Commentators have long debated the extent to which ‘short-termism’ (the concentration on short-term objectives for immediate profits) in business impacts both individual organisations and the wider economy. According to recent research, however, companies deliver significantly improved results when leaders manage with long-term strategic goals in mind and resist pressure from investors to focus excessively on meeting short-term financial targets.
Ever since the 2016 elections, America’s outsourced manufacturing has consistently been front-page news. Now news stories are shifting towards the larger world of foreign imports, rather than just outsourcing. That means new policies and taxes that will impact, well, just about everything! That means all consumer goods, cars, electronics and a lot more. But what about... cartoons? Yeah… what about the Saturday morning ghetto, Hanna-Barbera, The Simpsons, and the Cartoon Network?
As regulations and consumer pressures shift and organisations are increasingly exposed to risk – reputational and beyond – the procurement industry faces a critical juncture. This dynamic has created a business environment where sustainable procurement programs are no longer just nice to have, but an integral organisational function that is responsible for protecting and improving brand reputation, driving revenue and mitigating business risk.
Over the last two decades I have had the opportunity to work with some of the largest (as well as mid-sized) enterprises who had outsourced their IT work to offshore based teams. The offshore teams themselves were either part of service providers who were domestic companies out of North America/Europe, or part of providers who were headquartered out of India (with largely a sales presence in North America/Europe).
Most businesses like to blame failed or protracted negotiations on an inability to reach agreement on the financials, contract terms, legal issues or some other business measure - but after 30 + years of contract negotiations experience, I’ve rarely seen a deal lost on these items. Negotiations are far more likely to falter due to lack of trust, or due to a weak relationship amongst the parties.
I was thinking of what I could say about the outsourcing market at the end of 2016. My initial thoughts were about how I feel that the term itself is dying out. Companies are much more likely to be exploring partnerships today.
From the invention of the wheel and steam engine to fax machines and desktop computers, technology has always shaped the way we work - but in the last few decades, the pace of innovation has sped up exponentially, forcing employees and those who lead them to constantly blaze new ground and determine new paradigms for the way things are done. The biggest recent change in work and workplace culture is the introduction of robots.
Outsource: Nipun, welcome to Outsource. As is customary with our Q&As, let’s begin with some scene-setting: could you please tell our audience a bit about Enlighta and your own role within the organisation?
Nipun Sehgal: Enlighta is a leading provider of supplier performance, risk and compliance, and relationship management solutions enabling enterprises to derive more business value from global and local supplier relationships.
Organisations that enter business process outsourcing (BPO) transactions inevitably experience challenges with BPO providers – often resulting from unmet expectations, difficult transitions and erratic steady state delivery. While it is reasonable to expect the value promised by a provider to be delivered quickly and consistently, walking a mile in a BPO provider’s shoes can help buyers understand the typical challenges BPO providers face when taking over execution of business processes from their clients.
We often hear stories of business relationships that appeared strong suddenly turning sour. These relationships may even have existed for some time. So what is going on? It is likely acts of opportunism.