Outsource Magazine Issue 24 - (Page 98)

TOP TEN TROUBLED RELATIONSHIPS Our Top Ten series continues this issue with Danny Ertel, who gives his tips for dealing with relationships on the rocks… Danny Ertel, Vantage Partners Danny Ertel is Founder and Partner at Vantage Partners LLC, a Boston-based global management consultancy specialising in relationship optimisation; and chairman of software provider Janeeva. He is also a member of the Sourcing Interests Group Advisory Board, and a columnist for Outsource online. hen it comes to dealing with troubled outsourcing relationships, we all seem to be just a little bit mad. Twenty-plus years into a reasonably mature business model, buyers and providers are still doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results – as handy a definition of insanity as I’ve seen. Maybe that’s why one survey after another tells us that outsourcing relationships get into trouble – some sooner, others later, most eventually. When trouble arises in an outsourcing relationship, research and experience tells W ●● ● us that buyers usually start by demanding the provider do better. They schedule more meetings, demand more and more frequent reports, make threats (sometimes in the form of 30-page letters drafted by their lawyers), and apply contractual penalties. Providers, on the other hand, put forward some combination of apologies, defensive explanations of what really went wrong (aka the “root cause report”), counter-attacks (also lengthy and penned by counsel), and the ritual slaying of key account personnel. (You may find a copy of our 2010 study at http://bit.ly/iO4IQb). Considering how much value is at stake “A stitch in time saves nine.” – Proverb in the difference between an outsourcing relationship that is performing well and one that is troubled – research from thoughtful academics, industry associations, and the advisor community suggests the difference is as much as 30% of total contract value – it would certainly be more than a bit maddening to think our repertoire of responses is so limited. Surely some other steps are worth a try? For those interested in a slightly more sane approach to dealing with troubled relationships, here are my top ten tips for buyers and providers, in a more or less chronological sequence. 98 www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk http://www.bit.ly/iO4IQb http://www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outsource Magazine Issue 24

Editor's letter
News & comments
Seeing through the cloud
Steve Forbes
Embracing a lean culture in recruitment
The roar of the crowd
Andrew De Cleyn
Greening the chain
Private properties
NOA round-up
PR Chandrasekar
Ten ways to shake your world
Matt Barrie
Roundtable: an excellent process
The talent question
Transition and change
Never the twain
Setting the standard
Touching base
Top ten
The legal view
HfS research
Online round-up
Inside source
The last word

Outsource Magazine Issue 24