OUTSOURCING: Strong Partners Key to Success
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OUTSOURCING has become one of the most widely used business buzzwords of the last decade. Interestingly, it is used across a wide variety of contexts, from the outsourcing of manufacturing functions by major fast moving consumer goods brands to the outsourcing of customer service functions such as call centres.
”The term is very broad, perhaps too broad,” says Pule Mokoena, group executive: marketing at Innovation Group. “I suppose the real key to understanding the outsourcing environment is to realise that increasingly businesses are forming partnerships with specialist service providers able to deliver high quality service and to lower costs in non-core areas of business.”
“So, the context is very broad but the key to understanding outsourcing is to realise that companies are always under major pressure to better their service levels to customers, to lower the costs of doing business and to develop new products or services that can give them a competitive edge. By forming strong partnerships with specialist companies they can make real progress in all of these areas.”
Innovation Group is a global technology enabled outsourcing specialist operating in the UK, Europe, Australia, the USA, Asia and South Africa.
The South African arm of the company provided the initial engine for Innovation Group’s global expansion, and has been a consistent pioneer in the world of technology enabled outsourcing.
With roots in the local automotive industry, Innovation Group drove warranty and maintenance administration plan innovation in the sector, and today has expanded its expertise to cover the full scope of business sectors.
In 2008 Innovation Group South Africa has over 800 staff members and a blue chip client base that pays testament to its ability to form strategic partnerships with companies that are reinforced by an ability to harness maximum value from technology-focused capital outlays.
“One of the confusing things about the field for many business people is its traditional focus on IT and various technologies. Because evolution in this area happens so quickly the danger is you can get caught up in a context where there are just too many catch phrases and acronyms,” says Mokoena.
“Our understanding, however, is that you can talk technology and acronyms as much as you want, but ultimately business is about executing a strategy that delivers top quality services and customer experiences. The real winners in the world of outsourcing are the companies that have worked to reach their vision, and partnered with specialists to ensure that every piece is in place, within the context of today’s market and the market of the future.”
“Innovation Group’s success over the years has been rooted in a recognition that outsourcing is a highly strategic element of business that rests on strong, personal relationships and a common vision, and that technology is an enabler to the strategic vision,” adds Mokoena.
“Business process technologies can be incredibly powerful in allowing a company or brand to interact on a personal, human level with its client base. Over the years we’ve seen many instances where new or improved systems and processes have really changed the quality of the brand experience – but it’s always important to keep in mind that technology has to operate within the context of a focused strategic vision.”
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