5.11.2004

If you don't like outsourcing, try inshoring DuluthNewsTribune.com (5/9)

he business of finding low-cost substitutes for American workers is getting more complex –– and so is the terminology. They don't just call it "offshoring" anymore.

At a recent conference, the people who help U.S. companies shift white-collar work overseas offered potential clients a buffet of outsourcing options: "nearshoring," for those willing to stray no farther than Canada or Mexico; "inshoring," for those who prefer to bring foreign workers to America; and "rightshoring," for those desiring a custom package of in-house and off-site, foreign and domestic.

For the faint of heart, there's "microsourcing." Don't fire your entire computer department, advised David Elmo, president of Ohio-based Corbus Corp. Instead, farm out chronic backlogs and special projects to programmers in India.

Oh, George Orwell would be so proud.

"Getting rid of everyone puts you at a strategic disadvantage," said Elmo, whose company will help supply the foreign talent. "You don't know what's going to happen tomorrow."

Really? That is so wise of you. But you know, we're not sure you're really getting the best out of folks that are freaking out because they're scared you're eventually going to 'microsource' their job too. It's like being on death–row and not knowing when they're going to execute you.

As 100 or so advisers and providers courted some 200 potential customers during a three-day Outsourcing Strategies conference here several weeks ago, many participants were clearly worried about what has come to be known as "the backlash."

Accused by pundits of engaging in economic treachery and blamed by workers for the loss of thousands of service sector jobs, companies interested in moving work overseas wanted to know how long the uproar would last, how much it would hurt and what kind of "mitigation strategies" might help them weather the storm.

Several companies that help clients shift their work offshore acknowledged that the bad publicity was beginning to bite.

Really? That's fucking great! Well, we'll keep up the blog then! Bastards.

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