I always love hosting our Outsource Talks webinars – but today’s was even more enjoyable than usual, featuring as it did three remarkable professionals gathered together in the same place, rather than dialling in as is customary. Having Morgan Lewis’ Ed Hansen, Ivalua’s Gary Malhotra and Outsource columnist Thom Mead round a table here at the SIG Summit in California was a unique pleasure, generating as it did a delightful degree of interaction alongside the anticipated thought leadership.
Hard to believe half a year has gone by so quickly, but Outsource finds itself once again at a SIG Summit – taking place this time round in delightful (though, today, surprisingly drizzly) Carlsbad, California.
Multi-supplier service is all the rage, together with its linking agent Service Integration and Management (SIAM). Wonderful in theory... How does one practically get multiple parties to collaborate towards a common end?
Experts agree it’s too soon to say what the mid-term effects of Brexit are going to be on the UK and European economy. Despite early signs of business and consumer confidence shrugging off doubts, we can surely all agree that we’re about to go into a period of major, structural change for the UK and the rest of Europe - which suggests the best response strategy business leaders can have is maximum flexibility.
Jack Welch once said, “Change before you have to.” In today’s rapidly innovating business world, change is, frankly, inevitable. Business needs change and skill sets have to keep up. But how do you know if you are making the right changes and developing the correct skills as roles and responsibilities evolve? And how do organisations transition from job-centred to people-centred as routine tasks shift to knowledge-based work?
Every pilot/flight trainee knows the importance of trusting what the plane’s cockpit instruments are telling them. With very rare exception, the cockpit’s instruments don’t lie. What’s happening to the plane can be counter-intuitive to what your human senses are telling you. I can recall several instances in my flight training when I had to fight my senses (and fear) and rely on the data in the cockpit as my only gauge of what was actually happening and what I needed to do to get the plane to back to straight and level flight.
Procurement today is a different game. Once viewed as a back-office task, it has emerged as a key differentiator and driver of business value. And to execute it well requires totally new ways of thinking and acting.
Best-in-class organisations understand this. And they are tapping technology, big data and digital networks to fuel a simple, more collaborative source-to-pay process that is changing the game.
Moving Beyond Savings
For outsourcers, a commitment to best practice processes is absolutely vital for success. They not only ensure that your business is offering best-of-breed services, but they also go a long way in reducing overall business costs and working capital by as much as 15 to 20 per cent. These result in a highly competitive enterprise, able to maintain growth while driving business-wide efficiencies.
One of the key arguments that really defined the Brexit referendum in the UK was migration. British voters supported an exit from the European Union largely because they wanted more control over their borders. Those arguing for Brexit say that they are not trying to end migration entirely, just they want to ensure that the people who enter the UK have the right skills. Nobody should be able to enter just because they were also born in Europe.