Likes Likes:  0
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17

Thread: Offshore outsourcing: why companies do it?

  1. #1
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    111

    Default Offshore outsourcing: why companies do it?

    I have a perspective on this I'd like to share. There are many reasons for offshore outsourcing, the popular one was/is the cost of wages. However outsourcing today happens for reasons radically different than how it started in south east Asia in the 1980s pioneered by Japanese and German industrial investment. The cost of wage matters only in low-automation labor-intensive sectors. Today the most of offshore outsourcing I see happening is not because of wages. Factors such: environmental impact, environmental/health regulation, tax breaks, tax incentives, employee wage subsidy by the state (i.e. host country actually pays a slice of the wages), free real estate, few scrutiny when it comes to business practices/lack of accountability, insurance from the host state (i.e. if the business go down you don't fail and lose money, some state agency buys it for you and thus you're in 100% win situation), and trade-oriented outsourcing (i.e. to gate favorable trade terms from the host county, acquire some prized licence such as bank, import etc).

    I can delve more into the details and intricacies of this, but this is, in general why and how offshore outsourcing happens in the 21st century. The days of "low wages" are long gone and in any case, wages account for less than 10% of the cost (at best) and even in labor intensive sectors (e.g. garment) it's never more than 30%, and unless you're Bangladesh, Vietnam and such there is barely a significant difference with the advanced world.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Tropics
    Posts
    295

    Default Re: Offshore outsourcing: why companies do it?

    I have a different but related perspective. If you're familiar with foreign exchange and ways to profit from it, then you would understand why outsourcing is such a hit here in Asia and why it usually doesn't work in countries with the same level of currency. North America and Europe think they're paying less but the amount being paid to developing countries has a bigger value when converted to the local currency. So if you look at it from afar, it's a win-win situation.

  3. #3
    Diamond Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Manila
    Posts
    1,349

    Default Re: Offshore outsourcing: why companies do it?

    I agree. I think these days are not the main factor anymore even if it may have started out that way. A lot of the countries that cater to outsourcing stay in that state because their terms are conducive for it. There is a lot you'd have to put up with with local government that you wouldn't necessarily have to with companies set up in another country and not only that but sometimes the cost for it is lower too even when you don't consider the cost of paying people. Even Hollywood does it way more now for the same reasons because it's sometimes a lot more expensive to film locally than elsewhere with a similar look.

  4. #4
    Diamond Member Corzhens's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Philippines
    Posts
    1,618

    Default Re: Offshore outsourcing: why companies do it?

    My take on foreign outsourcing is the cheaper wages and the quality of the labor force. You don't outsource simply because of low wages because you get Africans or Bangladeshi to fill up your call center but don't expect good performance. In other words, outsourcing from another country is more of the capability of the outsourced workers and wages is only secondary. By the way, I have heard that India is now the number 1 in call center outsourcing because they have much improved English speakers with the proper accent. But the Philippines is not left behind because we are also good in terms of English. Much more, our call center agents are mostly college graduates.

  5. #5
    Diamond Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    323

    Default Re: Offshore outsourcing: why companies do it?

    This is really something that is met with a lot of hostility towards the companies who do it, but I have to say that it is often times for good reason. The most common reason that people think of is cheaper labor, or cheaper production. When you have a more global economy, too, this is just more likely to happen. The real issues come when we have a lack of jobs in the home country, and the people there see it as the company screwing them over, when in reality they are just cutting costs, trying to make a profit. It is harsh to think about, but it is not these companies' moral duty to make sure that everyone has a job. It is a tough issue, but open and honest discussion is certainly welcome and warranted, and for that I say thank you for sharing.

  6. #6
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    South America
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: Offshore outsourcing: why companies do it?

    I see, I'm glad there are reasons beyond paying cheaper wages for outsourcing offshore nowadays, and makes sense. The concerned expenses now moved towards taxation, labor legislations, imposed paid benefits by law etc. I always said to my peers that when We let government bite far more than it can be allowed to chew in regards of regional economy regulations, businesses will lose incentives to invest more within the borders and will go offshore elsewhere for better profit, or even just to avoid going bankrupt due to ridiculous government impositions.

