Richard Harter: Changing the dynamics of client service and international business operations

The 10 Most Influential Leaders in Talent Acquisition Industry 2022

With a profound 25 years in the BPO and international business arena, Richard Harter, VP of Client Strategy at Datrose, is a seasoned, pragmatic, and responsible leader who aims to fulfill complex business objectives with smart, simplified tactics. He focuses on deploying cost-saving methodologies to continuously elevate profitability. He views success as a moving target and believes that leaders need to be extremely conscious of what success means to them and the wellbeing of both their organization and their people. Stressing on the point, he states a famous quote by Max DePree, “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.”

Diving into the domain naturally

Growing up a successful athlete and being involved in various sports programs since his youth, Richard’s life and upbringing have kept the vision and desire for winning “very real” to him and a part of who he is at his core. Transitioning to being an adult and into a business career was nothing more than a transition from the traditional measurements associated with sports and into the success measurements associated with business.

He adds, “The commitment and dedication to your desired craft and ‘winning’ in that craft are almost identical. Words like training, development, preparation, and sacrifice, they transcend. Being fortunate enough to have been modestly successful in business now for 25 years is the culmination of each of those words coming together with some true blessings from above and a little bit of elbow grease.”

Richard has always enjoyed the comradery and synergy of working with a team and working towards a goal which is why a career in Client Services and Corporate Strategy have always felt natural. He states, “When your choice of career fits who you are as a person and you apply a winning game plan, success just comes naturally.” 

Progressing upwards against all odds

Richard expresses, “We’ve all had challenges in life, some more challenging or painful than others, but nevertheless, we’ve all had them. Someone once said, “Success isn’t by accident,” and I couldn’t agree more. It’s more about staying focused on your goals and focused on the attributes and commitment required to achieve those goals. Everything else is a waste of your time and will only delay your journey.”

Life has certainly thrown him a few lemons, but he kept moving forward, which shaped his personality and evolved him into a better leader. He desires to continue leading by humility and setting an example for everyone he touches.

Sharing his vision for a growth-oriented future, he states, “Keep the focus on winning, big wins, small wins, every little area of opportunity to succeed or help others around you succeed.”

Overview of Datrose and its services

Datrose is a 45+ years-old Business Process Solutions company. They specialize in Strategic Government Consulting, Accounts Payable Automation, Smart Package & Parcel Lockers, Staffing & Recruiting Services, as well as Mailroom Automation, and Professional Business Consulting. The company is both an MBE and an SDVOSB (Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business).

Richard adds, “Through innovative solutions for clients who want to increase efficiency and reduce administrative burdens, Datrose optimizes your business processes while saving you time and money.”

Handling Pandemic Woes

Richard proudly shares that Datrose was set up well to survive and succeed during the pandemic. Having a team of selfless leaders who each put in their full effort to transition their business from an office-based entity to a purely work-at-home model helped in imparting a high degree of transparency to their valuable customers.

They swiftly stabilized when others juggled to adjust their planning and approach to their ever-changing requirements shared by their government leaders.

He mentions, “Our Smart Locker business as an example was something that became of increasing interest and growth throughout the pandemic. Smart lockers by nature, drive social distancing, create a touch-free transaction to customers and allow for a more efficient and streamlined workflow. They allow businesses to reach their customer base in a safe, effective, and labor-free manner, 24/7. Combine that with our commitment to Lean Six Sigma quality, process efficiency, and multiple workflows, and we were able to assist customers throughout their most challenging times.”

A Poised Leader

As the VP of Client & Corporate Strategy of Datrose, Richard is responsible for supporting the overall strategy for both retention as well as future growth of their customer base. He also plays a key role in assisting the marketing team and operational departments to ensure the streamlining of all processes and smooth company operations.

“Datrose has received the prestigious recognition of being one of IAOP’s (International Association of Outsource Professionals) Top 100 companies for 14 consecutive years. This achievement showcases the dedication of our team and how well they work in sync to pave the way to such impressive accomplishment.”

For Richard, work-life balance is crucial, and he makes it a point to keep a fine line between both to stay motivated to accomplish all work and life goals. He also adds, “I’m truly blessed to have had an amazing family and fantastic group of friends that have been such major influence on me throughout my life. To me, family is everything, and my friend circle is an extension of that.”

A glorious tomorrow

Planning for the future at Datrose, Rick aims to keep pushing forward, carrying the same legacy and vision that was set by founder & CEO, Bill Rose. Moreover, they will keep looking for additional opportunities to improve and advance into new business areas that are highly sustainable and drive increased value.

His special message for all young leaders involves self-education and continuous improvement. He stresses the value in never becoming content with your current level of accomplishment. “You have to keep pushing yourself, keep learning and keep challenging yourself every day to be better.” He also shares a simple but effective strategy, “Stay soft on people, hard on morals and always – always have fun.”

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