Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I don't wanna be called a "Low Cost Sourcing Country"

As many of you know that have been following my blog I am now living in the city of Brno in the Czech Republic, a so called "low cost country". Frankly, I don't like this branding. Low cost is often associated with poor quality and lacking skills and who wants to be known as that? Further, in the few weeks that I have been here, it's the furthest from the truth. The folks I am meeting in the office and on the tram are mostly highly educated IT engineering students that can speak 3, 4 and in some cases 5 languages. How many students can speak 5 languages in the high cost countries of the world?

I would prefer to be called "an emerging market" or "a cool, hip country with really smart people that want to work". Because if you are outsourcing simply for the lower wages you are missing the point of globalization in the first place.


Eric said...

Christopher, I think you are being too sensitive. Lots of reasons can make a country "low cost". The Chinese do it by fixing their currency against the US Dollar, etc.

I have been in electronics factories in china, and quality is not a problem. Low cost can mean a lot of things, but typically means lower wages for labor that if the goods were produced in the consuming country.

Best regards

Christopher Sciacca said...

Eric, while I agree there are lots of reasons, the majority of people in the world associate low cost with low quality. While you have been to electronics factories in China, most of the world hasn't. Try asking your friends or relatives that aren't in the supply chain what words they equate to low cost. I would be shocked in they associated it with currency fluctuations. Thanks for your comments.

Can Duman said...

I agree to your point, Christopher.
There is such a perception that people hold regarding "quality vs cost". There doesn't necessarily exist such a tradeoff, though I don't know how to illustrate this. Yet another similar misconception is that people in such countries are more open to being abused and they are being abused. As this might indeed be the case in some places, my opinion is that the circumstances are fairly similar across different countries when you assess people considering the social contexts they are subject to. That's when you compare them vis-a-vis other native people.
As for being smart, here is a wild guess: the average educated individuals from emerging countries are as much aware and knowledgeable as their peers around the world. I can't put decent reasoning behind that, as it would be sociology.
By the way, you have a great blog,
keep up the good work.