This week's Wiki-Wednesday topic is Nearshoring. An excerpt from the Wikipedia article on this topic is below. Click here to read the rest. Don't forget to check back on Friday to read our notes on yesterday's SIG webinar on this topic.
Nearshoring is a derivative of the business term offshoring.
Offshoring involves shifting work to a foreign, distant organization in order to reduce production costs. Offshoring is subject to several different constraints, however, such as time lag between the parties, differences in local employment laws and practices, and oversight.A Western European IT company, say. might outsource software writing to a company in India, which specialises in such work, to take advantage of low cost, and skilled labour with a common language, but the distance between the two means reduced face contact, therefore less control of the project, and greater vulnerability to such as Intellectual Property theft and Fraud.
In contrast, nearshoring means that the business has shifted work to a lower cost organization, but within its own region, broadly defined.
In Europe, nearshoring relationships are between clients in larger European economies and various providers in smaller European nations. Major centers are in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Belarus and the Baltic. There are also nearshore centers in larger markets, such as Russia and Ukraine. These destinations are attractive because they are low-cost, have skilled labor forces, and a less stringent regulatory environment, but crucially they allow for more day to day physical oversight. They also have strong cultural ties to the major economic centers in Europe. For example, Bulgaria is now considered to be a viable outsourcing destination for such companies as German software company SAP, where labor costs are low, and the skills available, but which is also closer to home.
The complexity of offshoring stems from different languages and cultures, long distances and different time zones, spending more time and effort on establishing trust and long-term relationships, overriding communication barriers and activities of that kind. Nearshoring doesn't necessarily overcome all of these barriers, but the proximity allows more flexibility to align organizations.
Nearshoring has become a marketing differentiator for those nations and providers who wish to set themselves apart from sourcing centers in Asia, especially the dominant, India.