Category Archives: Outsourcing

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Managing the Innovation Process – Do You Have An Intelligent Supplier? (Series: 5 of 9)

Posted on by Allan Watton innovation

Welcome to article 5 in our series of 9 on the vitally important, but often overlooked, subject of the ‘intelligent supplier’ – what to look out for, what behaviours to support and what to avoid when it comes to choosing and managing the strategic partners you’ll work with. So far we have covered the way an intelligent supplier would contribute to a client’s Business and Operating Strategy, how they evidence

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Intelligent Supplier – Evidencing Commercial Trust (Series: 3 of 9)

Posted on by Allan Watton trust

Welcome to the third article in our series on the collection of facets and intrinsic value of an Intelligent Supplier – what your supplier could be doing to ensure your relationship has a greater chance of success, and how you can identify whether they have this capability, capacity and foresight. Article #1 in the series focused on ‘Understanding, Supporting (and Challenging) the Client’s Business and Operating Strategy’, Article #2 was

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7 Reasons Why You Should Renegotiate Your Outsourcing Relationship

Posted on by Stephen James Handshake

Outsourcing contract renegotiations are on the rise. Around 75% of all existing outsourcing relationships are renegotiated at some point during their lifetime according to Gartner Research.  And contrary to what you might think, not all of these renegotiations are down to bad performance — contracts can be renegotiated for many positive reasons. Not only that, but contract renegotiation can be triggered either by the service provider or the client. The

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5 steps to make your KPIs smarter to achieve your business outcomes

Posted on by Allan Watton Graph and personage on white background.

I know I speak for all of us when I say that delivering business outcomes using external outsourcing or technology partners is really easy… Isn’t it? After all, you simply need to explain to your provider what you want to achieve, point them in the right direction and leave them to get on with it. Right? Err… maybe in an ideal world, but, as we all know, the reality of

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9 Steps To Transition From Single Supplier To Multi-Supplier Outsourcing

Posted on by Allan Watton Steersman on puzzle

An increasing number of organisations and institutions are exploring the benefits of moving from their large single-supplier outsourcing relationships to the multi-supplier variety. Gavin Hall has outlined that in his experience, which reflects our own, the enhanced value and specialist expertise, such as Cloud services, have strong evidence for such a move, but you need to have clear business reasons and understand the implications for all parties of such a move

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8 Questions to Determine the Root Cause of Poor Project Performance

Posted on by John King 8 Questions to Define the Root Cause of Poor Project Performance

To promote better productivity through more collaborative problem-solving it would be useful to shift perspectives in the outsourcing arena, so that when things go wrong people recognise that it’s not always the other person’s fault. Often issues are multifaceted, and the longer that they are allowed to build up, the more difficult it can be to establish the root cause of the problem – usually a good place to start

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Outcome-Based Pricing Model in Strategic Service Delivery

Posted on by Allan Watton quantifying outcomes

While the theory behind outcome-based pricing models is nothing new, the penchant for establishing relationships specifically based on driving true added value is certainly growing in popularity with both vendors and clients. The reasons for this are simple. With suppliers utilising their own resources and best practices, they have an opportunity to (a) bring some much needed fresh thinking to client service delivery innovation and options, (b) reduce the on-going

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Cloud Computing Procurement: 6 Steps to a Beneficial Outcome

Posted on by Richard Kerr Cloud Computing Procurement: 6 Steps to a Beneficial Outcome

Last week we revealed how all too many cloud computing contracts (and more specifically, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) agreements) result in completely unacceptable outcomes for the buying organisation. The key issue is typically a fatal misalignment between the buyer’s desired business outcomes and the terms of the agreement. You expect a system that can fulfill your specific business outcomes, but the vendor is tasked with providing infrastructure. That in itself

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Cloud Computing: Where Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Procurement Fails

Posted on by Richard Kerr Cloud Computing: Where Infrastructure as a Service Procurement Fails

We all know that cloud computing is becoming more and more relevant to public and private organisations. For most enterprises, the potential cost savings of moving infrastructure to the cloud are too big to ignore. However, as a relatively new form of outsourcing, cloud computing is not without its potential pitfalls. This is especially the case when it comes to procuring Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Many companies have found

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NAO’s Report on Transition and Termination Issues in Commercial Contracts

Posted on by Allan Watton transition termination contract

This is the final article in a series of seven that reviewed the twenty issues highlighted by the National Audit Office (NAO) in their latest report on emerging best practice in commercial and contract management. Our articles have grouped these issues under the same seven headings as the NAO report – Commercial Strategy, Commercial Capability, Market Management and Sourcing, Contract Approach, Contract Management, Contract Lifecycle, and Transition and Termination. This

