Sourcing Star Interview: Jerry Durant

Posted: 09/25/2019 - 07:54
Sourcing Star Interview: Jerry Durant

This October, the Future of Sourcing Awards will celebrate seasoned veterans whose thought leadership and innovative work in the sourcing field have made a transformative difference over the course of their career. Below, read about Sourcing Star Finalist Jerry Durant, who established the International Institute for Outsource Management (IIOM) with the sole purpose of developing and supporting the service side of the supply chain.

How did you get into this field – was it purposeful or by accident?

Quite by accident. In 1985 a long standing customer approached us to find resources to maintain one of their legacy applications. Through the course of discussion about resource and annual costs we jointly reached the conclusion that finding foreign resources might be a solution.  After deliberations, bid proposals, visitations and indepth reviews it was concluded to offshore the application to Calcutta.

In what ways do you feel your professional contributions have influenced or transformed the industry? (This could be a new approach or methodology, the application of an existing technology in a completely new way, significant thought leadership or even a career of inspiring others.)

Aside from the work which culminated in the formation of the International Institute for Outsource Management we had over 15 years in which we repeated called upon to assist buyers but also we saw an ever increasing interest on the part of suppliers.  At first it was to seek out work but we saw this as an uphill endeavor because many suppliers fell short in keeping with foreign buyer expectations. As a result we saw this as an opportunity to evaluate supplier viability, giving them a roadmap for development, develop skills appropriate to dealing in an international and culturally diverse climate, and to bolster brand development in a tangibly meaning way. These goals resulted in some of the things which I mentioned in my accomplishments such as the Outsourcing Management Body of Knowledge (OMBOK), Certification as an Outsource/Offshore Project Manager (COOPM), establishing the Outsource Management Research Center (OMRC) and skill development to address an ever changing international business market. In the latter case we were honored to be chosen as a Research Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center during the development of the Impact Sourcing Implementation Guide. 

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges facing the industry today and what should be done to solve them?

This is a very interest question since a number of the advisory firms who were knee deep into critiquing outsourcing have gone on to other more vogue pursuits. The challenge today remains in obtaining business but in order to accomplish this suppliers need to shed traditional efforts in order to develop capabilities while forming durable brand. What was once price driven is now focused on value delivery. 

Looking at the whole of your career, what do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Having been self employed for 35 years my greatest achievement has been survival. This would not have been possible without being on top of global trends and to put them into an appropriate context relative to both strategic direction as well as tactical implementation. 

What three words do you feel your colleagues and peers would use to describe you?

Practical, Adaptable, Honest/Integrity 

What advice do you have for those who are new to the profession or considering entering the industry?

Goals are achieved through the formation of purposeful value. To accomplish this on an international level we need to fully understand and appreciate cultural differences.

About The Author

Jerry Durant's picture

Over the course of four decades Jerry has served companies around the globe, in a total of 90 nations.  While many engagements dealt with technical and managerial issues he saw a gap in the development of outsourcing companies.  In 1997 he established the International Institute for Outsource Management (IIOM) with the sole purpose of developing and supporting the service side of the supply chain.  His efforts resulted in the establishment of offices and associates headquarterd in China, Philippines, Malaysia, Kuwait, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Italy, France and the US.   The goal of the endeavor was to understand the strength of the brand, facilitating endeavors to strengthen the business and to promote the offering as dictated by market appropriateness.  IIOM operated as a separate organization under Certellus Corporation that later became a part of 3rdLAW International (HK Holding Company) in 2017.  IIOM in 2010 vested product branding locally to each of the regional country operators to create local autonomy consistent with the changing sourcing dynamics taking place.