Tag Archives: Outsourcing to India

Outsourcing in India

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India Outsourcing
Do you want to outsource to India? Here are some things you should consider.

1. Communication skills in India are not the same as in Western Countries.
The bosses and managers of companies are often very well spoken while their staff normally cannot function well in a conversation. It is common for there to be communication gaps when there are technical issues with the work as well. So, make sure you can communicate before you select a team.

2. People tend to quit a lot.
If you take a lot of time to select a team member in India, be aware that it is likely they will quit within months leaving your project in the hands of someone new at the company who you did not interview, and who may or may not have a clue what is going on.

3. Sloppy workmanship.
There are good programmers and good outsourcing workers in India. But, there are more sloppy people than good people. So, if you hire a company, you need to figure out the company’s batting average. India outsourcing success depends on finding companies that consisently give you good workers rather than ones that cause delays and headaches because 70% of their staff is incompetent. Test workers before you hire a company, and test more than the worker you plan on working with because they will need to be replaced within anywhere from one month to two years unless you are really lucky.

4. Hour padding.
If you are outsourcing to India, hour padding is a way of life. People do this in other countries too. You might get charged for familiarization with the code if you hire a new programmer. That ten hours you are charged for is probably for two hours of casual work. Everything you want will be marked up, so those low hourly rates can be a lot more expensive than you think. Medical Transcription on the other hand is more standardized as people charge by the line or by the word.

5. India Call Centers
India outsourcing for call center work is another issue. You need to make sure you get people who are socially graceful, communicate in an audible way, and can sell. For customer service, I recommend the Philippines. But, outsourcing to India will get you more business minded people who are aggressive about selling. Just make sure your new hires have the ability to be empathetic and sell otherwise you might be paying for a nightmare.

6. Where do you find good outsourcing companies in India?
If you want to find good outsourcing companies in India, 123outsource.net offers a highly filtered list where the bad companies have been weeded out or moved to the bottom of the list. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as perfection if you hire overseas, but the price is right and 123outsource.net is the most highly maintained directory of its kind out there.

Bringing Jobs Back to America: How ‘Bout the South Ya’ll?

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Why do people outsource anyway? Approximately 46% of companies that outsource say they do it in order to save money. For example, in the Philippines, you can get a call center to do a 3-minute outbound call for about $12 an hour; in India, it will cost you about the same once you add in set up charges and find a place where you will have competent and intelligent English-speaking callers; in the Caribbean, it will cost you $15; in South Africa, it will cost between $11 and $16 per hour. But will outsourcing solve your problem if you depend on quality and callers you can trust?

Many firms actually outsource because, in some industries, American companies are too busy to take on new clients or give enough time to clients…and the combination of high prices, inflated American egos, slipshod workmanship, and bad attitudes is too much to palate. Has outsourcing solved these problems? Are workers in other countries more humble, more careful, more diligent, or more polished? Finally, some CEOs may outsource because they have an affinity for the culture (it might be their country of origin, they might have lived there for a time, or they might belong to a religious group that has a presence there) and may choose to give work to that country. For whatever reason, according to one source, outsourcing grew by more than 40% between 2001 and 2009. More than 2 million jobs were outsourced by the U.S. in 2011 alone (a conservative number); however, the numbers are deceptive, and do not include jobs in companies that actually built factories, offices, and call centers in other countries. In that same year, 2011, 53% of U.S. manufacturing companies, 43% of U.S. IT companies, and at least 15% of call centers had “a large portion” (75%?) of their work done outside the U.S. Add to that reports that show, for instance, that Russia’s income from taking on IT outsourcing doubles every year, and we now have an idea of the volume of jobs being outsourced by the U.S.

The reality of outsourcing, however, is that communication is never as good as it might be. Americans have higher standards for communication than other cultures, and it is like driving 40 miles an hour into a brick wall when you discover how low or non-existent the communication standards are compared to yours…or you find out that your “senior programmer” has only six months’ experience…or when, every time you call to find out “what’s going on,” you are put on hold and then the phone disconnects while you are on hold…or when you generally discover how incompetent, inexperienced and slow are the “excellent” staff who have been randomly assigned to your project.
Many U.S. companies that have tried outsourcing in the past few years are now looking for alternatives: in the end, they found that they did not save money but lost money because of jobs not completed or not done according to high work standards. Even though this may have been simply a result of not getting to know the company well enough or not finding the right fit, many companies in the U.S. are now wondering where to find competent, affordable help. Look no further, ya’ll: just mosey on down south of the Mason-Dixon line. In the U.S., the good ole South may be the place to do business.

