The Top 10 Outsourcing Companies in the World
Outsourcing, in some places, used to be a word with a fairly negative connotation. Gripes about lost jobs and the disregard of the local economy were factors that put the term in such an unfavorable position. In the last five or ten years, however, there has been a major shift in the way people think about outsourcing. It’s no longer an option as much as it is a necessity. Most notably, outsourcing frees up valuable space and time for companies to focus on core areas of business, rather than tying up considerable company funds in something that can easily and cost-effectively be done somewhere else.
So what defines a world-class outsourcing company? First, professional outsourcers (the good ones) must have a worldwide presence. They must be able to help their clients utilize every available resource in a seriously globalized market. That’s number one. Secondly, service providers must offer a certain level of operational expertise with a strong pool of talent to fit a business’s most specialized needs. They have to prove that they can improve day-to-day operations with measurable and quantifiable key performance indicators. Purchasing managers love benchmarks and statistics because they show areas where improvements can be made. Finally, the complex outsourcing business relationship between partners must have benefits for both sides. There has to be a certain trade off so that both sides see a mutual benefit to doing business together.
So who does it the best? Step into our Top 10 and find out as we explore the best outsourcing companies in the world.
A French IT company, Capgemini is present in over 36 countries with a staff well over 100,000. Major partnerships include Intel and Microsoft. Capgemini’s business goals include expertise, ensuring sustainable and long-term growth and providing a return on investment to its shareholders.
ISS is ranked one of the top companies in the world when it comes to facility services and management. Whether it’s cleaning, catering, office support, property service, security or total facility management, Denmark-based ISS is equipped to meet any and all of your facility needs. “The ISS Way” focuses on further aligning the business model and strengthening knowledge-sharing abilities.
8. Infosys Technologies
Infosys has the most humble beginnings of any company on our list as seven partners with $250 to their name started the IT service provider in 1981 in Bengaluru, India. Today, the company rakes in more than $5.4 billion annually and designs and delivers technology-enabled business solutions. The company has a long history of praise from Bill Clinton to Business Today.
7. CSC—Computer Sciences Corporation
Another IT infrastructure outsourcing provider, Computer Sciences Corporation is a company that specializes in system integration. When Xerox acquired the aforementioned ACS in 2009, it left CSC as the only independent outsourcing firm headquartered in the United States.
6. Colliers International
A Washington-based outsourcing partner that serves the real estate sector, Colliers International is a global company that helps its clients in consulting, landlord representation and asset management, among other areas. With 480 offices in 61 countries, Colliers International runs on a “partnership model” that combines the same entrepreneurial aspects of a local company with the strength, reach, accountability and versatility of a global firm.
Based in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France, Sodexo is global food services outsourcing company that specializes in facility and vendor management. Revenues at Sodexo in 2009 reached $14.7 billion Euros in 2009 alone. Sodexo serves more than 10 million customers per day, manages 700 facility sites and dishes out 9.3 million meals each day.
4. ACS—Affiliated Computer Services
Many of the services at Texas-based ACS come by way of HR outsourcing, but the company is more than equipped to achieve anything from finance BPO to IT outsourcing. The company generated a modest $6 billion annually and recently it installed a 100-percent contactless ticketing solution in the Houston transportation system. Another ACS project, a fully-automated hospital, helped a customer see savings upwards of $2 million.
3. Wipro Technologies
An India-based IT specialist, WiPro Technologies specializes in “Total Outsourcing” which has targets geared towards achieving specific IT objectives. Wipro can provide IT infrastructure solutions that seamlessly align with the organizational processes and practices of any business. They are one of the world’s top technology vendors and are widely considered the outsourcing partner of choice for IT-specific infrastructures.
The technology giant is based in Armonk, New York, but maintains a reputation as a global entity that specializes in technology outsourcing service. IBM started touting “Next-Generation BPO” in 2010 and the company gives customers every available resource to make an informed decision on whether to outsource its technology needs. (Trust us, this is a smart play) Key figures from IBM include supply chain savings anywhere from $3 to 5 billion each year and over $500 million in productivity improvement.
“High Performance. Delivered.”
Accenture moved its head quarters to Dublin, Ireland in 2009, but that didn’t stop us from naming the outsourcing specialist the top outsourcing company in the world. Accenture’s net revenue sailed to $21.55 billion in 2010. Major clients include three-fourths of the Fortune Global 500 and Accenture’s outsourcing services range from application and infrastructure to BPO and bundled outsourcing. It has offices in more than 200 cities in 53 countries. It also headlines the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship in Tucson, Ariz., one of the most bad ass golf tournaments in the world. Well played, Accenture.
This article looks a lot better in the February edition of Supply Chain Digital. Check it out HERE.
NTT DATA Services, Remodelling Supply Chains for Resilience
Joey Dean, the man with the coolest name ever and Managing Director in the healthcare consulting practice for NTT DATA and is focused on delivering workplace transformation and enabling the future workforce for healthcare providers. Dean also leads client innovation programs to enhance service delivery and business outcomes for clients.
The pandemic has shifted priorities and created opportunities to do things differently, and companies are now looking to build more resilient supply chains, none needed more urgently than those within the healthcare system. Dean shares with us how he feels they can get there.
A Multi-Vendor Sourcing Approach
“Healthcare systems cannot afford delays in the supply chain when there are lives at stake. Healthcare procurement teams are looking at multi-vendor sourcing strategies, stockpiling more inventory, and ways to use data and AI to have a predictive view into the future and drive greater efficiency.
