Without a doubt, today’s competitive forces have pushed the role and importance of customer relationship management up to the top rung of the ladder to success for organizations. As it is so vital, it has become a specialized area and an industry in itself. Thomson Consumer Electronics, which manufactures electronic products for the well-known brands of RCA, GE and Proscan, came to understand in the mid 1990s that customer care is a separate skill and a trade apart from manufacturing. We are in the manufacturing business. We wanted to develop a partnership with a company that had expertise in managing a customer care center and call center, recalls Scott Medawar, Manager of Customer Care Operations for Thomson. They began outsourcing these strategic functions to Spherion in 1997. Prior to their agreement, Thomson had operated its own call center and had a relationship with Norell to staff the center (Norell later became Spherion).