Insourcing Payroll to Leverage Your ERP and Drive Innovation

Introduction

Payroll is a process that by definition has a direct and meaningful impact on every company employee.  For an employee, getting paid timely and accurately, without worry or concern, is understandably high on the priority list.  However, unlike other back-office processes where the underlying nature of work activities may include many industry or company-specific differences, Payroll differences are shaped more by country or local regulatory compliance issues, which can make the process an ideal candidate for an Outsource Service Provider that is positioned to provide specific expertise in this complex environment. 

Even though Payroll is often less integrated than other processes in a Company and thus more easily outsourced, some large global companies are reevaluating outsourcing decisions and moving a large percentage of their Payroll processing back inhouse.  This allows them to better leverage their ERP systems and gives them better control of the innovation pipeline.

Company Experience

A recent Peeriosity PeercastTM featured a large global company with over $50B in annual revenue discussing their experience with transitioning from fully outsourced Payroll processes to a model where over 70% of employees have their payroll processed inhouse using the companies predominate ERP system, SAP.  For the 30% of employee base where their Payroll is processed by an Outsourced Service Provider, they are typically located in smaller markets and countries where the predominate ERP is something other than SAP.  One of the major reasons to bring 70% of Payroll back inhouse was to leverage existing capabilities in the service center using an SAP based system.  Other factors cited in the decision included greater sustainability, reduced cost of operations, and a greater emphasis on future innovations where there is full line of sight to innovation opportunities, priority setting, and scheduling. 

For details, Peeriosity members are encouraged to sign into the member’s area to view the complete presentation and listen to the recorded Peercast.

iPollingTM Results Review

The results from a recent Peeriosity poll created using the iPollingTM technology explores approaches Peeriosity member companies are taking to outsourcing Payroll, and for those that have experience, examining if they have either brought Payroll back inhouse, or if they are considering doing so.  Regarding the approaches taken, 27% of Peeriosity members have outsourced either the entire Payroll process or complete process areas.  An additional 40% have outsourced partial process areas, and the remaining 33% have either no outsourcing of the Payroll process or an amount that is considered to be insignificant.  Here are the details:

The second poll question asked about whether or not Payroll processes have ever been brought back inhouse.  For these results, 11% indicated that they experienced a significant shift to bring Payroll processes back inhouse, and an additional 22% are considering doing so.  The balance of 67% of member companies with outsourcing experience have no plans to change their outsourcing arrangements for Payroll.

Closing Summary

Payroll Outsourcing is a market that is increasingly stable, with large service providers like ADP able to meet the needs of companies in many markets and locations around the globe.  The move to bring Payroll back inhouse does still happen, but it’s not because the Service Providers can’t perform.  Reasons cited by companies who have made the change include being able to better leverage their ERP systems and having better control of the innovation pipeline.

What is your long-term objective for your Payroll with regards to outsourcing?  Do you have untapped opportunities to better leverage your ERP and manage the innovation pipeline?

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.


Improving the End-to-End Purchase to Pay Process

Introduction

By definition, dramatically changing or reengineering a process requires looking at the entire process from end-to-end, and not focusing only on parts of a process that reside within a functional area or within a department.  The challenge often comes from the difficulty with getting a significantly high enough level of sponsorship and funding to support the creation of a change project that crosses multiple functional areas.  This is particularly true with the Purchase to Pay process, where often the drivers for the change, and the supporting project resources, are from the Finance or Accounting parts of the process, without overall ownership from a global Purchase to Pay process owner. 

Even though sponsorship issues and crossing functional boundaries can be an issue for all companies, having a Global Business Services orientation as a starting point can be a big enabler, even for companies who don’t include all sourcing activities as a part of GBS.  For many, significant opportunities exist to drive improvements based on a clear understanding of Purchase to Pay as an end-to-end process, with direct improvements to many of the processes and sub-processes that are within scope of your GBS organization. 

