would be yet another to relocate to the call-centre capitals in India and other parts of Asia.
The winner on this occasion is the company's Napier customer centre, now housed in new and larger facilities as part of a $14.5 million development of the Awatoto site.
The centre, opened last week by Christchurch-based company chief Rodney Green, has space for 32 staff, enabling the company to grow the centre from the 20 staff now employed in the centre, operating 24 hours a day, with inquiries from throughout Australia and New Zealand.
It's one of two centres operated by the company.
The other, in Christchurch, was out of action for a few days after the February 22 earthquake.
The Napier centre was set up several years ago to ensure better disaster-recovery options, the value of which was highlighted as Napier picked up the diverted work in the days after the calamity.
Between them, the centres handle about 210,000 calls a year, with the company priding itself on a 90 per cent excellence rating, 95 per cent of the calls being answered within 20 seconds.
Group manager of corporate communications Janet Wright said that staff received considerable training relating to the geography across Australasia, including the different fertilisers used in the various areas.