Transcription 2000 has been on the front lines of the online transcription services industry as it has evolved over the last few decades and is often asked for her observations and insights about industry issues. We recently asked our founder what she feels is the single biggest issue or threat facing the industry today.
"Well," she said after a bit of thought, "generally speaking, I actually feel very positive about the future of our online transcription service industry and the important role we play in the way the world communicates and does business today. But, to address your specific question, I'd also have to say that from a big-picture perspective what does cause me great concern -- and more than a little frustration -- is the irrational pricing competition that seems to be increasingly rampant in our profession. In recent years I've watched the situation devolve to a point where it's become more and more difficult for a skilled transcriber to earn even a basic living wage. And that doesn't bode well for our industry at all.
"Whether it be transcription service companies that drive their costs down by using offshore transcription companies and their transcribers for whom English is not their primary language, or those that pay their U.S.-based independent contractor transcribers at rates that work out to be less than minimum wage, the resulting pricing environment is, in my opinion, jeopardizing our available talent pool over the long term.
"I often find myself telling potential new clients who are pushing back against our quoted rates, "Just do the math." I think most reasonable business people understand that cost (in this case, transcription services, transcribers), overhead, and profit have to be factored into a rate. When scrutinizing some of these "bargain" rates through this lens, it's easier to understand why an increasing number of skilled transcription service professionals are either leaving the service profession or choosing not to enter in the first place. I really believe the transcription services industry is shooting itself in the foot over the long term.
"But we'll continue fighting the good fight on behalf of our team of transcribers as we have for so many years. And although it's true we lose some work by sticking to our guns on this critical matter, we also know that once we've engaged with a new client, we'll earn great loyalty. That's really been the key to our long-term online transcription service success."
Adages become adages because they ring true. In the case of Transcription 2000 Services, "You get what you pay for" really says it all.