Tech Support: To Outsource or Not?

Computer manufacturer MPC moves its entire technical support operation inside its own walls.

Early this month, MPC Computers took an unusual step. At a time when so many companies offer technical support through third-party, often off-shore, facilities, MPC is moving its entire technical support operation in-house. All support duties will be handled by MPC employees working at the companys Nampa, Idaho headquarters. "Thirty new employees will be on the premises and in training the first Monday of January," says Jeff Fillmore, vice president of services and supply chain operations at MPC.

Currently, a portion of MPCs technical support operation is handled by DecisionOne, a dedicated support company headquartered in a suburb of Philadelphia. But recently, when MPC asked for improvements in DecisionOnes performance—how long it took support reps to answer each call, how often customers were satisfied with the help they received, and so on—the two companies reached an impasse.

"When I tried to hold them to certain metrics, they said they would have to raise our rates significantly or move our support off-shore," Fillmore says. For MPC, neither was an attractive option, and the company decided that the best thing to do was to move everything in-house, where it was already supporting its leading corporate and government customers.

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