Speak Out — The State of the Outsourcing Market (And a Few Thoughts on Procurement BPO)

Over at Spend Matters partner firm, HfS, Phil Fersht has been hounding me to flog his latest survey to our readers (you may have gotten our e-mail earlier this week as well!): The State of the Outsourcing Industry. Phil and I will be conducting a more specific survey in the coming months examining the state of procurement BPO, but in the meantime, if you want to make your voice heard -- and play a part in the research of the hottest firm analyzing the outsourcing market -- it's worth taking a few minutes to provide your thoughts. Personally, when it comes to procurement, here are three of my latest views on our corner of the market (a corner, which according to AT Kearney's research, will comprise only 2% of the overall outsourcing market in 2012):

  • Many executives that investigate procurement BPO still don't fully understand the time investment they'll need to make -- along with their managers -- on making any type of offshore engagement work as planned after a contract is signed; trust me: ignorance is not bliss after the fact
  • I continue to be amazed at how certain firms (e.g., Genpact) treat their "proprietary" process as some type of Holy procurement Grail; granted, process methodologies can prove useful, but I'd personally prioritize the combination of category expertise, scale, technology savvy and empathy long before fancy frameworks and benchmarking capabilities in any evaluation
  • The blurring of lines between consulting, technology hosting/management and BPO is leading to a far greater range of deals with outsourcers than before; however, many of these initial relationships are far smaller and represent a "dipping of toes in the water" more than anything else
  • Some of the best BPO engagement end up being highly focused (e.g., what DSSI is doing in the MRO area with its clients)

In any event, stay tuned for further analysis of this market. And in the meantime, do fill out Phil's state of the market survey to get him off my back!

Jason Busch

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