In enterprise software and services, procurement’s use of a Request for Proposal (RFP) is meant to compare competitive product offerings against a set of requirements. The intent was to create an environment where vendors could respond with functionality, price, implementation details and unique offerings. Unfortunately, the RFP process has largely failed for several reasons. Today, the focus is on innovation and speed to market, which can rarely be achieved in a standardized RFP process that can take months to complete.
The boom of technology implementation and its effectiveness were quickly tested by the challenges of the pandemic. While some challenges were solved successfully – collaboration via video conferences – the pandemic has stressed the structure and effectiveness of other areas.
It’s well known that 70% of change initiatives fail, mostly due to human factors such as employee resistance to change or lack of management support. On the other hand, when people are fully engaged and invested in change, they are 30% more likely to be successful. While the emphasis is mostly on how the envisioned change will result in a better future, recent research highlights an equally important aspect of change—continuity.
Earlier this year, Outsource editor Jamie Liddell had the privilege of chairing a roundtable dinner hosted by Capgemini, and attended by some of the most prominent advisors in the UK outsourcing community. The evening saw a huge variety of topics covered - but took place under Chatham House Rules, meaning that the conversation did not take place "on the record".
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.
As another working week draws to a close, I thought I’d take this opportunity to wave you off into your respective weekends with a couple of announcements… Those of you who are members of our LinkedIn group may already have seen some of these; those of you who aren’t are missing out! Come and join us at the increasingly archaically named ‘Outsource Magazine – Global Community’ group – knock and ye shall be received…
I can recall being on vacation in Hong Kong with my wife as we were walking through the famous shopping district in Mongkok. Here you can buy Class A imitation goods of leading brands at far lower prices than the real brand and few would ever know the difference. Or, if you are like me, you will negotiate (aka: haggle) for an even better price. As I plied my finely honed negotiating skills on the unsuspecting merchants, the price kept getting lower and lower. My wife would say, “Stop, stop already” and she would eventually walk away in embarrassment.
Outsourcing involves major changes in your business model, your teams, your approach to core and non-core business lines and cultural mindsets.
That aspect of the outsource decision – change – is inherently psychological because when you come right down to it, it’s always about your people, their relationships and attitudes, and the way they adjust to new thinking and new patterns that will make or break an outsourcing partnership.