More on the Myth of Outsourcing’s Efficiency

I once said to my boss : “You gotta put every people’s minds at work” which meant to get every people to think about their tasks and processes, to bring something fresh to the workplace. Those precious remarks often come out from the lower-level people (further developed in the article) which makes perfect sense when you’ve got to prove more than managers who tend to gradually lack awareness and creativity.

On the other side, they are less prompt to go against their own routine. This conflicting situation where managers lack creativity (but are to impose reprocesses to the lower-level) and the lower-level which is constrained to keep its mouth shut in order to avoid any shift in their routine creates a blatant inefficiency.

Offshoring and outsourcing do lower direct factor and lower-level worker costs. But they do so at the increase of greater coordination costs of much more highly-paid managers. And they also increase shipping and financings costs, and downside risk. Having people work at a distance, whether managerially or by virtue of being in an outside organization where the relationship is governed by contract, increases rigidity (harder to respond to changes in market demand) and the odds of screw-ups due to communication lapses. And outsourcing also reduces an organization’s skills. Those lower-level people have a lot of product know-how that you lose when you transfer activities to an outside operation. It’s nice to think that you can hollow out your organization and just do all the sexy design and marketing stuff and dump the grunt work on other players. But over time you are breeding future competitors.

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