outsource issue 31 - (Page 62)

feature Outsourcing Trends Back From The Summit Great things can be gleaned from a good conference – and it’s always nice to share… Jamie Liddell Jamie Liddell is the editor of Outsource and www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk T owards the end of last year, Outsource partnered with our good friends at Forum Events to promote the latter’s Outsourcing Partnership Summit, and I was honoured to be invited to chair a panel at the event looking at issues impacting upon the outsourcing space and the practice of outsourcing. Both during and following the panel – which featured Michael Clarke of ADAS Group, David Pridmore of the London Borough of Newham, Lee Tribe of the Metropolitan Police and Joel Walker of Vodafone – a number of issues arose which led to some great debate amongst the assembled delegates, and in advance of the next instalment of the conference (which we’re again partnering with, and which will take place on October 10th 2013 in London) I thought it might be valuable to share some of these issues with the broader Outsource audience. Partnership Perhaps fittingly considering the name of the event, the nature of partnership was a matter for much discussion. “Partnership” itself is of course a much-bandied term in this space, but a question often arises over whether or not the relationship between provider and buyer is actually a true partnership or if, when the chips are down, the old servant-master dynamic perpetually rears its ugly head. In my own experience, everyone will say they’re looking for a genuine partnership but perhaps not everybody is prepared to walk that particular talk. One of the buy-side delegates at the event told me quite frankly that “partnership is something we say but not something we do” – his organisation was prepared to pay lip-service to the idea of “partnership” if it meant getting a better relationship (and presumably better terms) from their suppliers, and was willing to allow this to be reflected in the governance structure in terms of regular meetings, working groups etc, but was absolutely insistent upon waving a very big stick whenever matters of significance arose which could result in any form of dispute. This didn’t seem to be an especially uncommon attitude, which if disappointing is perhaps understandable especially amongst first-time-round outsourcers: fears over loss of control are of course often prominent in organisations looking to outsource for the first time, while the possibly more complex mindset required to permit, for example, gainshare agreements to be put in place might not be at the forefront of the thinking of the lessenlightened executives tasked with getting the very best price from potential suppliers. Nevertheless, as the work of luminaries such as Kate Vitasek (see p. 48) has shown, the willingness to operate under a genuinely win-win philosophy can result in getting the very best out of a provider as opposed to “merely” hitting all the KPIs. Perhaps it’s too much to ask that first-time outsourcing buyers in particular immediately throw their arms wide and call for much more than just a “do this now, and this then” agreement; Consendre mod eugait alit luptati sisisisit augait num iusti facidunt ipsumsan el eraestrud exerat ad onulla cor ing eumsandre ex elit “When I have reached a summit, I leave it with great reluctance, unless it is to reach for another, higher one.” – Gustav Mahler atetue tet ulla feu feum niamconEm ea commodiam ad tem dolortio Utat lum quisim et, quissi.Volobore m iurero dolobore. 62 ●●●●● 62 trends.indd 62 www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk 25/3/13 14:06:46 http://www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk http://www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of outsource issue 31

Upwardly Mobile
Keys to Driving Supply Chain Outsourcing Success
Biography of a Carve-Out
Culture and Values
Redefining the Law Firm Delivery Model
Sharing the Glory
Norn Ironman
Breaking the Outsourcing Conundrum
NOA Round-Up
Back from the Summit
Losing the Race Before You Put On Your Trainers
Innovate to Accelerate
Comparing Clouds
People Power
Making an Impact
Home or Away?
Dead and Buried?
So What Now?
The Legal View
Top Ten
NelsonHall Round-Up
Sourcing Sage
Online Round-Up
The Deal Doctor
Inside Source
The Last Word

outsource issue 31