In our experience, Southerners have an easy manner and a politeness that goes a long way. They try to make you feel comfortable, and will try to come up with solutions that work for everyone. Second, in the IT industry, for example, they have a great work ethic, and take pride in doing a great job. In the South, because the cost of utilities is less and wages are lower than in other parts of the country, “insourcing” is worth looking into. Office space in some parts of the South is as low as $1 a square foot, so companies can afford to work in an office and have a professional staff on board… whereas on the West Coast, for instance, where office space can be $5 a square foot for a modest office, many IT companies have virtual offices or a loosely monitored team of “experts” who claim to have known each other for over a decade but never meet in the office to collaborate and don’t really work for the company. IT developers, for example, are often independent contractors who are not interested in “your dumb project” and are not held to any standards. In this type of company, the business manager is at the mercy of the programmer and really has little control over which clients are accepted and whether or not work gets done or even started at all.

But it’s not like that in the South, ya’ll. It is not hard to find real offices with real employees, a manager who tries to get things done fast…but is likely to be good-natured and may want to go at a slightly more relaxed pace just to get to know you and find out what you really want. Statistically, not only is the price of office space less per square foot in the South, but the cost of labor is less. Although it is still more expensive than outsourcing to India, the superior communication and effort are well worth the difference. Doing business with the most expensive companies in India costs only a bit less than doing business with the South–but the communication and productivity will be a lot better in the U.S.–not to mention the time-zone factor. If you compare the least expensive parts of India to the least expensive part of the U.S. (the South), the U.S. comes out on top. If you look at the relative costs of doing business with India and California, the cost of doing business in the South may be the perfect solution.

For example, South Carolina is among 10 states with the lowest cost of labor in the U.S.–yet is ranked among the top 10 states in terms of business environment. Compare these rates, for example: India, $30 an hour (IT) for a senior developer…but the work often seems to take double the time; $75 an hour (IT) for a senior developer in the South…while in CA, you may pay $150 an hour for roughly the same quality developers. If you are talking about call centers, in Charleston, SC, for example, it is possible to find a call center that will do outbound calls for $25 an hour and will create extremely flexible terms. This is not only less than NY or CA prices ($35-45 an hour for the same number of calls and information), but is better quality–and a better deal, call for call–than call centers overseas that will cost you approximately $15 an hour.

Why? Because it’s not just about the rate they quote you. One of the first things you will find out is that some companies will not guarantee that they will “penetrate” the entire list for this money, and it seems that the level of commitment and feedback on the part of the callers is not as great at that of their U.S. counterparts in the South. In addition, many Americans have been turned off by calls from overseas call centers, particularly when Americans need the caller to inform or explain or reassure. In fact, although there is as of yet no official law requiring foreign call centers to forward calls to a representative in the U.S. if asked, many U.S. citizens have made this request and many companies have a policy of transferring calls to U.S. operators when asked to. And these requests have become more and more frequent in the past few years. Americans are also uncomfortable with the loss of call center jobs to foreign countries. Looking at these issues, many companies have chosen to insource calls to places like the U.S. South.

In 2013, many U.S. companies are already discovering the virtues of “insourcing” and are bringing call center work back to the U.S. Wages of call center employees in many other countries go up as much as 15 or 20% a year; this plus communication issues, security/ privacy issues, poor workforce training, and time-zone issues have made many companies reconsider outsourcing to India or other overseas destinations. According to one report, in 2013, given all the hidden costs of obtaining competent callers, it is about 15% cheaper to use a call center in the South than one overseas. At one point in the last few years, 30% of call center jobs in the U.S. were sent overseas, but now, in 2013, only about 10-12% of calls are made by call centers outside the U.S., according to one source.
These and other factors make the South worth exploring if you want to “insource” to a U.S. company that can take over a portion of your IT or call center workload.

