Rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach, a growing number of businesses are breaking up larger outsourcing contracts into smaller pieces and employing the services of a number of suppliers to carry out particular tasks.
However, rather than this being a complete operational solution, there is a view that multi-sourcing could come with its own set of problems and issues to tackle. Jaroslaw Czaja, chief executive of Polish software developer Future Processing, explained that the trend of multi-sourcing should best suit those companies that are offering niche and bespoke services.
He suggested it is not a 'quick-fix' answer for all outsourcing needs as it requires the company and suppliers to communicate continually and conduct a two-way consultancy relationship. Forrester Research Inc is more enthusiastic: "An effective multisourcing strategy needs robust service integration between suppliers. Get it right and stakeholders delight as IT service delivery is flexible to demand," said Forrester's Euan Davis.
However, Jonathan Cooper-Bagnall, head of sourcing at PA Consulting, told the Financial Times that the idea that this way of working is 'a panacea … is simply not true'.
"Companies could not manage it with one and now they are going to break it up and manage it in a more complex environment," he said.
The FT noted that the lack of management expertise can prove to be one of the biggest problems of multi-sourcing, and figures from PA Consulting Group reveal 84 per cent of firms have no mature governance model for their outsourced services. Graham Beck, a sourcing expert at PA Consulting Group, warned there are hidden costs risks, as many businesses lack the in-house resources to manage multiple outsourcing relationships.
"The logic gets unstuck when you disaggregate into a number of constituent parts, the client needs to integrate them all together," said Beck.
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