What is the future of outsourcing?

We all know that outsourcing began as a formal practice in 1989. Since then, call centers have grown, call centers have fallen, and a vast variety of other BPO services have come into fruition. But, where does all of this lead? Does it lead into a global workforce? In a sense it does, but global workforces already exist. Outsourcing merely means that your global or local workforce will work for another company and provide services to your company without being an “employee.”

So, what features will be new in the future? Or at least what features would be nice?

1. Reliability Tracking
Freelancer sites already have this. If a freelancer does good work, they develop a track record on freelancer sites. The sites control payment of the service provider once the job is done to the satisfaction of the buyer. It is hard to rip people off as your reputation is public on these sites. Unfortunately, most of us like to hire companies to do work. I believe that companies would do better work if their track records were public knowledge. No more late work, and no more shoddy practices. Companies would be force to do good work, on time, and communicate a whole lot better. Websites like 123outource.net attempt to get some type of quality assessment of companies. Unfortunately, 99% of the companies out there in 2016 are so marginal in quality, that after the filtering is done, almost nobody is left. Hopefully in the future, quality standards for overseas companies will rise significantly as well as for US companies.

2. Availability Optimization
What do I mean? If companies had staff members of all ability levels that always had a certain amount of availability, that would be easier for the client. Every time I want a good programmer, they are always busy no matter what the price, and I am always offered poor quality programmers for a cut rate who can’t even function. There needs to be availability for quality workers, otherwise I for one refuse to buy!

3. Staff Analysis
When you deal with a new company, you don’t know who the staff is. If there were online systems where you could see at a glance the names and positions of all workers at a particular company, how long they have been there, and even reviews about them — that would be fantastic information. You would eliminate part of the guess work involved in hiring strangers.

4. The Chai Wallah Beam Up App
For those of you who have ever watched Star Trek, you’ll remember when they say, “Beam me up Scotti.” If I am outsourcing a job to India and am having a web chat with the boss Sanjay, I want Sanjay to be able to send me some Samosas fresh from India at 3am my time by teleporting a Chai Wallah from Mumbai to Los Angeles. I want him to arrive at my front door with that tan outfit, and the ash on his forehead and knock on the door to announce — “Your samosas are ready sir.” Then when I try to pay him in dollars he will say, “We accept rupees only.” Then, I’ll say, “My rupees are all in storage, how about two dollars.” Then he would say, “Sorry, no English.”

5. Find-a-worker App
Instead of freelancers who I’m not so sure about. I would like to be able to look up workers in companies worker first. Instead of finding out about the company, I want to know if I can get suitable workers, and then find out where they work. This way I can find people who are well suited to me who are available to get work done.

6. Communication
Currently, the level of communication in India by phone is horrible. But, this could improve with time, especially as India is experiencing rapid economic growth. India will reach a roadblock in growth unless they overcome their structural deficiencies which include poor infrastructure and poor communication. I think it makes more sense for the government to get involved and keep stats on who is communicating well and who needs to be trained.

7. Middle-Men
It might be easier to do outsourcing if there were people who could make the arrangements for you. In my experience, whenever someone tries to help me, the help is a disaster which is why I do most tasks myself. But, in the future, perhaps higher quality people will be around to assist others do outsourcing. Or perhaps I’ll be the one who runs such a service.

8. Taking Clients With You?
At massage places, some practitioners bring clients with them to their new places of work. What if call center workers had contracts with clients in addition to their companies. If the call center worker ditched the company, but wanted to work under a new roof, they could keep the client. This would be a huge benefit as you wouldn’t lose your outsourced help so easily.

I’m not sure whatever other changes are necessary to make outsourcing more fun. But, for now, those are my ideas. Let’s hope they become reality somehow — and soon!

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