Andrew - Shared Services Research

Loughborough University
Dr Andrew Rothwell, Kathleen McLoughlin
School of Business & Economics
Presentation contents
 A brief introduction to the Centre for Global Sourcing
and Services
 A brief introduction to the Shared Services Research
Project and our Forums
The Research Centre for Global
Sourcing and Services
The centre is dedicated to carrying out both
academic and ‘focus on practice’ high impact
internationally renowned research on how
organisations source and manage business and
IT services in a global context.
Our Expertise and Areas of Interest
Service departments
Business unit 2
Operating units
Service departments
Operating units
Head Office
Business unit 1
Business unit 3
Service department
Operating units
Conventional Divisional structure
Head Office
Business unit 1
Business unit 2
Business unit 3
Operating units
Operating units
Operating units
service centre
Shared service centre structure
Figure 1. Moving to a Shared Service Centre Model
Leading the charge
23/01/2013 - 11:27
Faced with huge demands for cheaper
and more efficient support services,
the Ministry of Defence is undergoing
a ground-breaking transformation
programme. FM discovers that finance
is at the forefront of the change
“Cynics will argue that MoD customers
have no effective choice of supplier. But
because we are now involved in pitching
for work to other government departments,
the discipline of preparing bids and
benchmarking ourselves against
competitor offerings creates a marketing
mind-set that permeates the whole of
The CIMA Research Projects
Originated in investigation of changing Finance function
 2008 to 2011:1st phase complete – 12 cases presently
 Finding a very varied picture
 But many common issues
 Some emerging themes
Redesign of the multi-divisional corporation
Definition of the model and terms
Creation of intellectual property
Selling the concept and performance internally
Interwoven with ERP and New Working Practices
Implications for individual careers and professional territory
 How it started – a ‘typical’ example??
2013: Taking Shared Services Research to the next level
Developing our Research Profile
Case Study organisations include:
 Academic Publications
Aggregates, Boots, DEFRA, DHL, DWP,
E-on, FXPlus, Hewlett Packard,
 Practitioner Publications
Network Rail, RCUK, Rolls Royce,
 Conferences
Developing our Research Capability
Consultancy partners include Hackett,
 Further Funding
 Research Students
Further Fora
Developing International Collaboration
 2012: Glasgow, Manchester, Johannesburg, Loughborough, Wroclaw
 2013: Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Manchester, Loughborough
Working directly with employers, eg.
 Ministry of Defence – Defence Business Services
 Health Service Northern Ireland/NI Ambulance Service – collaboration with
Glasgow City Council
 Northern Ireland Civil Service
SSC Fora: Statement of Aims
To provide a forum to share experiences on the
operation of shared services in a confidential and
mutually supportive manner.
For all participants
Chatham House Rules. The world-famous Chatham House Rule may be invoked at
meetings to encourage openness and the sharing of information.
The Chatham House Rule reads as follows:
When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants
are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the
speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.
SSC Fora: Topics
 Numerous business disciplines
 Recent themes:
 Workflow management and monitoring software
 Talent management
 Integrated support functions
 Identity and branding
 Speakers – consultants, academics, industry
 Discussion and sharing best practice – emerging
Considering Shared Services - Traditional View (KPMG)
Critical mass to
develop and sustain
Higher productivity,
Lower cost location,
Reduced working
Reduced expenses,
Reduced systems
infrastructure costs.
Improved service
supporting the
business (e.g.
higher quality of
information for
decision making),
Increased controls,
Reduced error
rates - quality at
Enable new
business models,
Support growth,
Achieve process
and systems
merger &
“The biggest driver of Shared Services is cost reduction and service efficiency, in
addition there are some strategic benefits associated with Shared Services”.
SSC Emerging issues?
Customer choice in an internal monopoly?
Customer service levels? SLA’s? One front door?
Terminology – customer/business partner?
Deinstitutionalisation of MA role?
Deprofessionalisation of the MA role?
Displacing work back to front line staff?
Issues with related systems: Manager self-service – ‘feeding
the beast’
 Hollowing out the corporation?
 Core competencies can become core rigidities?
 All the problems of call centres in-house?
SSC Emerging issues?
 Who owns a problem? Business, call centre or centre of
 Remoteness from business over time?
 Time zoning
 Too much of a ‘business’?
 What happens
 when ‘honeymoon’ of transferred staff wears off?
 ‘champion’ leaves?
 Performance – a case of only measuring ‘what you see’?
 HR Issues: Staff Retention? Talent Management?
 Branding and Marketing the SSC?
SSC Emerging issues?
 SSC merely a ‘paper factory’?
 SSC – ‘island of stability’ or new bureaucracy?
 OK for time decoupled tasks but what about real-time,
mission critical ones? (e.g. IT).
 Depersonalised but global business is?
 What do end users think?
Is this just centralisation by another name????
 The myth of the KBE? - higher level work undertaken in low
wage economies, bringing home the transactional processes
 Sustaining professional knowledge in the ‘hollow’ orgn.
Potential issues?
 Employee relations issues around TUPE?
 Retained functions?
 Internal expectations of service and responsiveness will drive up
standards of customer relationships – single front door for eg.
 Lack of funding inhibits development and innovation?
 Financial pressures drive organisations down the cost saving route
without thinking through the long term
 For eg. Health, Public Utilities, HEI’s, taking Local Government as the
reference point – is it still appropriate?
 Whom do we partner with?
 Thinking creatively – eg. Police forces and emergency services have terrific expertise in
call handling
What we (Loughborough) have and what we are not………
We have
 10 years experience of
research into Shared Services
 Dealing with a very diverse
range of organisations,
 Globally connected
 Experience of running
practitioner fora
 Experience of brokering
relationships between
 Range of professional and
research expertise
 Dissemination profile
We are not
 Focused on ‘selling’ courses
about shared services
 Focused on one sector – eg.
education, local government,
 Promoting a particular
methodology or philosophy
 Uncritical – or dogmatically
critical, either!
Thank You!
Points for discussion?

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