Outsourcing is more than just handing over the reins

I was interested to read the recently published Deloitte research on outsourcing and supply management (Personnel Today, 27 September), which highlighted the worrying, yet unsurprising, fact that “two-thirds of UK businesses do not even ask for detailed reporting” from suppliers.

So why aren’t companies asking for reports from suppliers? The fact is that businesses are outsourcing specific functions and, in most cases, leaving no-one capable of understanding the reports internally. Even if they do understand the report, more often than not they file it and forget it, or become frustrated because they can’t rectify the perceived problem of poor performance due to contract restrictions. So if no-one can understand the answer, why bother asking the question? This is leaving companies in a dangerous position that could have been avoided.

At the contracting stage, companies need to agree the objectives and how performance is measured. They must not assume that once set up, the contract will take care of itself.

It is vital that clients remember that outsourcing is the easy part. It’s living with the services for the next 10 years that you need to focus on.

Allen Knight
Director, Berkshire Consultancy

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