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Random thoughts on outsourcing

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How NOT to use Social Media.. Apr. 17th, 2008 @ 06:37 am

Social Media for business - new hype... Everyone is on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.. 
I host the largest social media network on subject of IT/Software Development Outsourcing across multiple social media channels. Getting tons of different requests from my network on a daily basis.

I decided to start collecting some of them that give examples on how NOT to network :)
Here is the latest:
Step 1.  I am getting a friend request on Facebook from a person I do not know, w/o any intro... Hmm - ok -  I decided to accept it - just to see what will be happening next;
Step 2. Right after I accepted his request, he sends me a blunt message: "Do you outsource to [country]? " - 
OK - what do you think?
Will I ever consider to outsource to this vendor?


The one that did not bother to check my profile, learnt what I do, could not frame his intro well, etc.. If he would of done just simple research, he would of find out that I consult on outsourcing/offshoring - I  do not Outsource myself, he could of told me more about this company/services and asked me to consider recommending them and specified the reasons why...

Social Media could be powerful - I have developed my network with very targeted marketing segmentation from 0 to 2000 people within a short time frame - I know the power, however social media could be as powerful in getting you away from your potential prospects, partners and customers - be careful and considerate when you use it!!! 

 


Software Development Outsourcing Strategies: Multisourcing/Outsourcing/Captive - how to decide??? Apr. 15th, 2008 @ 01:49 pm
Had an amazing discussion today with CIO of Mentor Graphics: they are using complex multi-sourcing outsourcing strategy - in-house/captive and outsourced models with multiple outsourcing vendors and locations: India, Egypt, Poland - looking forward to hearing him talking about their outsourcing strategies at http://www.intlsdoc.com !
 

costco.com - the saga continues Mar. 21st, 2008 @ 03:41 pm

please read my previous posting - that's where the start of the story is!

here is what happened next.

Here is my e-mail to costo.com customer service:

"Date: 3/21/2008 11:19:35 AM
To: customerservice@costco.com
Subject: Costco.com Returns

Note this message was submitted through the costco.com web site customer suggestion page on 03/21/2008 11:12:04 PST

Comment/Suggestion/Request/Question Text:
I put an order in on 3/13 for cakes from Dragon FLy bakery The order number is 26771220
On Monday morning 3/17 I called costco com and canceled the order
The on Monday 3/17 late afternoon I got e-mail from costco com that item has been shipped I pre-paid for next day delivery service so despite the fact that the order has been cancelled, it has been shipped!
On Tuesday, 3/18 at the end of the day i still did not get my cakes I called costco com again - they said that the tracking number is incorrect, took my cell phone number and promised to call me back on 3/19
On 3/20 I called Dragon Fly Bakery directly to find out what happend to the order They told me the order has been cancelled by costco com and never has been shipped I did not get refund from costco com and call back from them either ..

For now I just want to get refund for the item that has been canceled!!!"

And here is their response:

"Thank you for your e-mail to Costco Wholesale.

We have initiated an investigation with UPS. The trace and refund process takes approximately 10 to 15 business days. Once this has been completed, you will be notified via e-mail of your refund having been issued. If you wish to reorder, you may do so online. We apologize for any inconveniences this has caused.



Thank you,

Roxanne
Costco Wholesale Corporation"

>>>>>>>>>

I have no idea what UPS has to do with the order that has never been shipped!!!!

