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7 CEO changes at leading UK outsourcing companies in the past few months.

Baskar Sundaram

One question came to mind – Has UK Government progressively destroyed the markets, killing the outsourced services industry or we are doing it ourselves?

It’s extremely costly to do business with Government these days. How many companies are willing to do business with central government, local and public bodies? 

From our strategic planning work with our clients, we weren’t surprised to see their intention in carefully qualifying government projects, shifting focus to private sector and new geographies including acquisition.

Yes, there is (and will always be) suspicion and antipathy towards large companies and profits (if you are lucky!). After all these years, question remains the same 

Does outsourcing leaders understand the public-sector ethos? Do we! If so, how can we visibly demonstrate we do.

Its high time to confront the concerns – 

  • How do we collectively engage with the market?
  • How do we interact with our customers? 
  • Most importantly how do we engage with our own employees (both corporate and contract level)?

Looking at the contract engagement, contracts change hands from one provider to the other after every procurement… With business focus shifting to bottom line, first chop will always be on the contracts.

From an operations leader perspective, it’s so common to see service delivery managers have limited authority but greater responsibilities. Vertical support functions (HR, Finance, Procurement, IT) now report to central teams). Operational teams have severe work overload but are constrained by resources and systems resulting in human error and failing contracts.

On the other side, we have aggressive shift in contract management – heavy focus on KPIs and Penalties.

The trend of standardisation and commoditisation of public services backed by enhanced contract management will continue… As leaders in the industry, what answers do you have tackling this situation!

I will share few stories and insights from our operational efficiency projects next week.

Meantime, few questions to consider?

  • Do you have reliable operational performance data in your contracts?
  • How do you collect, monitor, share and discuss the performance within your business and with your customers?
  • How effective is your performance function?
  • Does your contract leadership team understand their contract terms and how they have been performance managed?
  • How do you educate and learn from your customers?
  • What forums are there between you as a provider and the customer?
  • What conversations do you have?

Worth revisiting your engagement within your operations so that your client teams can negotiate for you when they are pushed by their senior stakeholders.

As leaders, recognise operations are not dull. Cool stuff does happen there. I have seen Dont overcook and use complex RAG based plans, complicating things with little or no change in delivery.. Keep it simple and set up open forums for conversations…

Going back to the question – who destroys the industry? – Its high time to confront the concerns – How do we collectively engage with the market? How do we interact with our sector clients? and most important how do we engage with our own employees (both corporate and contract level)?

Get in touch at baskar@ baachu.com. We have many interesting service delivery stories where we trained service delivery managers (providers) on their contracts and also their customers (buyers) on contract management then bringing both together in few workshop settings to collectively own, learn and share their success.

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