I was interested to read the recently published Deloitte research on outsourcing and supply management, which highlighted the worrying yet unsurprising fact that ‘two-thirds of UK businesses do not even ask for detailed reporting’ from suppliers.
So why aren’t they asking? The simple fact is that businesses are outsourcing specific functions, in most cases leaving nobody capable of understanding the reports internally.
Even if they do understand a report, more often than not they file it and forget it or become frustrated because they can’t rectify the perceived problem of poor performance due to contract restrictions.
So, if nobody can understand the answer, why bother asking the question? This leaves companies in a dangerous position that could easily have been avoided. At the contracting stage companies need to have a frank negotiation regarding the objectives and how performance will be measured.
Most importantly, they must not assume that once in place the contract will take care of itself.
Clients must remember outsourcing is the easy part — it’s living with the services for the next 10 years that needs attention.
Allen Knight, Berkshire Consultancy, Berks