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Computer says No

For the past 4 days, up to 12 million NatWest / Royal Bank of Scotland customers have been unable to pay bills, move money or get paid due to a technical problem. Customers have been unable to complete on house purchases and some are stuck because they can't pay hotel bills abroad. The new mobile banking service has also been affected. The bank has called in 7,000 staff to open all weekend as problems persist.
Just three months ago, the State-controlled bank outsourced nearly 300 back-office roles to Hyderabad in India.
posted by Lanark on Jun 23, 2012 - 71 comments

Why is the US losing technology jobs?

The US has lost a quarter of its high-tech jobs since 2000, the number declining by 687,000. A veteran headhunter opines on the causes: The technical jobs in Silicon Valley are hard to fill with Americans...I get email every day from new grads, asking for help finding jobs, but honestly, most are Indian or Chinese, not many Americans. He cites a NYT article which claims that the reason iPhone manufacturing doesn't happen in the US is that Apple’s executives believe the vast scale of overseas factories as well as the flexibility, diligence and industrial skills of foreign workers have so outpaced their American counterparts that “Made in the U.S.A.” is no longer a viable option for most Apple products.
posted by shivohum on Jun 2, 2012 - 107 comments

Outsource yourself!

Looking for work? Come to India!
posted by Tom-B on Nov 12, 2011 - 26 comments

Penny wise, pound foolish

Why Amazon Can't Make A Kindle In the USA. Does It Really Matter That Amazon Can't Manufacture A Kindle In the USA? Amazon & Kindle Part 3: It's Not Just Manufacturing! A cogent look at why today's prevailing approach to cost and manufacturing is wrongheaded.
posted by Benny Andajetz on Aug 22, 2011 - 64 comments

The Unemployed Worker's New Friend

Job searchers have begun outsourcing the process of applying for jobs to companies in India. The results have been mixed.
posted by reenum on Jul 16, 2011 - 36 comments

Accent and diction? How will that lead to a career?

"America?" he says. "I'll tell you about America. America is not all honey and roses the way they tell you. Truth is, 90 percent of the people there, you will find, they'll do the most stupid things, impulsive things. I know for a fact. At the same time, Americans are bighearted people, and the remaining 10 percent of them are smart. Bloody smart. That's why they rule the world." [more inside]
posted by Naberius on Jul 6, 2011 - 90 comments

smaller companies are using robots

Made in America: small businesses buck the offshoring trend - "For US manufacturing to make sense, factories must make extensive use of automation. That's getting easier, given that the cost of robots with comparable capabilities has decreased precipitously in the past two decades." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 20, 2011 - 52 comments

Chained to their desks

Indian prison authorities in Hyderabad have opened up a call centre inside the jail with hopes of servicing customers from the UK.
posted by reenum on Apr 9, 2011 - 43 comments

Deal of the Century

How two American kids became big-time weapons traders - "Working with nothing but an Internet connection, a couple of cellphones and a steady supply of weed, the two friends — one with a few college credits, the other a high school dropout — had beaten out Fortune 500 giants like General Dynamics to score the huge arms contract. With a single deal, two stoners from Miami Beach had turned themselves into the least likely merchants of death in history." (via; previously on arms contractors)
posted by kliuless on Mar 21, 2011 - 69 comments

Boeing can't say it wasn't warned.

The biggest mistake people make when talking about the outsourcing of U.S. jobs by U.S. companies is to treat it as a moral issue. Sure, it's immoral to abandon your loyal American workers in search of cheap labor overseas. But the real problem with outsourcing, if you don't think it through, is that it can wreck your business and cost you a bundle.
Case in point: Boeing Co. and its 787 Dreamliner. Boeing can't say it wasn't warned. As early as 2001, L.J. Hart-Smith, a Boeing senior technical fellow, produced a prescient analysis projecting that excessive outsourcing would raise Boeing's costs and steer profits to its subcontractors. [previously]
posted by ennui.bz on Feb 18, 2011 - 58 comments