Company Experience

A recent Peeriosity PeercastTM featured a large global company with over $20B in annual revenue discussing their experience with driving improvement across the end-to-end Purchase to Pay process.  A first step was to create a clear definition of work activities, starting with 14 different processes ranging from processes for Sourcing and Contracting, Requisition and Procurement, Receiving, Payment, and Process Management, with each of the 14 processes further defined at a sub-process level.  Next, all processes and sub-processes that touched Global Business Services in some way were targeted for process analysis and improvement, working in close coordination between all process owners. 

At a tactical level, examples of transformation efforts included increasing electronic invoicing to 75%, increasing electronic payments from 35% to 80%, and a range of vendor management initiatives including implementing new vendor self-service tools, and a better definition of single-use and repeat vendor cleanup processes.  

For details, Peeriosity members are encouraged to sign into the member’s area to view the complete presentation and listen to the recorded Peercast.

iPollingTM Results Review

The results from a recent Peeriosity poll created using the iPollingTM technology provide a good background regarding the Purchase to Pay end-to-end process at Peeriosity member companies.  The first question in the poll looked at the overall status of the Purchase to Pay process with respect to quality, efficiency, and cost.  The results were overwhelmingly positive, with 42% indicating they considered themselves to be “among the best”, with an additional 42% indicating that they were “good and getting better”.  Only 16% indicated that they had significant challenges and were “working to improve”. 

The second poll question asked about the most significant opportunity to drive improvements in the Purchase to Pay process.  Process Automation was cited by 32% of Peeriosity members, with 21% reporting that increased standardization was the greatest opportunity, and with an additional 21% suggesting that changes to the organizational structure or responsibilities would create the greatest impact.  Of the remaining selections, 11% cited improving communications with customer and partners as being the most significant opportunity.  Here are the details:

A few of the comments from members include:

  • Increased standardization will create the biggest impact, and Process Automation will also be a key enabler.
  • Resolving exceptions is our biggest efficiency/time drain.
  • We have many purchasing channels and methods which leads to complexity.
  • Opportunities within each of these: A. Change in organization structure or responsibilities: If Global Purchasing was within shared services;  B. Improved communication with customers and partners: using a vendor portal;  C. Increased standardization: One ERP system; our company has different ERP’s for the different business units;  D. Process automation:  More RPA;  E. Technology improvements other than automation: Vendor portal.
  • Improved operational audits ensuring accuracy and trust between vendor and customer.

Closing Summary

Identifying and then taking advantages of opportunities to drive process improvements based on an appreciation of the interrelated work steps that are part of the end-to-end Purchase to Pay process is difficult, even under the best circumstances.  Getting high level sponsorship and dedicated resources are important factors to create a successful project.  For those companies lucky enough to have mature Share Services operations, there is often enough critical mass to get a project defined and completed, even when the primary objective is focused on optimizing the work activities that are within scope of the Shared Services organization.  Taking an end-to-end perspective ensures outcomes that optimize benefits for the entire company.  

What is the overall status of the Purchase to Pay process at your company?  What are the opportunities or changes that would create the biggest impact?

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.


Defending and Controlling Changes to your Global Operating Model

Introduction

One of the major efforts carried out by every leading Shared Services organization is to develop and implement a standardized global operating model to drive consistent back office processes (i.e. Order-to-Cash, Purchase-to-Pay, Record-to-Report). The model sets the structure and provides a needed framework to guide efficient and effective processes that leverage shared ERP infrastructure, common operating procedures, and well-coordinated service delivery worldwide. A robust yet flexible governance methodology is necessary to ensure enduring operating model integrity while remaining responsive to changing business needs over years and decades post implementation.

