Thoughts from a Disruptive Outsourcer

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Many view the concept of outsourcing as a relatively new idea, however this is quite untrue. The history of outsourcing is deeply embedded in the history of the Modern Business Enterprise. An example showing just how far back outsourcing goes, even in the US, occurs just after the Civil War when northern textile factories moved to the southern states to take advantage of relaxed business standards, lower wages and reduced taxes. Quality took a backseat to reduced costs. The march towards commoditization had begun in earnest and the foundation of viewing outsourcing as a way to reduce cost by accessing labor and materials less expensively in other parts of the US (and/or world) was embraced but the business community.

According to Merriam-Webster, the first known use of the word “outsourcing” was in 1979. In his article “A Brief History of Outsourcing” by Robert Hanfield, the author notes that the concept of outsourcing, as it relates to current practices, was first formally identified as a business strategy in 1989. For almost 25 years now this industry has been formally recognized and has run pretty much the same way, even going to back to its roots here in the US, over a hundred and fifty years ago. Times change however.

At First Call Resolution, we believe this industry is ripe to be disrupted. By “flipping the script” through a consistent focus on quality rather than quantity, creativity and flexibility rather than scalability, and finally retention of employees rather than attrition-based thinking, we are confident that the time for these solutions has indeed arrived.

According to McKinsey & Company, values based management (VBM) is described as a focus on better decision making at all levels in an organization. VBM recognizes that top-down command-and-control structures cannot work well, especially in large corporations. Instead, it calls on managers to use value-based performance metrics for making better decisions. FCR is a big believer in VBM, not only as it pertains to the operational and financial aspects of our firm, but also to the philosophical ones as well. Each and every day we ask ourselves how we can not only do things better and more efficiently as an outsourcer, but also improve our corporate culture, colleague well-being and overall work environment.

Through that consistent focus on our corporate culture, improving the lives of our colleagues and creation of a healthier work environment, FCR has taken the road less traveled in the outsourcing space. For many companies, our philosophies will never ring true. But for those that it does resonate, the outsource support programs we build are unlike any in the industry.

The concepts First Call Resolution espouses are simple yet unique in the outsourcing industry: better pay, health benefits and profit sharing for our agents, a healthy work environment that creates a culture of loyalty throughout the company, colleague empowerment even at the agent level, and finally career pathing for all employees.

Simple stuff and obvious? Yes, but unlike any outsourcer and quite disruptive.

Matthew Achak

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