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>> Strategic Fit & Business Case

For an outsourcing programme to work, it needs to be a clear priority within the overall strategy of a business and there must be a clear reason as to why it is happening. A clear strategy allows people at all levels in the organisation to make daily decisions about how to balance time spent on competing priorities. A key leadership role is to articulate the strategy so that it that builds the clarity people need to be able to make trade-offs. The business case needs to get to the heart of what it will mean for clients, for employees and for the expected outcome on the cost and quality of service. All this maybe common sense but it is often not that commonly found in outsourcing programmes. Often the approach is clear at the outset of a programme but then gets lost or diluted along the way as the organisation works through the challenges of implementation.

Although the most important factors will depend upon your situation regarding clients, employees and markets, here are some of the common reasons why outsourcing could be an effective part of your strategy:

  • There is a need for the organisation to grow financially to ensure continued investment in the business. A well-designed outsourcing programme can bring this financial benefit. One major area of risk is that the pursuit of cost saving without a clear, and measurable set of goals for improving the quality of service can easily lead to programmes that under-deliver.
  • The organisations current processes are too fragmented and variable and lack the strength to allow growth. This is often the case when a business has been built by acquisition but there has been little integration. This may expose the business to risk through vulnerabilities in technology and or continuity of service. Outsourcing can therefore be a way to build stronger organisations.
  • People in certain locations may be overloaded with work they are not well suited for at the expense of work they excel at. Outsourcing, with a third party or your own captive centre, is a good way to ensure that you have the right work being done by the right people in the right locations.
  • Clients may be changing how and where they operate and outsourcing can be a way of matching their expectations about how and where services are delivered.

Needing to be clear about why you want to outsource and how it fits in with your overall strategy is a good test to see if it is the right thing to do. It is critical to do this at the outset but also to ensure that there are regular check-ins to see if the programme needs to change.

If you are starting a programme or wondering if an existing one needs to change we would love to bring an impartial view to your discussions and help you to identify the best way to move forward.

Latest version updated 16th November 2017

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