Thursday, September 6, 2007

Outsourcing has Actually been Practiced for Ages

Outsourcing has been a commonly used word over the last few years. India is capital of ousourcing. The world has suddenly become flat and all roads in this flat world lead to Bengaluru.

Is outsourcing something new?

To look at this we need to define outsourcing first. Outsourcing is a way of gettings done which will help in doing things which you want to do. I want to create customer delight for which I need to do many things - create quality products, ensure my employees deliver, ensure customer service and all that. So in order to do that I do some things internally and then get somethings from outside. Things which I am not either good at or do not have the scale to do it effectively and efficiently. In effect there is a contirbution by people within and outside of my organisation boundaries. So if outsourcing is bringing in contribution of people outside my organisation into the fold of delivering the goods and services, then along the history such contributions have been happening.

Lets try and trace the route of the final food prepared by my mother - rice. To cook the rice she needed the raw rice, water, LPG, gas stove. The rice came from the retail vendor near our house. He got the rice from the wholesale seller of rice in Chennai who in turn bought it from a "mandi" in Andhra Pradesh, who bought from different farmers in the nearby areas. In order to grow the crop the farmer needed good fertlizer. Where did it come from? Maybe a plant in Gujarat? What all went into the fertiliser - potassium, calcium, soda etc. Apart from that they needed gas or other form of fuel. Where did these come from. Some came from Bihar. Some from came from West Africa. The gas came from the gas fields in the Middle East. Who operated these gas fields? Some of the engineers from Britain? How did they get the knowledge for doing the drilling? They were educated in a college in London? Where did the paper for the books they studied from come? They came from trees in the Indonesia?.........................

The rice which I eat has had a contribution of so many nationals and geographies. So what's new with the current buzz of outsourcing?

Everyone and everything has been contributing to the existence of every other being and thing right through. They all contribute to each other. They are all connected. Only we are seeing it in a more explicit manner, maybe closer to our eyes now.