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Generic Benchmarking

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Autor:  anton  14 May 2011
Tags:  Generic,  Benchmarking
Words: 894   |   Pages: 4
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Generic Benchmarking: Outsourcing

Freescale Semiconductor and General Motors Corporation

University of Phoenix

Freescale Semiconductor

One of the concepts facing Global Communications is to communicate effectively to the union and employees, the decision to close some of their technical call centers by outsourcing to India and Ireland. By looking at how Freescale Semiconductor handled similar situations, we can get an idea of the process and its effect a decision of this type has on those involved.

Freescale Semiconductor is a world leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial, networking and wireless markets. Freescale Semiconductor was spun off by Motorola in 2004. Since its inception, Freescale Semiconductor has outsourced many aspects of its operation to overseas countries. Of the seven manufacturing plants, only two are in the United States. The rest are in Europe and the Far East as well as most of their technical support call centers. (Freescale, 2007)

Just over a year ago, Freescale announced it would be moving some of the software development teams to Guadalajara, Mexico. At that time, they could hire three people in Mexico for every one here in the United States. The members of the teams being moved were also told they would be training their replacements. Once the training was completed, those employees who were not shifted to another area would be terminated.

I interviewed one of the employees, Becky Courson, who would be training her replacement, for her perspective. Ms. Courson has been with Freescale/Motorola for 19 years, surviving numerous lay-offs. During the meeting where the outsourcing was discussed, the senior manager was very direct about the reasons. They would be able to hire more people for the same money. In addition, they chose Guadalajara because it was in the same time zone as Austin, Texas, Freescale’s headquarters. Management also reasoned that since many of software developers were able to telecommute at least once a week anyway, the employee could live anywhere and get the job accomplished. (Personal communication July 27, 2007)

When Ms. Courson was discussing her options with her manager, he seemed nonchalant about it. He wanted her to go a certain department that she did feel was compatible to her skill level. And when she would try to ask about other positions that she thought would be better, he kept telling her, she would be much better off in this other position and that it was not big deal. At that point, Ms. Courson stated, ‘Yes, it is a big deal. This is how I spend my life.’ She thinks at that point he finally realized how important it was to those affected by the decision. (Personal communication July 27, 2007)

General Motors Corporation

Part of Global Communications strategy was to enter the global marketplace using outsourcing. General Motors has been outsourcing and off-shoring for many years. In the 1980s, General Motors was facing a myriad of problems, including modernizing out-dated plants, demands from consumers for fuel efficiency at a reasonable cost, a need for technicalogical advancements. During the early part of the decade, General Motors made progress by entering into several joint ventures with Japan, acquisitions and restructuring of the North American Passenger Car Operation. Many of these required the cooperation and agreement of the United Auto Workers Union.

By 1986, however, General Motors was facing the realities of the coming century, more foreign competition and a global economy. During that year, General Motors took a stand and focused on cost reduction. Several plants were closed, with the operations moving off shore, but still many lost their jobs. They also decided to reduce the number of salaried employees worldwide and to phase out noncompetitive products or obsolete manufacturing operations.

These measures paid off during the next five years. General Motors was able to open six new plants, and retooled and modernized 12 others. GM’s stockholder value improved and General Motors was ready for the challenge of the 21st century.

“During the eighties, General Motors implemented more change – with new plants, new technology, new products, a new commitment to cost efficiency, and a new commitment to its people – than in all of the previous seven decades of the Corporation’s history.” (General Motors Corporation, 2007)

Most recently, General Motors will be turning over it’s IT to six primary suppliers from the original 18. In order to simplify matters, each primary suppler is responsible for hiring and managing their own subcontractors, says Lisa Gage. (Tynan, 2006) In addition, each primary supplier has been awarded contracts on a global basis. That way General Motors can rely on one single source for each application, such as HR. The biggest benefit for General Motors is it creates a “standardized work process in every region of the world.” (Tynan, 2006)

Global Communications can valuable lessons from these two companies when they begin the process of outsourcing the technical call centers. This would include how to deal with employees and structuring how the outsourcing will be implemented.


General Motors Corporation. 2007. GM history, 1980-1989. Retrieved July 29, 2007, from

Tynan, D. (2006, August 28). Case study: for general motors, outsourcing is a way of life. InfoWorld. Retrieved July 30, 2007, from

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