Company Experience

A recent PeercastTM in our Shared Services Leadership research area featured a global company with over $30B in annual revenue discussing their approach to governing, controlling, and defending their Global Operating Model.  The company established their design for Global Service Delivery during 2013 to 2015 which included a dramatic transition from 50 legacy ERP systems around the world to an SAP environment using a single instance globally.  This common technology architecture supported additional changes including:

  • A move from disparate technologies across affiliates and sites to standardized processes and technologies.
  • A move from affiliates and sites that were supported by their own Finance and Operations teams, to leveraged Shared Services resources that provide support to all locations.
  • A move from divergent headquarters, affiliate and site processes to integrated business capabilities across the company’s global footprint.

To support these significant changes a BPO Governance Structure and Oversight process was created.  Key components included:

  • An Outsourcing Governance COE responsible for contract change management, service level monitoring, external benchmarking, and billing administration. 
  • Affiliates, sites and functions responsible for KPI Analytics, operating model evolution, issue escalation, and audit and controls liaison.
  • The BPO partner responsible for delivery, metrics and measurement, FTE onboarding and offboarding, innovation, and robotics.
  • And finally, Global Process Leads, responsible for continuous improvement, operating model changes, model efficiency tracking, and efficiency analytics.

Robust performance measurement is critical, with a metrics platform that can evolve to match the maturing processes and continually address the changing needs of the business.  Over several years Core Metrics evolved into KPI Dashboards, which changed to Integrated Details with transaction level drill-down, that evolved into Continuous Monitoring, which is now transitioning to exception based Targeted Outreach.

Governing and controlling changes to the model is accomplished using a Continuous Improvement Request process that is a formalized governance process for adapting and improving the global operating model.  The approach uses a “community forum” to represent business stakeholders so that they can voice their needs and propose changes to the operating model.  The process also provides visibility to Shared Services global process leaders and enterprise IT managers.  Finally, it serves as a demand intake channel, using an informed vetting process and control mechanism to allow needed change and improvement while maintaining the integrity of the global operating model.

For details, Peeriosity members are encouraged to sign into the member’s area to view the complete presentation and listen to the recorded Peercast.

Closing Summary

Having a robust global operating model for Shared Services is a requirement for guiding efficient and effective processes that can leverage standardized operating procedures, with well-coordinated worldwide service delivery. Critical components to defending and controlling your global operating model are to have clearly defined end-to-end process metrics, with a formal process to allow the organization to adapt based on changing business requirements, with clear channels for input and review by key stakeholders.

How does your company defend and control changes to your Shared Services operating model?  What role does your performance measurement process play, and how do you manage the required changes and modifications to your operating model that are needed as business needs and the mix of available opportunities changes?

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. 

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.


Mentorship Programs in Shared Services

Introduction

A basic definition of a mentorship program is to match people with skills and knowledge acquired over time with people who have less experience who will benefit from insights from the more senior employees.   The mentor can be a trusted counselor helping the less experienced employee plan their career and set development plans that can accelerate the growth of their skills and their ability to positively impact their job performance.  Both parties, the mentor and the mentee, can find the relationship rewarding, with meaningful benefits likely for both. 

Company Experience

A recent PeercastTM in our Shared Services leadership research area featured a global company with over $50B in annual revenue discussing their approach to creating and administering a mentoring program for their North American Shared Services organization.  The Shared Services mentoring program uses a formal approach to mentoring with leadership from a Mentoring Council created to both define and monitor the strategy for mentoring, and then operationalize the program with a robust implementation with ongoing program oversight. 

For the feature company, mentoring is defined as “a structured relationship in which a more senior leader or manager is formally assigned to advise, counsel and support an individual or a small group of individuals outside of a reporting relationship, for a specific period of time (usually 1 year) for development and retention purposes”. 

Some of the objectives of the program include employee development, employee retention, to foster inclusion and acceptance, to prepare people for new roles, to expand professional networks, and to support individuals acclimating to the culture.

Techniques discussed in detail include “speed mentoring”, “hot topics”, “mentoring circles”, and “one-on-one pairing”.  

