For years, the outsourcing world has been buzzing about reshoring (or "backshoring"), taking the jobs we sent offshore years ago and bringing them back to the US and Europe. Low wages, cheap property, and favourable taxes made offshore manufacturing very attractive. But in recent years property values rose, staff turnover increased, and wages just keep heading up. Despite weakening economics, offshore still made sense. Until today!
I visited Cape Town and Durban recently as a guest of BPESA (Business Process Enabling South Africa) and attended the South Africa BPM Summit 2016. The summit featured local business leaders, industry influencers, and politicians eager to create jobs in South Africa by riding the wave of business process outsourcing (BPO).
Large organisations face very similar IT challenges. Regardless of industry, they need to continually innovate, increase profits, decrease costs and drive efficiencies throughout their operations.
Considering that as much as 80 per cent of an organisation’s IT spend goes towards maintaining systems and infrastructure, it’s no surprise that many business leaders are looking to migrate their IT foundations to more functional, up-to-date technologies.
Multi-supplier service is all the rage, together with its linking agent Service Integration and Management (SIAM). Wonderful in theory... How does one practically get multiple parties to collaborate towards a common end?
Every pilot/flight trainee knows the importance of trusting what the plane’s cockpit instruments are telling them. With very rare exception, the cockpit’s instruments don’t lie. What’s happening to the plane can be counter-intuitive to what your human senses are telling you. I can recall several instances in my flight training when I had to fight my senses (and fear) and rely on the data in the cockpit as my only gauge of what was actually happening and what I needed to do to get the plane to back to straight and level flight.
For outsourcers, a commitment to best practice processes is absolutely vital for success. They not only ensure that your business is offering best-of-breed services, but they also go a long way in reducing overall business costs and working capital by as much as 15 to 20 per cent. These result in a highly competitive enterprise, able to maintain growth while driving business-wide efficiencies.
One of the key arguments that really defined the Brexit referendum in the UK was migration. British voters supported an exit from the European Union largely because they wanted more control over their borders. Those arguing for Brexit say that they are not trying to end migration entirely, just they want to ensure that the people who enter the UK have the right skills. Nobody should be able to enter just because they were also born in Europe.
A couple of years back, I approached a number of legal process outsourcing (LPO) firms - all of the largest and most reputable American and British ones. Many replied; only one expressed interest and took it further. I made a proposal to establish a centre in Beirut, Lebanon, and was hoping it would go further - but it didn’t.
But what if it had? What would have happened?
The formation of a good sourcing agreement relies on clear thinking and agreement between the parties on what is to be done, why and how. The market and technology are changing so rapidly that the next agreement is likely to bear little resemblance to the last. How to make sure we ask the right questions and not just the obvious of the suppliers and ourselves?
Your mess for less
In days of old, when suppliers were big, profitable and mostly American, the questions to be asked to define what a customer wanted of a new service addressed aspects such as:
Earlier this year, Outsource editor Jamie Liddell chaired an advisor roundtable hosted by Capgemini, during which key themes emerged which were subsequently explored further by several of the roundtable guests in our recent two-part article 'A Dizz