What comes after outsourcing, unsourcing? That according to a great article in The Economist entitled: “Outsourcing is so last year.” After years of outsourcing call centers to India and now The Philippines, companies are beginning to do away with call centers all together. Here is how the The Economist puts it:
"Unsourcing", as the new trend has been dubbed, involves companies setting up online communities to enable peer-to-peer support among users. Instead of speaking with a faceless person thousands of miles away, customers' problems are answered by individuals in the same country who have bought and used the same products.
Call centers will not completely go away. After all, one’s peers cannot help with a billing or shipping i
ssue. Never-the-less, problems with understanding directions and product glitches can indeed be handled by savvy peers.
What does this mean for the toy industry? Well, as the toy industry becomes increasingly dependent upon technology, the notion of unsourcing may become increasingly attractive.
It really is fascinating that advances in technology that enabled companies to move their customer service to the other side of the world are now enabling them to do away with it all together. Are you a company that is engaged in unsourcing? If so, let us know how it’s going.