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Outsourcing Communications: Can Non-Core Activity Cause a Meltdown? Yes.

By Scott Draeger, SVP of Product Marketing & Vertical Solutions at Smart Communications 

Many banks, building societies, insurers, and government agencies routinely outsource customer communications. These organizations consider the production of customer communications to be a “non-core” business activity. But when a service bureau experiences financial difficulties, these organizations scramble to contain the damage of a communication meltdown. Recent developments at Communisis, as covered by Printweek, are a cautionary tale for organizations that outsource too much of the valuable part of their voice to a third party. 

Suddenly, many leading organizations learned that lawyers, businesspeople, and consultants in other countries are important stakeholders in their customer communication supply chain. “More broadly, we [Communisis] have been working closely with our advisors, customers and stakeholders over the past few months to explore a number of strategic options which will enable Communisis to move forward independently on a positive and sustainable footing,” per a Communisis spokesperson as quoted by Printweek.  

For organizations outsourcing communications, chaos at a key supplier throws leadership teams into crisis mode for a supposedly low-risk “non-core” activity. We have evidence that has firmly established that communication is a core business activity. At a minimum, impacted organizations have been forced into wasting months of effort in crisis management activities, massively increasing the cost of a “non-core” activity. 

Organizations that internally manage the design, content, rules, and other IP associated with their customer communications are immune to situations like this. The design, content, rules, and other IP that form the customer experience layer of your business should be entirely within your control. Smart Communications' clients using SmartCOMM™ and/or SmartIQ™ have total control over their voice across all channels and interactions while retaining the flexibility to manage the truly non-core production process in any way they choose. 

Leaders have already been moving in this direction by shifting to digital communications. According to the Printweek article, “Its [Communisis’] transactional print business took a big hit with sales down 20% as banking customers accelerated their migration to digital comms.” This demonstrates the degree to which banks, and other industries, are regaining control over their digital communications. 

Take notice of this situation, as hundreds of millions of communications in the UK will experience a change in the supply chain. Hopefully, it will be invisible to the customers and recipients due to the heroic efforts of reactive leadership teams. For you, it is far better to avoid the chance of a “non-core” meltdown by retaining control of the design, rules, content, and other IP that support your customer relationships. Learn why Smart Communications has earned the only “Customer First” award for Customer Communications Management from Gartner. 

Discover how The Conversation Cloud makes it easy for highly regulated industries to maintain compliance and mitigate risk, or get in touch for a CCM Migration Consultation.