Growing economic uncertainty has seen many businesses look to procurement for a means to increase savings and ultimately drive growth. This is especially true in the retail industry where common issues include mounting costs, struggling suppliers, increased competition and expanding supply chains. On top of this, savings must be achieved without affecting the quality of the end product or customer experience.
Wow! Isn’t it amazing how quickly things change? In the early 2000s, the very pinnacle of outsourcing was Walmart. Walmart didn’t outsource its own operations. Instead, it made history by working with offshore suppliers, introducing American consumers to low-cost Chinese goods. Consumers fell in love with the low prices, and Walmart grew to 14,000 stores, becoming the biggest corporation in America.
Leading companies are working to extend management of the corporate risk profile to road safety. This is achieved by acknowledging key challenges, understanding the big picture and launching well-targeted strategic programs that consider local challenges and solutions. Such programs include driver management (driver selection, development and monitoring), vehicle management (including best use of new technologies) and assessing and managing route risks.
In 2015, the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress reported that the fashion industry globally is valued at $1.2 trillion. (Ref. 1) Of that $1.2 trillion, more than $250 billion is spent annually in the United States alone and this number continues to grow. Current reports show that the retail value of the apparel and shoe industry in the USA was valued at almost $360 billion (and counting) in 2015. (Ref. 2)
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.
Business services are usually at the core of organisational endeavours, structured to build and manage a variety of workflows and dependencies in a concerted manner. The end goal for all such services is the smooth functioning of an organisation, built around some strategic goals usually manifested in revenues, growth, competitiveness and shareholder value. Over the course of more than two centuries, industrial advancements – enabled through scientific and technological innovations – have assisted with building and sustaining complex workflows, products and services.
To read the first part of this interview, click here.
O: With all of that in mind, what are the implications for the global business services model? Where do you sit on global business services (GBS)? Are you a fan?
One of the most famous figures in the global outsourcing arena, Kate Vitasek is also – not coincidentally – one of Outsource’s most popular contributors, having graced our pages with both her regular column (examining lessons to be learnt by the sourcing and outsourcing community from renowned academics and thought leaders from elsewhere in business) and standalone articles for over five years.
The UK’s Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the MSA) now means that businesses’ supply chains need to be safer, more transparent, and more ethical. While it’s hard to argue that any of this is a bad thing, the development has left a few businesses in something of a panic.
Yesterday it was my extreme pleasure to host the second in our Outsource Talks webinar series – this time, live from the SIG Summit in Orlando, Florida (which at the time of publishing still has almost a full day to go, so keep an eye on Twitter and the hashtag #SIGspring16 for a taste of what’s going on) – featuring the magnificent Linda Tuck Chapman, Matt Shocklee and
Across all sectors of the UK economy, consumer-facing businesses are finding themselves caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, consumer expectations are inexorably rising; driven ever higher by rapidly evolving technologies and an ‘at your fingertips’ service culture. At the same time, however, the hangover of the recession together with competitive markets means businesses continue to squeeze more out of fixed (or more likely, reduced) budgets. The transport sector is no different.
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.
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!
Do you suspect that there’s something wrong or at least severely amiss with modern capitalism, and by extension the way we outsource, think about value, construct our supply chains and do business? Can’t quite put it into words and context? Umair Haque has many thought-provoking insights for you on the subject.
Haque is Director of the Havas Media Lab and author of The New Capitalist Manifesto: Building a Disruptively Better Business. He also writes a provocative and entertaining posts for the Harvard Business Review Blog Network.