The short summary should cover one of the cases or frameworks we cover in the up-coming session. The purpose of these summaries is to assure that you are prepared for our class discussions. The summary should thoughtfully and concisely present the main lessons gained from the case or framework.
I will examine each report to check that it maintains a reasonable set of standards: well-written, coherent, demonstrates an understanding of the material, and “goes beyond buzzwords”.
The rest around 200 words
Building innovation into the outsourcing
relationship: a case study
, Cheryl Schuster2
Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada;
Centre for Outsourcing Research and Education (CORE), Toronto, Canada
R Babin, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada M5B 2K3.
Tel: þ 416 979 5000×2448;
Fax: þ 416 979 5249;
E-mail: [email protected]
This teaching case has been developed for a global consumer products company.
Interviews from several outsourcing managers and executives within the company have
contributed to the case. This case focuses on how a company can build innovation into an
outsourcing relationship when it has not been explicitly stated in the outsourcing agreement.
The two fictitious companies in this case are Bentley & Brooks (B&B) (the client) and
AlphaCorp (the provider). Both companies are based on, but are not accurate portrayals of,
actual companies that are anonymous. The case is a composite of several actual
outsourcing cases between the two companies. B&B has outsourced much of their human
resource operations and IT support. They have been frustrated that their global outsource
provider, AlphaCorp, has not been able to bring innovation to the relationship. In the
outsourcing contract, innovation was not expressly identified, but was certainly discussed
during the outsourcing proposal and negotiations. In addition, the ability of AlphaCorp to
deliver consistent quality of service on a global basis has been uneven, particularly in Latin
America. You will be asked to take on the role of a B&B employee who is part of a team
looking into the innovation problem. The team has been asked to provide answers to three
key questions and to present their recommendations to a panel of senior executives of B&B.
Journal of Information Technology Teaching Cases (2012) 2, 98–103.
doi:10.1057/jittc.2012.10; published online 23 October 2012
Keywords: outsourcing; innovation; continuous improvement; contract; relationship management
Company profile: Bentley & Brooks (B&B)
B&B produces and supplies hundreds of consumer
goods in food and household product categories. For
most of their history, they have operated primarily in
the Americas and Europe. In the past 10 years, they have
broadened their reach to include Asia, Africa, Australia and
The company sells its products through its sales force,
independent brokers, agents, and distributors to chain,
wholesale, co-operative and independent grocery accounts,
and food service distributors and institutions. It also
distributes its products through a network of distribution
centres, satellite warehouses, company-operated and public
storage facilities, and depots.
B&B was established in Boston, Massachusetts in 1873
and has grown to become one of the world’s 10 largest
multinational consumer goods companies. The company is
listed on most major stock exchanges.
The challenge facing B&B is that while they are generally
satisfied with their outsourcing arrangements from operational and service delivery perspectives, they are less happy
about the level of innovation and continuous improvement
(CI) that they are receiving from the more important
The challenge was twofold:
(1) How to get an existing service provider to deliver
innovation and CI in an arrangement where there is no
predefined way in which to measure or manage the
provider against it and where there are pockets of poor
(2) Determining what measures should be included in
contracts for future outsourcing arrangements to
ensure that innovation and CI gets the focus and
importance B&B wants.
Journal of Information Technology Teaching Cases (2012) 2, 98–103
& 2012 JITTC Palgrave Macmillan All rights reserved 2043-8869/12
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