You Can't Judge A Book Loaner By It's Cover

Coming soon to a library near you, outsourcing. LSSI is now the 5th largest library services provider in the US. The ALA is surprisingly neutral on this issue. "In general, there is no evidence that outsourcing per se has had a negative impact on library services and management. On the contrary, in the main outsourcing has been an effective managerial tool, and when used carefully and judiciously it has resulted in enhanced library services and improved library management. Instances where problems have arisen subsequent to decisions to outsource aspects of library operations and functions appear to be attributable to inadequate planning, poor contracting processes, or ineffective management of contracts."
posted by Xurando on Sep 28, 2010 - 45 comments

I hope their code works better than their missles do

Got a tough software project, but can't afford to pay for domestic talent? India, China, and Russia too expensive? Why not outsource to sunny North Korea? [more inside]
posted by Afroblanco on Jun 14, 2010 - 46 comments

Exploitative Outsourcing?

Outsourcing has been a mainstay of internet marketers and lifestyle designers ever since Tim Ferriss made it popular. But at least one of its biggest proponents is now wondering: is outsourcing exploitative by taking advantage of international economic inequality?
posted by divabat on May 25, 2010 - 60 comments

Passage from India

Lori Whisenant, who teaches business law and ethics at the University of Houston, has outsourced the grading of students' papers to a private company, Virtual-TA, who sends them to be marked in Bangalore, India.
posted by Rumple on Apr 7, 2010 - 66 comments

Bringing service to life - for a great profit

Possibly the biggest company you've never heard of. [more inside]
posted by Kerasia on Dec 2, 2009 - 63 comments

Slow lede - get to the news faster

When the Toronto Star announced that they were outsourcing in-house editing jobs, the union wasn't too happy. Neither was this disgruntled editor.
posted by Saxon Kane on Nov 10, 2009 - 81 comments

Outsource Yourself

IBM solves the outsourcing problem by firing American employees then offering to re-hire them in India. "The pitch to employees who might consider shifting to IBM's operations in developing economies seems to be the low cost of living, warmer climate and variety in cuisine and exotic places."
posted by billysumday on Feb 6, 2009 - 86 comments

Hey Honey, Has Juniors T-Ball Score Come in From Bangalore yet?

We should have known it was inevitable. Your local newspaper being written in India. Get ready for the outsourcing of journalism. Maureen Dowd doesn't like it.
posted by Xurando on Nov 30, 2008 - 57 comments

outsourcing the country

The Governmental Printing Office prints all United States passports but they decided that it was time to outsource part of the work. They claim it is secure [pdf].
posted by mustcatchmooseandsquirrel on Mar 27, 2008 - 22 comments

Wombs for Rent

Wombs for rent: "Anand's surrogate mothers, pioneers in the growing field of outsourced pregnancies, have given birth to roughly 40 babies. More than 50 women in this city are now pregnant with the children of couples from the United States, Taiwan, Britain and beyond. The women earn more than many would make in 15 years."
posted by mr_crash_davis on Dec 30, 2007 - 134 comments

Outsourcing Permutations

Indian company to outsource its outsourcing. Outsourcing in Ghana, where the government takes English very seriously indeed. Finally, Native American outsourcing.
posted by StrikeTheViol on Sep 24, 2007 - 8 comments

Made in China

Made in China. A look inside the world’s manufacturing center. Flash video slideshow of the port of Shenzhen (7:00 minutes with sound)
posted by srboisvert on Jul 23, 2007 - 26 comments

Outsourcing Intelligence

The numbers are classified, the dollars are classified, but there's no doubt that the number of "Green Badgers" are catching up to, and sometimes surpassing, that of "Blue Badgers" in some of the US's most sensitive national security positions. Bob Baer is talking about it. Others have been, too. R.J. Hillhouse has been writing a blog for roughly six months now on the phenomenon: The Spy Who Billed Me.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze on Jul 8, 2007 - 17 comments

The Myth of the Rational Voter

Why are American voters reluctant to support free market policies when professional economists have achieved near-consensus? Bryan Caplan of the Cato Institute investigates. (pdf)
posted by stammer on Jun 1, 2007 - 71 comments

Keep Burberry British !

