Welcome to the series of reports from Arvato, called Open Outsourcing. These reports aim to get to the heart of some of the most complex topics in the outsourcing industry with the help of our clients and industry experts.

Despite contributing £207bn (8%) of the total UK economic output, outsourcing is misunderstood and its value often understated. Open Outsourcing aims to understand and demystify some of the issues that contribute to this.

Rather than focusing on the theoretical or futuristic, we want to create and share a real-world perspective on outsourcing today by hearing directly and honestly from those people involved.

Empowering people

The latest issue of open outsourcing focuses on enabling people. Outsourcing is a services industry and a people business. It’s not just about what KPIs are agreed, which systems and processes are put in place or why a partnership was set up in the first place; ultimately, it’s the people who deliver the results and make the relationship work – or not. We hear from clients, industry experts and, most importantly, from people, about what putting people at the heart of outsourcing really means – for partnerships and the individual.

Enabling growth

The second issue of open outsourcing explores the links between outsourcing and growth. Instead of focusing on short term cost cutting, many forward thinking organisations consciously choose outsourcing as a means of enabling growth – whether that’s increasing revenue, extending the customer base, entering a new market, or growing market share. We speak to some of our clients and to industry experts about how outsourcing partnerships can help to unlock new growth. Drawing on specially commissioned research and economic data, the report goes further to reveal the connection between outsourcing and the wider economy.

Effective engagement

The first issue focusses on effective engagement. At its heart, business outsourcing is about relationships – those between the partners of an outsourcing agreement, and those between the partnership and its customers or employees. In the report, five of our key clients share their experiences and honest views on what engagement means to them, and how it has improved the impact of their outsourcing programmes. An independent research study and commentary from industry experts add further perspectives to the topic.