Research & Insight


Energy & Utilities

Getting Started on the Right Foot | Article

Outsourcing Center, Kathleen Goolsby, Senior Writer

Success in an outsourcing relationship must be built on the right foundation, and that happens only when the buyer clearly and objectively describes to the supplier exactly what it wants to buy. That’s what Xcel Energy did when it entered into its successful outsourcing relationship with IBM Global Services.

Close Encounters of the HR Kind | Article

Outsourcing Center, Kathleen Goolsby, Senior Writer

Public Service Enterprise Group, Inc. (PSEG) is a holding company in the electric and gas business with several affiliate companies in generation and distribution services in 12 countries and in 12 states in the US. Dealing at times with regulation, deregulation and increased competition, this is a company that must set and achieve its goals. One prime target for improvement in the early 1990s focused on human resources.

Risky Business | Article

Chris Pryer, Business Writer

The issue of how liability is addressed in an outsourcing agreement is very real. The ultimate goal of any outsourcing arrangement is mutual satisfaction. The outsourcing entity hopes to acquire a higher level of performance in a particular aspect of its business that was not attainable in the past and be cost effective while doing so. The outsourcer leverages its expertise and economies of scale in the hopes of meeting the client’s expectationss and making a profit in the process. But it doesn’t always work out that way.

HR Moves to Self-Serve | Article

Outsourcing Center, Beth Ellyn Rosenthal, Senior Writer

SynHRgy HR Technologies, an HR outsourcing vendor in Houston, Texas, monitored the usage of its 500,000 participants last fall. Sixty-five percent of the enrollees used the Web or its interactive voice response (IVR) system in lieu of talking to a live representative, reports Kraig Koester, Midwest regional director for SynHRgy. He points out the outsourcing vendor’s 35 clients range from high tech companies who couldn’t live without their Palm Pilots to unionized heavy industry whose employees work with their hands not computers.

Managing the Liability Bogeyman | Article

Chris Pryer, Business Writer

CH2M Hill is an international engineering company that serves municipal governments in the areas of water and wastewater management, energy, telecommunication, environment and nuclear management, transportation, industrial facilities, and a host of umbrella services. To say that CH2M Hill is adept at managing risks is like saying monkeys are adept at climbing trees. Neither could survive if they weren’t.

From Hamstrung to Power | Article

Outsourcing Center, Kathleen Goolsby, Senior Writer

Italy — its name brings to mind the pungent parmesan and garlic odors, magnificent golden treasures in the cathedrals and palaces, crowded canals of Venice and mysteries of Pompeii. The nation holds many charms for tourists. Part of the culture of this historic land is endurance and pride. Those characteristics carry over into the business arena. There are people who created their businesses from nothing, and they have worked all their lives in those businesses. They are not open to change, says Stefano Valentini, an outsourcing consultant in Rome. He explains that Italy has a lot of small (under 50 employees) and medium (under 250) companies and that 80% of production comes from these companies. Although many executives even in the United States are just coming to grips with it, the fact is that a company can’t be good at doing everything. An attitude of mistrust and not wanting to let go of control of business processes only results in being hamstrung — as crippling as cutting the tendons at the ham

Downtime Detour | Article

Outsourcing Center, Kathleen Goolsby, Senior Writer

Imagine that you own a retail gas store and the cash register goes down. You can’t sell gas or Twinkies. Now imagine, just for a moment, that you own over 1700 retail gas stores where this could happen. ARCO, a West Coast gasoline refiner and retailer, actually owns that many gas stores and a large convenience store network. Downtime can be disastrous, so ARCO outsourced its point-of-sale terminals to outsourcer, Getronics. When the Getronics help desk receives a call from one of the retail outlets, the staff diagnoses whether the fix will require a technician. If so, they must obtain the needed part from a depot, dispatch a technician to the site to install the part, and have it up and running within four hours from the time the call was placed — no matter how remote the location might be. It’s truly an extraordinary feat in logistics.

Getting a Handle on Purse Strings

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,

Outsourcing Now Has Ebusiness Component

Outsourcing Center, Beth Ellyn Rosenthal, Senior Writer

When buyers decide to outsource today, you can bet ebusiness considerations are part of the contract. Paul Cofoni, president of the technology management group at Computer Science Corporation (CSC), says he rarely sees an outsourcing proposal that doesn’t have a substantial ecommerce component. Companies want to create a business-to-business (B2B) exchange, use ebusiness to enhance their supply chain management, or simply make it easier for their clients to have access to them…

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