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America discovered by Welsh Columbus Day now known to be a sham

As is well known by our American cousins Prince Madog ap Owain Gwynedd heir of Owain discovered America around the year 1200 some 300 years before Columbus and founded a colony near to Alabama (although the exact location of the earlier settlements is in dispute some claiming Tennessee a more likely location). Recent radio carbon dating evidence, and the discovery of ancient Welsh style artefacts (clogs and a leak peeler) and inscriptions in the American Midwest have provided proof positive that Welsh explorers, under the leadership of Prince Madog ap Owain (sometimes put as ‘ap Meurig’ due to name confusion) set up colonies there. There is actually a dispute over when exactly Prince Madoc sailed to America. some claiming that this was much earlier around 562 AD just after the Romans got fed up with the continuous rain in Wales up-sticks and left. This claim however does not stand up to scrutiny as it is known that Prince Madog was one of 19 children of Owain Gwyneth (the first true Prince of Wales) ‘the Randy’ who was an historical figure dating from the 12 century. A Welsh poem of the 15th century tells how Prince Madog sailed away in 10 ships and discovered America and whether truth or myth, was used by Queen Elizabeth I as evidence to the British claim to America during its territorial struggles with Spain. So there you have it the first link in the long history of the Welsh in America.

caracles

Old picture of coracles used in Wales

Mandan_Bull_Boats_and_Lodges-_George_Catlin

Bull boats used by first nation people based on coracles

I could say a lot more about the discovery (but you won’t because I am already fed up ed.) but I will sign off with some fascinating facts:

  • By proportion Welsh surnames dominate in eastern states (source National Geographic).
  • There have been at least 10 American presidents with Welsh ancestry (Mitt Romney the 11th!!). Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Abraham Lincoln, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, James Garfield, Calvin Coolidge, Richard Nixon and Barack Obama.
  • Jefferson Davies the Confederate President (good Welsh name there).
  • Robert E. Lee – Confederate General
  • Benedict Arnold – Revolution general who defected from the Americans to the British side (oops!)
  • Signers of the declaration of independence: William Floyd, Button Gwinnett, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris and Robert Morris.

And last of all over 10,000 pages of memoires were written in Welsh that survive today from the American Civil War.

Just a little knowledge bomb to lay on you; the Welsh patronymic system describes family trees in terms of the male line and records the family association in the ‘ap’ or ‘ab’ prefix (ap is a contraction of the Welsh word ‘mab’, which means ‘son of’, ‘ferch’ means ‘daughter of’ incidentally) so Madog ap Owain means Madog son of Owain. Often a small epithet to the name like Llewellyn ‘the last’ (the last true Prince of Wales) is also used and so in a more contemporary context we might regard the real name of Mitt Romney (as he claims Welsh heritage via his wife) as Mitt Romney ap George the Gaff Prone in celebration of his recent gaff that the UK was not prepared for the Olympics (which is probably true actually).

For more information about the Welsh in America visit : http://www.alabamawelsh.com/ and if your interested in signing the petition to restore a monument to the great prince go here:

http://www.petitiononline.com/AWA0987/petition.html

Incidentally this age of heroic Welsh princes contrasts sharply with the assorted halfwit princes we have has since the fall of the last great true Prince of Wales here is a picture of the latest incarnation Charles ap Windsor the Half Wit – enough said!!

Prince-Chuck-240x300br

How to find the right outsourcing partner for your business

A growing number of enterprises are now looking to outsourcing specific business processes to business outsourcing firms because of its efficiency in improving their operations and its cost effectiveness. However, not all BPOs are created equal. It is essential to know what to look for when outsourcing to reap the benefits and achieve better bottom lines. According to Prople, Inc., one of the leading business processes outsourcing companies, the following are the key considerations when looking for the right outsourcing partner for your business.

Credentials and track record

Check the company background of your potential outsourcing partner. This will give you a better knowledge of its experience and track record. One effective way of doing it is by asking them to present samples of their previous and current clients and other references to check how they manage the business processes. You should also conduct a face-to-face meeting to know if they have enough understanding of your company’s workflows and business process requirements. By doing so, you can also ensure that they can carry out your business goals.

Financial stability

Your outsourcing partner can either make or break your company. That is why it is important to take note of its financial stability to ensure that it can be able to deliver all the outsourced services sufficiently. It will also help you determine if your partner will be able to grow with you in the long run.

End-to-end outsourcing solutions

Make sure that the partner you choose can provide end-to-end outsourcing solutions. These solutions will allow them to render a more comprehensive process in completing all the tasks. It also allows for delivering the maximum level of outputs for the least possible total costs because it reduces the necessary employees. For instance, an end-to-end accounting solution does all the tasks from the chief-financial-officer level down to the invoice encoders.

Communication and accessibility

Communication is one of the key factors in meeting the desired benefits of outsourcing. Thus, you have to ensure that your outsourcing partner speaks a common language, usually English, to eliminate miscommunication. Furthermore, your outsourcing partner must be accessible to other means of communication such as e-mail, VOIP, and among others, and always available despite a possible difference in time zones. It is also important that key members of the servicing team are accessible should any concern arise.

