Outsourcing negotiations is more than a trend, it’s an asset

Le 10 April 2015

It’s a fact, French companies are no longer scared of outsourcing. Whether it’s for one specific service or several or for a one-off or recurring need, outsourcing is fast becoming a given in corporate strategy to deliver better performance.

Outsourcing, a trend

In 2011, 90% of large companies and 78% of SMEs outsourced at least one activity*, either partially or entirely. The trend has continued over the last 4 years and from now on, outsourcing has become a bone fide strategy for certain key posts that are not part of a company’s core business. By opting to outsource, you can now give yourself the means to refocus your main business activity. In any case, in the current circumstances, performance gains must be made using a new way of thinking about organising a business. If a company wants to win people over, it must know how to invest the time to do its job well and focus on dependable and high quality external partners with proven expertise for specific ancillary functions. Armed with its know-how boosted by an effective and flexible network of related skills, the company can then move towards new levels of performance.

Negotiation, a key post that is difficult to fill

Some people still say that when all services are in-house, everything is under control. Others, more open to new solutions and perhaps with more vision, have already understood that when outsourcing is consciously chosen and is well managed, it constitutes a real strength. At Triple Win, we are convinced that outsourcing negotiations is an opportunity that offers an array of advantages.

Only the biggest companies in terms of size and turnover have the means to employ a sales director or a negotiator who match their ambitions. The smallest organisations have to deal with at least two problems. First, an employment system that is highly restrictive for them and secondly, recruiting difficulties (how to find that rare pearl and make it come to a given geographical location). As a result, we see cases where the company manager, or one of the staff who is, at best, efficient but never an expert on the subject, is tasked with purchasing and negotiations. This is a “patched-up” solution which is sometimes misleading as well as time-consuming and which quickly saps your energy. When you don’t have the time, experience and vision, you lack complete control over the process and you miss opportunities. Your contacts know it and this weakens your negotiating power.

Outsourced negotiating, a new force

The advantages outsourced negotiating can bring are clear to see. It starts with a necessary external perspective to take a step back and the unexpected possibility of getting support from top experts without taking any risks and, in any event, without obligation. You request a specific sought-after skill on an ad hoc basis. You work in a proper contractual framework with your negotiator without enduring the onerous nature and inflexibility of the employment system. In addition, you benefit from a network, experience and particularly appreciated advice. Your fixed costs become more easily managed variable costs and you have the added benefit of being able to refocus internally on your core business.

Demonstrating effectiveness by remuneration

Securing the services of a Triple Win negotiator provides you with a guarantee of obtaining convincing results. Based on the certainty of our method (the Harvard “triple win” mutual gain method), payment for our services is partly result-based. Consequently, if your negotiation process is outsourced, it is no less involved than before. In fact, it is even more committed as our negotiators have every interest in harnessing their energy and strategy to set up satisfactory negotiations for everyone involved to create value and longevity.

*survey conducted by the Cegos Observatory in September and October 2010 with 127 Directorate-Generals of French companies of all sizes (50% manufacturing / 50% services).

On the subject of outsourcing, you can also listen to the advice of Accenture CEO, Pierre Nanterme: http://www.hbrfrance.fr/chroniques-experts/2014/02/1346-comment-les-grandes-entreprises-peuvent-gagner-en-agilite