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Outsourcing Concerns: Issues Of Culture

We’ve discussed a lot of issues in regard to how outsourcing can save your business money. Reducing labor costs and increasing productivity is just a start. But today, I would like to address cultural issues of working with a particular country when searching for potential overseas reps. India, Asia and even Africa have gotten into the outsourcing game as it becomes easier for these countries to access the Internet and local communication and infrastructure improves. But that is not the final picture when working with outsourced reps.

Cultures vary greatly in emerging markets such as Asia. It may be difficult to research just what kinds of work ethics, holidays and marketing understanding a particular culture may have. It is best and easiest on you to work with a culture that is as similar to an American society as it can get. The Phillipines has a structure very similar to the US in terms of their government, work ethics and technological understanding. Many workers in the Phillipines speak English quite fluently and have visited the US or may have even gone to school here. They are familiar with the American way of doing things and many companies emulate the US vision of commerce.

Some cultures are so different from ours that a number of problems can arise for an American company looking to outsource. Communication can be very touchy in places such as Asia where it may be easy to offend one of your reps. Ways to communicate in the US would not fly in many Asian cultures and who wants to offend their workers? Researching these differences could take forever. Other factors such as religious practices, the threat of terrorism and even privacy laws and the court systems can create a major headache for businesses interested in outsourcing. Business conduct, greetings, forms of address, gestures, value systems and punctuality vary widely around the globe. Choosing a culture that may be more familiar to our way of life will create a easier situation when it’s time to make your decision.

Daven Michaels is an award-winning outsourcer and author of the book, ‘Outsource This!’ Daven has been honored more than any other individual or outsourcing organization. You can get more information on outsourcing by visiting www.123Employee.com

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