2018 is not the first time our industry has come under fire. It’s had a colourful history from tales of cost-cutting to ethical arguments around driving labour arbitrage. Outsourcing has often been misunderstood and the whole industry blamed when things go wrong. But with the recent, spectacular collapse of Carillion we are seeing a renewed attack from certain corners in relation to the “failure of outsourcing.” A grand, sweeping statement, but is there any truth in it?
Supply chain sustainability is a nice idea, but there are a lot of unanswered questions when it comes to the finer details. So, while genuine progress has been made, there are also a lot of businesses whose commitment to a sustainable supply chain is questionable.
A few years ago, companies used purpose to differentiate. It was an edge over their competition, something that was applauded by consumers. Today, it’s the expectation. Businesses want to not only do well for their companies, they also want to make a difference in the world, and between modern slavery and extreme poverty, the supply chain is the ticket. We’re living in an age where supply chains are becoming more and more complex and what you can’t see can hurt you.
Between budget cuts and complex contract language, managing IT spend and relationships with software vendors can prove to be quite challenging, especially if you’re not in a position with leverage. With new technology constantly being introduced to the market, best-in-class procurement teams understand the importance of being in a position with leverage – allowing the business to be in control of the vendors’ influence and the ability to evaluate alternatives.
Not many people can say they haven't heard the voice of a young child asking “Why?” No matter what the subject matter we all seem to be programmed to want to know the “why” behind the “what.” The procurement workplace is no different but we tend to find difficulty in connecting these. Understanding the ins and outs of theory and practice become essential to success in the procurement world.
Two years ago, the World Economic Forum (WEF) published its Future of Jobs report – exploring employment, skills and workforces in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This sparked debate – and growing concern – around a changing global employment landscape as the result of disruptive technologies, studded with widening skill gaps, new jobs and job displacement.
Outsourcing decisions often come down to a relatively simple cost-driven Return on Investment (ROI) calculation: how much will the cost change in each scenario and how quickly can that investment be recovered?
On the surface, this purely economic approach seems appropriate enough. After all, economics are certainly important. But over-reliance on purely financial-driven outsourcing decisions is one of the biggest causes of the “strategy-to-execution gap,” namely the distance between a company’s business strategies and its ability to execute on them.
It’s easy to hear a buzz word in the industry and make assumptions. However, what happens when those assumptions prove incorrect? And what happens when those assumptions are the bedrock under which a sourcing contract is being shaped, priced and a customer/service provider relationship is developed?
Much is being made about the need to attract and retain millennial talent in today’s economy. Companies that are focused on long-term sustainability are intently focused on those entering the workforce now, as they need to fill the void that will undoubtedly be left by the mass exodus that will take place in the coming years with the Baby Boomers retiring. But are companies becoming a little too obsessed with the Generation Y (millennial) workers and neglecting those who are set to lead their organizations in the nearer term?