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Taking the Measure of Outsourcing Providers

In an attempt to increase both efficiency and service quality, more and more companies are outsourcing to third-party suppliers some key business processes, such as human resources, information technology and procurement. The universe of potential suppliers is diverse and growing, made up of locally based specialists, offshore providers with comparatively low labor costs, and global suppliers who are able to apply sophisticated management techniques and technology. The challenge for clients is to understand their own requirements and to identify providers whose capabilities and objectives are best aligned with their particular needs.

Drawing on extensive research, the authors identify three potentially critical areas of supplier competency: delivery competency, transformation competency and relationship competency.

Within that context, they discuss 12 capabilities through examples drawn from the outsourcing experiences of firms such as BAE Systems, Lloyd's of London, Deutsche Bank and Bank of America. By benchmarking supplier capabilities against its strategic and operational intent, a company can work to establish relationships that support its business objectives.

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