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  • Peer-to-peer outsourcing

    I don't know if this has been formalized yet, but I find the idea of gathering people in, say a call center building, to do tasks which can totally be done remotely a bit outdated.

    A call center can in theory operate along a peer-to-peer model, with teams of individual operators spread across the globe, enabling 24h shifts and comprehensive coverage of markets and languages.

    I believe this to be the next step for BP outsourcing. Typically, they do not need on-site presence (which just adds to costs), nor do they need to be located in one particular country over the other as opposed to having a diverse team of workers from different countries each covering their area of expertise.

    I know that some IT companies have already started this. I know of at least of one CDN business operating like this: they have no offices, their team is composed of some 30 workers, who live spread across the glob. With this setup they are able to provide some unique features: round the clock support 24/7, and high availability of workers since they can answer from their mobile phones whether they're at home or out in a park on a weekend etc.

    In Online journalism they have also started this: no office, each works from home regardless of where they currently live.

  • #2
    Re: Peer-to-peer outsourcing

    Sounds feasible but I wonder if it will work with everyone. I am guessing that there will always be a place for this job still requiring physical presence but yeah now that it exists it does make me think why it isn't as popular like with other jobs that you don't have to be physically in an office. I do design work and while it has become very popular in my industry to just work from home there is still surprisingly a lot of jobs that require showing up at an office daily.

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    • #3
      Re: Peer-to-peer outsourcing

      I have tried this concept for invoice management and customer support and such other tasks and it has reduced the cost of operations in those departments by at least 25%. The only challenge which I find in peer to peer outsourcing is the fact that not always the employees which you get would be sincere but once you are able to find a team you can work regardless of the platform site as well.

      Personally, I outsource such small tasks a lot and on regular basis as well, with good results.

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      • #4
        Re: Peer-to-peer outsourcing

        Originally posted by Dropshipping View Post
        I have tried this concept for invoice management and customer support and such other tasks and it has reduced the cost of operations in those departments by at least 25%. The only challenge which I find in peer to peer outsourcing is the fact that not always the employees which you get would be sincere but once you are able to find a team you can work regardless of the platform site as well.

        Personally, I outsource such small tasks a lot and on regular basis as well, with good results.
        You're right, I think if you are doing it yourself instead of going through a company to arrange it for you, you'd have to go through some trial and error but once you have found a team that works for you regularly it will all be worth it. I guess some sites make the process just a little bit easier by providing rating systems for potential employees but some of the higher rated people are a bit expensive.

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        • #5
          Re: Peer-to-peer outsourcing

          I know of a call center that experimented with that telecommuting (working at home) for their agents. However, the difficulty of obtaining good communication with the internet access had caused it a lot of problems. They failed to monitor the calls and some calls were not answered properly. In other words, it is a communication problem that bungled the experiment. But I'm sure some software makers are making new systems for call centers that can be employed using the internet as if the WAN (wide area network) will function like a LAN (local area network). That would be a big advantage to the company since they can save a lot in renting office space plus the expense in utilities of electricity and water consumption.

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          • #6
            Re: Peer-to-peer outsourcing

            Yes. Its already being done by IT companies, as well as other knowledge based companies. They call it the "Global Delivery Model". Its cheaper. But, there are issues with this model as well. Human issues. For example, when people show up at work, they tend to work. But, when they work from home, they don't always work. For example, I had a roommate about 7-8 years ago. He was working for IBM first and then Accenture. Both companies let him work from home and his was an IT support job, meaning if someone were to raise a ticket, he'd have to start working on it within 15 minutes before an escalation would happen. For this "bull-work" the companies paid him really well. He was also handling a small team working from the Phillipenes. He made a killing working for those companies, because he essentially would never have work. He'd be watching movies and when some ticket would come, he'd send the ticket across to his Filipino team. We were at the same level. So while I was being paid $60k a year, this guy was being paid $75k. I was a coder who was working hard, and he was a support guy not really working and still getting paid a lot more just for being available.

