I am not sure that most Americans fully understand the impacts of globalization on local market production.
McDonald's is experimenting with Drive-Thru service that outsources the order taking to a 40-person call center in Santa Maria, CA then sends the order back to the local restaurant.
No more local teen employment, and another strike at the economic stability of the working poor and middle classes.
According to a feature in NY Times:
The people behind this setup expect it to save just a few seconds on each order. But that can add up to extra sales over the course of a busy day at the drive-through.
While the call-center idea is in place at over 40 locations throughout the US, and has received some attention since a franchises began testing it 18 months ago, most customers are still in the dark.
The new service, currently experimental, reduces costs by centralizing customer service operations within a set of skilled and more precisely trained individuals.
The remote customer service center is subject to typical efficiency pressures. "Software tracks [their] productivity and speed, and every so often a red box pops up on [their] screen to test whether [they are] paying attention. [They are] expected to click on it within 1.75 seconds. In the break room, a computer screen lets employees know just how many minutes have elapsed since they left their workstations. During peak times, operators can take anywhere up to 95 orders an hour.
Money saved through this cost efficacy can be re-directed towards other facets of customer service and superior product innovation, like...hmn. Um. Well.
McDonald's is joined by the owner of Hardee's and Carl's Jr., CKE Restaurants, which plans to deploy a similar system later this year in restaurants in California.
And for the operators, another bonus. One worker said after work, "I don't smell like hamburgers."
AKI COMMENT: Ironically, the current McD's commercial campaign features celebs like Carl Lewis and Macy Gray thanking McD's for their first jobs when they were kids.
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Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Posted by AKI SYSTEMS 2600 at 4/11/2006 08:33:00 AM