One measure of increased business confidence came recently when the National Outsourcing Association (NOA) released its quarterly Outsourcing Confidence Index.
The results showed that more than half of end-users are more confident with using outsourcing to support their businesses than they were in 2009.
Thanks to increasing confidence, 60% of respondents said they planned to outsource services that had not been previously outsourced during 2010, with 56% of planning to increase the scope of pre-existing contracts. The Index also showed an increasing focus by end-users on costs, which is hardly a big surprise, but the concern is clearly that this should not lead to higher-volume, low cost contracts over shorter timeframes.
Our view is that the decision to outsource is a strategic one for our clients. We work with them from the outset to ensure that the partnership delivers the outcomes that they are looking for. Typically, this focuses on helping manufacturers, resellers and distributors improve their service delivery, enhance their profitability, and if required, it can support business development and expansion.
Our relationship as an outsourcer goes way beyond being placed in a supplier box with clients, or indeed just white labelling our services. We often collaborate with clients when they are pitching for new business, helping to formulate strategy around areas such as customer service. Achieving this requires the relationship to go far beyond that of supplier-client, but instead brings best of both companies as an outsourcing partnership to bear in order to deliver a superior outcome. And that, surely, will be a partnership that ultimately serves the customer better.