            Phew, that was a long rant-cum-story. The point is, you'll always need someone to manage work, and that manager would want all the people under him to work in one location. Imagine trying to track someone down when they go suddenly go missing. The reason why the current GDM works is that people work in one location under a leadership that is under pressure to get work out of people.

            SCM outsourcing OTOH is quite different. It works because you just can't do without performing. If something goes wrong in the supply chain, I can't offload it onto an offshore team. I will have to work to get things done.

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            • #7
              Re: Peer-to-peer outsourcing

              I think there's still a difference between offshore and peer-to-peer outsourcing as you call it. Rates between the two setups would still differ. Based on the testimonies of other members, it seems that some of those homebased folks get paid more than the people who're really doing the legwork. If this is the case, just outsource everything offshore. The rates would be lower, but you'd get people who'd put in more effort than onshore employees who work at home.

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              • #8
                Re: Peer-to-peer outsourcing

                Originally posted by djchain View Post
                Yes. Its already being done by IT companies, as well as other knowledge based companies. They call it the "Global Delivery Model". Its cheaper. But, there are issues with this model as well. Human issues. For example, when people show up at work, they tend to work. But, when they work from home, they don't always work. For example, I had a roommate about 7-8 years ago. He was working for IBM first and then Accenture. Both companies let him work from home and his was an IT support job, meaning if someone were to raise a ticket, he'd have to start working on it within 15 minutes before an escalation would happen. For this "bull-work" the companies paid him really well. He was also handling a small team working from the Phillipenes. He made a killing working for those companies, because he essentially would never have work. He'd be watching movies and when some ticket would come, he'd send the ticket across to his Filipino team. We were at the same level. So while I was being paid $60k a year, this guy was being paid $75k. I was a coder who was working hard, and he was a support guy not really working and still getting paid a lot more just for being available.

                Phew, that was a long rant-cum-story. The point is, you'll always need someone to manage work, and that manager would want all the people under him to work in one location. Imagine trying to track someone down when they go suddenly go missing. The reason why the current GDM works is that people work in one location under a leadership that is under pressure to get work out of people.

                SCM outsourcing OTOH is quite different. It works because you just can't do without performing. If something goes wrong in the supply chain, I can't offload it onto an offshore team. I will have to work to get things done.
                That's really great information you're giving. I have never worked in support but as a support customer I saw how support teams struggle when there is an issue. At one company we had IT support teams in Romania, and for having dealt with them in several tickets I saw that they really sweated and worked really hard to solve really complex issues. I guess it's an easy job as long as nothing goes wrong.

                Anyways IBM is a big company, big companies have a reputation for spoiling their employees, so I am not surprised by your roommate's free ride style, but it must have been difficult to get the position where he is/was.

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                • #9
                  Re: Peer-to-peer outsourcing

                  That's right. Getting in was the difficult part. After that, the companies really did spoil him. It happens with all large corporations though because they sort of become "unmanageable" in a way.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Peer-to-peer outsourcing

                    You need really good team leaders positioned in every country/group to make this happen. I know first hand how it is to manage a team of people that will slack off when there is not good management around. Not having all of them under the same roof will only encourage a drop in work production.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Peer-to-peer outsourcing

                      Originally posted by joshposh View Post
                      You need really good team leaders positioned in every country/group to make this happen. I know first hand how it is to manage a team of people that will slack off when there is not good management around. Not having all of them under the same roof will only encourage a drop in work production.
                      I guess it's only human nature, but I have to agree. Even if it's not always the case of slacking off, lack of motivation is often related to poor management.
                      ________________________________________
                      Dumitru from it outsourcing

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by joshposh View Post
                        Re: Peer-to-peer outsourcing

                        You need really good team leaders positioned in every country/group to make this happen. I know first hand how it is to manage a team of people that will slack off when there is not good management around. Not having all of them under the same roof will only encourage a drop in work production.
                        I understand what you are saying that workers will not work hard when there is no direct supervision. When we installed cctv in our warehouse, we have seen the slower speed of work compared to the situation when there is a supervisor around. What we did was to give each worker in the warehouse a quota for the work to do particularly in the physical count of the items. It is a boring job but they have to do it efficiently otherwise they will be rated low and may be a ground for dismissal.

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