Best Outsourcing Advisors and Globalization Consultants Revealed

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Outsourcing initiatives are increasingly complex and challenging to navigate, which has propelled an elite group of Outsourcing Advisors to emerge as the year's top consulting firms, as rated by actual client experience. The annual report out from the Brown-Wilson Group showcases the results of nearly twenty-five hundred outsourcing customer survey respondents and over four hundred management consultants in the Outsourcing Advisory sector, as part of their Black Book of Outsourcing research studies.

Sourcing advisory firms are a new breed of industry consultants and lawyers worldwide that advise customers on selecting outsourcing service providers and helping set and execute sourcing plans. Sourcing advisory firms negotiate outsourcing contracts ranging in value from millions to several billion dollars on behalf of their customers, and do so with the experience of knowing how much to pay and what is required to effectively match unique initiatives.

There have been several developments in the evolution of outsourcing and offshoring that almost require external assistance to navigate.

Leading companies are now using global resources to drive new forms of revenue and grow their top line. Companies are realizing new forms of business value through their global sourcing partnerships by accelerating new product development, shortening time-to-market and finding successful enters into new markets. Companies that are realizing these benefits from their global sourcing strategies are also creating new forms of value for their customers and sustainable competitive advantages. Still, most aren't prepared internally to make these decisions alone and those that do report regretting that choice.

The seventy-page Black Book Top Outsourcing Advisors report now available gratis at at http://www.theblackbookofoutsourcing.com/resourceslinks.htm provides detailed survey results of over 80 global outsourcing consultants on 20 advisor-specific key performance indicators that customers directly rated their satisfaction.

The most important issue reported by over 92% of all 2500 current outsourcing client survey respondents this year is for prospective buyers to have a strategic global sourcing strategy before embarking on a vendor search. Current industry users also agree (95%) that most new buyer organizations do not have the internal staff, capabilities, research and insight to perform this in a timely or effective fashion as yet.

Predictably, overall client satisfaction with outsourcing advisory firms is exceedingly high. Over 90% of all North American and European outsourcing clients indicate they would recommend contracting with an advisor to any prospective buyers of outsourcing services.

The complexities of organizational readiness, vendor selection, system transformations and ongoing governance caused 3 out of 4 outsourcing users to indicate they should have engaged an advisor earlier in the process to maximize outcomes had they been more knowledgeable of these advantages.

Currently, clients view outsourcing advisors' strongest value contributions to be:

1 - Creative Tools, Templates and Methodologies
Consultants are armed with practical and inventive approaches to solving specific client issues.
Advisors also imparts proven tools and sourcing resources such as software, models and instruments to clients.

2 - Governance Strategies
Managing outsourcing vendors, multiple contracts and service level agreements is a complex process and there are still very few experienced managers in the field, although major US business schools are now focusing on outsourcing as a major study.

3 - Globalization Strategies
Extending a sales force to new continents or just trying to determine the best location for your call center operations is best left to experts.

4 - Agnostic Vendor Selections
On of the more difficult issues to still resolve is finding advisors with independence from vendors. 62% of clients stated they felt that their advisor was uncomfortably endorsing particular vendors to them. Because of best pricing and partnership deals between some advisors and vendors, it's much easier to find an advisor with deep vendor knowledge including expedited selection cycles than it is to expect an advisor to be free from supplier preferences. 29% expressed they would prefer a break in their advisor consulting cycles to pause during the RFP stages and resume when a short list by the client was confirmed.

87% of current advisory clients counsel new users of outsourcing to pre-determine the level of experience most important to their organization.

Domain Expertise: Some advisors claim to be experts in Information Technology primarily, for instance. As more initiatives are involving bundled IT Outsourcing and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) as the constructs of the deliverables, 81% of respondents reported that their due diligence on their advisors' capabilities saved them costly mistakes.

Vertical Expertise: Size dictates the need for client specialization to please clients. 48% of current midmarket ($100M-500M) sized clients were disappointed with the level of firm experience in their particular industry. However, 93% of large market cap companies and conglomerates corporations were very satisfied with their advisors' experience level.

Outsourcing Advisory Market to Increase in 2009

Outsourcing projects with the greatest percentage increase for using an advisor:
Strategy, Planning & Vision 89.3%
Governance     84.2%
Benchmarking 47.8%

Scoring at the top of their categories of advisory consulting services for 2008 are:

Top Outsourcing and Offshoring Advisors and Consultants for 2008 also included the following firms: Aberdeen, Alsbridge, Alvarez & Marsal, AMR Research, Archstone Consulting, Argea, ATKearney, Avasant (formerly Stradling Sourcing), Bain, Booz & Company, Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte Consulting, Diamond Consulting, Equaterra, Everest Group, Expense Management Solutions, Forrester, Frost & Sullivan, Fujitsu Consulting, Gartner, Global Equations, Hackett Group, Hitachi Consulting, Hunton & Williams, IDC, Ineum, KPMG, Mayer Brown, McKinsey, Milbank, Morgan Lewis, NelsonHall, neoIT, Ovum, PA Consulting, PaceHarmon, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, RampRate, ScottMadden, The W Group, TowersPerrin, TPI, Vales Consulting, and Vantage Partners among others.

"The Black Book of Outsourcing" authored by Brown-Wilson Group principals, is the world's bestselling book on the subject of outsourcing and available in a completely revised edition now from John Wiley & Sons Publishers where ever books are sold.

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