The feature company presentation and a recording of the PeercastTM discussion are available for Peeriosity member companies and their teams in the member’s area of the Peeriosity website.

iPollingTM Results Review

Peeriosity’s iPollingTM was used to provide insights to the approach Peeriosity member companies were taking with regards to mentoring programs.  The use of a formal mentoring program was reported by 37% of Peeriosity member companies with an additional 11% indicating that they have implemented an informal mentoring program.  11% are currently evaluating, with 41% indicating they haven’t considered the idea.

The second polling question asked about the level of success achieved for companies with mentoring programs, with 27% indicating their mentoring program was very successful, is widely utilized, and has significantly improved the development of employees.  An additional 37% indicated the program was moderately successful, with the balance of responses ranging from limited success to “too early to tell”.  Interestingly, when you look at the relationship between how companies responded to the first question and how they responded to the second, every single company who reported having a very successful or a moderately successful program indicated that they had implemented a formal mentoring program.   Here are the details:

A few of the comments from members include:

  • Mentoring is very helpful for employee development and engagement.
  • People can either request a mentor by name or ask for a mentor to be assigned. Those that ‘opt in’ to the mentoring program are generally more satisfied with their career.
  • We have companywide Mentoring program…but specifically in SSC we have not carved out mentoring as a separate program.
  • We started the formal mentoring program this year with a total of 10 new hires (before mentoring was very informal). Giving it structure helped mentors manage their mentoring time more effectively and focus on areas they identified of concern, work with their leaders on setting actions and own their mentee’s performance until the end of the program. For mentees a great onboarding experience and for mentors a way to add value / a growth experience.
  • We have a mentoring element as part of our Shared Services leadership development programme, so formal mentoring is only available to a portion of shared services employees. So far it has been successful and well received, but it is only in its first year, so difficult to fully assess impact and value at this stage.

Closing Summary

As companies look to invest in training and development to ensure employees are able to increase their skills and contributions to the company, and at the same time achieve personal job enrichment objectives, one approach that is often overlooked is to have a robust and formal mentoring program in place to allow more experienced employees to guide the development of employees who are earlier in their careers.  With a modest investment results can be significant, for both the mentor and the mentee. 

Does your Shared Services organization have a formal mentoring program in place?  If you don’t currently have a program, what companies can you contact for advice so that you can leverage methods that are proven to be successful for your peers?

Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?

______________________________________________________________________________

“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 iPolling.

“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. 

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.


Using ADP to Outsource Payroll Globally

Introduction

Payroll is a process with high visibility where the highest quality and accuracy are required for each and every employee payment.  Payroll also has significant complexity with an ever-changing landscape of local laws and regulations that make standardization and consistency difficult.  For companies who have outsourced payroll processing, the history for many has been to work with multiple suppliers with expertise in specific countries or regions, rather than select a single vendor to process payroll for all locations globally.  That concern appears to be less of an issue today for large global companies, with examples of companies who have successfully implemented global payroll outsourcing with ADP.   

Company Experience

A recent Peeriosity PeercastTM featured a large global company with over $15B in annual revenue discussing their experience with consolidating to a single payroll vendor as one component of a large-scale HR transformation project.  Other components of the HR transformation included implementing Workday as an enabling platform, implementing an employee portal to provide access to tools and information, designing and implementing an HR Global Service Delivery model to streamline, standardize, and simplify processes, and finally an overall redesign of their pay and performance review processes.

Before the transition payroll was performed using a decentralized approach with payroll processed locally; often on a country by country basis, with very little process standardization.  The new process resides in one centralized location in India with a greater level of standardization, using ADP as the payroll processing vendor.  The transition took place with one or two counties going live at the global location per month, using a lift-and-shift approach with a month of work-shadowing prior to the actual move of the work to the global center.  

iPollingTM Results Review

The results from a recent Peeriosity poll created using the iPollingTM technology provide a good background regarding Payroll geographic design at large companies across the world.  The first question in the poll examined the Payroll geographic model being used at companies today.  The results were evenly split with half using either a global or a multi-region model and the remaining half using a multi-country or a single country model.

