What is mesh sourcing? A deep dive into an emerging outsourcing concept

As organisations navigate through emerging complexity, the need for collaboration is increasing. Business interests and operations are meshed across several organizations to the extent that there is no longer a distinction between outsourcing and standard business practice.

Consequently, mesh sourcing represents a highly collaborative, networked ecosystem approach to outsourcing and refers to a hyper-specialized integrated business environment connected by a mutual interest in i.e. profit, values, and social change.

The essence of mesh sourcing is characterized by dynamic embeddedness, based on several agreements between organizations across various industries that depend on each other for mutual survival.

The dynamics of mesh sourcing

mesh sourcing

A mesh network is a complex system of interconnected parties, with a vested interest in the success and profitability of one another. This approach to outsourcing allows organizations and industries to find new ways of collaboration and foster innovation, efficiency and sustainable growth.

The business ecosystem consists of a diverse variety of resources and capabilities, that can be utilised by the actors to both compete and collaborate, as a result using scarce resources in the most efficient and innovative way.

This means the value will be generated through a collaborative effort of businesses within the ecosystem, and their coordinated actions based on high trust, transparency and communication efforts.

In that sense, mesh sourcing allows companies to focus on developing core competencies, whilst ensuring that remaining business areas are serviced at a high standard by others in the ecosystem.

Is mesh sourcing a risky business?

Mesh sourcing brings a lot of new opportunities including increased access to service, economies of scale and reputation boost through co-branding.

But it does not come without risks.  As outlined in the figure below, mesh sourcing can be very complex to manage. Nevertheless, dependability on other parties within the ecosystem may pose challenges, as some businesses might be intimidated by the loss of control and unclear responsibilities.

mesh sourcing

The influence of Mesh Sourcing on FM

Mesh sourcing will change the role of FM. FM service providers will become strategic partners with various roles, embedded within the system as active participants, buyers, and collaborators. As a result, FM service provision will increasingly be evaluated according to more strategic KPIs.

mesh sourcing

 Approaches to measuring the success of outsourced FM services by 2020

This means FM service providers will become network architects responsible for facilitating interactions and optimizing the movement of people, information, and objects across organizational boundaries. As network architects, FM providers will assume the management of competencies, assets, and operations within the ecosystem.  Moreover, due to this changes in the role of FM, the interactions between suppliers and buyers, will also transform due to a more collaborative nature of the relationship.