This is an ideal time to review our business and personal goals for the year 2023. I find it beneficial for one to have an honest check-in with self to evaluate the veracity of their intentions against their convictions.
If one does not do that frequently within the year, it is often followed by a lack of traction and attainment. Goals have to be set in such a way that they are S-M-A-R-T – Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Timebound.
It has really been an intriguing couple of weeks. Our eyes have been fixed on news headlines about the Thabo Bester and Dr. Nandipha Magudumana melodrama. Words elude me as to how to explain the shock and awe around the audacious exploits of the criminal mind. As a digital transformation advocate, I see Bester’s vision to leverage technology in starting a global enterprise, however maligned and nefarious it was. It goes to show you that with technology on your side, your location should not limit you. (If Thabo can do it from inside prison, why can’t you?)
It is even more astounding that in the din surrounding this infamous case, we have even somewhat forgotten our woes and the geopolitics currently at play, more so with the seemingly unending issue impacting our largest trading partner South Africa around issues of power cuts due to load shedding.
Our discussion today follows the following rationale:
How insolated are we as a country from the escalating costs of doing business in South Africa? Are these escalations being passed on to us? Can our country benefit from becoming the Shared Services Hub for Southern Africa and maybe in the future the Rest of Africa? Business Process Outsourcing is not a new discussion in Botswana and was at one point touted to be one of the strategic leverage areas for employment and value creation. We are, however, hoping to see the fruits of government endeavor in the many initiatives around the supply chain development.
Shared Service models are geared at delivering service to internal customers by consolidating, standardising, and automating processes in low-cost locations. In the past, we have (albeit unsubstantiated) seen multinationals implement shared service models that migrate processes to other regions in the world which may no longer be efficient and cost-effective after the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant global supply chain disruptions.
Organizations need to re-evaluate their return on investment, including other customer-centric data points to ensure that they are getting value for money and not hemorrhaging due to Service Level Agreement costs associated with outsourcing processes that could be handled at minimal cost and maximum yield locally.
The cost-to-income ratio is a key metric to keep under control when going through times of volatility which can severely damage the ability of an organisation to partake in more value-creating activities as well as deepen the ability of small to medium-scale enterprises to participate further in the economy in fields such as Information and communication technology.
In my next article, I will expound my case further on why Botswana is the ideal destination for Business Process Outsourcing in Southern Africa. In the meantime, please do engage at the email and numbers provided below for questions, queries or comments.
Montwedi ‘Monty’ Bakwena is a Digital Transformation Professional focusing on customer experience strategy, digital operations integration, channel migration, and public-private partnerships.
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