Outsourcing Discrimination

By on 26/02/2014

One of the key aspects of DesignQuotes is that we are an local Australian network. When we started DesignQuotes we knew that designers would not want to compete against offshore businesses so we decided there might  value in connecting local businesses with local designers.

Turns out there is.

A simple way to ensure that people who signed up to DesignQuotes were in fact Australian businesses was to implement an ABN check using ABN Web Services.

Not bullet proof, but has worked well so far.

Today I got an unusual enquiry about this issue (click to enlarge):

Outsourcing Comment

 

And my response:

Outsourcing Response

Transcription

Comment:

How are you keeping the Indians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, Chinese, Bulgarians and all the rest of the grubs out? Do you discriminate by name? Do you ask for country of origin? The problem is not Australians only as they have infiltrated our society and so are now “Australians” and bidding as “Australians” but they get their little gutter mates in Asia to do the work anyway. I’d like to know how you define and police “Australian Only”.

Response:

Hi [removed] interesting question.

I assume your question is, how do we regulate whether providers outsource components of their work offshore?

In short, we don’t.

The claim that we accept Australian businesses only still holds even if some of those providers outsource some of the work.

The primary issues clients typically encounter when working with offshore companies are:

  • language barriers
  • micromanaging tasks they don’t understand
  • cultural differences
  • timezone issues
  • feature creep

When a client works with a local agency or freelancer they avoid the above issues most of the time.

In some cases a freelancer or agency will still outsource some of the work to reduce costs which is a very common practice. The advantage to the client is they get a cheaper product while the freelancer or agency handles the project.

Best regards,

Daniel.

My rationale for posting this:

I believe this person is frustrated with having to compete with cheap offshore pricing. Yet I know for a fact there is a thriving web industry in Australia.

It is my hopes that the community here can share some insight into the issue and help this person gain a new perspective.

What are your thoughts?

Let me know in the comments below.

About Daniel Duckworth

Daniel is a co-founder of ServiceCrowd. Daniel is on the front lines working with members, building a community and generating leads for the ServiceCrowd members.
  • emmix

    “and all the rest of the grubs out?” and “their little gutter mates in Asia” and “as they have infiltrated our society”
    Wow, that’s extremely racist. Australia is a multicultural country. Go back a generation or two and you’re probably not “Australian” either. 
    To the guy who submitted that message:
    If you’re a website developer and are worried about losing jobs to them… then just pick up your game and try to offer a better, differentiated product or service.
    If you’re a buyer and you want to know 100% that whoever is working on your project is Australian, contact a web development company, ask them for all the names of their staff. Buy an Ancestry subscription and look them up. But good luck with that. 
    Racism doesn’t belong in Australia.

  • http://www.designquotes.com.au/ Daniel from DesignQuotes

    Rationale for this post…
    I believe this person is frustrated with having to compete with cheap offshore pricing. Yet I know for a fact there is a thriving web industry in Australia.
    It is my hopes that the community here can share some insight into the issue and help this person gain a new perspective.

  • Ovidiu Puscas

    If you’re a website developer and are worried about losing jobs to them… then just pick up your game and try to offer a better, differentiated product or service.
    Explain the benefits of them working with you;
    - you can be contacted via phone/email/in person during AU time
    - you can meet with them locally at your office or theirs
    - the old saying “you get what you pay for” still applies… most people get that
    - explain to them how the “experience” throughout the project by working directly with you will differ

  • http://lucid.com.au DerekBell

    I have say, I find terms like “grubs” and gutter mates” to be quite offensive.  How do define Australian? Is it the Australia of post war migration? Is it the predominantly the British stock before that? Or do we take it back further to to original inhabitants that were here for tens of thousands of years before that?  We come from all over the world.  There is no place for racism here.
    You can’t police what is essentially a global market. You’d be surprised how much of the code on your computer/device comes out of places like Bangalore.

    It is impossible to compete with countries like India on price. Not when you can get people with graduate qualifications for $10 an hour. 
    I don’t compete on price because I can’t. I use other things like experience, being local, providing customer support. There are a many things you can do to differentiate yourself from your competitors where-ever they may be

  • Scott Kane

    Ouch!
    I’m typing this after a hernia op and the OP email makes me since. Hint – not really empathetic.
    I guess I can understand frustration from the OP. 30 year veteran software developer who has seen their industry go from extremely well paid in the 1980′s to competing with hourly rates insufficient to buy a litre of milk.
    But – and it’s a big but –
    if the OP is feeling the need to vent this expansively with this amount of vehemence I’d suggest the OP is either in the wrong business or is shooting to low.
    Most designers seem to quote with magic numbers – just like software developers. They can do in easier, better, smarter – cheaper…
    Well. Most quotes I issue are the most expensive the client gets. Rough idea – we don’t quote hourly rates, but if I did the hour is equivalent to most of the other quotes Total Price.
    Not every quote is accepted – but that’s OK too, because we don’t accept every customer.
    OP – stop thinking about design as “designing.” It’s not. It never really was. The value the client needs is ROI. Presentation is important – but it’s only a fraction of the elements that lead your clients site visitors to spend money (or time if appropriate) with them.
    Brush up on your marketing. It’s not just “SEO”, FaceBook or Twiitter.

  • KaneSherwell

    Its the norm these days. I’ve increased my pricing and seen my level of projects go from 20 – 25 to 10 – 15, but I have doubled my income. So he shouldn’t feel bad, just design better stuff. 
    I’m always the most expensive on the networks I get business from, but the clients can see in the designs the quality and know how.