The second poll question asked about the most significant challenges Peeriosity member companies face regarding moving to a global model.  For 21% the question wasn’t applicable, since they weren’t a global company.  23% or members cited difficulty in adhering to global standards as the greatest challenge, and 22% selected differing legal and regulatory requirements for payroll across the globe as most significant.  The lack of global systems solutions to fit all of our needs was most significant for 17% of member companies.  Here are the details:

A few of the comments from members include:

  • Payroll is currently run individually within each country. Business case for creating a global payroll operation hasn’t been prioritized.
  • Our biggest challenge was insourcing the operation while keeping our global footprint. The nature of the global operations is more than 10 years old, keeping it globally standard as we bring operations in house is the larger barrier still.
  • We currently have a regional based payroll and are moving towards global.
  • We are in the process of reviewing our global footprint.

Closing Summary

Pursuing a global design for Payroll has many challenges, including difficulty in defining global standards and the number of legal and regulatory requirements for Payroll across the globe.  A global design can yield many benefits including lower overall costs and reduced complexity.  An increasing number of Peeriosity member companies are implementing global Payroll, and for those who have outsourced Payroll and want to limit the number of vendors, ADP is the vendor likely to be selected.

What is your long-term objective for Payroll geographic design?  What about delivery options, are you insourcing or outsourcing your Payroll process?

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.


Implementing a Global Accounts Payable Help Desk

Introduction

Simplifying and streamlining Accounts Payable processes is best accomplished with multiple approaches that are closely coordinated and prioritized.  For example, while getting electronic invoices from suppliers might be achievable for a large percentage of your production related invoice volume, you may need to add portal solutions that support supplier invoice submissions as an approach to eliminate an incremental percentage of transactions that would otherwise be paper based.  The same is true for payment status requests, with a portal solution effective for many of these inquires, and with the addition of chat-bots in combination with a help desk staffed with a skilled team who can respond to a wide range of internal and external inquiries in whatever language is required, providing a more complete solution.

Company Experience

A recent PeercastTM in our Accounts Payable (P2P) research area featured a global company with over $10B in annual revenue discussing their approach implementing an Accounts Payable Help Desk. Prior to 2016 help desk support was outsourced with over 30,000 cases per month.  In 2016 a self-service project resulted in a supplier portal to respond to invoice status requests, which reduced inquiry volume by 60%.  As this transition took place the help desk support was pulled back in house, and additional process and technology changes were made, including implementing a chat-bot using a purchased solution from Pypestream.

iPollingTM Results Review

Peeriosity’s iPollingTM was used to provide insights to how Peeriosity member companies were implementing a help desk, and the relationship that effort has with a strategy to also implement a vendor portal.  Poll results indicate that 39% have implemented a help desk and they also have a vendor portal.   An additional 15% indicate they have help desk but do not have a vendor portal.  Of the remaining 46%, there are 15% who haven’t reached a decision, 8% who haven’t considered the idea, and 23% who had a help desk in the past, but no longer consider it necessary because of their vendor portal strategy.

The second polling question asked about the biggest challenge with having an Accounts Payable help desk, and while accuracy of responses and vendors wanting to have a dedicated point of contact were the top two, for 36% it was difficult to pick a single response, with a number of challenges that exist.  Here are the details:

A few of the comments from members include:

  • The challenges are all of them really, but also time zone, language requirements, and ongoing turnover of staff. Finally, the cost was huge, and the portal managed to reduce 60% of the queries, and for the remaining, we offer live chat + BOT, reducing effort and cost dramatically.
  • Greatest challenge is the amount of time it takes to close the loop on issue resolution.
  • Internal customers want to have someone to talk to, but we are moving more to email interaction within an SLA or self-service on the portal.
  • We are in the process of transitioning the help desk from an internal to an external outsourcing vendor hence we have a transition risk in addition to all other points mentioned above.
  • We have several of these challenges, not just one. Time zones and language are two additional challenges.
  • The volume of queries results in our team members often rushing through responses and not being as clear as they could be.

