Reinventing the work

May 5, 2006

The proposal to adopt "cost-cutting tactics of multinational corporations and begin outsourcing work overseas" does nothing to solve the problem of inefficient administration ("Outsource to save cash, says industry", April 28) - it simply displaces the cost to another location. A more thoughtful approach is to "reinvent" the work through exploiting the data-handling capability of well-designed software. People released from the drudgery of routine administration can refocus their efforts on excellent customer service.

Research based on the "reinvention" approach found both significant cost reductions and substantial improvements in customer service.

In an era of increased choice and greater "consumer" power, for UK universities, best value, not lowest cost, will be the key determinant of competitive success.

John Beckford Liverpool John Moores University

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