By September 11, 2010 0 Comments Read More →

Outsourcing Partnership : Fact or Fiction?

Outsourcing Partnership : Fact or Fiction?

My latest article was the feature article in a national US trade magazine and was selected as the feature cover article in May 2010. In the article, I look at what partnership is and isn't in an outsourcing relationship as well as what needs to change.

While the article discusses outsourcing in a specific industry, the principles apply to any outsourcing initiative, whether it's manufacturing, production, human resources, payroll, IT or other business process outsourcing (BPO)

Many outsourcing deals are referred to as "partnerships." Both managers and service providers use the word, so it may be easy to be lulled into a sense that an outsourcing deal is automatically a partnership. But "partnership" is an elusive quality. Just like a marriage, it includes compromise and the realization that your partner isn't perfect and you aren't either.

The key to a partnership - the aspect that most distinguishes it from a typical buyer-seller relationship - is flexibility. In most cases, the outsourced service is complex, and client's corporate needs are constantly shifting.

Rigid key performance indicators (KPI), strict contract terms and inflexible financial models - hallmarks of a typical buyer-seller relationship - make it difficult for an outsourcing service provider to change gears as the client's needs change.

In a partnership, by contrast, there is a spirit of cooperation and trust that enables the service provider to address the client's issues and needs as they arise, without fear of being punished for having failed to meet a specific KPI.

For a partnership to work, a solid foundation must be laid from the very start. Four questions - covering everything from goals to ongoing management - can help managers determine if they're on track to develop a true partnership.

Read the whole article online at BOM : Sparring Partners

About Michel Theriault

Michel is the founder of Success Fuel for Managers. He is an author, speaker and consultant focusing on topics relevant to Managers and aspiring Managers in businesses of all sizes who want to get results, get attention, and get ahead. He is also a contributor to Forbes and AllBusiness Experts . Michel is available for speaking engagements, training and consulting. Connect with him or send an email.

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