IT Co-sourcing an increasingly cost effective solution for manufacturing and mining industries
As the economy increases in complexity, it has become more difficult for organisations to adapt to marketplace changes. Organisations can no longer efficiently maintain all expertise in-house. The result is a greater dependence on interrelationships with outside organisations that can provide the expertise these organisations may be lacking. In particular, manufacturing companies are finding it advantageous for suppliers to provide services rather than performing these in-house.
 
“Adapt IT is finding that specifically in our primary markets of manufacturing and sugar processing, the concept of co-sourcing is being explored,” says Adapt IT Marketing Director Cindy von Pannier.  Co-sourcing is an alternative to traditional outsourcing. It gives organisations the ability to improve their economies of scale through partnering with specialists to provide mission-critical processes, gaining valuable business intelligence and experience in the process. This approach is based on a strategic long term partnership between the two companies. “The Chief Information Officer retains key in-house IT skills for certain requirements such as business analysis or the system development life cycle, and the IT service provider provides the IT skills, broad experience and knowledge that are in short supply or not required on a full time basis,” describes von Pannier.
 
She says that co-sourcing is based on the premise that it is still more cost-effective to outsource high end IT services as the service provider has the benefit of economies of scale and the ability to retain and train IT professionals by offering them significant careers in IT.  “We employ a combination of IT and business skills that provide a composite team to service our customer contracts collectively. For a customer, these skills would need to be retained on a full time basis in order to be available to meet their business needs and this is simply not feasible,” says von Pannier.
Adapt IT has an impressive list of clients who have outsourced their IT over several successive contracts, proving that this model is viable and successful.  One of the keys to a successful long term partnership according to von Pannier is to go into the agreement with a win-win philosophy: “Ensure services and fees are detailed in the contract to prevent ambiguity, and make sure there is a well defined exit clause. But the most important thing is to manage the relationships, because at the end of the day, it's the people looking after the contract that will ensure delivery - not the letter of the contract.”
 
Adapt IT has been providing application and technical outsourcing services on a strategic partnership basis for over 15 years.  “This has resulted in a core competence developing around this service which now extends to 3 continents and some 9 countries, including a recently concluded international outsourcing deal in the US. The company is unique in providing both application and technical outsourced services remotely, across 3 time zones, from our offices in Durban,” von Pannier concludes.