Outsource Magazine Issue 28 - (Page 114)

THE BACK END THE LAST WORD are activities which you used to do yourself (like a graphic designer getting other people to do his design and enjoying a hefty mark-up) but I refuse to, because for me another element to this is that it has to involve the transfer of jobs. If the people aren’t changing employers it ain’t outsourcing. Why do I get so fed up with this? You might say I’m just being a pedant but actually I think it’s really important to get the terminology right – especially with such an emotionally charged thing as outsourcing. People getting confused over nomenclature leads to confused thought processes and bad practice – look at the damage which the confusion of outsourcing with offshoring has done to the reputation of the former in the US for example. I don’t think it is pedantry to insist on correct usage when it’s so important to get that usage correct – and if it is pedantry, fine, call me a pedant. Just don’t put things in the drawer marked “outsourcing” that clearly don’t belong there. Get it right, right? A few weeks ago when the editor of Outsource mentioned that he hadn’t yet found someone to write the Last Word for his next issue, I realised this was a great opportunity for me to let off a bit of steam about one of my personal bugbears. What is this that so irks me, I hear you ask? Well allow me to explain myself. I am sick to the back teeth of the word “outsourcing” being used to describe things that aren’t outsourcing at all. There are so many examples of this misuse all over the place that it’s probably unnecessary to start citing any but indulge me for a minute. I saw a TV programme the other day about a woman who had built a successful lingerie business from scratch, and she told how she had “outsourced” her manufacturing to Thailand. I wanted to scream at the television “that’s not %*&£% outsourcing!” It’s not even offshoring really (and don’t get me started on the regular confusion of those two terms by the media). What it is, is sourcing product from a low-cost destination. It’s not outsourcing because it doesn’t involve taking work that was previously done within the organisation – she didn’t have an organisation as such at that point anyway – and getting someone else to do it. And it’s not offshoring because it’s not work that was originally done onshore and then moved. Here’s another example. I have been implored by a wellknown service marketplace to “outsource” my way to my fortune. But getting people to do things for you via a service marketplace isn’t outsourcing: it’s just procuring services. Some people might put this in the “outsourcing” category if the services you’re procuring OPINION ‘B. Accurate’ Would you like to contribute an interesting, provocative – and, if you wish, anonymous – piece to The Last Word? Or would you like to respond to this particular column? Why not drop a line to the editor at jamie.liddell@ outsourcemagazine.co.uk to discuss your thoughts? Consendre mod eugait alit luptati sisisisit augait num iusti facidunt ipsumsan el eraestrud exerat ad onulla cor ing eumsandre ex elit “The wages of pedantry is pain.” – Carroll O’Connor atetue tet ulla feu feum niamconEm ea commodiam ad tem dolortio Utat lum quisim et, quissi.Volobore m iurero dolobore. 114 ●●● ● www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk http://www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outsource Magazine Issue 28

Deep Thought
John Seddon
At Your Service?
Plenty To Chew On
The Power of Two
Big Data
Invested Outsourcing
Tim Cummins
NOA Round-Up
Managing Knowledge in a Partnership
A Long Way Still To Go
Recruitment Process Technology
Let’s Talk About Our Relationships
Great Expectations
Transformative Technology
The Future of Rightshoring
Top Ten
The Legal View
HfS Round-Up
Online Round-Up
Inside Source
The Last Word

Outsource Magazine Issue 28