02-17-2011, 03:00 PM #31
I am a software developer, and I've been watching the effects of overseas outsourcing for at least ten years now. My recommendation: come to grips with it, understand what you're dealing with, embrace it if you can, and figure out how you fit in a world that includes outsourcing, because it's not going away.
The way I see it, if you're vulnerable to the guy down the street who lowers his prices by 10% because he's outsourcing his PP, then you're sort of vulnerable to the guy who waltzes out of Wal-Mart with a new DSLR and thinks he's Ansel Adams, aren't you?
Compared to custom software development, photographers have at least two major advantages. First, I really think that more people are able to see and understand what "quality" means in a photographer, compared to a software developer, and they understand why they're paying more for a better product. Second -- and this is a big one -- the last time I checked, you still need a photographer standing fairly close to the subject he's shooting.
I've read some pretty enlightening articles by Scott Bourne on the business of photography -- if you haven't read his stuff, I highly recommend it. Here are a few relevant bits of his:
Are you fungible?
Could your photography business be disintermediated?
And you call yourself a professional?
Price your photography like you mean it
How to avoid undercutting the market
Dealing with clients who want cut rates
Last edited by dlambert; 02-17-2011 at 03:16 PM.
02-17-2011, 03:31 PM #32
My point in bringing it up was that it is not just the China and Indias which are causing a loss of jobs but your own companies in your own back yard.
(also about how hypocritical some policies are).
2.4 billion may well be a "pittance" in the big scheme of things, but tell that to the people who lost their jobs because of it. To them it is their livelyhood and life.
Not only is there no "perfect" answer to the issue currently, there is no answer as things stand. Well actually there are but they are just simply not possible in todays world.
Obviously everything is not going to be cut by 50% or even 10 or 20%. Therefore the West must expect this to continue until such time as the "developing" countries catch up in wages, standard of living etc. That won't be in my lifetime.
There are obviously some things which can be done in the meantime but you are not going to get major manufacturing back so adjust accordingly.
Currency manipulation. Off course the West has never been guilty of that now have they?!!
Anyway in the meantime, and back to the point of the whole issue.
STOP complaining about some little backstreet business in India sending out e-mails offering their services.
It is entirely up to the consumer if they use them or not. Some people will, some won't.
I am a capitalist, I will source my products and services based on what they will do for my bottom line.
I will always initially look locally for my products and services. I would rather support my own area/city/country because that is normally to my advantage.
However being a capitalist, (aka a greedy bastard) if I can get that product or service at the same quality and a better (a lot better) price elsewhere then that is where I will go if I have to.
I will certainly tell the local businesses why I am going elsewhere and it is then upto them whether they change or not.
I expect no different from my own customers.
I have had to change my business practises many times over the years to accomodate changes. I will no doubt have to in the future.
I have survived the advent of cheap digital cameras, micro stock, copyright grabbing publishers etc etc. Hopefully I will continue to do so.If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?
02-18-2011, 01:24 AM #33
Canon 7D, Canon EOS 450D, Canon EF 100-300 f5.6, Canon EF 50 f1.4; Canon Speedlite 430 EX11, Fuji FinePix F40 Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC and Mamiya ZE-2 35-70mm F3.5-4.5 Macro and a brand new Canon EFS 10-22 f3.5-4.5 USM; EF 70-200 f2.8L USM; Canon EF 24-70 2.8L.
02-18-2011, 12:44 PM #34
How many people here, I wonder, have salivated over Made in Japan or Made in Germany camera gears? What countries are your clothes manufactured from? Or anything in your house for that matter?
I understand people's frustrations of "other countries" trying to steal their jobs from the domestic market, but let's not apply double standards here. It's rather hypocracy to complain about your work being taken away due to overseas competition and yet continue to buy products made in other countries because they are better or cheaper. I mean really, this isn't just a matter of cheaper products and labour, this is about the individual consumers' needs and financial capabilities.
Patriotism is nice and all, but we need to all support and respect each other on a global scale.
02-18-2011, 01:19 PM #35
For me, the only good that may come out of this is that it will force us to transition and grow our once part time photography business into a a full time endeavor. Many of the unfortunately unemployed may not have that luxury.
