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September 8, 2010
Outsource to China, Then Move There?
Yesterday's note on the increasing costs in China led several commenters to mention that the cost savings of outsourcing work are never exactly what the percentages might lead you to think. Time zone problems, miscommunication, supply problems, and all the other things that can slow down work at a distance take their cuts. You have to keep a close eye on such factors, and also on what tasks you're asking your outsourcing partners to do.
So, what about the companies that are trying the project-leaders-here lab-workers-there approach? With all the chemistry being done overseas, you really have to keep on top of things. In fact, I've recently heard that some of the people in Merck's outsourced-chemistry area have been asked to consider relocating to China in order to keep things going smoothly.
I have this secondhand, so I'd be glad to get more (or more correct) details. But from what I heard, these requests have not gone over well, as you might imagine. Anyone on the ground at Merck want to fill the rest of us in?
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