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To Outsource Or Not To Outsource?

To Outsource Or Not To Outsource?

Over the last decade there has been a reoccurring debate among US businesses. It is a debate that causes friction and a fair amount of disagreement among business owners who are concerned with business innovation in Asia.

The question is whether the answer to staffing and budget concerns is to outsource technical positions or phone service positions to large call centers in Asia.

There is a lot of frustration from US consumers for a few reasons:

  1. People are upset that jobs are being sent overseas when there is a need for them in the US.
  2. Consumers have complained about the difficulty they have when trying to communicate with those who do not speak English as their first language or because they have difficulty understanding the dialect.

There are emails and online memes that have been bandied about since this started. There is even a movie that talks about this very issue (called, aptly enough, “Outsourced”).

Is Outsourcing Bad?

While it may not be the end all be all that it was initially thought to be, outsourcing may not be the disaster that America seems to think it is. It may only be that American businesses attempted to implement this strategy too soon. Without enough time to implement it properly and without adequate training how can anyone expect such a plan to be effective? Even if it allowed US businesses to improve their bottom line by not giving the adequate transfer period, the idea has fallen on its face.

Business Innovation Asia and Outsourcing

This is not to say that India and other Asian countries aren’t up to the task. Quite the contrary, India and other Asian countries are becoming leaders of innovation on their own right. Evidence of this innovation may not be readily apparent to the typical US consumer. Asia’s innovation, particularly in the last few years, has been of a processing nature. Their innovation has, so far, lain in their manufacturing and production areas, innovation in materials and processes that benefit the businesses that sell those goods, but not in such a way that those purchasing them would notice. But, just as the wind cannot be seen, the same can be said for the efforts of Asian businesses to help create better lives for the people that they serve. As with anything, a well working system takes time to develop and perfect. If US businesses want to continue with outsourcing their development, it will take more time and a more collaborative effort.