HIRING

5 Reasons Why I Would Never Offshore

You can't replicate your company culture and service abroad. I'd recommend you keep your business in the U.S., no matter the cost.
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I'd be super rich if I had a nickel for every time someone asked me if I consider offshoring our call centers.

We've all spoken to someone at a bank, credit card company, or computer help desk and realize quickly--based on knowledge, communication differences, or perhaps an accent--that the person on the other end of the phone is not sitting here in the U.S.  Sometimes the experience is good and sometimes not so good. 

But I get it--these kinds of services can be purchased at sometimes a fraction of the cost of what a company has to spend in the United States.  And when it comes to commodity services like call centers, why not offshore to save a buck and drive more to the bottom line? 

Here's why: 

1. I'm not in the commodity business.

If I look for the least expensive method of delivering services, I am joining the ranks of other businesses that have nothing to differentiate themselves besides price.  That's a no-win game.  I choose to compete on value.  My customers get what they pay for, and since my business is quite a bit more expensive for my customers (than my competitors businesses), I'm going to serve them with the best call center services I can offer, and I'm not going to look for the cheapest labor.

2. I am helping grow the U.S. economy. 

Isn't it our job as entrepreneurs to help create jobs?  The vast majority of new jobs in the U.S. are not with Fortune 500 companies, but with small and medium-sized businesses.  We may not always make the headlines, but we do make a difference.  Let's create more jobs here at home.

3. A growing number of companies are bringing business back.

Why?  Because what had looked too good to be true was just that.  The allure of international low-cost labor has to be balanced with loss of control, local customs challenges, and difficulties bringing a distinct company culture across the world.    

4. I support families. 

This is the most important reason.  I have 350 co-workers--and their families--who I am responsible for.  I tell them that our company is here to enhance lives.  I don't feel I could ever be a hypocrite and ignore that commitment for the purpose of improving my bottom line.   

5. There's no place like home.

There are tremendous problems all over the world, and I believe the U.S. is second to none in supporting the destitute outside of our borders.  But we have to prioritize, and when there are people who are hungry or out of work or can't afford health insurance right here at home, I can't help but want to help them first by supporting the local community. That means keeping my business here. 

I'm not saying offshoring is wrong, and for the right kind of business, it's probably a good option.  But to deliver the value, culture, service and community impact that defines The Beryl Companies, going offshore is off-limits.

Last updated: May 9, 2012

PAUL SPIEGELMAN | Columnist | CEO of BerylHealth

Paul Spiegelman is the chief culture officer at Stericycle and founder and former CEO of BerylHealth. He also co-founded the Small Giants Community with Inc. editor-at-large Bo Burlingham. You can read more at PaulSpiegelman.com.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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