Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Speaking of borderless services...

I was munching on my organic, free-range, sulfer-free cranberry almond clusters this morning when I ran across this article on the front page of the NY Times.

"The Long-Distance Journey of a Fast Food Order"

Now, when you pull up to certain McD's drive thrus, the person taking your order may be hundreds of miles away in a call center. That's right, the person asking "Do you want fries with that?" is nowhere remotely close to your actual fries. Feel free to tick them off.

McD's has set up call centers to take orders from restaurants around the country and then beam the orders back via the Internet. It shaves a few seconds off the process; which, in the long run, means more orders. No doubt, they're also doing it because there's some efficiency in training too.

You getting that icky feeling? I know, me too. However, it does make sense to me. The unfortunate/fortunate (depending on how you view this global marketplace we live in) thing is that the call centers are currently located in the US but have no real obstacle (other than socio-political) for being relocated internationally . The guy taking your order could be across the planet. My vanilla cone flipped in a cup somehow feels a little more important.

Anyways, this has nothing to do with games or marketing but it's related to the previous post. If you're interested in this stuff, read "The World is Flat" by Thomas Friedman.

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