Book Review: Strategic Outsourcing

By Skillman, Juanita | Information Management, April 2000 | Go to article overview

Book Review: Strategic Outsourcing


Skillman, Juanita, Information Management


TITLE: Strategic Outsourcing: A Structured Approach

to Outsourcing Decisions and Initiatives

ISBN: 0-8144-0434-0

PUBLISHER: American Management Association Business

PUBLICATION DATE: 1999

LENGTH: 344 pages

PRICE: $46 ARMA members, $62 nonmembers

SOURCE: ARMA International Bookstore, (888) 298-9202, www.arma.org

Outsourcing, the hiring of an outside entity to handle any of an organization's support services, has become a strategic weapon for businesses trying to become more efficient. Peter Drucker writes in The Wall Street Journal that "outsourcing may be the only way to increase productivity and cost efficiency in support services." Yet, as Maurice Greaver points out in his new book, Strategic Outsourcing: A Structured Approach to Outsourcing Decisions and Initiatives, "outsourcing is not a secret formula for success, not a magic wand for vaporizing problems, and not a management fad. It is just a management tool."

Used correctly, outsourcing can free up capital and resources, giving an organization a competitive advantage. Used incorrectly, it can produce performance problems rather than solutions, low morale, and lost business opportunities. Greaver, who teaches a strategic outsourcing seminar for the American Management Association (AMA), makes an effective case for his premise that outsourcing must be a strategic business decision, not a knee-jerk reaction, a quick fix for problems, or a cure for a revenue deficiency.

Greaver's book begins with "Overview of Strategic Outsourcing," an effective introductory section. This section contains definitions, history, relevant business trends, and case studies. A similar format is used throughout the book's remaining seven chapters, which detail the key steps in the outsourcing process: planning initiatives, exploring strategic implications, analyzing costs and performance, selecting providers, negotiating terms, transitioning resources, and managing relationships.

Strategic Outsourcing is a readable book that provides logical approaches along with thought-provoking insights. …

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