Cibai Lu Lah
Film and Music
Submitted By lanchaucibai
To explain the value of his relationship with outsourcing and offshoring firm Cognizant, Kimberly-Clark chief information officer Ramon Baez recalls a conversation he had with one of its on-site consultants who rattled off such an impressive string of business metrics that he had to stop her to ask how she knew his business so well.
"I remember asking the young lady presenting to me how much she knew about what goes on inside Kimberly-Clark," Baez says. "Because I was thinking, 'Wow, she's really knowledgeable.' And she told me, 'Oh, I've been on the project from the beginning. Yeah, that's how we do things.'" Baez had joined Kimberly-Clark in early 2007, shortly after the engagement with Cognizant started, so he hadn't initially realized the extent to which members of the project team were the same people who had come in to study Kimberly-Clark's operations and put together the vendor's initial proposal. That struck him as remarkable partly because of his experience with other outsourcers at prior jobs.
"I've seen these vendors have a fantastic proposal team, and the reason the company wins the proposal is because of the people on that team. But then as soon as they've got it, those people move off to another contract, and you get someone you have no relationship with to run the actual project," he says.
Because Cognizant has proven willing to make a serious investment in understanding Kimberly-Clark's business as well as its information technology needs, the $18.3 billion consumer products company, best known as the maker of Kleenex tissues and Huggies diapers, has broadened the scope of its relationship with the vendor in turn. It's an example of how outsourcing can turn from tactical to strategic, once a vendor wins sufficient respect. In the beginning, when Kimberly-Clark signed a five-year, multi-million deal to have Cognizant assist with development...