20 Apr Outsourcing overseas – Is it still taboo?
Outsourcing overseas – Is it still taboo?
Outsourcing business processes to people overseas still rubs some people up the wrong way.
Historically in Australia large companies outsourced business processes overseas and Australian’s lost their jobs. I get that. Even the workmen who are currently fixing the concrete cancer in my apartment block’s initial reaction when he asked what I do, was “you’re taking jobs away from Australian’s.”
It still leaves a bitter taste in some consumer mouths, especially when they come in to contact with people in customer facing roles overseas.
It’s a bitter taste that’s enduring, but needs to be hashed out, for Australian businesses to grow, compete, stay in business and essentially keep Aussies in jobs.
There are so many business processes that could be done by anyone, anywhere and no one would be none the wiser.
Does the end customer know who your accounts person or team is? Or where your web designer sits? Do the people who visit our sports stadiums and shopping centres stop to think where did the team that drew up the plans to build this structure actually live?
The answer is No. They don’t know and nor do they care. And this is where businesses can get the competitive edge and not only stay in business but scale up their businesses.
It should no longer a matter of “what if someone finds out we’ve employed people in the Philippines to do this?” It should be “if we don’t change the way we do things, in 12 months time, this business shuts shop and everyone loses their jobs.”
Is this really a reality?
In some industries, yes. Every business has a balancing act of growing the business vs growing expenses. If the rewards of growing a business don’t outweigh the cost of growing that business (think not only salary, but payroll tax, superannuation, workers comp etc) then the choice is clear. Don’t grow the business. Just keep pottering along as always. But there will always be a competitor who will come in and do things better or cheaper.
So rather than thinking of outsourcing overseas as a cost cutting measure and causing Aussies to lose jobs, it should be seen as a way to scale up a business. Keep their Australian team, but grow a team overseas – at approximately 50% less cost. The business will grow, the Aussies will keep their jobs and be able to concentrate on high-value business tasks (and you may even be able to employ more Aussies with specialised skills) and you’ll be providing a person or team overseas a job that is meaningful and dignified.
Outsourcing overseas. It shouldn’t be taboo. It should be a relevant choice in today’s global market.