Magazine article Management Today

MCA Management Awards 10 Year Anniversary: Outsourcing Consultancy in the Private Sector

Magazine article Management Today

MCA Management Awards 10 Year Anniversary: Outsourcing Consultancy in the Private Sector

Article excerpt

GOLD WINNER - ACCENTURE WITH THOMAS COOK

Thomas Cook is a household name in the UK and Ireland, with a 167-year history in the travel business and market share of about 30%. But after the acquisition of the C&N Touristic AG business in 2001, executives faced significant losses in the coming year and asked Accenture to help introduce a raft of changes across the finance, IT, HR and payroll functions.

The company's three UK units - sales, tour operations and airline - weren't operating as an integrated business but as a patchwork of disconnected processes. Accenture proposed a 10-year co-sourcing arrangement to deliver a series of change programmes. This is focused as much on business outcomes as on systems, and Accenture's fees are based on results. While Thomas Cook UK & Ireland controls strategy, policy, investment and critical decisions, Accenture is responsible for managing the transformation and service delivery, for the performance of a new shared services centre in Peterborough and for delivering an improvement in business profits.

Five months after signing the contract, many finance, payroll and IT staff from the three units transferred to Accenture. New financial systems were implemented and an integrated technology base installed for finance, HR, payroll, purchasing and employee self-service. Four years on, the partners shifted the agreement up a gear: 70% of work once done at Peterborough is now undertaken by Accenture's delivery centre in India.

More than 400 Accenture staff are now employed to provide services to Thomas Cook, which has been able to reduce its cost base by pounds 140m. …

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