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Outsourcing: 5 Mistakes You Must Avoid Before Choosing a Provider

Posted on by Allan Watton Outsourcing Mistakes

Outsourcing is a tempting proposition for any company that feels the strain of a bloated workforce and high service delivery costs. After all, the theoretical arguments in favour of outsourcing are compelling – you leverage the expertise of an external party, who are better qualified to deliver a more efficient (and less costly) service. Unfortunately, a theoretical benefit does not always translate well into reality. At Best Practice Group, we

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Early Outsourcing Termination? Save millions on your exit fees with these six questions

Posted on by Allan Watton

Wouldn’t it be nice if client-vendor relationships always followed a clearly defined path with all parties focused on doing their best to live up to the business outcomes they agreed to at the outset? I can almost hear you nodding and sighing with wishful thinking, but, as we all know, in the real world, major contractual relationships are quite often rife with miscommunication, hidden agendas and ambiguity. In addition, there

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Commercial Strategy issues highlighted within NAO’s Insights report on Emerging Best Practices

Posted on by Allan Watton strategy

In November 2016, when the NAO released their latest report on the state of best practice in the public sector, titled ‘Commercial and contract management: insights and emerging best practice’ they presented one of the most considered documents on the subject created to date. From all of the research the NAO gathered – from stakeholder, supplier and practitioner discussions, workshops, commercial standards and 140 individual project reports – they determined

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A Look Into The NAO’s Research On Emerging Best Practices And Lessons Learnt For Major Projects

Posted on by Allan Watton

In a recent article titled ‘NEW National Audit Office guidance for supplier operating standards that could change everything’, we took a look at the most recent update of the Government Commercial Function’s (GCF) eight ‘Commercial Operating Standards’ and discussed their significance for both public and private sector clients. The NAO’s own recent report ‘Commercial and contract management: insights and emerging best practice’ is one on which we have written several

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Capita CEO resigns and company drops from the FTSE 100

Posted on by Allan Watton

Reports suggest that it has not been a good year for global outsourcing giant Capita. What with the company’s first profit warning in September, reported project issues and what seems to be a weakening market across some of its core sectors. But this month there have been two more announcements of note – Chief Executive Andy Parker’s resignation after just three years in the company’s top job, and Capita’s impending

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Crown Commercial Service boss unable to evidence ‘value for money’ benefit of his agency in front of PAC enquiry

Posted on by Allan Watton ccs value for money

A parliamentary enquiry into how the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) achieves value for money was recently undertaken, after which its Chief Executive, Malcolm Harrison, candidly suggested that due to a lack of appropriate focus initial expectations of the CCS had become unachievable. Paraphrasing his reported response to the enquiry, too much energy had been focused on the bespoke operational functions of their public-sector clients to the detriment of other benefits

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Serco CEO suggests project risk weighted against them on major public sector contracts

Posted on by Allan Watton

Rupert Soames, the CEO of Serco (and grandson of Winston Churchill), recently gave evidence to PACAC (the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee). This was part of an enquiry into the work of the civil service as a result of a significant rise in outsourced contracts. Mr Soames is reported to have suggested that the government was knowingly overloading private sector organisations with far too much transfer of risk to

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How does our government spend £242bn of our public money a year? NAO report reveals all

Posted on by Allan Watton How does our government spend £242bn of our public money a year? NAO report reveals all

In November the National Audit Office (NAO) released a new report on contract management, and because we found it so insightful we’ve decided to dedicate a few articles to the subject and to the findings of the report. This particular article takes a ‘big picture’ view of the statistics highlighted in the report. What do they tell us about the state of the outsourcing market in the UK today, do

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Southwest One – The Final Transition – and the lessons learned

Posted on by Allan Watton SouthWest One

The 1st December marked the end of almost a decade of partnership between Somerset County Council and IBM. This much discussed and questioned relationship which formed the collaborative entity Southwest One is now over, but the questions keep coming in its wake and are set to rumble on for some time. Numerous audit reports have appeared on Somerset’s website which reportedly highlight that with the transfer of staff and IT

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Your Supplier Management Team is saving you millions – The 10 Commandments they live by

Posted on by Allan Watton Your Supplier Management Team is saving you millions - The 10 Commandments they live by

  It’s not unusual for senior management teams to be unaware of the significant value their supplier management and Intelligent Client Function (ICF) teams create for their organisations. And, because this value can often go unnoticed, those at the coalface can think themselves in a more thankless job than most. As a senior executive in your organisation, you’ll already undoubtedly understand that your ICF team is responsible for managing the

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