Importing Competitiveness

Importing Competitiveness

The Wall Street Journal (June 8, 2005) published a piece in the Opinion page entitled “The Art of Outsourcing” by C.K. Prahalad, Harvey C. Fruehauf professor of Corporate Strategy at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. The “tag line” is what catches the readers attention – “We are not exporting jobs, but importing competitiveness.

The concept behind that brief statement is the corollary of the classic – the cup is not half empty, but half full! What benefits can come from a sourcing arrangement with an off shore supplier?? The obvious answer is product cost. In this article the author identifies several other possibilities which can enhance the outsourcer’s business competitiveness.

It is understood that outsourcing, particularly to an offshore supplier thousands of miles and several time zones away, requires excellent, detailed documentation/ specifications and clear, concise communication. What is excellent and clean documentation worth??

The time zone difference can work for the outsourcer by permitting a task to be worked essentially around the clock. The essentials are excellent statements of work and timely project management. What is enhanced time to market worth??

A very timely perspective on the issue of outsourcing to Low Cost Regions.

-- Timothy Chen