1. Security of proprietary information becomes problematic
How secure is your organizations information? Patents? Trademarks? Legal documents will not serve any protection in foreign countries like it does in the U.S. Keep in mind, foreign judges usually show favoritism to their local companies. According to the FBI, NDAs do not hold up, creating a greater risk of intellectual property being compromised.
2. Offshore “time zone issues”
Training today needs to be done now, sometimes yesterday. Meeting tight deadlines become less worrisome with onshore. Partnering with a U.S. firm that can refine client requests at a moment’s notice has real value.
3. Real offshore cultural and linguistic “barriers”
Cultural and language differences can hinder communications and lead to misunderstandings. How will that impact your training deliverables? Language and culture make precise and effective communication more likely. When you onshore, the linguistic differences that create stress and confusion are absent.
4. The offshore project management and supervision “double dip” cost
Who is managing your offshore vendor? All too often, there is a need to pay for two project managers – one to communicate with the English speaking client and the other communicating with developers. eLearning project management requires much skill in the sense that one has to manage, schedule, oversee and delegate a project. An offshore partner may not be able to articulate status in accordance with best practices of project management.
Overseas labor rates may be cheaper but lower productivity, frustration, and back-end project “gotchas” can cancel that out. The reality is, low wages can increase based on development need, somewhat obviating the original reason for outsourcing. Greater costs can be associated with supervision of overseas operations and management of complex foreign tax issues as well.
6. Vendor stability and the real cost of inexpensive labor
There are so many offshore vendors popping up overnight. While cheaper labor may seem appealing, be sure to check on all aspects of an offshore eLearning partner, i.e. years in business, financial stability, work references, schedule and cost dependability, as well as U.S. business ethics.
7. Questioning offshore quality
Your definition of quality may differ dramatically from an offshore vendor. Writing styles can vary and lead to misinterpretations, as there may be deviations from American standard quality procedures. Reviews and “redo’s” may refine to your quality standards, but you should consider the additional cost in meeting US-based standards.
8. Offshore communication breakdown between eLearning teams
Did you know there are numerous dialects of French? It can be very confusing. Communication can easily get lost in translation when you’re trying to plan, design and develop eLearning programs. Even more so when you factor in time changes and cultures.
9. Consistency comes from history
Choosing a U.S.-based eLearning partner gives you the opportunity to review their latest projects and allow them to make presentations in your language and cultural familiarities that promote teamwork and eliminate many communication barriers. Furthermore, U.S.-based “best practices” in eLearning development are a proven standard for many years.
10. Buy American!
Help the U.S. economy and our homeland employment by keeping jobs in the United States of America. Many local, state and federal projects have regulations mandating use of American workers. Foreign currency fluctuations and foreign tax rules can greatly impact the cost of a project.