Keep Burberry British. The 150 years old very british brand is now under a new management that decided to ...*surprise* move production to China closing Treorchy plant, firing 310 workers , despite a 25% increase in profits ! Celebrities from Prince Charles to Tom Jones are supporting the protest.
posted by elpapacito on Jan 28, 2007 - 72 comments

Lessons from Training Camp Genghis Khan

A mere 800 years ago, the Mongol Empire was a lot bigger than you might imagine. Now a different Empire unites a lot of different states, and it's not working out to everyone's benefit. To elaborate, America is rich, we are poor. It’s not fair, they have to share. This is the first among many lessons from Training Camp Genghis Khan, a school for "rookie offshore programmers."

Lesson five: Never say “I do not know”. Accept all assignments – one of two things will happen – either you’ll figure out how to complete the assignment, or it’ll get cancelled. Indeed.
posted by cloudscratcher on Jan 1, 2007 - 27 comments

India's Outsourcing Problems

India's Outsourcing Problems One of the most controversial aspects of the global economy has been the newfound freedom of companies from physical location and the subsequent spread of outsourcing jobs. No country had embraced tech outsourcing with the passion of India. Of late, problems there are beginning to rise: engineers start a project, get a few months' experience, and then bolt for greener pastures, bringing a level of attrition that replaces entire staffs within the course of a year. Combine that with salaries in Bangalore that are rising at 12% to 14% per year and it is no surprise that companies are leaving India for a slew of emerging hot spots for IT outsourcing such as the old Soviet Bloc, China, and Vietnam. This comes as companies such as Microsoft continue to laud outsourcing and proudly proclaim that it is here to stay, and it looks as if Ho Chi Minh City will be the next Bangalore.
posted by PreacherTom on Dec 11, 2006 - 19 comments

You heard it here first (maybe)

IBM is laying off people in Burlington, Endicott, Rochester and Austin today. The presumptive reason is Indian outsourcing — some employees have posted that they were asked to train their replacements. Why hasn't this made the news?
posted by ubiquity on Sep 8, 2006 - 70 comments

Whitey Goes To Bollywood

As Bollywood goes global its becoming more cosmopolitan - and embracing one of the most controversial aspects of globalization - "Westerners will do a lot of things on camera that Indian's just won't do," says Kaneez F. Khan, a Chennai-based producer. "It's easier just to outsource the role to someone who doesn't have anything at stake." (via.)
posted by Jos Bleau on Jun 22, 2006 - 22 comments

Thank you, come again.

The ultimate in outsourcing. Welcome to India, where you can visit the Taj Mahal and get a new knee, all for under $10,000, airfare included. Of course, it's not just for Canadians whose health care system, while free, sometimes necessitates lengthy waits for important surgical procedures. The uninsured in the US and other nations are a potential market as well. And there's potential for medical tourism destinations in the US as well.
posted by greatgefilte on Jun 17, 2006 - 38 comments

A review of Friedman's "The world is flat." (.pdf)

UCLA Economist Ed Leamer reviews Thomas Friedman's "The world is flat." (.pdf) When the Journal of Economic Literature asked me to write a review of The World is Flat... I shipped it overnight by UPS to India to have the work done. (via)
posted by Kwantsar on Apr 10, 2006 - 39 comments

I'll take six million jobs and a slice of pepperoni, please.

Bush's "pepperoni" defence of outsourcing. "India's middle class is buying air-conditioners, kitchen appliances and washing machines, and a lot of them from American companies like GE and Whirlpool and Westinghouse. And that means their job base is growing here in the United States. Younger Indians are acquiring a taste for pizzas from Domino's, Pizza Hut..."
posted by insomnia_lj on Feb 23, 2006 - 90 comments

The Man Who Said No to Wal-Mart

Choose your own adventure! You are the manufacturer of a premium product. Wal*Mart wants it. They want it cheap. Do you buckle to their demands and out-source, reduce the build quality, and make money on volume? Turn to page 67. Or do you keep your American employees, increase quality, and make money by targeting the higher-end market? Turn to page 28. The Man Who Said No to Wal-Mart.
posted by five fresh fish on Jan 19, 2006 - 55 comments

Is Karl Rove behind this?

