Shared Services have been around for 30 years
If a Shared Services Implementation is coming to a department near you, rest assured it’s not this year’s fad. It’s a time-tested approach to reducing duplication of services, business unit silos, and redundant staff. According to Computerworld Magazine, more than half the companies in the Fortune 500 have adopted this approach. The simplest way to think of Shared Services is the consolidation of a dispersed function into a single department. This type of implementation is designed to integrate core business functions, such as finance, procurement, human resources, and information technology.
Early on, the sole motive for implementing a Shared Services Organization (SSO) was cost reduction, a goal that’s never been widely popular with employees. However, as time passed, the perception improved. Implementing an SSO has evolved into a more comprehensive initiative that improves processes, enables technology investment, generates profits, and optimizes vendor relationships.
How would your company benefit from Implementing Shared Services? What are the “utilities” that serve your entire organization?
Companies able to recover the cost of their Shared Services implementation within three years
*2019 Global Shared Services Survey Report, Deloitte
Implementing Shared Services: Changes to people, processes, and technology
Implementing an SSO should be a considered decision because of the breadth of activities and number of people affected. Companies contemplating a Shared Services implementation should conduct an assessment to identify the costs, time, and potential benefits. Change invites resistance, but with 80% of companies achieving break-even in three years*, the payback can be swift.
Consolidate and improve processes performed in the areas targeted for shared services
Determine the locations where work is performed today and select where work should be performed in the future
Evaluate IT infrastructure, current technology, and opportunities for employee self-service
Secure change management resources to communicate changes, transition the workforce, and conduct training
Establish governance procedures and service-level agreements to maintain current levels of service
Shared services is an opportunity to reinvent how work gets done
Focus your energy on the activities that affect the most people. This ensures that your effort will have the greatest impact on the bottom line.
Clerestory works step-by-step with clients to develop adaptable plans to ensure the success of your implementation. To initiate your successful shared services implementation, we recommend the following:
- Select a consulting partner with experience in change management, business process design, implementation, and training. Choose a team whose pace, passion, and energy will help generate enthusiasm and maintain momentum.
- Develop Guiding Principles for your Shared Services project. Document them, repeat them, and apply them to facilitate decision making.
- Communicate the challenges and benefits of implementing Shared Services and reassure employees that you will always communicate directly. Modify communications to appeal to specific audiences and roles.