  • lukav5

    I don’t think this is being racist, we all receive 100′s of emails a day about outsourcing our work, it is more about being local in Australia rather then offshore. We have 2 Indians working for us in-house in our St Kilda office and the quality of work produced by them out ways any company willing to do the work for $1o n hour.
    $10 an hour gets you crap, makes you miss deadlines and gets you slow work.
    It isn’t about competing with these outsource companies, it is more about providing quality work on time, something that ‘a non local’ can never provide.
    More and more companies are realising the difference and are wanting to use ‘Local’ companies, even if they do outsource their work, they deal with someone they can actually communicate with and not talk to on skype at 6pm.

  • peter1

    Seriously?   I say again seriously?????
    to be honest it is people like this that we do not need in our little group on the net. I do not compete with others on price, and do not farm out design work to o/s to safeguard my company reputation. My first impression of this persons statement is that they are a very misguided individual that will never be able to engage in the marketplace of “the real world” with that type of attitude. If they are a client, then i for one would probably have a problem with their attitude and would more than likely tell them were to go anyway.
    If they are a designer then get over it or get a new job. My suggestion would be the latter as there is always someone out there that will do a thousand dollar job for 300 dollars.

  • http://www.netseek.com.au Jim2014

    I think that if a designer considers that using local staff exclusively is a benefit to their core offer, they should just advertise that fact and let the customer decide if its important to them. This might help explain the price difference. The rate of inquiry will measure its importance in a commercial sense. Apart from that I don’t think you could force that “Australian company” means both a legal AU business entity that employs only local AU staff. Resourcing of staff has proven to be just as creative a process as creating a uniquely creative design…conceptually speaking.

  • superbloke76

    Ha Ha…..how ironic that the only grub & gutter mentality here is that of the OP, who I am certain usually starts his conversations at a weekend BBQ with “I am not racist but..”. Hey – even Microsoft has recently appointed its CEO (yes, CEO) in the form of an Indian born and educated intellectual and the Head of Google Search actually comes from Chennai, India. Whether you are a web developer or someone looking for a web developer, with your choice of words, you are not up-to-date with a trend called “Globalisation” and you are better off simply selling ice to the Eskimos wearing a multicoloured, yet ugly suit. Get a life!!!

  • superbloke76

    lukav5  I have had websites built by ad agencies here in Australia that have lesser attention to detail than Craig Thompson with a credit card. And they have kept promises to time frames like Kim Jong Un has to democracy. On the other hand, I have had offshore contractors deliver on time, in full, as specified. So how can you tar everyone with the same brush?

  • superbloke76

    lukav5  I have had websites built by ad agencies here in Australia that have lesser attention to detail than Craig Thompson with a credit card. And they have kept promises to time frames like Kim Jong Un has to democracy. On the other hand, I have had offshore contractors deliver on time, in full, as specified. So how can you tar everyone with the same brush?

  • superbloke76

    Scott Kane  Love your reply…..so very true.

  • lukav5

    superbloke76 the aussie agency you used probably outsourced the work. 
    I am not giving anyone and equal brush, I am just saying with the amount of email spam I receive, the people sending that are the type of people you do not want to do your work, and I presume a lot of people have fallen victim to these emails because they sound so cheap.

  • superbloke76

    lukav5 ”the aussie agency you used probably outsourced the work.” Wow…..how do you assume that? Its no different to saying “All Kiwis are dole bludgers” or (as they say in my city of birth, London) “All Aussies are lazy”. You should really think before you make assumptions as the agency I am talking about is apparently the “bees’ knees’ when it ones to web design in Australia. And with your next statement “I am not giving anyone and equal brush” you do sound like the bloke who begins his conversations at BBQs with “I am not racist but those ***** fellas…….”. Not about being politically correct, its just about plain intellectualism.

  • lukav5

    superbloke76 I assume because you said they gave no attention to detail, if they are bees knees of web design then that is exactly what they would be doing, they would not let work out to the client before making sure everything has been double and triple checked by more than one person who works at the company to make sure it is up to standard.
    I know 3 big agencies that don’t have any designers that work in the office, all account managers and sales only, sites get sold at 15k+ and do not looked at before it is sent to the client, some may say they are the bees knees, but as I said, they do not look over the work, which means the attention to detail is not there and therefore from another web company it is very easy to tell one of their sites.
    You brought up the brush thing, not me. I categorised spam email outs as people you do not want to work with, when you get 50+ spam outsource email per day, they are the people to stay clear of.
    Good luck to those who outsource though and get to make that much profit on the jobs, it has absolutely no effect on what I am doing.

  • mindu

    Sounds like a frustrated point he/she makes and certainly an incorrect view or way of approaching it. Rather then make this discussion about pointing out the racist, how about we educate and discuss how everyone (agency and freelancers) overcomes or tackles this issue this person has raised (in a politically correct way).
    We emphasis our services on being Australian operated and developed, hoping people take notice (a bit like Australian made label on food). We could go down the offshore road but we know the cheaper you go the unsatisfied and unprofessional the outcome. Its tough and getting tougher to complete with offshore (outsource) operations and offering quality and service is tough to compare with a very cheap price.  Were open to views on how others have tackled the issue.
    Is copyright law worth mentioning in proposals?
    We also believe designquotes.com.au model has a ABN checking system which helps keep it local, unlike the freelancer or 99designs model which is bad for all parties, especially the designer/developer.