“The priority should be to shore up procurement channels and re-evaluate inventory management norms, i.e. stockpiling for assurance. Health systems should take the opportunity to renegotiate with their current vendors and broaden the supplier channel. Through those efforts, work with suppliers that have greater geographic diversity and transparency around manufacturing data, process, and continuity plans,” says Dean.
But here ensues the never-ending battle of domestic vs global supply chains. As I see it, domestic sourcing limits the high-risk exposure related to offshore sourcing— Canada’s issue with importing the vaccine is a good example of that. So, of course, I had to ask, for lifesaving products, is building domestic capabilities an option that is being considered?
“Domestic supply chains are sparse or have a high dependence on overseas centres for parts and raw materials. There are measures being discussed from a legislative perspective to drive more domestic sourcing, and there will need to be a concerted effort by Western countries through a mix of investments and financial incentives,” Dean explains.
Wielding Big Tech for Better Outcomes
So, that’s a long way off. In the meantime, leveraging technology is another way to mitigate the risks that lie within global supply chains while decreasing costs and improving quality. Dean expands on the potential of blockchain and AI in the industry.
“Blockchain is particularly interesting in creating more transparency and visibility across all supply chain activities. Organisations can create a decentralised record of all transactions to track assets from production to delivery or use by end-user. This increased supply chain transparency provides more visibility to both buyers and suppliers to resolve disputes and build more trusting relationships. Another benefit is that the validation of data is more efficient to prioritise time on the delivery of goods and services to reduce cost and improve quality.
“Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) is another area where there’s incredible value in processing massive amounts of data to aggregate and normalise the data to produce proactive recommendations on actions to improve the speed and cost-efficiency of the supply chain.”
Evolving Procurement Models
From asking more of suppliers to beefing up stocks, Dean believes procurement models should be remodelled to favour resilience, mitigate risk and ensure the needs of the customer are kept in view.
“The bottom line is that healthcare systems are expecting more from their suppliers. While transactional approaches focused solely on price and transactions have been the norm, collaborative relationships, where the buyer and supplier establish mutual objectives and outcomes, drives a trusting and transparent relationship. Healthcare systems are also looking to multi-vendor strategies to mitigate risk, so it is imperative for suppliers to stand out and embrace evolving procurement models.
“Healthcare systems are looking at partners that can establish domestic centres for supplies to mitigate the risks of having ‘all of their eggs’ in overseas locations. Suppliers should look to perform a strategic evaluation review that includes a distribution network analysis and distribution footprint review to understand cost, service, flexibility, and risks. Included in that strategy should be a “voice of the customer” assessment to understand current pain points and needs of customers.”
“Healthcare supply chain leaders are re-evaluating the Just In Time (JIT) model with supplies delivered on a regular basis. The approach does not require an investment in infrastructure but leaves organisations open to risk of disruption. Having domestic centres and warehousing from suppliers gives healthcare systems the ability to have inventory on hand without having to invest in their own infrastructure. Also, in the spirit of transparency, having predictive views into inventory levels can help enable better decision making from both sides.”
But, again, I had to ask, what about the risks and associated costs that come with higher inventory levels, such as expired product if there isn’t fast enough turnover, tying up cash flow, warehousing and inventory management costs?
“In the current supply chain environment, it is advisable for buyers to carry an in-house inventory on a just-in-time basis, while suppliers take a just-in-case approach, preserving capacity for surges, retaining safety stock, and building rapid replenishment channels for restock. But the risk of expired product is very real. This could be curbed with better data intelligence and improved technology that could forecast surges and predictively automate future supply needs. In this way, ordering would be more data-driven and rationalised to align with anticipated surges. Further adoption of data and intelligence and will be crucial for modernised buying in the new normal.
These are tough tasks, so I asked Dean to speak to some of the challenges. Luckily, he’s a patient guy with a lot to say.
On managing stakeholders and ensuring alignment on priorities and objectives, Dean says, “In order for managing stakeholders to stay aligned on priorities, they’ll need more transparency and collaborative win-win business relationships in which both healthcare systems and medical device manufacturers are equally committed to each other’s success. On the healthcare side, they need to understand where parts and products are manufactured to perform more predictive data and analytics for forecasting and planning efforts. And the manufacturers should offer more data transparency which will result in better planning and forecasting to navigate the ebbs and flows and enable better decision-making by healthcare systems.
Due to the sensitive nature of the information being requested, the effort to increase visibility is typically met with a lot of reluctance and push back. Dean essentially puts the onus back on suppliers to get with the times. “Traditionally, the relationships between buyers and suppliers are transactional, based only on the transaction between the two parties: what is the supplier providing, at what cost, and for what length of time. The relationship begins and ends there. The tide is shifting, and buyers expect more from their suppliers, especially given what the pandemic exposed around the fragility of the supply chain. The suppliers that get ahead of this will not only reap the benefits of improved relationships, but they will be able to take action on insights derived from greater visibility to manage risks more effectively.”
He offers a final tip. “A first step in enabling a supply chain data exchange is to make sure partners and buyers are aware of the conditions throughout the supply chain based on real-time data to enable predictive views into delays and disruptions. With well understand data sets, both parties can respond more effectively and work together when disruptions occur.”
As for where supply chain is heading, Dean says, “Moving forward, we’ll continue to see a shift toward Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and advanced analytics to optimise the supply chain. The pandemic, as it has done in many other industries, will accelerate the move to digital, with the benefits of improving efficiency, visibility, and error rate. AI can consume enormous amounts of data to drive real-time pattern detection and mitigate risk from global disruptive events.”