The call came from Hong Kong (2 PM) where an irate customer was waiting for an emergency drop-shipment of silk from the factory in Ningbo, China (also 2 PM), but they had no answers; it was just the production site. â€œCall Logistics,â€ they said. Logistics is located in, and the next call went to Omaha, NE (1 AM). The phone rings, but no one is in the logistics managers office.
This has happened once before and the very dependable and consistently prolific Hong Kong customer is about to be dependable and prolific for somebody else. After all, he asks himself, do silkworms live in Mulberry trees in the woods?
The more irate Hong Kong customer, now a day behind schedule (9 PM that night), called Logistics (8 AM) and had three words for the beleaguered manager: â€œPhilippines Call Centre.â€
The silk manufacturing firms logistics manager brightened, knowing now he could save one of their high-volume customers and resurrect a rejected proposal he had submitted to executive staff three months ago when the Hong Kong customer had been delayed once before. The manager had suggested that very solution: hire the services of a logistics call centre in the Philippines. They are in the same time zone as Hong Kong and Ningbo, and one time zone away from Kyoto, Japan, where they had another big customer who had also had shipment issues.
He had a three word response to Hong Kong: â€œCount on it!â€
With historic data to support the disappointment of two of their top five customers, and the risk of losing both of them because of shipment delays, the manger repeated his proposal to locate a logistics call centre in the Philippines. Its logistic presence in the critical time zone was advantageous. The risk of losing one, let alone all three, would severely impact the business. The manager had facts supporting that claim, as well. He presented the cost of the operation that was well within the risk of lost revenue because Hong Kong was ready to bolt right now, but would hold and increase orders if they solved the problem.
There was a Philippines call centre already surveyed and found to have three important benefits:
1. They were situated locally in real time to three of their five critical customers and could have access to the available logistics database and be trained and authorized to make adjustments to schedules to accommodate changes for the most critical customers.
2. They could be trained to contribute to changes in production schedules in Ningbo, also available in real time as an enhanced feature/benefit of the call centre.
3. The outsourcing of a Philippine call centre would be cost effective because they had lower labor rates, a technically trained and competent workforce, and there would be no overhead costs that would otherwise be imposed if the company integrated a call centre of their own.
This time, the executive staff realized the benefits, and the preservation of threatening customers, by approving the call centre in the Philippines.
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