Regular readers know I’m not a big fan of outsourcing.
I am, however, even less of a fan of off-shoring.
Now, before someone calls me racist again, let me say that I have no problem at all with non-US citizens making money, no matter what country they’re from. Honest! I’m friends with more than one proud Green Card holder! But, I’m not a big fan of shipping jobs to a foreign country when someone right here in the United States is out of work and can do the job. In fact, for years I’ve advocated what one company I worked for did; Rural Sourcing.
Of course, at the time, we didn’t call it that, but, as it turns out, that’s what it is.
We had a call center in a very rural town, connected to our data via a satellite. In fact, they were connected to the same service bureau that we were. It was a pretty good deal, all the way around. We got decent, cheap labor, that spoke English without an accent to our American customers. They got better jobs than the local sugar beet canning factory. Yeah. That was our employment competition. Can you guess where the majority of the people in town wanted to work? I’ll give you a hint, it wasn’t standing on a production line with high-speed machinery.
So, while this isn’t new, it is, apparently, a newish idea for corporate America at large.
In any case, take a look at the article on Tech Republic; First Rural Sourcing Effort Proves Successful.
As I mentioned, it’s not new at all, but it must be a new concept for the author of the article. I think it’s a great idea. It CAN be cost effective to use local developers and local call centers in rural areas. I don’t think it’s wrong to try and pull some of this business back from overseas. I think it’s good, smart business.