Many US and European businesses now recognize that their third-party services agreements are over-concentrated in some locations and are bundled in key areas such as manufacturing and IP development. In some key industries, companies are starting to unbundle those services and shift that work to other locations. This will trigger a set of consequences that affect the third-party services industry, and companies using those services need to understand the decisions in this process.
Part of the issue in bundled services is that many companies went “whole hog” (to the fullest extent) into third-party service agreements that feature joint collaboration with service providers in developing intellectual property. The advantages of such a relationship seemed worth the collaborative venture and, in some cases, even an incentive risk-reward structure. But the table turned, and the advantages turned to a disadvantage. Both the service provider and the customer want IP ownership and control.