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FAQ -- Outsourcing in Poland

Outsourcing in Poland

What kinds of products and services can be outsourced? 

Virtually any service that is not specifically local in nature (e.g., waiters or caregivers) and any manufacturing operation are potential outsourcing opportunities.  Nevertheless, certain products and services seem particularly appropriate for outsourcing in Poland.  Among products that we find attractive for outsourcing in Poland are:

√ Products or services that require a large number of (particularly unskilled) workers and whose production is not easily automated.
√ Heavy or bulky products where shipping costs are a significant factor.
√ Products that require extensive physical plants to produce.
√ Products that benefit from multiple shifts or continuous production.
√ Products that can be manufactured in rural areas

Among services that are candidates for outsourcing in Poland are:

√ Information technology-related services
√ “Back office” or repetitive transactions
√ Services whose “work product” can be transmitted electronically (e.g., research)
√ Services that are not specifically time-linked or do not require instantaneous fulfillment

Isn't it cheaper to outsource to India or China?

If your sole criterion is price, other locations (such as India, China, Mexico, Bangladesh or Africa) will be more attractive. However, Poland offers a number of significant advantages compared to these countries:
√ Poland has a very highly trained workforce with western or near-western levels of productivity.
√ Poland's workforce has an outstanding work ethic (particularly recognized and well respected in Europe).
√ Intellectual property protections have recently been enabled by, among other things, Poland's joining the European Union and adopting the acquis communautaire (the body of EU procedures and regulations).
√ Poland enjoys geographic proximity to major western, central and eastern European markets.
√ With its 2004 accession to the EU, Poland now has access to other EU markets without tariff or other barriers that "third-world" goods may encounter.
√ Poland represents an emerging national market of 39 million increasingly middle-class consumers.
√ Poland has built a strong university and technical school system to train workers.
√ Poland currently is experiencing high unemployment (13% in August 2013), which assures a ready supply of labor.
√ Because of the shorter distances involved and the excellent transportation systems generally, western European businessmen can visit and interact with outsourcing facilities in Poland in the same day or with a maximum of one overnight stay.

What is the reputation of Polish manufacturing and services in surrounding countries?

The reputation of Poland and Polish goods has undergone a “sea change” since the “Polak jokes” of the 70s and 80s. Perhaps the greatest factor in this change is the millions of young Poles who have gone to work in western Europe since the fall of Communism.  Their excellent work ethic and quality - and the fact that they often out-compete local workers - are changing the image of Poland from a backwater to a serious competitor and, for the first time in at least recent history, a regional leader and power.  Increasingly, Poland’s neighbors see it as a place for getting western European quality at very significantly lower prices.