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[Press release – Paris, Wednesday 27th March 2019]
This report, produced in collaboration with Altermind, is based on the following observation: in a context where public spending, compulsory deduction and public debt have reached record levels, French public services have high operating costs (nearly 400 billion euros) for insufficient results. The solution to this crisis is not to increase spending, but to chase down inefficiencies. We must “do better with less”.
The report explores a major – and under-exploited- avenue for improving the price/quality ratio of public services: outsourcing, i.e. delegating certain functions to companies outside a core group. Often caricaturated in the French debate, outsourcing is not abandonment or privatization of public service: the public authority remains responsible for the service but entrusts its execution to a private partner, more efficient thanks to its specialized skills and economies of scale, and stimulated by competition. Economic studies show that budgetary gains of 20% to 40% can be achieved through outsourcing.
France outsources less than other countries with more efficient public services, such as the Scandinavian countries. Such is the case in the support functions, which cover front office (user relationship), back office (reporting, archiving) or non-specific activities (restoration, cleaning, building monitoring). This situation is explained by the lack, in France, of a systematic and coordinated outsourcing strategy.
This is the strategy that the report calls for. The financial issues are significant: by aligning with best practices, up to 25 billion in public spending savings per year could be achieved. Comparatively, this amount represents ten times the increase in the activity bonus decided in December 2018.
The outsourcing strategy proposed in the report is based on a systematic comparison of direct and outsourced management, with the introduction of a mandatory evaluation procedure beforehand; a more performance-oriented partnership approach to outsourcing; and increased monitoring and transparency in the management of public services.
In particular, the report examines the case of user relationship management to highlight the opportunities offered by outsourcing. It shows that by relying on the private sector, public services can provide an answer to the irritants that users encounter in their relations with public services and create a real “user experience”.
The Webhelp report thus proposes a real “New Deal” for public services, consisting in relying on the complementarities between the public and private sectors for greater efficiency and regain flexibility to ensure their core mission.
For Olivier Duha, founder of Webhelp: “The current situation of our public services invites us to refuse the status quo but also the addiction to public spending. Outsourcing is an opportunity for public services to improve their efficiency/cost ratio, as companies do daily. With this report, Webhelp aims to contribute to the reflection on this subject at the heart of the Grand Débat National.”
Webhelp is a global leader in business process outsourcing (BPO) specializing in customer experience, payment management, and sales and marketing services through voice, social and digital channels.
Around 50,000 employees at more than 140 sites in 35 countries work to improve interactions between customers and their brands, with a constant focus on quality, social and economic performance that is constantly being optimized. Brands such as Shop Direct, Bouygues, Direct Energie, KPN, Vodafone, La Redoute, Michael Kors, Valentino have trusted Webhelp for years with an unfailing loyalty and it is now more than 1000 customers who rely on Webhelp.
Based in Paris, the company is pursuing and exceeding its very ambitious growth objectives by investing in its teams, in their working environment, and by developing its consulting, analytical and operational capabilities to offer outsourcing and digitalization solutions that meet the challenges of an omnichannel world. Since March 2016, the American investor KKR has held a stake in Webhelp and has been supporting the company in its organic growth projects and external acquisitions.
For more information, visit www.webhelp.com
Altermind is a consulting company whose ability to respond is multiplied by academic leverage. Its unique model is based on a platform of leading academic experts who interact with experienced consultants with strong and recognized skills.
Altermind takes action on issues related to competition economics, M&A, strategy, regulation, public infrastructures and services, data optimization, digital transformation and platform development.
In Paris and London, Altermind supports its clients wherever and enjoys the loyal trust of major Fren, British, Italian, German and American groups.
For more information, visit www.altermind.fr
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Directrice Marketing et Communication France
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