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‘You get what you pay for’ in Outsourcing Deals

by: Karen Cayamanda

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 |

After studying different outsourcing deals, researchers at the University of Tennessee found out that there are several mistakes committed by companies when it comes to establishing outsourcing partnerships.

"One of the common mistakes companies make is that their business model and the outsourcing contract are not aligned," said Kate Vitasek, UT lead researcher and supply chain consultant. "Economist Steven Levitt states it best - one of the most powerful laws of the universe is the law of unintended consequences. And a key reason for unintended consequences is that people do what they are paid to do." Vitasek said buyers will only get what they contract for, and service providers will only do what is indicated in the legal agreement.

The research team had identified ten mistakes companies make in outsourcing deals. These include perception on outsourcing only as cost-cutting measure, outsourcing that is purely transactional, and the lack of mature processes to keep track of the service provider’s performance.


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