Phoney Americans. Stiff upper lip Brits. Arrogant French. These well-worn country-based stereotypes all contain a modicum of truth, but a fair degree of simple prejudice. One other such overused stereotype is of the efficient German – but once again this stereotype seems no longer based entirely within reality, as the outsourcing arena can demonstrate.
The US was the first market to lead the outsourcing landscape, closely followed by the UK. Germany, along with the rest of Europe, has always adopted a protectionist mentality. Therefore European outsourcing has responded slowly to the burgeoning global outsourcing and offshoring markets. Germany, to prove the point, has not adopted the most efficient business process at the first opportunity.
However, this is set to change. Germany, as well as the Nordics, Switzerland and the Netherlands are starting to embrace outsourcing because the customers of companies within Europe are demanding the cost efficiencies and specialisations that it produces. Even lower cost European locations like Italy and Spain are starting to outsource, primarily to low cost regions within their own countries.
Although many companies are wary of the organisational change and redundancies that outsourcing can sometimes entail, they are starting to realise the benefits it can provide and therefore more European companies are choosing offshoring and outsourcing as a business solution.