Archive for the ‘Total cost of ownership’ category

Talent2’s Competitive Edge

July 8, 2013
Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

Linda Merritt, HRO Research Analyst, NelsonHall

The NelsonHall HRO team recently spoke with Mary-Sue Rogers, Talent2’s global general manager for HR managed services, for an update on the major Asia-Pacific, pan-regional HRO service provider with ~2.6k clients across 30 countries. Its client base includes companies of all sizes in both the private and public sectors. The company had a busy fiscal Q4 2013 winning more than 60 contract awards across its service lines, including payroll, RPO, learning and HR advisory services.

The Asia-Pacific HRO Market is Competitive

Asia-Pacific is a huge and diverse region with many of the individual nations still considered “emerging markets,” with opportunities for long-term growth. Talent2’s in-region competitors are largely global HRO providers, some span all service lines and others go head-to-head-on a single service like RPO.

So how does a ten-year-young company compete with many of the biggest names in HRO? Its competitors also have in-region locations but find it hard to match Talent2’s 40+ HRO-dedicated locations supporting 31 languages in 16 Asia-Pacific countries, including parts of the Middle East. In May 2013, Talent2 further expanded its operations in support of the Asia-Pacific region by opening a service delivery center in the Philippines.

Succeed With a HRO Competitive Edge

It is a core part of providing multi-country services to offer local subject-matter expertise on employment rules, regulations, taxation and compliance reporting, and all of the competitors can provide such services directly or through vetted local partners.

Talent2 demonstrates deep knowledge of local regulations as well as cultural and business environments. It knows the nuances that others may miss, which can help develop a service offer that is right on the mark for design and cost. For example, in the first instance, Talent2 addresses the following questions:

  • What style of payroll service center support is preferred by employees in different areas of its region?
  • What are the differences in an MNC headquartered in the West versus one headquartered in the target region?

As a result, 50% of its clients use multi-country services led by payroll and followed by RPO. Some start with one targeted country and add more over time.

Quality services and competitive pricing, along with its deep knowledge, provides a winning combination for Talent2, achieving a NelsonHall estimated ~10% growth in FY 2013.

Then Change to Remain Competitive

Talent2, which became a private company in 2012, is working its way through its stated development roadmap. The multi-pronged plan is focused on upgrading and rationalizing its technology platform to meet current and future client needs and going environmentally green to control internal costs and lower the total cost of ownership for its clients.

HR services are changing rapidly all over the world, as are client needs and interests, and no service provider can long rest on its laurels. Therefore, the question arises: does your HRO service provider’s competitive edge match your needs today, and will it tomorrow?

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The Seams Matter in HRO

April 13, 2012

To complete our review of HRO’s total cost of ownership (TCO), I want to expand on the factors that can either ramp-up or create a drag maximizing savings. The ADP studies on TCO do more than show the savings that real customers are achieving; the research also looks at why.

First, we need to understand what goes into TCO, which can help create a base case for outsourcing and in tracking the results. Included in the ADP TCO research are:

  • Systems cost for initial implementation, upgrades (both amortized over three years), and system maintenance
  • Direct fully loaded labor costs for associated administrative and IT employees
  • Non-direct labor cost for overheads like facilities and corporate overheads
  • Supplier or outsourcing costs.

Some of the costs are hidden in budgets other than HR’s, including IT, finance, or corporate. Remember that some of the employee costs are also hidden out in the field. We call them the shadow staff—people who support HR processes part-time. It’s important to understand the full cost of providing pre-outsourced services to be able to determine the difference in operating expenses after outsourcing.

There are also costs that result from the “seams.” Seams create gaps and can be found between technologies, processes, and people. These costs are seldom apparent or included in base cases, but they are real and can make the difference in 8-10% savings versus 20-30% savings.

Why does using a single vendor for multiple integrated processes create additional savings? With more services on one vendor integrated platform there are fewer interfaces to maintain, which costs less. When using various separate technologies and vendors, more complexity is in the system, and that generates an increased need to ensure that interfaces are maintained and addressed every time a change is introduced; it also increases the need for customizations and workarounds. When a payroll change was made, I could not understand why it took so long. It was because payroll data touches so many other HR processes that every calculation and interface needs to be addressed, tested, and ensured, many of which touch other suppliers and outsourcers, which adds even more time and cost.

Fewer systems, fewer non-integrated interfaces, and fewer vendors reduce complexity and can further reduce cost. The same concept is true for processes and people. Changing and standardizing internal processes and behaviors across the enterprise is hard. Persistence over time can make the difference in achieving 20% savings and 40% or greater savings.

The good news is that you do not have to do this all alone. Understand what you can expect from your primary HRO vendor(s) and what is included in standard pricing and what additional services are available at additional cost. HRO vendors like ADP, IBM, and Infosys, while specializing in various areas of HRO services, understand the importance of ongoing HRO governance, relationship management, change management, and step-by-step maturity along the way to maximizing the TCO benefits of HRO.

Linda Merritt, Research Analyst, HRO, NelsonHall

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HRO and the Total Cost of Ownership

June 22, 2011

A top question for buyers new to outsourcing is how much will we save?  A legitimate question and one that can be hard to answer. Many studies have been done over the years tracking the subject, often asking respondents to estimate the percent of savings. In other words, asking for their opinion. Not exactly what senior business leaders are looking for!

ADP sponsors PwC’s Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Study and the 2011 results are in. The research covers the costs of payroll, workforce administration (HRIS), time and attendance, and health and welfare services and compares the cost of in-house managed services to clients that outsource to ADP. The 279 participants compiled a more complete picture of the following costs: systems (e.g., install, upgrade, and maintenance), direct and indirect labor, and direct non-labor (e.g., vendor fees, facilities, and other overheads), the cost of outsourcing was included for those using ADP.   

TCO for organizations managing the four services in-house, with no outsourcing, were $1,403 for larger employers (1k+ employees) and $1,953 for those with 100 to 1,000 employees.

Guess what? Outsourcing saves money. Average savings of outsourcing over in-house is 18%. Employers with more than 1,000 employees save more due to good old-fashioned economies of scale, up to 27%.

Outsourcing clients sometimes feel they do not reduce costs as much as pitched by the vendor or planned in the business case. The ADP-sponsored study also identifies success factors that help maximize TCO savings.

The findings put real data behind what we intuitively know:

  • Adding self-service is basic to reducing cost for HR and time for employee users.
  • Comprehensive process transformation is needed to realize full savings. It takes more than new technology; process redesign, governance, and standardization are also needed.

Another finding confirms what I have long suspected: using one vendor and one service platform (outsourced or even in-house) saves more than using multiple vendors and platforms. There is added cost to using multiple, even “best-of-breed” point solutions for payroll, workforce administration, and time and attendance.

  • Average cost of outsourcing the three services to one vendor on a common platform was $910 per employee per year, compared to $1,020 (+18%) for managing in-house on a common platform and $1,202 (+32%) for managing in-house using multiple vendors and platforms.

To understand total costs look at the “seams,” places where interdependent processes and systems must be integrated, interfaced, up-dated, and even manually coordinated when using multiple platforms and vendors. The cost can be as high as $200 per employee per year.

HRO works and significantly reduces TCO, but it takes time and effort of both the vendor and the client to achieve maximum benefits. I’ll cover more on that topic next time.

Also, I have some good NelsonHall news. The 2011 Targeting MPHRO study has just been released by our HRO colleague Amy Gurchensky, see more information at www.nelson-hall.com.

Linda Merritt, Research Analyst, HRO, NelsonHall