- Costs: This is the first reason why a company decides to offshore part of the supply chain; they are looking to lower costs. For us, HP decided to move their operations center to Panama because they wanted to please their customers with lower fees, but they couldn’t afford lower fees on the salaries they were paying Canadian operators. The fact that we have the same currency was another plus.
- Expertise: Another major influencing element is the local workforce’s expertise. “How quickly can they be trained?” is one of the critical questions to ask. Technical knowledge and language proficiency (when applicable) are also assessed and can ultimately change a company’s decision if their previous studies (assuming they did one first) do not show favorable results.
- Geographic location: The last decisive factor is location. Companies are looking to lower costs, so traveling distances and shipping costs are also considered before making a decision. In our case there were no goods to be transported, but the country is close enough for them to send trainers in and/or have operators fly out for training purposes. How prone a country is to go through natural disasters that can impact operations is also assessed, and disaster recovery plans are designed in advance as prevision.
By Elisa Taymes