Closing Summary

Simplifying and streamlining Accounts Payable processes is best accomplished with multiple approaches. When designing processes to respond to customer inquiries many Peeriosity member companies are finding that having an advanced Accounts Payable help desk is an important component, even when an advanced portal solution has also been implemented. 

Does your company utilize a portal solution for Accounts Payable, plus a help desk solution?  If you have a help desk, what automation software or case tracking tools are you using?

Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?

______________________________________________________________________________

“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 iPolling.

“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. 

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.


Process Improvement Methods and Tools in Shared Services

Introduction

While many companies realize significant savings when first transitioning to Shared Services, uncovering additional savings opportunities can be a challenge without the proper focus. One attribute of many successful Shared Services operations is a well-established Process Improvement program that is ingrained into the culture of the operation. The topic of process improvement remains as one of the most popular in the world of Shared Services, and for good reason.  The strong performance results companies have experienced have been impressive and, for many, having an active Process Improvement program has been a significant factor in achieving superior results.

iPollingTM Results Review

Peeriosity’s iPollingTM was used recently to provide insights to how Peeriosity member companies were using performance improvement methodologies in Shared Services, with a drill down to the specific tools that are most commonly used.  The results indicate that 65% of Peeriosity member companies are using a combination of Lean and Six Sigma, with an additional 19% primarily using the Lean methodology only, with the balance of 19% using either a range of formal or less formal methods.

Regarding the specific tools used, 53% of Peeriosity member companies indicate that value stream mapping is the most helpful.  For 27% of member companies, developing and reporting on specific KPI’s has created the greatest impact, with 13% selecting brainstorming as the most helpful specific tool.  Here are the details:

A few of the comments from members include:

  • We have a formal Continuous Improvement program that utilizes a combination of principles and tools, including all of the options in the survey (Lean, Six Sigma, Pareto, Value Chain Analysis, Focused Action Workshops, etc.).
  • We have a culture of continuous improvement and have leveraged the appropriate method to drive the changes. We have been leveraging more Value Stream Mapping recently, but the other approaches can be valid depending on the area being improved.
  • The methodologies used are really determined by the needs of the project. We also use PMBOK quite often. As for tools used to improve performance, we are very strong in developing KPIs. We also use pareto often. Most importantly though, measuring the KPIs is pointless if you do not have a clearly defined process to address risk areas when they surface within the KPIs.

Closing Summary

Creating a culture in Shared Services that embraces process improvement at every level of the organization continues to be a key success factor for leading companies with over $5B in annual revenue, even though leveraging advanced technologies and process scale is often achievable, and within budget.  Because effective change begins with measurement, having defined methodologies and tools is critical to identifying opportunities and driving meaningful change, with outcomes that are measured and understood.

What process improvement methods and tools does your company use in Shared Services?  Are you satisfied with the results or is it time to take another look at this important aspect of your Shared Services operation?

Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?

______________________________________________________________________________

“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 iPolling.

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.


Implementing a Global Accounts Payable Portal

Introduction

The concept of self-service technology for Shared Service processes has been around for decades, with the greatest penetration for Employee Services applications for the creation, updating, and distribution of employee related information, with other efforts related to call center support, including supporting vendors for basic requests to answer question regarding payment status and payment timing becoming increasingly popular.  As the availability of purchased portal solutions has become more popular, solutions for Accounts Payable have also advanced to include designs that can support global operations with functionality that includes invoice submission capabilities, in addition to accessing basis payment status information. 

Company Experience

A recent PeercastTM in our Accounts Payable (P2P) research area featured a global company with over $10B in annual revenue discussing their approach for establishing a global Accounts Payable portal.  The company implemented a purchased portal solution from Taulia, with a first go-live in early 2017 and with a steady expansion of functionality and regions served over the next 3-years.  The company already had a successful EDI program in place for many of the manufacturing related invoices and used Taulia to reduce the impact of remaining volume of ten thousand paper invoices per week that required manual entry.  The project was successful in eliminating over 60% of these paper invoices. 

