Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Economics of Call Centers

"Business process outsourcing is the practice of using a third party contracted to perform specific, specialised processes on a company’s behalf, such as payroll functions, human resources and customer call centres.

The government has long pinpointed business process outsourcing as a high-priority sector, especially since its growth could absorb a “large and well-educated labour pool, with over 300 000 new school leavers and 100 000 graduates entering the workforce annually”, the document says.

The call centre subsector grew about 8 percent last year, employing 54000 people.

SA has a big youth unemployment problem, with 2,8-million of its citizens aged 18-24 jobless or in education or training facilities.

SA has made moves to elbow its way into the international tussle for the sector, offering incentives to global giants such as IBM, Fujitsu Siemens, Lufthansa, Virgin, Sykes, Avis, Car Phone Warehouse and Amazon.

They have opened customer-service centres in SA.

According to the department, SA is seen as a preferred location for business process outsourcing as the majority of people speak English, the telecommunications infrastructure is improving and labour is fairly cheap compared with the West."