The fourth largest steel company in the U.S., National Steel manufactures steel for the automotive, construction and tin container industries and has annual shipments of almost six million tons of flat rolled products. The company outsourced the housing and operation of its mainframe and data center services to IBM in November 1998 with a seven-year contract worth nearly $60 million. John Davis, CIO of National Steel, explains that they wanted to reallocate its human resources to solve National Steel problems, rather than technology problems. I wanted them working on solutions that would differentiate National Steel from other steel competitors, he says. The company has accomplished that and other goals, and their agreement has yielded far more than they asked for. But, after all, National Steel is no novice to outsourcing. In the 1980s, National Steel spun off its data center (which then became a part of ACS).
Ancient navigators found their way by following the Little Dipper. The constellation’s polestar, Polaris, always conspicuous and very near the north celestial pole, was used as a guide in traveling the seas. Outsourcing, often undertaken by buyers who have no prior experience navigating the depths of this intricate business relationship model, can end up in a shipwreck. Ted Williams, Vice President of Business Development for Compass America, reminds companies considering embarking on an outsourcing journey to make sure they are well represented by a neutral third party. Outsourcers write a lot more contracts than buyers. They are better at it than you are, he says……..
Joe Szmadzinski is a connoisseur of outsourcing contracts. Szmadzinski has negotiated and lived through 25 outsourcing contracts in the last three years as president of System Advisory Group in Southfield, Michigan, a firm that provides interim CIOs for major corporations like Budget Rent A Car….. (outsourcing)
Today the company, now called Send.com, has 20 different product lines, ranging from cigars to cars. The company partners with local specialty retailers to fill its orders and deliver its gifts. Like a winemaker mixing a champagne cuvee, Send.com has merged e-commerce with old-fashioned retail…
From the Editor: Outsourcing drove down costs for Hallmark, which was the original intention. At the same time, outsourcing allowed Hallmark to sustain its high quality of customer service and satisfaction. Moreover, it’s interesting to see how this relationship grew and prospered over the years. Building on these strengths, the buyer continues to add more and different services to the contract…
Compaq Computer Corporation and Jabil Circuit, Inc. This award illustrates the ability to expand SAP outsourcing into a whole new venue, e-commerce. E-commerce, of course, is the hottest area for outsourcing expansion. Jabil originally outsourced its SAP application to Compaq to manage its global growth throughout North America, Asia and Europe. This outsourcing proved to be the perfect springboard to attack e-commerce….
More and more, companies enter into outsourcing agreements as a strategy to remain competitive. But rapid technological advancements change the competition; hence, an essential element of an outsourcing agreement must be flexibility. G2R, which specializes in providing research and management consulting, assists end users and vendors in constructing effective sourcing agreements.
Outsourcing’s maturation as an industry has created a substantial body of experience in ‘renegotiating’ and ‘restructuring’ outsourcing contracts. Today, these transactions — sometimes referred to as re-do — are more the rule than the exception.
American firms continue their rapid expansion of service and product outsourcing. Companies signed major new contracts for information outsourcing alone in 1994 worth $11 billion; in 1995, $20 billion; and in 1996, $33 billion, and all signs point to vigorous growth ahead.