April 05, 2011

What happens to knowledge when we outsource???

Facilities management has been defined as the integration of  those non - core processes that support the main activities of the organizations, some authors argue that the objective of the facilities manager is merely operative and others said that is strategic.

Well i think that is a critical part of the strategy of the organization, for the time being in where  we have tried to cover at maximum all the aspects involved in the theory, seems that even if the organizations are small, those  non core process are vital to make them run, and for that have to be included into the overall strategy of the company.

That’s why i found quite interesting the fact that because its nature of  'non adding value' processes directly to the  main activity of the organization , are the first activities to be thought in outsource, of course make sent, from the point of view of the benefits that the outsourcing processes can bring to the organizations, like focus on the core activities, avoid major investments or reduce costs

However when not just the canteen and housekeeping activities are those which are chosen to be outsourced and maybe Information systems or maintenance activities are included, i wonder what happen with the knowledge?

I mean Knowledge is already quite difficult to capture and manage into the main activities of the organisation itself, and we are learning how to make the most of it, but when we can’t manage the area, process or activity, how we can assure the knowledge is well transferred, how we can also protect the knowledge of those activities provide... even if are not a core -activities?.....


- 4 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Paula, this is an interesting point. If you remember the video we watched yesterday when the worker did not survive falling into the drier, but there was an maintenence cover nearby that nobody in the buisness had knowledge of.

    In your example it is worth thinking about what could happen if a buisness outsources activities that could ultimately lead to another catastrophic failure

    05 Apr 2011, 18:41

  2. Hi Paula, hey Robert,

    On the other hand, I found an interesting bit that: our non-core activity is a core activity for the outsourcing company, hence we might expect a great service and support from experts in the field (I think that article mentioned that HP (or a similar MNO) outsourced IT to IBM to get the world-class service HP would probably not be able to develop themselves).

    06 Apr 2011, 19:27

  3. It was Kodak who did this oursourcing move (MNO anyway ;)

    Reuvid, J., Hinks, J., & Institute of Directors. (2002). Managing business and support services. London: Kogan Page. [p. 42]

    06 Apr 2011, 21:00

  4. hello guys!

    thanks for your comments,

    @Jim,

    You right, that could be a good source to identify where the knowledge goes. And actually probably the most easier way to know that. However i think that when we outsource, we have to design also a knowledge strategy, as you suggest today, in order to not just capture, transfer and translate the knowledge but also to contribute with awareness, to prevent incidents.

    @ Marcin

    Yes MArcin, and is not the only case, there are a lot of success stories about outsourcing but i think is more interesting when those companies become Partners of the organizations and in that way can work together for shared goals.

    06 Apr 2011, 23:27


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