At the end of a contract term, buyers of outsourced services have several options. They can renew the agreement and sign on for more of the same, renegotiate terms, seek a new partner through a re-bid or take services back in-house. Given the pace of technology change and the ferocity of market competition, these choices are becoming increasing complex. Standing pat and signing on for more of the same ensures falling behind market leaders. An aggressive all-in move to a new technology, meanwhile, could prove to be a disastrously wrong choice.
Another rainy trip up north, I thought to myself, turning on the windshield wipers. A recent phone call from Anne, the head of global purchasing, requesting my participation in reviewing some ideas to build stronger partnerships with their inside-outsourcing service providers (IOSPs), was the reason for the trip. Over my forty years as an IOSP, I'd become very cynical and prejudicial towards purchasing departments. As an IOSP to the auto industry, I'd witnessed countless purchasing initiatives resulting in bankrupting IOSPs due to a complete lack of foresight.
Robotic process automation is based on a new type of software. But will it result in a new type of outsourcer? James Hall, Founder and CEO of Genfour, thinks so. Welcome to the world of the virtual outsourcer.
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We're all familiar with the original Seven Wonders of the World, those marvels including the Great Pyramid and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon brought together as a kind of travelers' bucket list for the ancients; probably far fewer readers, however, may be aware that there exists a parallel list of splendours enticing tourists from the global outsourcing community - and that in the spirit of adding value which permeates this space, this list numbers not a measly seven but a princely ten jaw-dropping wonders to visit, look upon and contemplate with awe.
Once more, the validity of outsourcing in the public sector has been brought into question.
Just this week, the National Audit Office released a report on the UK government’s programme to transfer back-office functions to two shared services centres. The report outlines that although savings were made, so far to date, it has not achieved value for money.
The worry is that new outsourcing contracts could actually cost the taxpayer more than they save, which no department or organisation ever wants.
Offshore outsourcing is controversial. No news there. For over 15 years customers have been moving services offshore as part of their global souring strategy. In the early '00s businesses couldn't offshore quick enough. Opponents of offshoring frequently quote the loss of domestic jobs, damage to economies, poor communication and quality, while proponents insist it facilitates competition and actually makes economies more efficient. But amid the furore, there is a rise in organisations returning from offshore.
For the first time, last year’s US workforce had more millennials (aged 18-30) than Baby Boomers. This generation of workers has arrived in full force. In fact, by 2020, they are projected to make up half the global workforce. Companies that haven’t already changed to meet millennials’ needs should act fast.
The third Wednesday of every month - specifically, at 3pm UK time - is rapidly becoming a regular high point on my personal schedule – “Why?”, I hear you ask (the NSA have lent me some really cool eavesdropping kit…).