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Three top tips on finding the right fit

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As the results of this latest survey clearly show, local authorities are waking up to the evolution in outsourcing and will continue to build and extend strategic partnerships over the next five years to support a ‘mixed economy’ of service provision.

We’ve seen a lot more authorities, as well as organisations from the wider public sector, supporting such a service-focused model. In fact, new research from Grant Thornton in the International Business Report (IBR) reveals that, in the private sector globally, two in five business leaders outsource back office processes or plan to.

This is a similar picture to the public sector and shows the rise in uptake of business process outsourcing. Where organisations have held back, the survey suggests this is mainly down to their ability to find a partner organisation with the right fit - or lack thereof. With the waning appetite for allencompassing deals, and a growing focus on key services and shared service models, it’s hardly surprising that some are still cautious. But if decision makers keep the following things in mind there’s no reason why finding the right partner to hold the reins should be a challenge:

  • Ensure a strong cultural fit because mutual understanding and trust are imperative. You may create something that looks great on paper but success depends on a positive and productive working relationship, underpinned by a shared service ethos and common values. Consider developing a ‘relationship charter’ together to set a behaviour benchmark and include time for regular health checks so senior management can monitor success levels.
  • People matter. Successful organisations make sure they’re working with the right people and that there is mutual understanding and respect. This provides the foundations for bringing about successful change underpinned by a common vision and commitment.
  • Understand the basis for innovation before signing on the dotted line to see what kind of added value and expert consultation a potential partner can offer. The right one should be able to demonstrate that they’re able to get under the skin of your organisation, looking at every nuance of your processes to add
  • transformative value - which in today’s challenging environment is more important than ever.

Paul Bradbury is group business development director at Civica



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