Can You Disintermediate?
Check out the “In the News” story at right. The Philadelphia Inquirer chose a headline with a local slant. “The Drudge Report” said it better:
Woman Lost Millions With Madoff, Now Cleans Houses ...
My private dossier on Bernie Madoff—who admitted to running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme for years—is bulging with 44 stories (so far). Madoff was an intermediary: He got between investors and savers and their money.
Our lives and businesses are totally entangled with intermediaries. And some of them are very, very bad.
This is about disintermediation:
The elimination of intermediaries in the supply chain, also referred to as "cutting out the middlemen."
Two weeks ago, I was at a client meeting in Chicago, and my client (who booked the trip) received word from United that my flight to Philadelphia had been canceled and that I had been rebooked. I was given a phone number to call for details.
When I called, United tried its damnedest to put me in voice-mail jail. In a rage, I started pounding the operator button—0! 0! 0! 0!—and got a live guy with an Indian accent.
"To be honest, I’ve hated BPO [Business Process Outsourcing] for years," wrote Andrew Mickey on SeekingAlpha.com. "BPO is when 'non-core' activities like customer service or accounting for a business are outsourced. The masters of BPO are Indian companies, which provide basic business services at significantly lower costs."
I don’t know whether this guy was in India or Chicago. But whenever I hear an Indian accent on the phone, I assume the call is coming from 9,000 miles away and a job has been stolen from an American telephone sales rep when 11.1 million of us are out of work (so far).
The Saps That Signed On With Satyam
Three weeks ago, B. Ramalinga Raju, founder and chairman of Satyam—one of India's three largest software development and IT outsourcing companies with 53,000 employees—confessed to committing major fraud.