Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Outsourcing--What's the problem?

     It hadn't really dawned on me years ago, a single thing about business. My dad had a great sense of business (for a born and raised New Yorker). Of course, times have changed dramatically, and I've matured (in a sense) enough to know there are certain aspects of business that just go hand-in-hand. One of the topics that frequently comes up in class is outsourcing. This discussion usually leads me to believe that I'm surrounded by slightly-less-intellectual-individuals.

      The instructor starts the conversation with a question that opens the door for ignorance to shine, though (as if that's justifying the responses). The question is: "How do you feel about outsourcing?" Immediately, it's met with ideas of foreign speaking service representatives with names like "Steve," "Mike," and "Jen." Let's stop right there, I have not once spoken to an overseas representative who had more than a one syllable name--have you? Anyway, ignorance beams like a ray of sunshine on Hollywood Beach. "I can't stand outsourcing, I want someone that I can understand," "Those greedy companies are just looking for more ways to save a buck and lessen the quality of their products!" Sigh. O.k., deep breath. Sure there's a ton of comments spewing from those who think they have a grasp on how business works, but I think I've demonstrated enough. 

     First, folks--wipe the ideas of greedy, corrupt, and ill-performing companies out of your itty bitty heads. I'm sorry, that's kind of mean. Oh well. Not every company is about greed and corruption. Just because a company does well does not make it a bad company. Why do the majority of people believe this to be the case? Anyway, being slightly more savvy than some of my peers (I seriously will not say all of my peers--it's unfair--they don't all show up to class), I dared to chime in with my own two cents. As gently as I can through limited text-based chat features, I explain my view on companies that outsource. Let me first say I adore large companies--especially the ones who haven't engaged in some kind of questionable activity. "Professor," I start, "considering that the main goal of a company is to develop and maintain its customers, I am completely baffled why my peers make the assumption that outsourcing is only for the criminal-minded. Outsourcing is a means of reducing cost, obviously, but it also provides the company an opportunity to focus on other activities." After a bit more wind of speech, I concluded with the points that most companies will pass the savings along to consumers, or use the regained resource to invest in new products; and further that not all outsourcing means sending jobs overseas. 

     To my disbelief, students were still compelled to argue that all outsourcing was a contributing factor to companies getting rich and swindling the consumer. At this point I'm thinking maybe I'm in class with the 99%ers. How annoying. I wonder what will become of these people who cannot unwrap their pretty little heads from the theory that rich people or companies have obtained their status by doing wrong. Is this our society? Perhaps the guilt of their own previous wrong-doings leads them to believe that everyone does bad things. Is there something wrong with achievement--specifically achievement through innocent actions? I'm not rich yet, but I imagine when I get rich my intentions will remain wholesome, or at least focused on building valuable relationships with consumers. I certainly hope not to have any of these people working for me. 

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