  7. #7
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: Offshore outsourcing: why companies do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by xTinx View Post
    I have a different but related perspective. If you're familiar with foreign exchange and ways to profit from it, then you would understand why outsourcing is such a hit here in Asia and why it usually doesn't work in countries with the same level of currency. North America and Europe think they're paying less but the amount being paid to developing countries has a bigger value when converted to the local currency. So if you look at it from afar, it's a win-win situation.
    Well we may ask for George Soros' insight on Forex, he also happened to have made a fortune out of manipulating South East Asia currencies and ultimately (as some claim) causing the 1997 Asian financial crash. But I can cite some outsourcing examples I am familiar with: GE were dumping all of their dirty steel casting in China not for the love of the latter or to make any kind of profit (it's a pretty cheap & dumb process) but just because it was dirty. You could pretty much walk with a foundry factory in any OECD country and you'd basically get a "no thank you take your money we don't want that dirty stuff here". China was the only place that had the size to do it and the only one country that invested and heavily subsidized in getting a giant steel industry that no other small country could compete with its prices (not =/= wages). Another example I know is the aeronautics industry, I know of a manual polishing process for a new composite material that is being delegated to "crap country" because this process has many health hazard that we have yet to fully grasp; very small particles that infiltrate any protection and no single operator is permitted (or even able) to work on this for more than 2 years before serious health issues kick in. The reason here is obvious, not cost but you just cannot do this kind of stuff in any respectable country and even if you succeed in obfuscating the health hazard you will eventually pay one day or the other in a very infamous lawsuit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Norm View Post
    I agree. I think these days are not the main factor anymore even if it may have started out that way. A lot of the countries that cater to outsourcing stay in that state because their terms are conducive for it. There is a lot you'd have to put up with with local government that you wouldn't necessarily have to with companies set up in another country and not only that but sometimes the cost for it is lower too even when you don't consider the cost of paying people. Even Hollywood does it way more now for the same reasons because it's sometimes a lot more expensive to film locally than elsewhere with a similar look.
    Exactly, Hollywood example is great, there are some things they outsource that are not just more expensive but not permitted by law period. I think there was a case where a host country (don't remember which) rented its true soldiers with uniforms and tanks to appear in a Hollywood production, and guess what they did it for free, entirely. The local dictator is a Cinema aficionado and apparently thinks his army are toy soldiers.

    Quote Originally Posted by neural View Post
    I see, I'm glad there are reasons beyond paying cheaper wages for outsourcing offshore nowadays, and makes sense. The concerned expenses now moved towards taxation, labor legislations, imposed paid benefits by law etc. I always said to my peers that when We let government bite far more than it can be allowed to chew in regards of regional economy regulations, businesses will lose incentives to invest more within the borders and will go offshore elsewhere for better profit, or even just to avoid going bankrupt due to ridiculous government impositions.
    I think it is something of a food chain, the functions that require professionalism, skill-based knowledge-based talent, good regulatory and governance environments have stayed in the advanced countries, whereas low-automation labor-intensive or immature and inefficient processes have moved, or should I say did not move in the first place they were directly created in offshore countries.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Offshore outsourcing: why companies do it?

    It's a small percentage of the budget because they offer their products at a high price just to get as much profit margin as possible.

    The price itself is broken down into several things other than the cost of employment, they have to pay all sorts of things out of the investment for the manufacturing like delivery cost, personnel expenses. You know big businesses like to rent jets and crap like that just to make themselves feel more successful.

    One round trip on a private jet is the yearly salary of 2 employees working full time on minimum wage in the US, assuming that jet cost a little over 25K round trip.

  9. #9
    Diamond Member Corzhens's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Philippines
    Posts
    1,618

    Default Re: Offshore outsourcing: why companies do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by hades_leae View Post

    You know big businesses like to rent jets and crap like that just to make themselves feel more successful.

    One round trip on a private jet is the yearly salary of 2 employees working full time on minimum wage in the US, assuming that jet cost a little over 25K round trip.
    This may be off topic but let me reply to that jet issue. I work in a bank and our HR has a continuing program to uplift the company's reputation. It is called corporate image when an executive uses a luxury car. And I agree to that because can you imagine a company president riding in a dilapidated car? Even our managers are exhorted to buy their own cars for it is not a good image for people to see managers taking the bus (over here, public transportation is normally for regular workers only and if you are an executive, you should at least take the cab).

  10. #10
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: Offshore outsourcing: why companies do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Corzhens View Post
    My take on foreign outsourcing is the cheaper wages and the quality of the labor force. You don't outsource simply because of low wages because you get Africans or Bangladeshi to fill up your call center but don't expect good performance. In other words, outsourcing from another country is more of the capability of the outsourced workers and wages is only secondary. By the way, I have heard that India is now the number 1 in call center outsourcing because they have much improved English speakers with the proper accent. But the Philippines is not left behind because we are also good in terms of English. Much more, our call center agents are mostly college graduates.
    I don't think call center have much future, they are sadly just pure exploitation IMO. Typically they help with immature processes, i.e. companies that hadn't planned more self-service for their clients, e.g. calling to change an address/subscription type, but the client can do it by himself if the company had invested in building a professional website for this type of stuff.

    Call centers are already receding compared to their golden era in the mid to late 2000s, and many are kept alive only thanks to local government subsidies. Some big operators understand this and have the adequate political connections to open a call center in a country and actually have "free employees", because the host country will be paying their wages through some form of subsidy usually dressed as: employee training, tax breaks, sovereign fund cash investment etc. Or even better a corrupt host country offering a nice building in the middle of the city for free that you can operate for a few years and then sell at hefty price in the buoyant real-estate market and there you have your profit.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •