Research & Insight



The Current Challenges of eProcurement | Article

Outsourcing Center, Beth Ellyn Rosenthal, Senior Writer

In the current real world of eProcurement, linking the computer systems of buyer and suppliers is just one of the challenges facing eProcurement. Getting employees to use the procurement tools already in place is another. And reengineering the process is a third. Overcoming these difficulties -which are widely agreed upon as inhibiting the ongoing development of eProcurement – is the focus of a dedicated procurement outsourcing team at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)’s Business Process Outsourcing group.

Twilight Time | Article

Outsourcing Center, Kathleen Goolsby, Senior Writer

The rumormongers and journalists who quickly pen sensational bad-news headlines would have you believe that Exchanges and B2B Marketplaces (last year’s newest Internet darlings) all failed and died practically overnight. They pronounce judgments on why it happened: the hype made businesses adapt the model before it was proven; many companies were not willing or able yet to handle the internal processes that go with the technology of such an extended, networked enterprise; buyers didn’t venture beyond their already established list of suppliers, and even that the procurement folks didn’t coordinate with the planning/administrative folks in many companies.

SRM Alliances | Article

Outsourcing Center, Kathleen Goolsby, Senior Writer

Supply and demand. This mission-critical component of business has shifted from price and availability to collaboration. Meta Group predicts the SRM market will be $32 billion by 2003. SRM tools enable supply planning so that there is instant visibility across the extended supply chain, allowing companies to drive inventory out; with collaboration, order management becomes a match between demand and capacity.

ASP in Brazil | Article

Outsourcing Center, Beth Ellyn Rosenthal, Senior Writer

When Brasilia, Brazil’s capital, was built, one of the city architects suggested planting grass everywhere instead of paving sidewalks. People could walk wherever they wanted. Where natural paths emerged, the concrete would follow.

Like a Fifth Wheel | Article

Outsourcing Center, Kathleen Goolsby, Senior Writer

Striving to be competitive involves tremendous risks. The timing must be right, and the resources must be available. It’s costly, and the return on investment might be low. In fact, the entire effort might fail. And someone will be held accountable.

Cinderella Syndrome | Article

Outsourcing Center, Kathleen Goolsby, Senior Writer

An enormous impact on a company’s profitability comes from its procurement or purchasing process. Some companies are starting to recognize the impact, but most — particularly midsize or small companies — still treat this important process as though it’s unimportant. But, like the fairytale Cinderella, someone needs to do the onerous chores around the castle. Particularly in lean times when an economy is slowing, executives must pay more attention to the possibility of saving millions of dollars in this area.

Strategic Defense | Article

Outsourcing Center, Kathleen Goolsby, Senior Writer

With technology requirements aimed squarely at their weakest point, yet with a goal to be the government’s choice to build 21st-century destroyers, BIW made the strategic decision to outsource all of its IT operations to Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC). We felt CSC would be able to support us in our effort to achieve our goal of being a technology leader and could do it at the rate at which our customer would like to see it done. Bowie admits that BIW had blinders on when it outsourced in November 1996, not realizing the extent of technological advancement that would be required. The original contract spend was about $27 million, and it has now grown to include new services and a value of nearly $50 million over four years. Because its customer was driving certain initiatives, BIW found it needed new PCs for all employees so that they could do design work more efficiently and win more government contracts.

Magnificent Medicaid Management | Article

Outsourcing Center, Kathleen Goolsby, Senior Writer

Medicaid is one of the most controversial, complicated and expensive programs in U.S. government. It’s very political, so there is a high level of interest, and there is also a lot of change going on in it all the time, says Peggy Bartels, Administrator of the State of Wisconsin’s Division of Health Care Financing. So any entity that provides outsourcing for Medicaid is going to be in a fishbowl environment. It’s very difficult. She explains that the process of reviewing and making determinations about whether or not Medicaid will fund services is all done under the very close supervision and administration of the State. Decisions are controversial. By being our business partner, the outsourcer invites the same criticism we receive, she adds. They’re in the bull’s eye, and it is a big challenge to do that kind of work and maintain a positive presence. Nevertheless, EDS took the challenge and has been the Medicaid fiscal agent in the State of Wisconsin since their outsourcing agreement began in 1977.

Getting a Handle on Purse Strings | Article

Outsourcing Center, Kathleen Goolsby, Senior Writer

Because of its poor position with respect to costs (three years ago), the bank hired Peter Donald, an outsourcing veteran with noted success for the City of Melbourne. ANZ wanted him to identify outsourcing opportunities and to apply his prior successful principles in implementing outsourcing for the bank. Donald recalls that this departure from conservative thinking sparked internal challenges. Although the bank had decreed that something had to be done about its costing structure, there were degrees of tension among management when it came to identifying which opportunities might be selected. The opportunity identified was the bank’s procurement — its sourcing function — because it was not providing the level of strategic importance to the bank that was desired. We spend just under $1 billion Australian dollars per year in Australia and New Zealand (a total of about $1.5 billion worldwide) on a whole range of items from telecommunication to stationary, from technology to marketing and travel,

Big Companies Embrace Multi-Process BPO

Outsourcing Center, Beth Ellyn Rosenthal, Senior Writer

The trend to outsource non-core business processes is ‘irreversible,’ says John Barnsley, global leader for Business Process Outsourcing for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and is steadily moving to include multiple activities. Barnsley attributes an overall increase in acceptance of BPO as an important strategic tool to the rapid transformation in technology. Constant change, accelerated by the Internet, has altered companies’ risk equations.

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