When Allied introduced "Reliability Rebate" many companies were unable to take back the discount given to them at the end of the year, due to accounting complications. Due to this reason Allied had to choose an alternative form of rebate which did not involve the use of money. At this juncture, Allied introduced the concept of providing IT personnel credits for unused maintenance spends. This was the birth of Flexible resourcing in Allied.
Through flexible resourcing Allied provides resources to clients in lieu of unspent maintenance budget. This concept of flexible resourcing was subsequently extended by us into Flexible Resourcing Architecture (FRA). Through FRA we deliver specific resource needs on an as needed basis. FRA enables companies to have access to resources with specific skill sets at any time of need.
The way FRA was delivered was through another innovative feature called FRA credits. All resources provided by Allied are allotted a certain number of FRA credits. Clients choosing to use our FRA service purchased credits and used them to avail of flexible resource personnel at different times in the year. The introduction of FRA means that clients no longer have to worry about contingencies, sick leaves and holiday periods where they run the risk of being undermanned. It also reduces the need for additional bench resources and thereby helps to reduce overall expenditure.
Virtual Support or Distributed Support
Allied's "Virtual Support" now known as our "Distributed Support" solution was developed in 1994 with Gartner. Gartner at that point of time worked with 20 different suppliers which made the process of coordination time consuming and it was also a cumbersome and ineffective experience in terms of management. The immediate alternative was to get additional personnel to manage the suppliers, who were likely to command high fees further increasing costs. In addition to this there existed the challenge of servicing contracts across different countries in Europe. Since this was before the birth of the euro, all countries had their own currency. Therefore, currency fluctuations across countries had a bearing on margins. Another challenge was that there were very few pan-European companies at that time. Allied's presence across multiple geographies gave us a better understanding and reach, that clients could tap into..
Allied's distributed support model was an innovation that helped tackle the challenges of working with personnel across multiple sites and geographies, all but eliminating expensive travel and communication costs. Through, distributed support we manage resources centrally whilst delivering locally. By evaluating and defining the optimum requirement for each site, Allied provides the necessary skills sets for each site from our own staffing pool. Clients then only need pay for local staff for the optimum duration necessary each week, effectively taking resource on a timeshare basis. Each member of staff is located near site and is bi-lingual. They are also dedicated to each client allowing for consistency of service delivery and understanding of site and staff needs.
The origins of outsourcing as a solution were geared towards moving out entire departments or functions away from direct company control. The advantages of outsourcing are the cost benefits and a chance for companies to move out functions that are away from their core area of expertise. This critical benefit helps make companies more competitive in the global environment and also significantly improves their bottom line. As the years progressed it was clear that outsourcing was here to stay but that did not mean that it was always the perfect solution. Outsourcing involved moving away large pieces of work away from the client. This brought a certain amount of abstraction to the equation, as the client was not fully involved in the details of the process. At times failures in knowledge transfers and lack of key real time information could all lead to a breakdown in the quality of output. Outsourcing was very rigid in that entire departments had to be moved. The lack of control with companies was a concern but in addition to these factors there was the inevitable phobia of retrenchment.
Allied's co-sourcing solution is an innovative solution that aimed at providing flexibility in personnel and also enables companies to retain better control over processes. Clients are provided with personnel who worked alongside company employees. Rather than replace an entire team, a co-sourcing solution fills in the gaps in a department and delivers flexibility through a 80-20 mix of local and hired personnel. This mix in terms of personnel provides the company with flexibility in case they chose to scale up or down and also alleviates retrenchment phobia. Systems and procedures are still handled by the company personnel and therefore the quality of outputs and retained business knowledge is maintained.