Current Mood: stressedstressed

Outsourcing … sales – not working well - at ALL!!! Mar. 18th, 2008 @ 08:16 pm
 
Outsourcing … sales – not working well L
 
I am in search of a gift to send to my daughter who is in college. After careful considerations I ended up choosing a box of 24 petits fours from Costco.com. The order was entered in on March 13. Notes on this item stated that it will be shipped within 3-5 days with next day delivery that is included in purchase price. I checked the company that has outsourced their sales to Costco.com : Dragonfly Cakes in California – great – the destination is also in California. I am in great shape to get box of cakes to my daughter by March 17.
Easy said than done.
I woke up on March 17 with this strange feeling that led me to the status of my order screen on Costco.com just to find out that my item has not been shipped yet. OK, I said to myself, everything is OK. I will cancel this order and get her flowers and box of candies with the same day delivery option from proflowers.com – another “outsourced sales” solution for local florists.
Called costo.com – asked them to cancel the order – ok I was told – it will be cancelled. In a minute I had another order entered… good… everything is just great. Oh well, little did I know… in a few hours I am getting shipping email confirmation from Costco.com – guess what? – my cancelled order has been shipped!
Patience, patience. Everything is OK. I called my daughter – hey sweetiy – you will be getting two gifts – one: flowers and candies today, and the other one: beautiful cakes: tomorrow. Ok, mom – she says, I will invite my friends over for tea then!
I am so positive .. I am … trying to be so positive.
At about 5:00 pm on March 18 my daughter calls me – where are my cakes, mom? Hmm, let me check – it’s easy: you just go to Costco.com and click on check my order status. And so I did. Unfortunately Costco.com could not retrieve the status of my order. But – the good news is that it has been shipped by UPS on March 17 with next day delivery service – which is March 18 – so it will be at the destination today.
Just to be sure I am on a phone with Costco.com support again. Nice voice telling me that the tracking number was incorrectly entered so they [Costco.com] people do not know when these poor cookies will make it Irvine! But they tried calling the shipping company: Dragonfly cakes, who happened to be opened till 4:30 pm and it was 5:30 pm.
I am at the right or left end of my patience … I am out of patience - !
Not only I could not get my gift on time, now she will be getting spoiled cakes while I already pre-paid for premier next day shipping@!
 
People – if you do outsource your sales – please make sure that your all supply chain is set up to keep up with your promises!
 
I am trying to stay patient preparing myself to another round of discussions with Costco.com, dragonfly cakes and UPS people to find out who owns me a refund!!!!
 
,
Current Mood: disappointeddisappointed

Is Outsourcing Right For Startups? Mar. 18th, 2008 @ 02:33 pm
Is Outsourcing Right For Startups?
 
There are a lot of discussions everywhere whether software development outsourcing is the right way to go for startups.
 
So what are the pros and cons?
 
Pros:
-         potentially lower cost;
-         potentially ease of staffing/locating needed skillsets;
-         flexibility in team size;
-         Future scalability.
 
Cons:
-         The big one for technology companies – IP – this the “core” - do we feel comfortable outsourcing it?
-         Cultural difficulties;
-         Communications – time zones, etc, especially if one to use Agile.
 
My take is that if you as an executive of a startup have a strong opinion that outsourcing will not work for your company, then you should NOT outsource. As we all know – it takes two to make outsourcing work and it’s like a marriage with its ups and downs, but there have to be a will. However, if the will was not there from the very start, then every little mishap will turn into “I told you it will not work..” ordeal.
 
The discussions on this topic are so big, intense and interesting that we decided to dedicate the whole panel just to this topic at the upcoming International Software Development Outsourcing Conference [ http://www.intlsdoc.com ], with leading VCs  moderating and CEOs of known technology startups seating on this panel I am sure we’ll get to the real answer – outsource, not-outsource or just offshore [captive model].
 
 
 
 
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Other entries
» How to handle RFI request... on not!
Some companies, especially the ones who are not experienced in sales in US, tend to underestimate the importance of communications when dealing with sales of technology services in US.
I have seen the companies who after receiving an RFI - just respond to it without making any effort of getting in touch with the prospect, learn more about the evaluation process and the real needs.
Why is this happening?
Because of the cultural differences? But if you are trying to penetrate the new market then it is your responsibility to learn the rules of the game and play by them, isn't it?
The morale is - if your company is serious about building a sustainable model for developing new deals in US, then they need to have US-based sales, business development and marketing teams! -  
» RFQ, vendor selection - thoughts on some questions
Your company decided to outsource. Now if you are new to outsourcing you have to make decisions on so many items: location; vendor; team composition, etc..
I often see questions in RFIs/RFQs that ask for specific technical skill sets. Seems to be very reasonable, right?
However, if the vendor you select is in ODC [offshore development center] business and does it well, then most of it's current software engineers should be 100% busy with the existing projects. In most of the cases I've seen vendor will go and hire consultants based on your company's requirements. It does not make any sense to keep people on a "beach" waiting for a project.
If that's the case - what's the difference in you asking for the specific skill set - would you rather ask about their hiring and retention practices instead? 
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