Shared service leaders are now being challenged to go beyond simply reducing business costs and drive efficiencies. Instead, they are being asked to take the effectiveness of their functions to the next level.
Specifically, employers are now looking to the leaders of their shared service centres to become more entrepreneurial. Ultimately, they want their functions to add real strategic value for the business. But how can shared services start to deliver these additional benefits?
Offer unrivalled customer satisfaction
Best practice shared services are placing customer satisfaction at the heart of everything they do. As a support function, delivering services on time and to a certain standard is critical. Agreeing the aims of the shared service centre with your customers to ensure they are aligned with your objectives and requirements is a good starting point. Recieving regularly customer feedback and then using this in the right way is key to future improvement.
Maximise control, processes and technology
Evaluating your controls, governance and processing can create significant benefits. Advanced shared service centres have reaped enormous benefits from being innovative with technology and standardising processes. Specifically, these can help deliver higher levels of efficiency and improve performance – it’s therefore important that shared services leaders have the authority to make changes of this magnitude. As a general rule, the best shared service centres are open to change and consistently looking to evolve and improve – while at the same time staying true to the efficiency and process improvements from when they were formed.
As with any service business, people are integral. Finding, keeping and rewarding quality staff is fundamental to a successful long-term strategy. Selecting the right people in the first place is crucial but – once you’ve done that – you need to provide clear career development opportunities to ensure you retain them. With competition for talent fierce, promoting from within where possible is likely to ensure you maintain an effective and motivated workforce. As a general rule, the best shared service centres are open to change and consistently looking to evolve and improve
The Birmingham and Midlands Shared Service Forum regularly holds events onsite at best practice shared service centres in the region to encourage knowledge sharing. If you would be interested in attending one of these events please register on our events page.