Tags in Type of blog post

Service Partnership versus Service Level Agreements – Two Different Sides of a Coin
24th February 2015
Expert's View
Many practitioners operating a Shared Services do not have formal agreements to guide their relationships with clients, especially when these are internal/captive services.  Other rely on Service Level Agreements to manage the client relationship. And while, in the early, transactions-focused years of Shared Services this may have been reasonable, even appropriate, today’s models have evolved and SLAs need to evolve, too.   The main reason for this is that today’s Shared Services/client relationships are less about meeting pre-agreed behaviors or process steps than they are about supporting a client in meeting their target business outputs. In other words: there is no longer a fixed stencil or template to apply; instead, the nature of service is based on understanding what can go wrong, or shift unexpectedly, and adapting to this.   In this respect, an SLA may well highlight a disappointment and exact a penalty or cost as a result of shortfalls, but a Service...
Finding Success Using Shared Services For Corporate Taxes And Regulatory Compliance
27th January 2015
Expert's View
Letting statutory compliance and tax out of the grip of local finance teams is often hard to do for companies as these functions have traditionally been viewed as more complex than traditional line-of-business financial accounting. However, a range of high profile enterprises such as Coca-Cola, digital electronics manufacturer 3Com, Oracle and Reuters have successfully used SSO or business processing outsourcing (BPO) across multiple countries and jurisdictions. It’s not exclusive to large companies either, as many medium-sized mid-market enterprises, which have multiple legal entities and operating countries, can also benefit.   Chazey Partners chief executive officer Phil Searle, says: “There has traditionally been nervousness and reluctance to give over control of these activities to another, distantly located, ‘provider’, be that through a centralized internal SSO or perhaps a centrally managed third party business BPO.” However, often a local third party provider such as a...
Public Sector Perseveres with Shared Services – Rolls Out Successes
3rd December 2014
Last week many delegates at San Diego’s public sector Shared Services event were feeling lucky to be in Southern California, especially those who had managed to escape the cold front that hit Buffalo and the Eastern part of the continent.  Although the sun was shining outside, we were there for business and quickly got down to the discussions on how Shared Services can leverage best practices and drive better performance in the public sector.  One common theme that threaded through many of the presentations was the importance of performance measurement and reporting.   Chazey Partners chaired the pre-conference Higher Education Focus Day.  The speakers and case studies were from higher education, and while higher education does definitely have some of its own unique attributes, and more recent challenges, it was clear that the lessons learned could also be applied to government and also across to the private sector.  Indeed, higher education can also learn...
Why it’s never “just about technology"
27th August 2014
Expert's View
It may seem somewhat redundant to make “ERP” my focus this month, but it’s so fundamental to how work is done, and it’s so frequently misunderstood – i.e., it’s just seen as a “technical implementation” – that it’s worth spending a few minutes thinking about what it really represents.   Ask any number of your peers about their ERP system and they’ll tell you, “we run SAP” or “we are on Oracle” etc. ERP is defined as a technical framework, right?   What I have seen over the years is that when it’s approached like this, ERP turns out to be more rigid than it need be. That’s when you also hear complaints about it being too rules-based, and not user friendly.   Put all that aside for a moment and consider this: in the dark days pre-ERP, when processes evolved willy-nilly and nothing was clearly defined, it was difficult to control an enterprise effectively and even more difficult to transform it. What ERP has done is offer us a much needed template along which we can align...
"Parenting" Your Global Business Services to Be a World-Class Operation
26th June 2014
Expert's View
Modern Business Services can mean a lot of things to a lot of people – and that’s really all right. Call it what you like – Global Business Services, Integrated Business Services, Hybrid, Hub & Spoke ... in truth, all roads lead to Rome!   Every time you speak to fellow practitioners about their own operating models and experiences, though, it’s a bit like talking to other parents about their children.    Now we know that all children have common features and behaviors – but they are all also wildly different, at the same time; so it is with business services, too. And just like in raising children, there is no single way to do business services “right”.    Taking the analogy a step further, business services “leadership” is a bit like parenting. You want to raise your own GBS to be a world-class operation that makes you proud – represented by happy customers, stakeholders and shareholders. Just like with parenting, this requires constant effort in terms...
Planning & Monitoring: How to Control Your GBS Destiny!
25th April 2014
Expert's View
“Control your own destiny or someone else will.” Jack Welch   Mr. Welch’s much-quoted piece of commonsense advice applies to your Global Business Services (GBS) journey as much as it applies to the decisions you make in your personal life.    Let’s consider, for a moment, what “destiny” means for GBS: You're aiming for an integrated approach to a global marketplace, and you’re leveraging consistency of service to drive desired outputs. (How's that for putting it into one sentence?)   What will make or break your “destiny”, though, is not just how well you’ve defined the services, or the scope you’ve agreed, or even the targets you’ve set … Rather, it’s your ability to manage behaviors that are critical to the success of your operation. In other words: Are you driving the behaviors you need to get the outputs you want? …to meet customers’ expectations? …to deliver services in a timely and cost-effective manner? …to get to where you want to go?   To promote...
Global Business Services – still first and foremost about the customer
26th March 2014
Expert's View
There’s a lot of hot air blowing around GBS discussions, these days. We are told how important it is to ‘treat the GBS as a separate business’, to develop complex SLAs that define your service levels, and to implement enterprise ERPs that enable globalized processes. While these are all somewhat true, it’s important not to overcomplicate the message. What we tend to forget, in all these discussions, is that, at the end of the day and whatever you call it, GBS is still about providing a high quality service to your customer.   The truth is that Global Business Services is more about behavioral issues than it is about organizational structure. If what’s driving you is the ambition to “run a GBS”, chances are that you are chasing the wrong thing. But if you aspire to deliver service excellence, you’ll probably succeed.   The first thing you need to do, therefore, is listen to what the customer wants, and to how he defines the service. If you don’t get this part right, you can...
4th October 2013
Expert's View
Comparing Public Sector Shared Services in Canada & the USA   Customers of Public entities, both citizens and businesses today have higher expectations of service levels and expect a positive customer experience along with better returns on the taxes they pay. To address this, the public sector has been striving to implement and optimize Shared Services approaches to achieve a better consolidated back-office operation. While the comments of ‘Government is late to the party of Shared Services’ are still on-going, we are seeing a number of great case studies in North America.   To support the event of Shared Services & Process Improvement for Higher Education, Healthcare & Government 2013 in San Diego organised by SSON, some of the thoughts from Chazey’s practitioners actively involved in shared services public sector projects in both Canada and USA have been compiled. Following is an overview of how Shared Services is being advanced in Canada and the USA....
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