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OUTSOURCING – Keep it in the USA!

Jim Hague, 10/16/2010

 

NBC is launching a new sitcom called “Out Sourced”. It’s about a business manager from the USA going to India to train a team of customer service reps to deal with American customers. That should be interesting and I look forward to watching it on Thursday nights.

As a person of East Indian ethnicity, I am proud to see the US embrace India as an important economic ally. Of course Indians have contributed greatly to the USA society for decades. Indians are America’s wealthiest ethnic group, earning an average of $60,000 a year.

However I am an American first. 

Businesses should hire American citizens…first!  I know many programmers who are talented and can get the job done right here on our soil. Oh, they can be of East Indian ethnicity (or any ethnicity), so as long as they are ‘tax paying’ American citizens. Here are some of my arguments in favor of keeping web design and other forms of programming ‘in-house’.   

  1.   The Time Difference

One of many factors to be considered is the time difference between the US and the other side of the world. I have spoken to developers as late as 2 am California time when they are just getting into work! This became an issue when a local customer orders corrections or edits but have to wait 24 hours before requests can be fulfilled. 

  1.   The Economic Impact

Outsourcing takes jobs away from our own citizens, which drives the US economy down. Hiring illegal immigrants has the same effect. Unemployment results in a down economy. With a down economy, people are afraid to spend for products and services. If no one is buying or ordering work, no one wins regardless how much money you think you will have saved outsourcing. Regardless if it’s web programming or picking grapes it helps our nation to keep tax paying US Citizens employed so that money is better circulated. Politicians, Wall Street and big businesses ignore this fact.

  1.   Outsourcing Pricing Schemes

A good US developer can cost between $20 to  $35/hour. A team I used from overseas charged me only $15/hour. Beware! Just because the overseas developers rates are lower does not necessarily result in a lower invoice. My former overseas team charged me 9 hours to add a single item to a shopping cart. My developer here in the US took no more than ten minutes. 

I discovered that my US programmers cost me less because their work was done fast, efficient…and honest. 

 

  1.   Where’s the human touch?

The phone connection with overseas companies is often poor and often disruptive with static. While Skype is a good solution, it will never replace the face-to-face interaction with programmers when necessary. Sometimes, it’s necessary to have that personal meeting to discuss a project then followed by a handshake. 

  1.   A bad experience

I had hired an overseas team to work on a project that required heavy database programming.  At first all was going well. Then suddenly the programming grew so sloppy that the site did not function. Deadlines were missed. I was helpless. I had given the overseas team the funding needed and the programming was too complex for me to handle myself. 

The client grew frustrated to the point where he canceled the project and sued to get some money back. Fortunately, we came to an agreement and no money was exchanged. However that ended the project as well as the relationship between the overseas team and myself.

Now if you do find great programmers from overseas and they are getting the job done, then keep their services! It’s all in your discretion. For me, however, I will not hire from outside of Southern California. Today when I need to discuss a project, I’ll just meet my new programmers, who are American citizens of Indian ethnicity, over spicy cuisine at my favorite Indian restaurant.

 

Jim Hague
mrhaguesclass@gmail.com



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