To maximize the value of Shared Services, a broader view of how work flows across the enterprise needs to be considered. In most cases, the efficiency (or inefficiency) can significantly impact costs not only in Shared Services, but for the entire company. Unfortunately, engaging non-Shared Services functions in end-to-end process optimization efforts can be extremely challenging, and this often requires the establishment of a strong oversight structure and senior level support to ensure that the proper involvement and assistance is provided by all impacted organizations.
During a recent Peeriosity PeercastTM, the Director of Shared Services from a large health care industry company with over 100,000 employees, shared their recent experiences in using technology to help enable their end-to-process design. Their Shared Services organization consists of four towers, including Hire-to-Retire, Record-to-Report, Procure-to-Pay, and also an organization called Delivery Support, that provides project management, training, communications, client relations, and client delivery support for the entire Shared Services operation.
The company looked at the different automation objectives for each of the towers by starting first with their core systems, particularly their ERP system. Once all the opportunities to streamline were completed within the core systems, they then moved on to applying Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to a variety of process areas, which increased their productivity and reliability, as well as eliminating the need for audit controls, where possible, and redeploying resources to more value-added tasks. They primarily used Blue Prism in the beginning for RPA technology and then started using other providers, such as Pega, depending on what was being automated.
The next phase was to then focus on Robotic Desktop Automation (RDA) by enhancing employee engagement around automation and giving the individual associates the opportunity to identify that one piece of extra information that would improve their process or having multiple systems combined into one single user interface in order to make their job simpler and more efficient.
Tracking the automations deployed by process area up to this point in time, Hire-to-Retire is at 30, Procure-to-Pay about 20, Record-to-Report approximately 10, and an additional 10 throughout the rest of the service center. Some of the highlights of these deployments include the following:
- Agile methodology success in Procure-to-Pay
- Driving transformation in Record-to-Report
- Game changer in Associate Care
- 50+ one time automations
- 10% year-over-year efficiencies in total
During the last two years, the company has realized over $4 million in savings as a result of their efforts in this area, with the equivalent of 57 FTEs reallocated during that time span.
Additional details, including specific automation examples, can be found on the Peeriosity website as part of the PeercastTM recording and related presentation material.
iPollingTM Results Review
Utilizing Peeriosity’s iPollingTM technology, a poll was recently developed that looked at the extent of Shared Services involvement in end-to-end process design. Looking at the results of the first of two poll questions, 32% of the companies described their level of involvement as “Major”, while 36% said it was “Significant”. Another 24% indicated that it was “Limited”, while just 8% responded that they are not currently utilizing an end-to-end process design.
The second poll question then looked at how end-to-end process initiatives are managed within the company, with project teams being formed as needed being the most prevalent response at 46%. This was followed closely by having functional areas manage the specific related end-to-end processes, with 33% of the companies taking that approach. Surprisingly, just 13% of the companies utilize formal end-to-end process teams.
Two of the comments related to this poll made by Peeriosity members are as follows:
Consumer Products & Services Member: We have a mix of project teams and formalized teams. The project teams are needed when we are extending the scope/definition of end to end and the formalized teams sustain the efforts.
Financial Services Member: We are moving toward a state where formalized teams will handle review of end-to-end processes, but aren’t quite there yet.
There are many ways to approach end-to-end process design depending on a variety of factors unique to each company. While the approach may evolve as the company dives head-first into doing so, the key to success is gaining that commitment across the various company silos to ultimately get to that integrated structure. As demonstrated by our feature company, there are significant cost and productivity improvements that are available to those that can make progress in transitioning to end-to-end process design.
What is the status at your company with respect to transitioning to an end-to-end process design for the major process areas found in Shared Services? Are you reaping all the benefits that are available to those companies that effectively implement this type of structure?
Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?
“PeercastsTM” are private, professionally facilitated webcasts that feature leading member company experiences on specific topics as a catalyst for broader discussion. Access is available exclusively to Peeriosity member company employees, with consultants or vendors prohibited from attending or accessing discussion content. Members can see who is registered to attend in advance, with discussion recordings, supporting polls, and presentation materials online and available whenever convenient for the member. Using Peeriosity’s integrated email system, Peer MailTM, attendees can easily communicate at any time with other attending peers by selecting them from the list of registered attendees.
“iPollingTM” is available exclusively to Peeriosity member company employees, with consultants or vendors prohibited from participating or accessing content. Members have full visibility to all respondents and their comments. Using Peeriosity’s integrated email system, Peer MailTM, members can easily communicate at any time with others who participated in iPollingTM.
Peeriosity members are invited to log into www.peeriosity.com to join the discussion and connect with Peers. Membership is for practitioners only, with no consultants or vendors permitted. To learn more about Peeriosity, click here.