Workplace of the Future
It’s all about Flexibility and Mobility
APAC TEAM is a group of veteran sales guys based in Singapore with successful sales experience all over Asia. Let APAC TEAM (www.apac-team.com) be “Your A-TEAM in ASIA.”
Gone are the days when companies feel they need to own and directly control everything. The old approach gave companies a high degree of control over their operations but at the high cost of large employee numbers, associated labor costs, additional non-core investments and a lack of focus on core activities.
Slowly over the last 20+ years companies began shedding non-core activities and started to use outsourcing partners to cover these functions. This really accelerated as contract manufacturing became the rage in the 1990’s and this trend continues to this day. By using contract manufacturers, major brands can focus on design and marketing while having other companies to crank out the end product.
There has been reluctance over the years to outsourcing what is considered key or core activities. Customer touch points like customer service, IT and sales were long considered off limits to outsourcing as companies wanted higher levels of control and oversight of these areas.
This has begun to change over the last few years with the emergence of 3rd party call centers in far away places like India and the Philippines handling customer service functions. Now, with the advent of cloud computing we are seeing IT services moving into outsourced relationships where computing and storage are handled by 3rd party partners.
Sales and business development is a new area set to fit into the model, especially in remote geographies. Rather than look to short term consulting relationships or long term full time staffing, market and business development goals can be achieved via an outsourced “sales extension” relationship like APAC TEAM. This will give companies speed and flexibility advantages and promises to deliver results at a lower cost. Factoring in legal issues of setting up foreign operations, the time to market and the lower cost of an outsourced relationship are easy to identify.
Some companies of the future will have few employees. Rather, they will have a web of contractors and freelancers. We see the beginning of this today in many of the technology giants who generate huge revenues and profits with very small employee bases.
So what do we tell our kids who will see the bulk of this development? Flexibility and mobility will be the key for the workers of the future. More and more jobs will be outsourced not only to companies but also to individual freelancers. For the worker who is educationally, mentally and emotionally prepared for this fluid workplace there will be many interesting and lucrative opportunities. For those not prepared, it will become more and more difficult to find good, long term employment opportunities that were the staple of our parents’ generation.
It will be an interesting ride as we can expect continuing changes in the workplace of the future.