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Keep your friends close and your employees closer…

September 13, 2010

Famed management consultant Peter Drucker once wrote that leadership, in any industry, “rests on being able to do something others cannot do at all or find difficult to do even poorly.  It rests on core competencies that meld market or consumer value with a special ability (possessed by the business).”  As an early pioneer of the concept of outsourcing, Drucker promoted the benefit of looking outside the business to address functionality that wasn’t core to the organization’s competencies.  On the contrary, Drucker also spoke plainly about the pitfalls of outsourcing, citing potential issues with service levels and community perception.  From Drucker’s perspective, outsourcing was a strategy for maintaining, if not improving, service to consumers while lowering cost.  It is critical to note that Drucker saw outsourcing not only as a cost-control measure, but also as an avenue for increasing specialization within an organization thereby improving the customer experience.

The market has weathered considerable change since outsourcing first became a standard element of the business lexicon.  Today, automated voice recordings, self-service kiosks, and offshore help departments are used to mitigate operating costs while providing a necessary layer of service to consumers.  However, despite the introduction of model-changing technology and access to global workforces, consumers today still value speaking with an expert they can relate to.  In many cases, organizations are shifting their focus from offshore infrastructure investments to onshore, internal investments in human resources.  The result of this shift from outsourcing to “insourcing” has lead not only to improved customer service, but also lower cost.


When faced with mission-critical implementations like platform upgrades or new technology adoption, it is still important to partner with a firm that employs local resources.  As employees are working to gain familiarity with new technology and reengineered processes, having experts on hand significantly shortens the learning curve.  By leveraging existing resources stateside, organizations are able to improve the level of expertise provided to their clients; allowing their clients to better serve the needs of their customers.  In the long run, working with an organization that is committed to investing in their human assets helps you grow your business.

~Jeff Hauser

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