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Is Offshore Outsourcing Right For You?

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We have all heard horror stories about outsourcing
All of us have heard the stories about people in America who had a nightmare of an experience outsourcing to India, Pakistan, or China. The work didn’t get done on time, or the company went out of business. There have been many horror stories with offshoring. However, there are also many disadvantages to outsourcing your work to companies in the United States or in-housing your work as well. American companies often lie and cheat, overcharge, and are often far behind schedule with deadlines.

Why outsource overseas?
It is really about finding the right company for you — overall. If you find someone in America who gets the job done correctly for a fair price, and treats you well, then great. India and the Philippines have hundreds of outsourcing companies that are hungry for work. They can get work done in fewer weeks than their local counterparts, and for a much lower price as well.

An infinite labor pool
Part of the reason offshore companies can get so much work done so fast is that the labor pool in those countries has more “availability” than here. In America, in programming, there is no available labor unless you want very inexperienced people. In India, programmers grow on trees and the pool of programmers is growing daily.

The downside of outsourcing to India
Companies in India tend to be very unpolished with communication. Even if the boss communicates well, his workers are not likely to be verbally adept. Sloppy work is another problem you have to look out for. But, you can get similar problems right here in the United States — you can get people who don’t check their work and REFUSE to communicate. Sure, refusal to communicate is different from people who garble their communication attempts, but the bottom line is the same.

So, how do you proceed?
Regardless what country you hire your outsourced company in, screen them. Don’t just hire a company because you like them. Email them a few questions from time to time to see how they respond and if they respond. Talk to various staff members on the phone at various times. Spread your screening out. Give a 3-hour test project to see how fast and how well they get work done. Many won’t even start. If they get through the first test project, give them a small “real” project, perhaps 7-15 hours. If they get through the 2nd project too, then you can continue giving them larger and larger assignments until you decide it is safe to have them work for you regularly.

Start calling companies today
Use 123outsource.net and find outsourcing companies in any category from call center, to software to data entry. Have fun!

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Are you tired of outsourcing to India?

Categories: India, Semi-Popular | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Are you tired of the nonsense?
Anyone who has outsourced to India knows of what I speak… the little tricks, the negligence, the hour padding, the stubbornness, the poor communication habits, and the disinclination to plan for the future and not having any concept of timeliness whatsoever? Me too. India is the king of BPO outsourcing, at least for small and medium companies. So, what are your other more favorable options for fulfilling your outsourcing needs.

You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince.
If you deal with Indian BPO outsourcing companies, you will find many distinct cultural behavioral patterns that repeat themselves. Some of these behaviors are very pleasant while others will drive you crazy! If you are lucky, you will link up with one of India’s many responsible people. The problem is that there are also many negligent and crooked people mixed in with the great people that doing business with new companies (or existing companies who hire new staff regularly) can be very unpredictable. Each country has their own unique cultural makeup. Some are more concerned with accuracy, and others stress social skills. If you are tired of doing business with India — try some other countries and compare. But, remember, no matter WHERE you do business, make sure you are working with good people.

Where is the back office?
For programming, there are many outsourcing arrangements between Western countries and popular outsourcing destinations (India, Russia, Belarus, Romania, China, the Philippines, etc.) Finding these companies is no easy task. Looking around on the internet, it is not always easy to see where people are REALLY doing business. Their mailing address on their contact us page and their evasive back office’s location are typically two completely different things. The only real way to make heads or tails of the marketplace is to call local programming companies and ask where their network is (and hope you get a straight answer). However time-consuming, you can learn a lot. Visiting a company in person will tell you if there is a company to begin with (or if you are hiring someone who works out of their bedroom and uses irresponsible freelancers he barely knows).

Even if you bombed in Bombay, you can manage in Manila!
For call center work, there are zillions of call centers in the Philippines. But, finding them is no walk in the park. There are call centers you can find on the internet in the Philippines. However, those are not always the highest end companies that exist. You would have an easier time reaching the DMV by phone than being able to talk to an actual manager at some of these call centers. Most successful offshore companies have a sister company in America, England, or some other Western country. You might have better luck scouring the American market to see who is networking with the Philippines.

