Envision to set GBS as a strategic partner and an engine !

The Six Million-Dollar Questions

Deanna Adler
Deanna Adler
VP, Global Business Services
VP of Kellogg’s Global Business Services with 25+ years of experience in leadership roles across Kellogg’s Finance Functions. Presently, Deanna is responsible for optimal transformation of GBS processes through her unique finance and business background.
Caroline Basyn
Sashi Narahari
Founder and CEO
CEO and Founder of HighRadius, a Fintech enterprise SaaS company which leverages AI-based Autonomous Systems to help companies automate Accounts Receivable and Treasury. Sashi’s leadership has secured the trust of 200+ Global 2000 companies.

Podcast Summary:
Six Million Dollar Questions every GBS Leader wants to Know

Million Dollar Question #1: Captive Centre Model versus Outsourcing for your own shared services centre, what are your thoughts on it?
Key Points
  • For Kellogg, a hybrid model works best.
  • However, in GBS, there is no right or wrong model, it is all about choosing what is best for your company and your culture.
  • Whichever model you choose needs to evolve with the time.
  • Outsourcing processes that were holistically transformed worked well.
  • Outsourcing did not fare well with processes that underwent a simple lift and shift
  • Overall, outsourcing was not very successful in aligning with Kellogg’s relationship-based culture and had to pull back processes.
  • Moving forward, I see Kellogg’s leveraging outsourcing through 3 ways:
    • It allows one to get the savings quicker.
    • Once all the processes are consolidated, it gives better ability and leverage than to drive the standardisation first.
Million Dollar Question #2: Should you harmonize and standardize your processes first or lift & shift first for a rapid transformation?
Key Points
  • I advocate transforming and standardizing first, and then lift and shift.
  • Our hire-to-retire and procurement journey was more successful than the finance journey which was primarily cost and labor-arbitrage driven
  • But if transformation of the process is built-in the workplan right from the start, lift and shift for scope increases can work.
  • Going forward, our partners expect more than the cost-benefit
  • Building the process better should be one of the reasons behind choosing which model to begin with.
Million Dollar Question #3: A lot of GBS leaders have different viewpoints on the number of RPA bots. What are your viewpoints on RPA and overall technology for GBS transformation?
Key Points
  • You should have an end-to-end understanding of the process and a bit of standardization, before investing in RPA bots.
  • More bots but less governance will cause you a problem over time.
  • RPA in Kellogg’s
    • 3 years ago we launched RPA and was sold on quantity over quality, so we backed off really quickly.
    • Currently we are looking for process mining tools to fix the process first, so we are using our outsourcing partners.
    • In the future we are also looking forward to getting back in RPA but with a smaller scale, instead of 40 bots at a time.
  • Looking to leverage AI through the help of partners once we are more equipped with RPA understanding.
Million Dollar Question #4: What is the role of GBS – mainly cost-cutting or being a revenue driver?
Key Points
  • GBS should always have a cost production focus as its general principle which is the core of its existence, but it must go beyond.
  • Managing cost and using labour arbitrage is fine, but what a company really wants is bigger benefits in improving processes in A/R & A/P to improve cash flow, through running better processes.
  • The more efficient you can make those processes, the more time the employees will have to spend on their core tasks.
  • Vision is to set GBS as a strategic partner that serves as the engine to enable Kellogg’s core functions like finance and HR
Million Dollar Question #5: What is your trade-off between SAP/Oracle versus modern niche platforms?
Key Points
  • I believe that it is again a Hybrid approach.
  • Most companies have invested in Core ERP systems and we should first look at how we can unlock everything from that investment.
  • The modern software platforms also have a lot to offer especially when it comes to automation and AI. It just needs to be an ‘and’ not an ‘or’.
  • We are leveraging tools that we’ve recently invested in, and also making better use of tools that we’ve had for a while.
Million Dollar Question #6: What parting advice would you like to leave for our listeners?
Key Points
  • I believe that change needs to be at the core of being in a GBS.
  • I think the GBS leaders have a unique opportunity at this time, since we were pushed to the edge of Digital Transformation due to COVID.
  • I have done more strategic and creative work in GBS comparatively, and it’s a rewarding experience for leaders to be a part of GBS.

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