On Building Digital Capacity And Attracting Talent
Traditional business logic dictates that you should outsource functions that aren’t core to your business in order to let the efficiencies of the market drive down costs. Let’s say you run a profitable magazine publishing company.
Back in 1971, recognising an opportunity to serve the northeast fishing community, Douglas and Helen Spence launched a road haulage company called D & H Spence. In direct competition with Charles Alexander and Partners, who were then one of the the biggest haulage companies in Scotland, their fleet of 25 vehicles transported fresh fish from Peterhead to Humberside and Tyneside on a daily basis. Moving from their base in Laurencekirk into Aberdeen in 1980 to purchase Tullos Cold Store the company was able to diversify into hauling both fresh and frozen goods all over the UK and Europe.
1984 saw a severe downturn in the fish industry, which led the company to diversify again into the oil industry. The cold store side of the business was sold in 1988 to concentrate on the oil and paper industries throughout the UK and Europe.
In 1990 Douglas & Helen Spence’s son Mark joined the firm and MGS Transport was established. The following year, the first Stepframe trailer was purchased to specialise in heavy haulage and abnormal loads for the oil industry. With the addition of the first Lowloader in 1996, the company has become one of the leaders in the heavy haulage and abnormal load business.
Traditional business logic dictates that you should outsource functions that aren’t core to your business in order to let the efficiencies of the market drive down costs. Let’s say you run a profitable magazine publishing company. You’ll probably have in-house editorial, marketing and finance teams. However, there’s little point in hiring your own cleaners because they’re not core to your business.
Digital services used to be seen in this way — as a cost to be minimized by hiring external agencies that would compete with each other on price and quality. Sadly, this attitude resulted in many large organizations spending less on their digital services than they did on their restrooms, which seems crazy considering how important digital channels have become. If you equate expenditure to value, this paints a stark picture of how some traditional companies valued this sector.