by Oliver Schmid
What is outsourcing and why might outsourcing be good?
- Do you make your own shoes?
- Do you deliver your own mail?
- Do you sew your own cloth?
- Do built your own car?
- Do you build your own house … by your own hands?
- Do you have the skills to be your own physician and make your own medication?
- Do you grow your own food and raise your own life stock?
- Do you take care of your own trash removal?
- Do you …. (fill in anything you do not yourself) … ?
If you answered ‘YES” to any of the questions above you are outsourcing.
Anytime a service is provided for something you don’t want to do yourself, anytime somebody else does something for you, you don’t want or can’t do you are outsourcing something. Have you ever thought about this when you are complaining about that too many things and too much work or services are outsourced?
Outsourcing has been around as long as mankind. Anytime somebody realized that they have a special skill for something and focus on this skill and providing these skills to others in exchange for services, goods or money it is outsourced.
Why are we doing this? Because we always were aware of the fact that certain people have special skills one might not posses themselves and in return this person might have a skill somebody else does not have.
Outsourcing is nothing that was invented yesterday. What is new, is that we have realized people in other areas or countries have the same skills but perform these skills for a fraction of the cost. Before complaining about outsourcing think about whether the task on hand that is outsourced would be something you wanted to do yourself and had the skills to do yourself.
Think about if each of us had to grow their own food, build their own homes, remove their own trash, … you continue the list … would we still be able to fly to the moon, invent all the technological gadgets we have today that make our lives so much easier and more comfortable. Be honest to yourself. Most likely not.
By giving work and services away too others we freed ourselves to learn other things, specialize and improve on skills we have as well as developing new skills.
Reflect on your daily tasks, your job, your kids, your family. Aren’t you performing outsourced services for them because you know how to do a particular process or task.
Over the years I have learned and realized that most of the tasks or work we outsource to other countries are things we really don’t want to do ourselves. I have worked for instance with domestic call centers just to learn that the people working there are not really happy in their job. They don’t want to listen to other people complaining. They don’t want solve other peoples problems. Eventually these people leave their jobs because they get burned out or fed up with what they are doing. Churn in US call centers is many times higher than compared to Indian or Philippine call centers. The reasons here for will be subject of another follow-up blog, since the subject is so complex in itself.
We only outsource work we don’t want to do ourselves or are not willing to pay for if it would be done in our own country (onshore outsourcing).
Without getting deeper into why we are outsourcing and all the plausible and less plausible reasons, ask yourself when hearing about outsourcing or complaining about outsourcing:
- “Would you be willing to it yourself?”
- “Do you have the skills?”
- “Would you want to perform the same work for the same amount of pay?”
- “Would you be willing to pay for the service if it would be done by what you expect a fair wage if you would do the same work? “
- In India, Workers Find Humor in ‘Outsourced’ (nytimes.com)
- EquaTerra Reports 3Q10 Demand for Outsourcing Growing at Slow but Steady Pace as New Markets Emerge and Scope of Deals Increases for the First Time Since 3Q09 (eon.businesswire.com)
- The Truth About Outsourcing (creditloan.com)
- Save Money with BPO: Your Filipino Outsourcing Home Base (prweb.com)
- The Overseas Outsourcing Rush Is Over (forbes.com)