Everybody is into Sourcing

Sourcing seems a relatively new field. Many associate sourcing primarily with the big IT outsourcing deals from the 1990s and the early 21st century. Comprehensive initiatives where assets and people were transferred to international service providers. But that was then.

Definition of Sourcing

Today’s reality is different. According to the Van Dale dictionary, outsourcing means “having work done by others”. The Merriam-Webster dictionary adopts an even broader definition of sourcing: “obtain from a source”. With such definitions, sourcing is much older and nowadays also applicable to virtually everyone. Which company or organisation is still ‘from cow to cone’ directly involved with its product or service with its employees? Aren’t we all relying on third parties for a successful customer relationship? And isn’t the customer-supplier relationship also very different from 20 years ago?

Development of the Field

Since the 1990s, sourcing as a field has developed significantly. Multi-Sourcing, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), various services being delivered ‘as a Service’ (XaaS); the focus is increasingly on ecosystems and a shared responsibility for jointly managing chains that extend beyond the boundaries of one’s organisation. It’s also about much more than just ICT. Sourcing is something we all deal with every day. And in the coming years, that will only increase. This leads to extra complexity but can also simplify life, provided we do it correctly.

Sourcing is Relevant for Everyone

In this recurring blog, I would like to develop several topics that support the above further over the coming period. I’ll mention two that might not immediately seem associated with sourcing at first glance.

  1. Sustainability: Sustainable business requires insight into supply chains. Knowing your organisation is enough for an annual financial report, but the CSRD legislation demands more and will become relevant for many companies next year. When the CSDDD (CS3D) becomes effective, close coordination in the chain is necessary, and the collaboration takes on all the characteristics of a sourcing relationship.
  2. Big Data = Shared Data: The European Union is working on various legislation (recent: Data Governance Act) to encourage Europe to unlock the value of data. Unlike Big Tech (USA), Europe bases this on the principle of sovereignty over one’s data. Conceptually and legally, there’s a solid foundation. Further elaboration requires coordination between parties on IPR, Service Levels, and responsibilities. A typical sourcing issue, therefore.

Happening at Sourcing Netherlands

Such developments have a significant impact on the sourcing domain. All groups within Sourcing Netherlands (outsourcers, service providers, consultants, and lawyers) must adapt in their field to remain relevant. For Sourcing Netherlands, there is a great ambition to facilitate discussions on these topics.

You are warmly invited to join the conversation that is now erupting on all these themes. Are you already a member?