Collaborative Outsourcing

In the expanding global business marketplace, flexibility and speed are at a premium as never before


Notably, we see this collaborative partnering model emerging among a group of companies that believe they have experienced the highest degree of success in outsourcing to date, giving them the appetite, it would appear, for more complex relationships. It is this group that is moving more quickly into outsourcing in R&D and innovation (56 percent planning to increase outsourcing in this area) rather than the balance of respondents (only 37 percent moving into this area). These outsourcing leaders also understand that managing the kind of extended network of relationships in the newer models requires more transparency, better communication, greater trust, and genuine reciprocity than in the past. This makes them more likely to believe in trust-based supplier management (66 percent versus 49 percent) and flexible business terms rather than highly specific contracts (51 percent versus 38 percent). According to these leaders, success in this environment will heavily hinge on shifting the customer-service provider relationship from adversarial to collaborative; from one based on procurement to one grounded in partnership.

In the expanding global business marketplace, flexibility and speed are at a premium as never before. As value is increasingly located across an extended business network involving business partners, customers and suppliers, the skills and experience gained through collaborative outsourcing will create positive impacts on the entire enterprise, helping it to navigate risk and capture new business opportunities.

About the Author: Pat McArdle is a global outsourcing partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, a firm specializing in assurance, tax, human resources, transactions, performance improvement and crisis management. www.pwc.com.

(1) "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated," was a statement made by Mark Twain quotation after hearing that his obituary had been published in the New York Journal.

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