02-18-2011, 06:54 PM #36If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?
02-19-2011, 10:58 AM #37
I do understand your pain, too, with the software industry suffering from outsourcing - it's the same for call centres which is my husband's industry. No different, too, to manufacturing.
What is important is that we need to learn to evolve, adapt and prepare when change occurs. We can't hold on to our ways, especially now that the internet has opened infinite doors to globalisation, and we have to find ways for our craft and business to evolve. The internet has opened endless possibilities for us. You can make money for your work online. The exposure to your work and services is not limited domestically or locally anymore. Where the internet can't help us, then we just have to look for other ways to earn our living even if it means changing industries or careers. Because where one door closes, another one opens.
It's an ever, changing world. We will only suffer if we resist change.
02-19-2011, 01:04 PM #38
I don't like outsourcing to the east purely because they don't know what they are doing in the call centres. Plenty of fantastic scientist etc other there, but call centre staff literally just read froma script, don't listen to what you say and so repeat the same things over and over again. This is particularly concerning when dealing with finances because you never quite know what you are being signed up to.
I has become such a problem in the UK that a major part of advertising is now going towards making sure people know that the call centres are in the UK. And people are much more liekly to sign up if they know the support is UK based. (Mind you sometimes you can't understand what the Scottish and Irish say :P)
I do understand your pain, too, with the software industry suffering from outsourcing
In cambodia, £1,000 would last you a year. In the UK £1,000 might last a month. So a Cambodian coder of the same calibre as one in the UK can charge £50 for a months work when someone here HAS to charge £1,000
Last edited by Biomech; 02-19-2011 at 01:08 PM.
02-19-2011, 02:06 PM #39
The costs of outsourcing go beyond just the loss of jobs:
1) A total disregard for patent laws. Many products sent off shore are often copied, re-branded, and ultimately sold against the very outsourcing company...talk about biting the hand that feeds you
2) Unregulated manufacturing processes that can, and will impact personal safety and health
3) The ripple effect that economically goes beyond the individual loss of local jobs, and the indirect loss of revenue...just ask the guy that owned a sandwich shop up the block from the now shut down factory.
4) Counterfeit, reversed engineered semiconductor products...a major problem in that industry. Those same parts have a good chance in finding homes in the very products you buy, often failing or yielding inferior results
5) Lost jobs along with lost companies equate to lost revenue for the state. In order for the state to continue providing the necessary services either your taxes go up to fill the void, or the very services themselves are compromised. Consider this cycle: lost jobs, crime rate increases, houses abandoned, and sometimes burned, police forces and fire departments reduced because of losses in state tax revenue. The good news is that a consumer can now buy a VCR for $30 bucks...a win/win??
I know it's inevitable, and the reality of it all is there's little that can be done about it, but it surely doesn't make me happy. Eventually, all countries will find themselves on the wrong side of the bell curve.
02-19-2011, 02:08 PM #40
But then guess who's out of jobs. India? Manila? Places where call centre are mostly outsourced to and are third world countries? I guess this becomes "it's better them than us" right? The western world have and are better equipped with proper education as it is easier to access than these countries. And these people who will lose their jobs have worse chances of getting or finding another job than you and I will. We're suppose to be the more educated ones and should be able to find better means of employment than them. But you know, it's become easier to blame them for our loss of jobs than the companies and bureaucracies we work for because they are the ones willing to sacrifice quality for cheaper labour.
Supply and demand. The majority of consumers (if not all) want to get products and services as cheaply as they can get. Companies will try to compete for their business by trying to give them what they want. So they outsource, because it's a way to ensure that they get profits for the cheap products and services they offer. Only companies that understand that quality is important and is better investment than cost cutting to retain customers will usually keep labour 'in house' or domestically where they can do more quality control. But so long as consumers demand for cheap products and services, companies will always source for where they can get cheap labour.
Oh jeeeebus, I've ranted. I couldn't sleep so I'm just in the forum passing time. So sorry!!
But this has been great discussion, though, I think. It's nice to do some more serious thinking than playing bejewelled on facebook