While the company had resources to build a custom proprietary portal, a decision was made to purchase a solution for a number of reasons, including a simpler path for changes and upgrades, and the ability to leverage the adoption of a purchased solution with a large installed base instead of requiring suppliers to learn something unique and custom. 

iPollingTM Results Review

Peeriosity’s iPollingTM was used to provide insights to how Peeriosity member companies were approaching this issue.  The first question asked about the geographic scope of an Accounts Payable portal for member companies who have implemented.  Implementing globally was the approach taken by 30% of companies, with an additional 50% selecting either multi-region, regional, or multi-country implementations.  The balance of 20% have implemented on a single country basis.  Here are the details:

The second polling question asked about the major challenges impacting the expansion of geographic scope for their Accounts Payable portal.  29% indicated issues with standardization of processes, and another 29% said the greatest challenge had to do with vendor willingness to use the portal.  42% indicated the greatest challenge was that expanding scope of the Accounts Payable portal hasn’t been a priority. 

A few of the comments from members include:

  • Currently don’t have a vendor portal. In process of a system upgrade that will have a vendor portal. We will need to strategically roll it out as vendor master data isn’t clean and will need to strategically choose the vendors that can be supported by a portal and will be receptive.
  • We are in the early stages of developing an external facing Portal for our vendors.
  • We have just rolled this with automated invoice process for North America. Plan is for further roll out across regions.
  • A key challenge for us in rolling out our portal to additional markets has been the different legal / tax requirements. it’s not a showstopper but it does involve additional work and sometimes external consultation.
  • We have a global portal that utilizes a different link for each geography.
  • We are working towards a global vendor portal that will include accounts payable.

Closing Summary

For companies looking to implement self-service technologies, rather than developing a solution internally there are likely to be a range of purchased solutions available that can be easily integrated with the company’s existing ERP system.  For Accounts Payable portals, these solutions have a wide range of functionality, with the ability to handle large volumes from anywhere in the world and with the opportunity to implement the functionality globally, even if actual work processes are organized regionally.

Does your company have a global portal for Accounts Payable?  If yes, what are the features and functionality available to your suppliers?  Has the portal helped you to eliminate paper invoices?

Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?

______________________________________________________________________________

“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 iPolling.

“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. 

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.


Measuring Success and Resource Needs for Intelligent Automation

Introduction

With monthly Peercasts featuring member companies and frequent polls to help members better understand the issues, Peeriosity members have many tools available to cut through the hype to develop meaningful strategies and tactical plans for their Intelligent Automation initiatives.  A couple of considerations for our members are how to measure the success of Intelligent Automation projects, and what are the most typical resources needed.  Because the nature of the effort typically includes many smaller projects, having a method to formally track and measure success is an important consideration.  It’s also important to know where resources are most critically needed to create as much success as possible. 

iPollingTM Results Review

Recently, Peeriosity’s iPollingTM was used to better understand how Peeriosity members were measuring success for Intelligent Automation projects, with insight into the most likely resource constraints. 

Regarding success measurement, 50% use Human Hours Saved (which easily converts to an estimate of dollar savings) as the primary measure, with an additional 44% taking a more complete full cost and benefit approach by looking at Return on Investment.  Both approaches are focused on hard-dollar impact, either by delivering cost savings or freeing up time that can be spent on higher value-added activities. 