Blogging being outsourced to China. Entrepreneurs outsource blogging for money-making schemes. Where can you read about it? Their blog of course.
posted by AVandalay on Aug 16, 2005 - 28 comments

Indian call centres making a bit on the side.

That would explain the $3000 dollar curry on my mastercard statement. Some Indian call centres are making a bit the side. Seems a fairly obvious scenario in retrospect.
posted by strawberryviagra on Aug 14, 2005 - 20 comments

Private Warriors

Private Warriors: FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith travels throughout Kuwait and Iraq to give viewers an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at companies like Kellogg, Brown & Root, a Halliburton subsidiary, and its civilian army. Sixty minutes of absolutely fascinating and astonishing video is online.
posted by well_balanced on Jun 24, 2005 - 20 comments

A Plea for Better Manners

A Plea for Better Manners or- How to be an Ugly American from the comfort of your own home. On the plus side, these two are now broadcasting from a New York station that is collecting for tsunami relief.
posted by IndigoJones on Jan 17, 2005 - 30 comments

Why don't you pretend I'm working?

Outsource Your Own Job! -- "Says a programmer on Slashdot.org who outsourced his job: "About a year ago I hired a developer in India to do my job. I pay him $12,000 out of the $67,000 I get. He's happy to have the work. I'm happy that I have to work only 90 minutes a day just supervising the code. My employer thinks I'm telecommuting. Now I'm considering getting a second job and doing the same thing." " via BBspot.
posted by Space Coyote on Aug 23, 2004 - 23 comments

Lou Dobbs, Call Your Office

Lou Dobbs, Call Your Office If Lou Dobbs, the fair-trade crusader, only knew about this one! A few months ago, activists and journalists were blasting the U.S. for plans to buy only branded drugs, made by companies like Merck, to treat patients in poor countries under the president's $15 billion AIDS relief program[...] The result is that the way has been paved for U.S. taxpayers to spend billions to buy drugs made in India that are copies of medicines invented in the United States
posted by Postroad on Jul 14, 2004 - 34 comments

Outsourcing the reconstruction

Outsourcing comes to Iraq. Interesting article from the WP (login req'd, get one here) about workers from countries such as India and South Korea, subcontracted by American companies, notably the ever-infamous Halliburtun. Effectively turned into indentured servants, these workers not only endure work conditions that American workers would never tolerate, but they do it in a war zone. "Rep. Janice D. Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said contractors' use of multiple layers of subcontracts makes it difficult for the U.S. government to ensure the fair treatment of the workers it effectively employs."
posted by mkultra on Jul 1, 2004 - 2 comments

Outsourcing Iraq

Indian mercenaries serving in Iraq. Can you really outsource a foreign occupation?
posted by rks404 on Apr 29, 2004 - 9 comments

Saudia Affirmative Action

Saudization is the process of hiring Saudi Arabian nationals to join the Saudi workforce and is an interesting counterpoint to the US phenomena of outsourcing. The goal of Saudization is to discourage reliance on foreign workers as well as to combat domestic unemployment, which is worsened by the rapidly swelling ranks of restive, undereducated youth. Unfortunately it's not as easy to put into practice as it sounds.
posted by rks404 on Apr 19, 2004 - 3 comments

The Outsourcing Bogeyman

The Outsourcing Bogeyman by economics professor Daniel Drezner describes the myths, facts and economics behind offshore outsourcing. There is also a critique and rebuttal on Drezner's blog. (via kuro5hin).
posted by TheophileEscargot on Mar 24, 2004 - 26 comments

Say goodbye to more jobs

Say goodbye to more jobs? This is an interesting research report from the Gartner Group on the future of banking, money and economic transition. One of the participants at a conference that Gartner cites is Bernard Leitaer, who is interviewed here. Leitaer is the author of the book The Future of Money. He argues " the malaise Japan has suffered since the early 1990s reflects an economic challenge the whole developed world has begun to face. Today, European and U.S. factories, too, suffer from overcapacity. The vaunted productivity growth spurred by the digital revolution has raised the economy’s stall speed. If the natural growth rate of the U.S. economy has risen to 4% annually, anything less than that rate will cause firms to trim capacity. A firm’s revenue growth often must come at the expense of competitors as well as its own profits because companies have trouble raising prices. In response, companies cut costs any way they can, usually by laying off employees and squeezing suppliers, which causes further layoffs. For developed countries, the safety valves that limited damage during contractions in manufacturing may not work. In past recessions, laid-off factory workers in the Great Lakes states, for example, could migrate to the growing Sun Belt to find new jobs. In the present transition, areas with job growth may lie overseas." The long heralded rise of the information economy, the death of distance and the rise of the global knowledge workers is paradigm shift that our goverment leader's seem ill equiped to handle.
posted by thedailygrowl on Mar 16, 2004 - 36 comments

