“Out-tasking” and procurement are two words one usually doesn’t hear together. At least not yet. But The Smart Cube (TSC), perhaps the largest global “out-tasking” firm centered on serving the needs of procurement organizations, is on a quest to change this. TSC counts more than 180 clients today and has grown annually by 32% over the past three years.
While TSC’s roots come from providing specialized category and market intelligence to procurement teams, the firm, which now counts more than 600 resources — nearly all of which are based offshore, primarily in India, but also China and Romania — has branched out into delivering a range of primary and secondary research services, financial research and analysis (e.g., product cost modeling, forecasting, etc.) and procurement operations support (e.g., logistics, advanced sourcing, etc.).
TSC’s primary delivery model combines dedicated and shared offshore resources, based on the type of requirement and client request or need. But it can also bring on-site and near-shore resources to deliver client programs, as required.
Thanks to the location of many of its resources, TSC may invite comparisons to offshore and BPO models for procurement. But the level of expertise it brings (e.g., in the area of commodity forecast and hedging strategy) looks more similar to a collection of subject matter experts than a labor-arbitrage and operationally efficient delivery model.