The overall goal of a Shared Services organization is to provide cost-effective solutions for business units, either internally or through external providers. This involves realizing economies of scale in transaction services and realizing economies of scope through establishment of enterprise centers of expertise. These are key objectives of TBI’s Shared Services practice area.
TBI provides consulting assistance to clients in the initial planning and organization of enterprise shared services functions where these functions are currently distributed. We also work with clients to improve the operations and cost effectiveness of shared service organizations previously established. TBI’s shared services support capabilities include:
- Helping clients to identify the most lucrative targets for implementing shared service organizations to achieve cost savings
- Current state process assessment to identify current operational strengths and weaknesses and establish the ‘base case’ on cost and performance
- Identification of organizational priorities for and barriers to change
- Development of ideal state process models to represent desired changes
- Establishment of short term transition plans and longer term transformation plans, detailing needed actions to implement more effective shared service organizational structure, processes and supporting technology.
- Developing performance measurement processes and metrics that can be used to monitor shared service organizational performance and accomplishment of desired cost and service level improvements
- Developing organizational communication plans to inform employees of changes in indirect service organization and operation.
TBI employs a methodology in analyzing organizational effectiveness that focuses equally on people, processes and technology, three interdependent aspects of every organization. The people focus includes review of the appropriateness of employee skill and functional staffing levels, effectiveness of cross functional organizational coordination mechanisms, clarity of roles and responsibilities, employee morale, and the extent to which organizational structure supports achievement of enterprise goals and objectives. Findings are used to develop designs for shared services organizational structures and jobs, transition plans, and action plans for organizational development.
The process focus is on gaining an understanding of service levels, customer satisfaction, difficulties that result in lost time or additional cost for service delivers or service recipients, and of the specific steps taken to deliver and manage the shared services. The process assessment includes review of management process as well as the steps done to process transactions that result in delivery of the particular shared service (e.g., account payment, travel booking, data processing, office supply or equipment purchasing, benefits enrollment, employee compensation, desktop software upgrade, etc.). TBI consultants work with clients to define current processes and ideal state processes using process decomposition methodologies. The gap between the two identifies the changes that need to be addressed in a specific process transformation plan.
The technology focus involves review of the adequacy of automated tools and underlying information technology infrastructure utilized by the shared service function. It also includes assessment of future technology plans and their potential impact. Specific recommendations are developed, as appropriate, for information technology system enhancement or replacement where current tools and plans do not adequately support business strategy.