Blog Re-Post Courtesy of Jordan McMahon, Automation Anywhere
Here are a few sessions that have gotten our attention, and what we’re hoping to get out of them:
1. Reimagining Outsourcing with Robotic Process Automation: Its Impact on Delivery, Transformation, and Competitiveness
Not surprisingly, our number one pick for this year’s World Summit is the session focusing on the current wave of RPA adoption in the outsourcing world, and how it’s affecting those who have adopted (or will affect those who don’t). I’m sure we’ll hear some numbers surrounding lower operational costs, reduced error rates, and increases in productivity, but I’m also hoping to hear from participants their perception of RPA as the new kid on the BPO block.
2. Opening Keynote with Futurist Jack Uldrich
With our recent focus on how automation will affect the job landscape in the coming decade, we’re looking forward to hearing what Jack Uldrich, “America’s Chief Unlearning Officer,” has to say about what’s ahead for outsourcing, how embracing new technology can help organizations reach new heights, and particularly if he touches on the impact of automating back-office (and soon front office) work as one of the ways BPOs are currently “unlearning.”
3. The Third Industrial Revolution, Smart Machines, and the Resource Revolution: Impact on the Global Sourcing Industry
Yet another one of our favorite topics, this session led by Mike Fabrizi of The MITRE Corp. will discuss why we’re on the brink of the next industrial revolution. What’s piquing our interest in particular? Hearing Mike’s thoughts on how the “value add web is changed in the face of automation and advanced machine learning.”
4. The TENT Talks
In a smart move for the attention-span-challenged (or any of us who just want a good, quick burst of information), IAOP is offering a series of 10-minute “tent talks” that are meant to spurn debate. I’ll be curious to see a) if the topics are controversial enough to get a good dialogue going and b) if there will be adequate time to delve in to the topics fully. If done right, these TENT Talks, being held the first day of the event, could set the tone for the rest of the conference and provide the fodder for many a lunch conversation.
5. State of the Industry Survey Results
The trends and trajectories for the outsourcing world from the people in the trenches themselves. This short session will review what those in the outsourcing industry see as critical to business in the coming years, and how to get ahead of the “next big thing.”
To visit the IAOP Outsourcing World Summit page, head to http://www.iaop.org/summit.
Check out original blog here.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Tuesday, February 03, 2015
The Rise of Geopolitical Risk and What CPOs Need to Know to Keep it In-Check, by guest blogger Nick Ford
The news is dominated by geopolitical events from around the world – the spread of Ebola, the conflict in Syria, ISIS and just about anything that happens in North Korea. Most people will read a few articles, watch the evening news, form an opinion, feel mad, feel glad or feel nothing. Some people will take action. They will be driven to help where they can by donating their voice, their time or their money. Then there are the people who have to leave their emotions, their political affiliations and their prejudices at the door and when disaster strikes, they have to think about business.
As procurement spreads across more and more geographical boundaries, organizations are being exposed to more geopolitical risk. In order to ensure the safety of their company, Chief Procurement Officers and Procurement Directors must proactively consider the implications of these events on the smooth running of their businesses. They need to take into account where they are doing business, where their suppliers are doing business and where their manufacturers are located. What is the volatility of that location? What is the political stability, the currency stability and the stability of the work force within that location? How does that affect your business? Some more progressive organizations are taking this even further down the supply chain and looking at where their suppliers’ suppliers are doing business.
How-to Measure Geopolitical Risk
Historically, supplier risk has ignored location factors and has instead been focused almost entirely on financial performance. This made risk a very binary exercise, but the deeper and broader you go into operational risk, the less it becomes about numbers and absolute answers. To truly understand a supplier’s risk profile, you must undergo stress testing and “what if” scenario planning. What if war broke out in a region in which you operate? What if a fire broke out in a supplier’s factory and destroyed everything? Where would you transfer that work to, and quickly? What impact would that have on your lead times or your payments? What impact would that have on your customer contracts? You could come up with any number of scenarios and run them through your supply chain operating model to see what impact they could potentially have on your delivery to your customers. Once you understand what impact these events could have, you can start to defend against them.
How Geopolitical Risk Has Changed
Due to technology and access to the Internet, the world is becoming a much smaller place. World news is immediate. You’re able to monitor events and changes automatically. Organizations now have an abundance of information available to them. There’s always been political unrest and risk in certain regions, but now there is a far better understanding as to what’s changing on a daily basis, which allows CPOs to begin to proactively safeguard against them.
The Cost of Geopolitical Risk
Reducing geopolitical risk is about supply chain analysis, disaster recovery, your ability to move to a different supply chain supply environment and how quickly you can do that should a situation arise. The other aspect of geopolitical risk to consider is the cost. From a risk perspective, in the short-term, it costs more to work with a supplier out of China than it does to buy from someone down the road. In most companies, there’s not enough emphasis placed on the increased organisational risks that occur when working with some of these low-cost suppliers. But the truth is, the harm done to the business, should something go wrong, could be irreparable. The Ebola outbreak, for instance, could have a huge negative impact on Western organizations if they are no longer allowed to import from affected countries or if new trade restrictions, regulations or possible quarantines are implemented. When selecting suppliers, procurement teams need to take a total cost of ownership approach.
The Cost of Managing Geopolitical Risk
A total cost of ownership approach looks beyond the direct price and takes into account all of the indirect costs of using a supplier, risk and risk management included. For example: based on your risk profiling, you may want to use a double supply scenario to cover areas where you think the geographical or political risks are high. Organizations currently importing from Ebola affected sub-Saharan African may take this approach. That, of course, will add to the cost of the good or service. It’s the procurement team’s job then to convince the board that, although it may cost a little more, at the end of the day, it lowers the risk profile of the organization.
Supplier risks haven’t changed in the past 10 years – as far as I know there’s always been risk of war, disease or disaster – but the increase of global supply chains have left companies more exposed. Thankfully, there has also been an increase of available information to help prepare and defend against these risks. Strategic CPOs and Procurement Directors know that the best offence is a strong defence and are thus making risk management and disaster recovery a priority – even if it costs a bit more. You get what you pay for.
Nick Ford is Managing Director, Global Procurement Outsourcing & Co-Sourcing, for Xchanging. Xchanging is a global, publicly-held business process, procurement and technology services provider. For more information, visit www.xchanging.com.
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