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Organisations around the world, in both the private and public sector, have long since moved beyond the idea that they could, or should, do everything themselves. Many have sourced services from elsewhere, implementing what we call an ‘alternative service delivery model’.

Sourcing and global choice

Here, “sourcing” is defined as the identification, evaluation and implementation of the most effective delivery models for securing strategic objectives. Those delivery models could comprise in-house transformation, shared services, outsourcing or – as is increasingly common – some combination of these.

Faced with such a plethora of choices can be daunting. Our approach here is to provide a glimpse of what might be possible and to dispel some myths and demystify sourcing as a route to transformation. Concentrating on the critical early stages when options for delivery are explored, the aim is to help you identify the key questions you should consider, for example:

  • What are the options available and what are their relative strengths and drawbacks?
  • What are the key benefits and risks of an alternative model?
  • What are the principles that help ensure success in sourcing projects and cement the right type of partnership(s)?
  • What financial models sit behind the different options – and how do you choose between them?

Our intervention here is not intended to make you sourcing experts or indeed to necessarily identify a specific function that might be delivered in a different way (though that could be the result, depending on where your organisation currently stands). Rather it is to introduce sourcing as a route to transformation and to build of where it might best be used. Our four-step I D E A approach to explore sourcing is as follows:

Step 1 – Initiate: here we will build an understanding of your business drivers – the reasons why you are considering a different way to deliver your services or products. We will also explore your experience of, and approach to, sourcing (if any) and any approaches you might already have made to the market (the service providers).

Step 2 – Design: this will be designed to capitalise on your experience and build a shared understanding of how sourcing might be used in your organisation. This could range from a one-day over-view of sourcing as a whole, to, for example, structured, but informal discussions with providers to explore the ‘art of the possible’ for a specific part of your business (say, back-office processes).

Step 3 – Execute: we would then run the event or events, based on the customised approach that has been agreed with you.

Step 4 – Action: lastly, we will capture the output from the workshop(s) within twenty-four hours of each event. This will include: materials used and / or developed on the day, actions / next steps agreed. We shall also follow-up 2 to 4 weeks after the final event to talk through progress and act as a reminder for agreed actions.

For more information on how we can help you identify the right approaches to sourcing, please contact us at

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