Offshore Opt-OutBy Larry Dignan | Posted 2004-04-01 Email Print
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Giving customers a choice of where in the world to send work will require more-flexible outsourcing deals.When online lender E-Loan Inc. said it would use processing agents in both India and the United States, it may have signaled a need to disclose how its work is managed.
Pleasanton, Calif.-based E-Loan last month launched a pilot program for its home-equity-line customers, allowing them to choose whether they want to send work to India via outsourcing firm Wipro or keep the work in the U.S. If the work is sent offshore, E-Loan shaves two days of processing time compared to the 12-day U.S. process. Call-center workers, who need to handle the nuances of personal finance, remain in the U.S.
"Some companies are deceiving customers by pretending that offshore workers are on the West Coast," says E-Loan chief executive officer Christian A. Larsen. "I think you have to do offshore and you have to disclose it. Consumers can decide for themselves."
Project managers would also have to set up redundant operations across the globe and forecast labor levels based on what consumers choose. If a company wanted to induce its customers to use services in one part of the globe over another, it would have to dangle carrots such as quicker processing or lower prices.