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Accenture and the London School of Economics have uncovered the “keys to the kingdom”—those practices that contribute to high-performance business process outsourcing (BPO). In this paper, we examine the transformation of the retained organization.
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As the BPO market matures, clients are expecting more than just cost reductions and fulfilled service level agreements. They want their back offices transformed, their business performance improved. They expect their service providers to adapt to changing business demands and deliver new sets of outcomes.
We call relationships that are achieving these exceptional results high-performance BPO.
Accenture and the London School of Economics undertook joint research to uncover the practices that distinguish high-performance BPO from its more typical counterparts. Our latest research from this partnership uncovered the “keys to the kingdom” practices that contribute to high performance. These practices emerged from analysis of four principal research streams: a comprehensive survey of 263 senior client BPO executives, in-depth interviews with client-provider executive pairs in 20 organizations, research into 26 organizations identified as high performers in collaborative innovation and a review of 1,356 BPO and ITO findings from 254 academic research studies identified as robust.
Our client interviews and survey both found that transformation of the client‘s retained organization is one of the most important of those practices.
In End-to-End Approach, we discussed the six transformation levers that clients use to transform their services organizations. This paper examines how clients with world-class business services organizations transformed their retained organizations in four ways:
Structures transformed from “pyramids” to “diamonds.” This model replaces the heavy bottom of the pyramid with BPO providers, with fewer middle managers but more subject-matter experts and project leads. The benefits are lower costs, access to BPO providers with best-of-breed skills and greater flexibility.
Employees transformed from “back-office” doers to “front-office” service coordinators. In the diamond-shaped business services organization, far fewer employees perform transactional activities and many more coordinate service delivery with BPO providers and internal clients.
Internal clients transformed from “users” to “customers.” Clients from high-performance BPO relationships transformed their internal business users into educated customers.
Provider relationships transformed from “them” to “us”. Transforming the provider relationship from “them” to “us” requires clients to integrate the provider meaningfully into their organization.
Transitioning to a BPO relationship can be tough on workers in the retained organization if steps are not taken to help them succeed in the new environment.
Aligning the organization‘s corporate culture with new ways of working and integrating the culture of the outsourced workforce is not easy. Some retained employees will not be able to adapt to the newly designed retained organization.
To get the provider better accepted into the client organization, one client asked that the provider‘s logo be removed from all the emails and the provider‘s name from voicemail boxes. Ultimately, successful clients attain a “one team” mindset across all work streams and the alignment of all workforces into an integrated and unified organizational structure.
October 28, 2012
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