Tom Friedman's T-shirt employment guru

Tom Friedman, well meaning NYT columnnist lunkhead, gets job outsourced In a stunning development, Tom Friedman - until recently the famous NYT op-ed columnist who has downplayed the outsourcing of American jobs, finds his job has been outsourced due to an egregious factual error concerning T-shirts. "[ BANGALORE, India ] I am delighted to write to you today as the new foreign-affairs columnist for the New York Times . My name is Tam Veeraraghavan. Ah, you say, you've never heard of Tam Veeraraghavan, but the name sounds vaguely Indian. Well, I am an Indian. I live in Bangalore. And I'm now the pundit you read in this newspaper. Now some of you might think that I'm an example of how outsourcing is hurting American workers. Well let me introduce you to Yamini Narayanan, an Indian-born 35-year-old with a Ph.D. in economics....."
posted by troutfishing on Mar 11, 2004 - 41 comments

Bellum omnia omnes

Wal-Mart as Leviathan. "The giant retailer's low prices often come with a high cost. Wal-Mart's relentless pressure can crush the companies it does business with and force them to send jobs overseas. Are we shopping our way straight to the unemployment line?"
posted by the fire you left me on Nov 14, 2003 - 31 comments

Personal information being sent abroad

We need an "Information Technology Disclosure Act." The Programmer's Guild is pushing for the creation of legislation to require companies which outsource abroad to tell consumers when their sensitive personal information is being sent to companies in other countries. This aspect of outsourcing has gotten little attention, but the SF Chronicle's David Lazarus has reported on it being done by hospitals (like UCSF, which is being threatened over back pay by a transcriber in Pakistan), accountants, banks (BofA), telecom companies (SBC), and perhaps most alarmingly, two of the three major credit-reporting agencies.
posted by homunculus on Nov 9, 2003 - 24 comments

Cyberclass Consciousness

10% of American tech sector jobs will move offshore by the end of the year. Cyber-Marx (1999):
"... globalisation has given some knowledge workers, largely male, largely white, associated with high tech, finance, communication and information an exceptional importance. Concentrated in the technopoles that form the hubs of "global webs," these constitute a layer of privileged labour on whose loyalty capital can largely rely. But analysis that sees "symbolic analysts" as the crucial actors in globalisation does not grasp the speed with which capital turfs yuppies from the lifeboat when cheaper replacements can be found. Even symbolic analysts feel the blast of globalisation, as North American computer programmers are undercut by Lithuanian or Indian competition, and architects, engineers and professors discover that those who can telecommute can always be teleterminated by cheaper services uploaded from anywhere on the planet.
True? What effect will this trend have on the digerati as a class, do you think?
posted by hairyeyeball on Aug 7, 2003 - 30 comments

Where White-Collar Jobs Are Going

Elocution lessons are helping staff working at call centres in India neutralise their accents and make their sales pitch more effective
call-center workers, computer programmers, these and other positions are being transferred to countries like India. We all know why. Only one reason, they call it Tight labor markets.

This is great news for India, but what exactly will the current call-center workers, programmers and other white collar workers in US do if their jobs will be gone to India ?
Are you worried that your position will one day be replaced by someone on the other side of the world working for 1/3 of your salary ?
posted by bureaustyle on Apr 15, 2003 - 43 comments

The New Global Job Shift

The New Global Job Shift. The next round of globalization is sending upscale jobs offshore. They include basic research, chip design, engineering--even financial analysis.
posted by Ty Webb on Jan 31, 2003 - 50 comments

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