Taking Steps Into the US Marketplace - Time

One of the biggest challenges facing Non-US based organizations entering the US marketplace is the time difference.

An organization based in, for example Berlin, Germany, with an office in California is 9 hours ahead of their office, which is an entire work day. And even small time differences can lead to many organizational and customer support challenges. Using Germany as an example, let’s consider… 

Will the US staff be required to match or overlap with their German based counterparts? 
Will the German based staff be required to timeshift to ensure communications with their US based counterparts. 
If the customer support staff are based in Germany, will they work US hours? 
How will staff be managed if the people they report to are 9 hours ahead of them?
How will urgent/crisis management be handled?
How much autonomy will the US organization have to address customer and other issues?

These challenges are not insurmountable, but they do require careful consideration. There is no “one size fits all” solution to these scenarios. Any organization looking to establish a presence in the US must have a strategy in place for them before they open for business rather than trying to deal with time issues as they arise.  

And many of the solutions will have cost implications beyond those initially budgeted for when considering the move to the US.