Global

Outsource in 2016: new year, new ownership, new opportunities

Posted: 01/18/2016 - 23:34

As it’s my first column of 2016, a belated “very happy new year!” to all Outsource’s readers around the world. I hope the old year ended wonderfully for everyone, and that 2016 has started superbly on all fronts. As many of you will now be aware, the turn of the year has seen some rather gigantic developments here at Outsource.

SIG (Sourcing Industry Group) Expands Global Footprint with Acquisition of Outsource Magazine

Posted: 01/16/2016 - 07:18

Press release: Jacksonville, Fla. (PRWEB) January 12, 2016

SIG, the premier membership organization for sourcing, procurement and outsourcing executives, today announces the acquisition of Outsource magazine and welcomes Jamie Liddell to the SIG executive team.

The DIY desire: addressing customer self-service

Posted: 01/14/2016 - 23:08

Sparked by the internet and accelerated by the spread of smart devices, consumers are more and more motivated to gather information online themselves when solving problems with a product or service. This has led to a new situation for customer contact centres – where businesses used to meter information to the public through dedicated agents, now the public at large is holding the cards.

The Comeback Kid: it’s time to look at AI again

Posted: 01/08/2016 - 00:40

The first ever meeting of Artificial Intelligence (AI) experts held in 1956 ended with a declaration from delegates that intelligent computers would be a commonplace in our lives in that decade or soon after. However, progress seemed to be illusory and the disappointment of Expert Systems at the start of the 1980s meant for many business leaders, AI came to mean ‘big hype’.

Global supply chains: understanding and managing key legal risks

Posted: 01/05/2016 - 00:22

As supply chains become increasingly complex, identifying the legal risks inherent in managing such a widely dispersed network of suppliers, manufacturers and other trading partners is key to spotting issues and being able to solve them as soon as possible. Global supply chains come under threat from a wide range of risks including natural disasters, financial crisis, strikes, and, perhaps a most prominent concern of late, cybercrime and terrorism.

Stewart Macaulay: pioneer for relational contracting

Posted: 07/14/2015 - 09:00

Stewart Macaulay – Professor of Law Emeritus, University of Wisconsin Law School – occupies a unique place in the evolution, awareness and acceptance of relational contracting. In fact one might safely argue that he helped set relational contract theory in motion in 1957, with the publication of his famous article, ‘Non-Contractual Relations in Business: A Preliminary Study.’ He was 26.

Deirdre McCloskey: Are Markets Moral?

Posted: 05/14/2015 - 05:19

Economist and philosopher Deirdre McCloskey has some thought-provoking and highly nuanced takes on innovation and ethics in the commercial arena.

How about this for starters: capitalism is innovation, in her estimation. And she contends that capitalism/innovation backed by liberal economic ideas “has made billions of poor people pretty well off, without hurting other people.” Did I mention she is also controversial?

Jean Tirole: The science of taming powerful firms

Posted: 12/22/2014 - 09:07

Jean Tirole, the French professor of economics who recently received the Nobel Prize, is one of the most influential modern economists for his extensive theories and rigorous mathematic analysis of strategic behaviour and information economics in what is known as “Industrial Organisation” (IO).

As part of his research, he studied firms and markets where a firm had “power” to dominate the market and perhaps abuse that power.

Villena, Revilla, Choi: Breaking down the “bright” and “dark” side of buyer-seller relationships

Posted: 05/07/2014 - 17:26

If you’ve been in the outsource industry for more than five minutes you probably know that buyer-seller relationships are, well, complicated. And just when you think you have the collaboration thing nailed, more complications can ensue.

Trumping Price-Only with Best Value

Posted: 01/02/2014 - 07:49

It is likely that no other subject gets as much attention when two companies are entering, or extending, their outsourcing business relationship as the effort to come up with a fair pricing structure. Money is money after all, and money talks. You know the drill by now: the conventional procurement process pits buyers and sellers on opposite sides of the table – and there’s no way around it, right? Wrong!

Stewart and Plotkin, the Prisoner’s Dilemma and Generous Strategies

Posted: 10/16/2013 - 08:01

I’ve been a game theory fan for many years, particularly as it relates to showing that cooperative behavior indeed creates true “win-win” situations. So I was excited to read a work of University of Pennsylvania professors Alexander J. Stewart and Joshua B. Plotkin, ‘From Extortion to Generosity, Evolution in the Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma‘, published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS).

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