With the global business climate changing, and shrinking somewhat due to the Internet, business process outsourcers (BPO) such as Raytheon Training find themselves filling in a vacuum.
Stuart J. Dean, of the company's marketing department near Frankfurt, Germany, says it's a matter of Raytheon taking care of targeted financial objectives and allowing a company to focus on its core business. It's certainly not a small task as the company crisscrosses continents, countries, cultures, governments and languages to deliver development, implementation and management of training systems and programs. The training can include human resource management of payroll pension as well as other HR training.
Raytheon, which traces its business roots back 60 years, is seeing the needs for its BPO function grow in the past few years. That's the interpretation of Michael Nehrmann, director of marketing and sales in Europe. "The trend toward outsourcing has been especially obvious in the UK since the whole privatization movement of the Thatcher era," he said, referring to the former British Prime Minister who governed in the 1980s.
The endeavor is carried out on a large scale with more than 600 professionals offering consulting and training to more than 60 countries. Among its clients are General Motors and Vauxhall Motors, a British company. Vauxhall is relying on Raytheon to provide management and delivery of training for its retail network. In extending the pact last summer, an HR official for Vauxhall Motors said the BPO relationship gave the retailer network "the very best training in the automobile industry." Raytheon's GM partnership sees training provided in Europe, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and North America.
Getting from point A to success
The goal is simple, Nehrmann said. It's to provide solutions and improve products and to do it "faster, more efficiently, and at a lower cost." As a true BPO objective, Nehrmann says partnerships are sought. And it's not always a company that needs the BPO help. A client base destined to grow, Nehrmann said is in the public sector. As governments, especially in the UK, become more sensitive to public needs, "they're not content to let people wait in line for a long time," he said.
So how does Raytheon take people from point A to point Z? First of all, consultants are available to ascertain the definition and goals. It's done with DOOR training, a global training solution. Although there are diverse business challenges and cultures, DOOR customers get access to global training delivery capabilities that mirror local needs.
It's billed as comprehensive training that includes the design and delivery of instructor and facilitator based training, program implementation, evaluations and consultation.Workforce improvement gains are one of the top priorities.
DOOR isn't the only option Raytheon provides its worldwide list of clients. There's also Strategy/PATHS, complete with planning sessions, workshops and strategic consulting. This technical knowledge organizer, or TKO, was designed by Raytheon. It creates computer-based training and web-based training, streamlining learning via computer leading to uniform lessons.
Another avenue Raytheon makes available to businesses is the EuroSite. Located 30 minutes south of Barcelona, Spain, it's a center that teaches teamwork and how companies can handle and thrive on change. Training exercises are offered in a relaxed environment that gives companies and individuals a chance to grow.
A bright BPO future for Raytheon
The corporate need is increasing increasing, and Nehrmann notes the BPO presence growing not only in the UK but in Spain and Switzerland. Allaying fears about job security, Nehrmann says that existing personnel are usually absorbed into the mission.
"It's very important to explain the benefits we can offer," the executive said. "The driving force is cost savings and efficiency." He predicts the next five years will be a period of even more aggressive business, although the outsourcing trend is well established in Europe.
The BPO image is getting tweaked just a bit for Raytheon. In December, the name changes to Raytheon Professional Services. "The name better reflects the wide portfolio of services we offer," Dean said. Part of that also includes a consulting business, complete with managers, engineers, computer scientists and business analysts. "It's all about getting the right people in the right environment," Dean said. In the age of global acquisitions, that's a role that allows the proper training so a company can focus on its primary business. The key is assessment. Raytheon helps define the company's goals and then it's on to a blueprint for change.
Lessons from the Outsourcing Primer:
- A company interested in reaching worldwide markets can most likely benefit from a BPO that exists and does business on a global stage.
- Even nontraditional organizations such as a government agencies can change and learn to deliver services in a manner than pleases its main customers, the taxpayer.