East meets West: Goals versus Family
American culture is more goal-oriented while Indian culture is more family-oriented. Americans are often very picky about deadlines. Indians are used to routine and unpredictable electrical outages, floods, riots, strikes, and other types of delays and seem immune to missing deadlines. On a brighter note, Indian companies are generally better staffed, and can give you more hours of work per week, even if their work is not quite as efficient as you hope. Additionally, if you visit India, you will find that although their phone etiquette is atrocious, they are very gracious and hospitable in person.

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Data Entry India – News

Categories: Data Entry, India, Popular Posts | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Data Entry India – News Issues
As reported by India Knowledge at Wharton, Genpact has moved from merely doing data entry in India, to doing actuary services. This is a significant step up the value chain stairway.
Manual data entry
India primarily relies on manual data entry for port related operations such as berthing, logistics, cargo handling and management.  The Indian government wishes to double their cargo handling capacity by 2012, but only with the help of IT solutions will this be possible.  Computerized and IT solutions would allow a port to know exactly what is going to arrive long before the fact, instead of at the last minute. This allows ports to plan ahead and allocate their resources efficiently.  They will know how many employees and how much equipment each boat will need, and when through container tracking. Additionally, this IT tracking will deter the incidence of tax evasion and revenue pilferage.
Rural outsourcing hurts Indian Data Entry industry
U.S. companies that had been outsourcing to India are now finding ways to get low cost home grown labor through rural outsourcing.  India is also moving lots of jobs to its rural areas.  Rural outsourcing in India could help the whole country lower costs in general and develop a larger capable outsourcing workforce.  One huge advantage that America has is that land and labor is extremely cheap in parts of the Midwest which can allow American companies to be competitive in a global marketplace by creating new companies in that area.
Who are you really doing business with?
Articlesbase.com brings up an interesting point when they say that a company doing data entry in India needs to have the latest technology and updated infrastructure.  If you hire an Indian data entry outsourcing company, you have no idea who they are unless you visit them.  Are they using archaic computers with internet connections that disconnect every five minutes?  Do they have a list of large foreign companies with whom they do business?  Are you hiring a sophisticated company or are you hiring what could be called a “closet operation” otherwise known as a “sidewalk” data entry firm.  Speed and accuracy, training and management style are other factors to consider.  The bottom line is to think hard about who you hire, and hire a really qualified company!

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Which parts of the USA have better programming companies?

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When we think of BPO outsourcing, we often think of offshoring, but you can also nearshore to other parts of the United States for example. Many California BPO companies hire in the Midwest or the East Coast for example. The question is, which parts of the country have the most reliable service providers?

What I learned through a lot of searching around and interviewing people is that California is the worst place to hire programmers. Interestingly enough, 17 years ago, I remember that my aunt told me that her husband’s friends with businesses never hired California companies to do anything because of the unreliable service. They always hired companies in the East Coast. I remembered her story long after the fact and found it to be generally true. I also learned that people who live in California who are FROM a reliable part of the world, tend to be more reliable.

In any case, the Midwest is a place where the level of integrity is much higher than the rest of the country or perhaps the rest of the world. We encountered personality issues with a few emotionally unstable service providers in the Midwest. We also found some people who were not that smart. But, we encountered far fewer liars and cheats in the Midwest than in other parts of the Country.

New Hampshire was another good place to find programmers. New Hampshire is a no nonsense state for rugged nature loving individualists. The folks there bring new meaning to the term, “Live free or die!”.

Massachusetts, my place of birth had mixed results. There were many highly intelligent software companies there, but many wanted to charge 200 hours for a project that experienced people typically bid 35-45 hours on. What does that tell you? Are they bidding high so that they can get rid of us? Very dishonest if you ask me.

No place in America is perfect, but New Hampshire and the Midwest are where I would refer a stranger to find good outsourced help in programming or perhaps other specialties as well. If it were me, I would strongly consider outsourcing to India. Good Indian teams can get your job done quickly and cost effectively. Good luck!

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