Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Open Letter to the CEO of the Services Industry

Dear Mr /Ms Chief Executive Officer,

Let me congratulate you on the growth figures that you have been achieving quarter after quarter, across the sector (be it financial services , IT Services , BPO , KPO…etc ) . I have been a bystander in your growth plans and have seen you treat me primarily as a recruitment engine or at best a person who can manage attrition .You have classified me as another support function ...(though not a part of your business think tank), you have made a choice to marginalize me in your strategy formulation and implementation processes, in many cases I have not found a position in your Board of Directors. I have seen myself as a victim of the situation and played a marginalized role that was carved out for me .

This letter is not a commentary on what has not happened, or could have happened and did not happen ...blah blah......but from now on, I want to take charge of the situation and make you sit up and take notice of what I have to offer. For a moment forget that I belong to a discipline called Human Resources, and reflect on what is the most important item of your operating expenses!!, even for me it’s a no-brainer , its people costs , isn’t it ?? (The wage bill, the cost of managing attrition, the cost of hiring all put together). So what do you want to do with this line item of your operating costs , don’t you want to derive maximum value out of it , don’t you want to ensure that these costs are under control , so that your bottom line does not get adversely impacted…..so will it be wrong to say that I, (your incompetent HR man ) actually manage your supply chain ….sounds silly doesn’t it …suspend your judgment for a while and read the following paragraph ...

Think of a classical supply chain – (even at the risk of oversimplification, a Supply Chain process would broadly constitute inbound and outbound logistics), what is a supply chain in your industry? – people of course. Like your peer in the manufacturing sector wouldn’t you like optimize your sourcing costs and also make your outbound logistics more efficient …I am sure you would agree emphatically …..In this context let me reposition myself as your Supply Chain Manager. I could play around with your hiring patterns to ensure that I get the work done at a lower price point (ex- For a KPO I can hire brilliant college grads at a cheaper rate and with some help of technology can ensure that they do the same work that those guys from the biz schools do, at a cheaper cost to you…sounds interesting?). I could align the rewards program and incentivize hi-performers differentially, thereby directly adding to your margins –the appraisal forms that you and your managers loathe is a business process tool to ensure that we reward the right people for the right behaviors (competencies), I could help your underperformers to be more productive, thereby reducing the cost of your “slow moving inventory”. I could ensure that the workforce is engaged by designing retention schemes so that “there is no loss in transit” of your goods …..I am sure you will find value in what I have to offer – would you please help me to help you!!

Lets meet and discuss in details the exciting possibilities that both of us can create

Yours truly,

The People Supply Chain Manager

5 comments:

Shreyasi Deb said...

Truly Brilliant

Mridula said...

Language, it is such a powerful tool, just by changing the wrods around the HR functions, this message may get across many who devalue HR. Enjoyed your post.

Anurag Verma said...

It's difficult to manage people if hiring is for too many people in short span. My advise to service company is to go slow on business growth and consequently hiring.

Instead focus should be on core competencies with manageable resources. Once the framework is good, go for more hiring, so that scaling happens properly and in the process improve employee value to the company.

DreamCatcher said...

I am fortunate to work in an environment that considers HR as a stategic partner. Where people are our product and process, we don't have a choice but to shift from traditional thinking. Thank you. This summarized many valid points that many orgs have ignored for long...given that knowledge industry is young, and therefore have the ability to adapt to the new mindset quickly..

Niladri said...

You must be a Great Place to Work.....