The digital business environment is incredibly competitive, so organizations rely heavily on cost cutting measures to affect their bottom lines. With engineering costs of application development ever increasing, offshoring technical work can look like an attractive option for many corporations in Seattle and Portland.  However, offshoring presents many challenges such as language barriers, time zones and cultural differences that can easily cost a business more in the long run.  Instead of spending money offshore, companies in Portland and Seattle should be taking advantage of the nearshoring opportunities and knowledge capital just across the border in Vancouver, BC.  

Overall Cost Savings

The value of the Canadian Dollar is great news for American companies providing a real opportunity.  The talent pool north of the border is world class and currently deeply discounted at upwards of 25%. Analysts are predicting that the Canadian dollar will remain low for the rest of the year and into 2016.

Agility Through Proximity

For a company located in Seattle or Portland, nearshoring to Vancouver is a logical way to maximize value and efficiency.  Vancouver, BC shares the same time zone which allows for very easy collaboration and rapid response times.  For example, if there’s a bug, it’s easy to simply pick up the phone and call the Vancouver team instead of waiting for a response from a developer many time zones away in India or China.  

At first it may appear that the per hour rate for offshore developers is cheaper, but the turnover rates are incredibly high and quality issues stemming from miscommunication regularly push this hourly rate higher and higher.

Here’s what one of our clients had to say about nearshoring:

“We initially went overseas for our app development needs in order to save costs. The savings were quickly overshadowed with wasted time, missed meetings, buggy software, and lost code. After meeting face-to-face with 14 Oranges, we decided to make the switch and they were able to pick up where the previous developer left off without a hitch. They are highly responsive and have been able to mentor us throughout the app development project. It has been a pleasure working with 14 Oranges and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them for app development projects.” 

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Also, if onsite work or collaboration is required, travel from Vancouver to Portland or Seattle is incredibly fast, simple and cost effective.  For example, our Seattle based client Arris scheduled an in-person meeting at their office.  Sylvain was able to drop his children off at school in the morning, drive to Seattle for the meeting and make it back home in time for dinner.  Proximity allows both parties to operate in real time and communicate face to face whenever it’s necessary.   

Cultural Identity

The cultural business landscape along the US-Canadian border is virtually identical; therefore, communication and understanding between organizations will not be impeded by language differences, learning curves or growing pains.  Speaking the same language may seem like an insignificant detail, but when phone and email are the primary methods of communication, language is critical. Existing expectations for how business is conducted will lead to better working relationships and a similar understanding of issues because Vancouver is aware of the political, cultural and social landscape of the West Coast. This understanding is intangible and cannot be taught to companies overseas because it is implicit.

Business Regulations

It bears reminding that with NAFTA, US companies nearshoring to Canada can rest easy knowing their intellectual property is respected and will remain private.  For some companies that have engaged in offshoring, once they have paid their bill, they had no idea the fate of their documents and proprietary information.  As such, nearshoring to Vancouver reduces risk and will save you money on legal fees and the hassle of determining where your intellectual property has ended up.  

In Summary

The allure of offshoring can be tempting to organizations looking for a quick fix to cost savings; however, it is a short term solution.  Offshoring saddles companies with long term risks and headaches which could be easily avoided by choosing nearshoring to Vancouver.  For a fraction of the price, American companies can take advantage of the incredible technical talent pool available in Vancouver.  Our talent understands the West Coast culture and professional expectations that will eliminate miscommunications and allow you to get down to business.  When it comes to technical work, proximity is key.  If business travel is required, Vancouver is just a one hour plane ride to Portland and the same time zone which makes conference calls and emails easy to execute in real time.  As the digital transformation continues, more and more American companies will nearshore development work to Vancouver to capitalize on the cost savings and operational efficiencies.  

Learn more about how nearshoring can help your business

Contact 14 Oranges now at 604-304-0020




Nearshoring: The Best Alternative to Offshoring for North American Companies