Cultural compatibility

Cultural differences are common between countries and even companies because of the varied views and perspectives. Thus, it is also important that your outsourcing partner has a better understanding of your culture. In that way, you can make sure that it understands your organization and as well as your employees. Prople Inc. is one of the leading business processes outsourcing companies in the Philippines. It provides end-to-end business outsourcing solutions across human resource, accounting and finance, and tax and data management. The company also assists enterprises of any size to be more productive and profitable through its proven, best-in-class methodologies and solutions that ensure customers’ business stability and progress.

It is staffed by a team of value-driven professionals, such as accountants, auditors, project managers, business analysts, engineers and IT experts, who have extensive experiences ideal for achieving their client’s business goals.

For a complete list of Prople Inc.’s services, visit their website at https://www.propleinc.com/.

Article source: http://business.inquirer.net/215906/find-right-outsourcing-partner-business

Capita’s shares slump 30% on profit warning

Shares have plunged in Capita, the outsourcing company that operates the London congestion charge. Profits would be hit by one-off costs of up to £25m after it was late to implement new IT systems for the congestion charge. A slowdown in other parts of its business and delays in client decision-making also contributed.
Shares fall by 27%  to 698p – a record one-day fall.
“The [Transport for London systems] have now gone live, the contract is performing well operationally and these costs will not recur next year,” the company said.Capita also revealed that it was embroiled in a contractual dispute with the Co-op Bank, related to mortgage processing, and that there was a risk of legal action. The company now expects annual pre-tax profit of between £535m and £555m, down from a previous estimate of £614m.
Capita said it was taking immediate steps to reduce costs in its underperforming businesses, which include its technology reselling division and specialist recruitment in the Workplace Services division. As indicated earlier this year, the asset service division – which provides and services financial products – had less activity following the Brexit referendum.

Capita employs 75,000 people in the UK, Europe, India and South Africa.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37504619

SERVQUAL test for Outsourcing

Assessing Service Quality in Outsourcing

When determining whether service delivery is meeting service expectations, it is useful to seek the views of the actual service users. One tool that we are making available on this site to assess outsource service quality is the OUTSOURCE SERVQUAL (or OUTSERVQUAL). This is a new approach available exclusively from this site as a service to the community. OUTSERVQUAL (Service Quality) is a self-administered questionnaire designed to measure how customers view/judge the service quality of suppliers and is based on the SERVQUAL approach by Parasuraman. Parasuraman et al (1994) defined service quality as the degree of discrepancy between customers’ normative expectations for the service and their perceptions of the actual service performance.

Parasuraman made the assumption that customers judge service quality by making a comparison between their expectation of the service that they should receive and their perceptions of the service that they actually receive. This is a harsh measure of course as often we have perhaps overinflated expectations of what can actually be achieved for a certain price.

Differences between expectations and actual performance are referred to as ‘gaps’. The OUTSERVQUAL instrument can be used to measure any the following five gaps.

Gap 1: Consumer expectation – management perception gap. This is understanding the difference between consumer expectations and management perceptions of the customer expectations (what they want versus what we think they want!).
Gap 2: Service quality specification gap. Where the gap between management perceptions of consumer expectations and service quality specifications that are required.
Gap 3: Service delivery gap. The difference of service performance between service quality specifications and the service actually delivered.
Gap 4: External communication gap. The difference of communications between service delivery and what is communicated about the service to customers.
Gap 5: Expected service – perceived service gap. The difference between expected service and perceived service from customers’ point of view.

Based upon these gaps, five behavioural dimensions of service quality were identified and can be used in the SERVQUAL approach. For this survey instrument these dimensions have been adjusted (based on our research) to be more in line with the assessment clients make of their suppliers in delivering an outsource service.

There are 5 Service Quality Dimensions.
1. Tangibles – The physical aspects of the delivery that includes the use of up to date technology, facilities and software. This may also include issues such as robust DR in place.
2. Reliability – Ability to perform the service to the required standard, at the right cost, accurate/error free work and stick to commitments
3. Responsiveness – Responsiveness to client issues and the degree of good support provided to clients
4. Assurance – Knowledge and skills of the vendor staff and degree to which vendor employees instil confidence in their ability.
5. Empathy – Good account management practices, fair dealing, open working and attention to specific client needs.

Users of the OUTSERVQUAL questionnaire will rate questions on a Likert scale (1 = strongly disagree to 7 = strongly agree). The instrument comprises 22 statements used to assess service quality across the five dimensions outlined above with each statement used twice – once to measure expectations and once to measure perceptions. There is also a question that assesses the importance of the five dimensions to you.

I have set up an free on-line version that 1stOutsource members can use for their own assessments – you can find it here: SERVQUAL for Outsource

Clients can assess their vendors (if you submit the results you should get a nice short PDF report to download) and vendors can assess themselves by putting ‘themselves’ in the position of the client. Try it out and as the test is still underdevelopment some feed back as a reply to this thread would be useful.

Is Outsourcing Profitable? – Lecture by Prof Strassmann

In this video Prof Strassmann considers, in a very careful way, whether Outsourcing can be profitable. The short answer to this is yes if it is done corrrectly and he points to the main reasons for failure steming from managements inability to manage the process correctly. Especially it seems when it comes to deciding which functions should be considered.
Overall a very erudite and insightful contribution.