By Mike Lopez
A Bay Area-based global outsourcing expert, Mark Zetter, and HP’s former worldwide manufacturing education manager, Eric Olsen, Ph.D., have written a white paper on Lean Outsourcing. In the article, they raise a very good point. United States-based lean consultants often try to sell lean as a way to curtail the flow of manufacturing jobs offshore. As more offshore companies embrace the principles of lean, matching the quality and customer focus of their United State-based counterparts, the truly lean company may find that the most lean solution is to outsource. In graduate school, I personally experienced the benefits of Lean Outsourcing. I employed multiple computer programmers to do work for me overseas through the www.rentacoder.com website. The arrangement allowed me to offer the services of a large website programming business with no fixed overhead. All my costs were variable and everything was ordered just-in-time. Another review of the article can be found at Evolving Excellence.