Ten years ago a call centre outsourcing expert I was acquainted with told me that he reckoned to have only a decade to fifteen years tops to make any sizeable profit from relocating centres to places like India.
He said that after that timeframe India would actually work out a more expensive option than placing a call centre in the UK, especially if it was in the North.
His timing appears to be spot on.
The Daily Mail reports today that New Call Telecom has opted to base their new call centre in Burnley Lancs, the home, as the report points out, of the country’s cheapest house.
‘Homesourcing’ is now the new outsourcing. Actually I gather that the proper term is 'near-sourcing'.
New Call’s chief executive, Nigel Eastwood, says in the report ‘We did a cost and service analysis of returning home and there was an absolute parity between what we are paying for a third-party call centre in India and here in the UK’.
The new call centre will operate out of rented property and employ 25 people.
But it is not just in the UK where this is happening.
The Washington Post reported back in May that call centres were coming back to the US. And it’s providing much needed work for those without degrees and high school diplomas.
The outsourcing giants, always on the look-out for the cheapest base, have come to realise that the industry has come full circle and that the most cost effective solution is now in the West.
What with the Indian and Chinese economies now looking set to power ahead of the west maybe those countries will be exporting call centre work to us. Now all we need to do is train our work force up in Indian and Chinese language and custom and we can provide them with the same level of service that we have come to expect from their call centres.