Got a call from a long-time colleague today, to let me know that after 13 years he's been given his marching orders. His job, and the jobs of everyone in his department, has been outsourced overseas.
This department provides excellent support to branch staff. I wish I could say the same about the outsourcers; they have no understanding of the service concept. I know this; I've dealt with them as other departments have been outsourced over the last twelve months. If it doesn't fit their list, if they can't tick the box, they don't want to know. I'm not blaming them, as it's not their fault that they don't understand our business and the way it works, and are not authorised to step outside of the guidelines. But in our industry you can't afford to be so rigid. You have to look outside the box. You certainly don't HANG UP ON SOLICITORS who are trying to book settlement, just because they gave you the wrong answer (and yes, I had two complaints yesterday from two different solicitors, saying just that. I could do nothing about it - and how much did THAT hurt?!).
It really makes me rethink my own position. It was hard enough when our discharge dept was outsourced, dealing with the complaints from customers that time frames weren't met, but settlements is a whole different ball game. If they muck these up, it rebounds on me. And the amount of time I already spend trying to sort out problems/placate customers due to discharge difficulties renders a good part of every day unproductive. I really don't need the hassle of added customer aggro because their settlement was delayed somewhere in the outsourcers' workbasket.
But over and above all this is the human cost. Our state-based mortgage services dept used to take up nearly all the fourth floor of our regional office; after this latest round of redundancies there'll be only five people left, and those are slated to go before the end of the financial year too.