In today’s fast-paced world, as companies undergo business expansion, it becomes necessary for them to expand their process scope, consolidate their business functions, and bring them under a common roof. Doing so, companies could easily achieve an end-to-end view of the business functions globally, and at the same time, achieve advanced efficiency and increased flexibility in service delivery. In response to global challenges, Shared Service business models could help companies integrate multifunctional services with four essential goals:
But, before getting into shared services, companies need to identify the essential pillars needed to accelerate the integration of Business Units globally.
People, process, and technology are the major priorities that a company should focus on if they have a Shared Services Model. Each of these pillars is essential to the success of the company. However, every change in the business world comes with challenges. Having the right processes and tools could help in identifying these challenges and in overcoming them. Let’s look at some of the key challenges on the way and the best practices to beat them.
Challenges: With the rise of automation, people have developed a fear that they might lose their jobs. This fear of losing out on jobs makes it difficult for companies to implement any sort of change within the organization. Therefore, addressing people’s concerns about job loss becomes necessary. Moreover, while initiating any change, companies need to hire the right people to work with evolving needs. Getting the right people on board and facilitating the right training becomes a real challenge for most companies.
Best Practices: Partnering with people who might lose their job is very important. Answering their queries and establishing trust is essential to transform existing employees into teachers to promote change within the organization. It is also important to empower employees by providing proper training on new technologies and allowing them to find answers to the problems on their own. Facilitating knowledge sharing from local employees to shared services employees could provide better training around changing processes.
Challenges: Before going ahead with shared services, companies need to identify the unique business needs of each division. The inability to compare processes might make it difficult to plug and play existing processes to new business units. Moreover, companies might face difficulties with reconciling transactions for open A/R and deductions while going through process change management.
Best Practices: To cope with process changes, companies need to pick and choose the best overall process and apply it across all BUs. But how can the appropriate choice be made? Here is a step-by-step walkthrough for choosing the best process and implementing the same.
Challenges: Technological changes have been recognized as major contributors to economic growth and have created new challenges for companies. Most companies have to deal with highly error-prone and unstandardized processes. Employees have to hassle between old and new systems for running offline reporting before the integration of TPM systems with SAP. Therefore, bridging the gap between old and new systems to fulfill business requirements becomes an absolute necessity.
Best Practices: To counter technological changes, companies need to have a global solution in place. Adopting the same ERP across BUs could help your company work through bugs and interface for each integration. Having the same TPM system integrated with SAP for each business division and exchanging data with a cloud solution could help companies with running real-time reporting for driving corrective measures.
Danone, a reputed leader in the food industry, built on four different business lines, faced similar challenges with their complex receivables processes while expanding business globally. The company was able to tackle these challenges after implementing automation and successfully achieved a 95% no-touch cash posting within 8 months. Moreover, it also saw a significant increase in the auto cash posting rate across all its BUs and was able to reallocate its FTEs to other high-value functions.
Companies that leveraged Shared Services have received immense benefits in terms of cost savings and process harmonization. Shared services enabled companies to enter new business processes smoothly and efficiently, increasing their footprint globally.
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