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Business Book Review
According to Robinson and Kalakota, most large corporations have cut costs as much as possible, using traditional methods. Understanding the "more for less" battle in which they are engaged, these firms realize that driving more costs out of operations means going offshore (i.e., migrating part or all of their value chains to low-cost locations). Drawing on the experiences of GE, American Express, Dell, BellSouth, Delta Airlines, British Airways, and others, Offshore Outsourcing introduces CEOs and senior managers to the creation and implementation of offshore strategies that can be used effectively to create more focused, streamline, and competitive organizations.
As the authors note, offshore outsourcing is "... an unstoppable mega-trend. ... profoundly affecting the competitive capabilities and hence the labor structures of all multinational corporations." Thus, they offer Offshore Outsourcing as a comprehensive guide to the practical application of this trend across all industries. Their premise is that offshoring is is a long-term development that has emerged as both a strategic and a tactical tool for meeting new business realities. And, though this tool is hardly new (companies have been offshoring manufacturing for many years and reaping significant cost and productivity improvements), the offshoring of business processes is still in its infancy. Thus, there is still much uncharted territory, and this territory is full of new rules, tools, and business models.
Robinson and Kalakota present a clear and detailed schematic that delineates these rules, tools, and models, superbly filling in the blanks left by the many general and oversimplified discussions currently available. Their approach, based on extensive research, focuses on helping CEOs and senior management understand the specific skills and management practices required to integrate individual projects, as well as large-scale offshoring activities into a company’s overall strategy. Thus, customizable guidelines take into account unique business needs and different levels of readiness for change. Moreover, these guidelines are organized to emphasize and explore three critical points for companies that may still view outsourcing as "a short-term fix for saving money and ‘getting rid’ of some noncore functions": (1) Offshoring is becoming a "need-to-have" competency. (2) It is a tactical business decision with long-term implications. (3) It is no longer an unproven model.