Relayering & upsizing LO6122
Tue, 19 Mar 1996 04:44:37 -0500

Replying to LO6101 --

In a message dated 96-03-18 13:57:54 EST, (Alan
Mossman) writes:

>>"Relayering. It's here, at last. . . . . You all knew it would happen,
>sooner or later. Besides, it is all good business: now you can go off and
>find all those redundant middle managers who haven't killed themselves,
>openned bars in Spain or found out that life's a lot more fun as a
>consultant, and stick them back in their organisation.
>>"The piece goes on to talk about some McKinsey staff who have "decided
>that middle managers are the key to successful change. . . . if you strip
>a company to its bare essentials: customers, customer facing employees and
>the board, none of them understand what the other is talking about.
>Someone has to sit in the middle and translate . . . .
>>" . . . .
>>"Companies may wish to 'relayer' now, but it may be more difficult than
>they think to rekindle the flames of loyalty in their 'upsized'
>workforces. Managers will, increasingly, look after number one."
>:-( its all rather a sad reflection on the way we do business.
>? your thoughts, reactions, experience to match -- or not ???????

I totally agree and am beginning to see the emergence of the re-layering
or possibly de-outsourcing trend here. Just a few days ago a major news
story on one of the stock market report programs was the Citibank was
bringing some of the backroom processing it had outsourced back into the

Certainly an opportunity to add to the ranks of managers. Also, much of
the focus from consultants in this country is now on "how to manage
growth" rather than downsizing. Similarly I have seen much about the
costs of outsourcing and what constitutes appropriate types of functions
for outsourcing. Even AT&T recently announced that the need for the
40,000 person reduction it announced only last fall was cut by more than
half - I admit that it was in part due to more people than expected taking
their "package" and leaving voluntarily but it also seems to be due to a
recognition that they had gone too far in cutting and they were
jeopardizing their operation. (The story didn't indicate how many took
the package.)

All in all I agreed with the quote that we all knew it would happen; we
are seeing the pendulum swing again. It would be wonderful if we could
somehow find a way to reduce the arc of the swing so that we didn't reach
such excesses at either extreme - overstaffing and lack of cost control to
massive reductions in force and overzealous cost cutting.

Paula Bartholome


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