or LinkedIn here uk.linkedin.com/pub/tony-smith-bsc-hons-acih/a/979/351/
I was reading an interesting article yesterday, about that great bastion of UK quality, value and best customer service, John Lewis. It wasn't the usual style however, it was quite negative and cited 'low staff moral', old incapable IT systems and ambitious phone targets a cause of accelerating complaints.
Oh dear, how could that happen to such a UK national treasure? I will be reading the skids are under Tesco next (whoops!).
Looking in from the outside, the woes of JL look to involve some of the results of outsourcing functions and systems. Have a read of the article on this link and you will see what I mean -
Thinking short term can cause some long term issues, around trust, cost and efficiency, as perhaps JL are now realising. In social housing, often we have to go down this route ourselves. Most have outsourced out of hours operations and outsourced repairs with partnering contractors. On the former, are those issues logged as well as having your own staff doing a proper job? On the latter, we all probably can recall Conaught (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1309987/Connaught-collapses-10-000-building-workers-face-sack.html) and how contracting cheap destroyed quality and eventually the company.
When many of these outsourcing deals are struck, including DLO stores & materials, how deeply do we actually examine what technology is to be used and truly get into the detail? Very rarely in my experience does anyone ask "What have you got live and working, right now, just like what we are looking to do here?".
Too many managers & procurers are comfortable accepting vague phrases like "It's on our roadmap", "There's nothing we haven't not managed to link with up to now" and the truly pitiful "Everything's Possible". It's not surprising that we find in our sub-contracted areas, our expensive integrated technology links to a few Access databases or Excel spreadsheets, with our outsourced partner.
So it's not surprising a lot of outsourcing falls flat for us. Ask the detail questions until someone answers the question you originally asked and truly find the limits of your out-sourcing suppliers. It's impossible and plain wrong to expect to source 100% of what ticks your requirement boxes, but be sure to know where the gaps are, before contracts are signed. Don't expect as much attention once the ink is dry.
Related Post: In your projects, is it IT or your end users, who Play To Win?
I would be pleased to connect with you on LinkedIn - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy Message me with any issues or queries, you would like to be explored in this blog. We generally receive a couple of suggestions each month.
Killers - Losing Touch.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009
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