The booming economic period following the industrial revolution saw a plethora of entire industries developing for the sole purpose of servicing the secondary needs of the revolution itself. For every primary manufacturer with a sole focus on producing their core products, there were perhaps at least five or six other companies and businesses directly and indirectly servicing each of those primary manufacturers. One major manufacturer could be employing the services of a marketing company, a legal firm, a logistics service provider, and perhaps one or two different financial institutions to take them beyond their core business and operate on a much larger, more profitable scale than they’d manage if they were doing it all alone.
Some of the world’s biggest corporations still saw their earliest operational structures compelling them to want to do everything in-house though. A typical corporate powerhouse would have a department for every single part of their production process, even including company-hired staff for services such as cleaning, human resources, support staff, etc. The manner in which that quickly changed sheds light on the future of global business, which in effect signals the fall of the traditional, formalised, brick-and-motor high-rise building synonymous with a credible, profitable and powerful corporation. Naturally, we’ve come a very long way from the days when the in-house staffing structure began its steady transition into what we still see today, that being contracted work and outsourced services. As it largely stands today, you’ll almost never find a corporation which directly employs all its staff members for every single last task which forms part of their day-to-day operations. It makes no sense for instance, for a company that say manufactures external USB hard-drives to run their own cleaning department, although a clean and hygienic working environment is perhaps as important as their core business.
No matter how good that company is in manufacturing external hard-drives as the key part of their core business, any cleaning requirements for their working environment implemented by themselves could never match those of a specialised, professional industrial cleaning service provider. Some early-spotters of this trend have not only made full use of its direct advantages, but have become early adopters of its next evolutionary stage. If you hold a traditional view of what a huge multi-national corporation is, you’d be shocked to find that a lot of the biggest companies in the world no longer even manufacture or produce goods and services they sell themselves. What you’d find is a network of remotely connected cogs, all converging in cyberspace and through other communication channels to produce and deliver the finished product to the client. Naturally this would then be complemented by a logistical network in the case of physical goods. The need for every single “employee” to report to a prestigiously-located high-rise office-block building is increasingly becoming redundant.
The growing development and equally enthusiastic adoption of various cloud-based project management solutions adds even more fuel to the physical “office-less” fire, since it’s now possible to manage a project such as an entire construction contract using cloud-based logging, tracking and planning tools.
That’s pretty much the future of global business and the evidence resides in simply taking a look at services such as industrial cleaning and other outsourced services and products, many of which even form part of the core supply or production line.