As some of the worlds Shared Services Organisations have matured, they have become dominated in their service excellence by practising a set of defined processes and standards. Some of the critical decisions taken by their leaders are on its processes, locations, adoption of management tools and techniques to tackle the challenges as well as to achieve their business goals.

Are these steps sufficient, or do we need new ones for new challenges? Best practices of Shared Services Organisations are made to support their vision of high-quality mission-critical services to the business at a lower cost and more efficiently than the business could otherwise provide for itself.

It starts from the consideration stage as to whether to move further down the path of shared services; organisations must consider the following factors. It starts with service capability, that covers the length and breadth of service and its scalability, technology roadmap, standardisation, integrated organisation, strategic locations, outsourcing, and apply the lessons learned.

Extend of service capability
Determination on what to include in-scope for shared services needs to inspect processes, functions, locations, regions, and entities. The organisation can achieve a profit with a limited set of functions but ideally shared services enclose all the non-essential support functionalities. There is an immense opportunity to globalise and expand the scope of shared services across borders and continents and all legitimate entities wherever they can settle. There are some excellent examples of success across the globe. One needs to consider how far up the shared services value chain can go, from more traditional transaction-based to more professional and knowledge-based services. It depends on the effectiveness of the services offered by shared services.

Enabling Information Technology
Technology is becoming a real promoter for shared services and business process outsourcing. Platforms such as Enterprise Resource Planning, Human Capital Management, Enterprise Asset Management and Performance Analytics applications have already shown best results for matured SSOs. The usefulness, ROI and reporting of these enterprise business platforms have significantly improved in recent times for SSOs. Emerging to a single enterprise-wide application across the geographies and implementing consistent data/technology standards, have achieved significant cost savings and competitive advantages.

Trending and emerging technology such as Robotic Process Automation is the latest step to undertake a quantum advance for Shared Services business. It establishes a higher speed, efficiency, standardisation, and accuracy to the repetitive high-volume rules-based jobs.

Standardisation and Consolidation
Standardisation of processes and systems, simplification and centralization-of processes improve service levels and reduce extravagant irregularities by applying lean practices. The above processes, put together, enabled by automation, has the significant benefit of tightening an enterprise’s internal control environment. Successfully shared service organisations have employed full-time business process specialists such as lean consultants to monitor and control the process change management and its performance.

Integrated Organisation
Initiating the delivery of core services as possible under one organisational roof framework allows the beginning of a new mindset for shared services organisations. This framework has strengthened the organisation to offer end-to-end services rather than specific transaction-based services. Organisational integration has the benefit of removing silos and knocking down barriers to change and help foster a robust shared service culture and a team spirit. Streamlining and consolidating allows an organisation to hold economies of scale, aid continuous planning, job rotation, and to run aimed and consistent training programs, all of which can increase productivity and lower the cost.

Strategic Location
There can be significant benefit gained from moving to centralised shared service centre locations, as it can result in better leverage and reduced cost of labour, through offshoring to lower-cost locations. Organisations have already shown success in workforce cost comparisons, the competence of workers, language and cultural diversity, extreme time zones, political and economic stability, communications infrastructure and availability of local government support.

Review of all non-core services under one roof and effective outsourcing. The question get cost advantage or control of processes. Factors deciding on the decision to outsource depends on its corporate culture, management style, the maturity of the organisation and focus on scaling up the value chain on its shared service functions. Many shared Services organisations have outsourced non-core activities to experts centres and used these collaborative work style as a step for rapid change.

Apply the lessons gained by experience:
Organisations often tend to focus on moving fast from one decision to another, enter new regions and move into new businesses initiatives. They often tend to forget their learning process from the past. Nevertheless, just as humans, some market leaders have learned from past experience, systematically practice transfer of knowledge and in time gain more and more knowledge about themselves, their industry and their customers.

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Author's Bio: 

TechniSMART Solutions Ltd is a business transformation enabling partner, serving the European market, through innovative solutions along with delivery support in India and Singapore, thus, leveraging their local presence. TSS provides solutions for improvement in time to market, reducing product cost and help migrate business process towards lean engineering and manufacturing process. Our leadership team’s average experience spans over 25 years in delivering product and services for international customers.