Outsource Issue 30 - (Page 96)

Less shtick and more karat It’s been a tough year – but have we learnt anything from our travails? Specifically, are customers wising up to the fact that working with, rather than beating up, suppliers can achieve what’s best for the business in the long run? Simon Briskman, Field Fisher Waterhouse Simon Briskman is Partner at Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP His expertise covers the sourcing life cycle from . procurement through change, to exits and crisis management; he has negotiated ITOs and BPOs across sectors for some of the world’s largest corporations. He is a regular columnist for Outsource online. T 96 ●● here is no doubt: 2012 has been tough. Customer organisations have become strongly focussed on maximising value from their suppliers. They don’t just want sales shtick; they want the gold standard in best practice and innovation. Yet many customers could do more to realise value if they adopted stronger relationship engagement with their suppliers. The blame game The G4S headlines typified 2012. G4S were pilloried for not recruiting security staff quickly enough in the run up to the Olympics. MPs blamed G4S for inadequate planning and poor management information while exonerating LOCOG, the organisers of the Games. Yet LOCOG originally estimated 2,000 security personnel were needed for the job before ramping up the requirement to 10,400 staff just seven months before the games began. These staff needed recruiting, training, vetting and accrediting in a short space of time. The Home Affairs Committee, who were so damning of G4S’s performance, also cited G4S as one of the world’s leading security providers. This casts doubts on whether any supplier could have fulfilled the contract. Customers cannot afford just to blame their suppliers. They need to ensure their requirements are manageable in the first place. It was LOCOG who risked most if Olympics security was inadequate (and not every customer can call in the army if its supplier fails). The Laidlaw report on the West Coast Mainline debacle reveals a different kind of customer governance issue. Laidlaw found that the Department for Transport didn’t give adequate information to bidders and didn’t put in the preparatory work to do so. Suppliers were not compared apples to apples and potentially the wrong “Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.” – William James www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk http://www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outsource Issue 30

Peering through the fog
Who moved my world
Bringing on the beeb
Courting the commentariat
Everyone is responsible
Our survey says
Fast money
Smarten up
Seeing the biggest picture
NOA round-up
Embracing enterprise innovation
Customer matters
Application development outsourcing
India: rules for offshoring
Talent gap
The Professionals
Book learning
The outsourcing jigsaw
The legal view
Top ten
NelsonHall round-up
Online round-up
The deal doctor
Inside source
The last word

Outsource Issue 30