Lombard, IL (PRWEB) August 1, 2006
While most of the world’s hottest clothing and home fashions come from Italy, Japan and New York, there is an oft overlooked part of the world that is quickly becoming a hot trend in something that is increasingly fashionable – outsourcing. Instead of “offshoring,” which can be negatively perceived in some circles, “nearshoring” is the next big thing according to some experts. Whatever your company’s outsourcing philosophy, Latin America and the Caribbean as nearshoring locations are definitely in style.
Wikipedia, the Internet encyclopedia (http://www.wikipedia.org), explains nearshoring or ‘nearshore outsourcing’ as “a concept for the form of outsourcing in which business processes are relocated to locations which are, generally, cheaper and yet geographically nearer.” While nearshoring is not a new concept, there are a whole host of reasons why more and more United States and US-based multinational companies are looking to this region today for outsourcing opportunities, including:
- Cultural overlap: An understanding of shared values and a similar mindset.
- Geographic proximity: Near time zones allow for decreased risk and better, more frequent communication during overlapping business hours.
- Bilingual capabilities: Agents are often fluent in both English and Spanish, enabling them to effectively serve a broader customer base for companies.
- Cost savings: Labor costs can be up to 2/3 lower than in the US and popular contact center outsourcing areas in Europe and Asia Pacific.
- Government incentives: Countries including Brazil, Nicaragua, Panama and Costa Rica are aggressively adopting business-friendly policies and marketing themselves as ‘outsourcing friendly’ destinations.
- NAFTA: Companies looking to nearshore in the Americas can take advantage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) treaty. With this, it is much easier to gain access to visas and NAFTA ensures that intellectual property is protected.
Since the most advanced contact center solutions are readily available to outsourcers in that region of the world, hesitation around nearshoring is disappearing. Latin American and Caribbean outsourcers should be able to offer customers multichannel capabilities, extreme flexibility, reliability and easy access to reporting so they can track whether service levels are being met. When outsourcers work with the right technology partners to implement unified contact center solutions that deliver all of this in a single platform, they can offer customers choice, flexibility and more at a lower cost.
Datamonitor, a leading market research firm, predicts that Latin American contact center agent positions will grow quickly – at a CAGR of 16.8% – through 2008 to 730,000. They estimate that 217,000 of these positions, or nearly 30%, will be dedicated to outsourcing. While Brazil and Mexico are the most mature contact center markets in Latin America, Argentina will be the fastest growth engine as a result of outsourcing and nearshoring.*
Ultimately, companies must choose an outsourcing destination based on a number of factors including those above and how well their own unique business needs are met.
But, clearly the tides are turning and all areas of the Americas are becoming more fashionable when it comes to being a strong outsourcing option. With the array of potential benefits, companies can easily justify why nearshoring in this region can and should be part of a comprehensive business and customer satisfaction strategy.
Author: Michael Sheridan
Michael Sheridan is the vice president of strategy at Aspect Software. For more information, visit http://www.aspect.com.
*Call Center Outsourcing in Latin America and the Caribbean to 2008 © Datamonitor