Regarding the most pressing need for resources, the biggest challenge for 47% of member companies is having people with a combination of business / technical skills who can deliver a complete solution.  An additional 20% struggle with having people with technical skills to implement projects, and 13% report their biggest challenge is having the right people in the organization to sell the vision and create excitement and buy-in.  Here are the details:

Here are a several of the comments added by members:

  • Human hours saved has acted as the primary measure, but we also have evaluated success by analyzing efficacy of the automation as well monetary impact and increases to compliance.
  • We use human hours saved (converted to dollars). There is debate as to whether this is the right/sole measure, as we have found it can prevent using IA to improve controls or improve customer/employee experience if there is no significant saving.
  • We are still trying to create the right metrics for showing what the bots are saving, but hours have been our focus so far.
  • Currently, we keep “score” by tracking actual financial value realization (typically cost take-out or cost avoidance of budgeted expense). While there are many value drivers for Intelligent Automation projects, we tend to focus on direct impact to a business unit’s P&L.
  • ROI Seems to be the primary gauge and filter for automation
  • Our biggest challenge is on the “demand side” of the automation equation. Therefore, our most pressing need is to have more process owners and operations leaders within the business units do opportunity identification. Without a pipeline of large, meaningful projects, we cannot successfully scale Intelligent Automation
  • A combination of business and technical skills is crucial in implementing IA solutions, you need someone to translate business needs into technical solutions.

Closing Summary

Implementing Intelligent Automation solutions is increasingly becoming a proven approach to reducing employee time on routine tasks with associated improvements in quality and timeliness. Because the nature of the effort typically includes many smaller projects, having a method to formally track and measure success is an important consideration.  It’s also important to know where resources are most critically needed to create as much success as possible.  Because Peeriosity members are able to discuss these issues candidly without the influence of vendors or consultants, with the ability to directly network on specific topics, they can quickly develop a more complete picture allowing them to make better decisions.

How does your company measure the success of Intelligent Automation projects? What are the people resources you most need to maximize your success?  

Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?

______________________________________________________________________________

“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 iPolling.

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.


From Center of Excellence to Operations Center

Introduction

As companies implement Intelligent Automation solutions, once the proof of concept is completed the management of related improvement efforts becomes more important for leveraging the new capabilities across Shared Services, and for many, across the company.   As more formal roles are created, the most typical is to implement a Center or Excellence model to create critical mass, focus, and leverage.  Then, as the base of implemented projects grow, and as the alignment with Information Technology increases, shifting to an Operations Center model as the next logical transition is a design solution increasing pursued by companies with a longer history of successful Intelligent Automation projects.

Company Experience

A recent PeercastTM in our Intelligent Automation research area featured a global company with over $15B in annual revenue discussing how their company’s Reporting Center of Excellence shifted to an Operations Center model, with the Reporting Center of Excellence, Intelligent Automation, and Data Science, all included as part of an Enterprise Data Capabilities group that reported into Technology and Solutions, which was part of an Information Technology organization that reported to the CEO.  This change shifted reporting from Global Business Services, which became a separate large-scale organization that also reported into the IT Digital and Technology group. 

Created in 2015, the company’s Reporting Center of Excellence completed over 50 projects, resulting in USD $80M of value creation, with over 250 different dashboards and over 2,000 reports per month.  As the focus shifted to include a greater emphasis on the ongoing production it made sense to shift organizationally to an Operations Center model. 

Additional details regarding the company’s experiences in this area are available on the Peeriosity member website, including the original presentation material, detailed poll results, and PeercastTM recording.

iPollingTM Results Review

Peeriosity’s iPollingTM was used to better understand the approach Peeriosity member companies are taking to operationalize their Intelligent Automation efforts.  Currently only 6% report that they have transitioned to an Operations Center model, with 38% indicating they are using a Center of Excellence model as a primary resource by customers to develop automated solutions across the company.  An additional 38% indicate they are in a Mature Learning Mode, where they have achieved success in developing a number of automated solutions and are moving towards a Center of Excellence.  The remaining 18% are in an Early Learning Mode where they are gaining experience in developing automated solutions.  Here are the details:

The second polling question asked how Peeriosity member companies expected their organizational designs to shift over the next two years.  Within 2-years, 50% of companies anticipate moving to an Operations Center model that includes having full responsibility for developing projects and for managing the automated solutions and work processes.  An additional 43% anticipate using a Center of Excellence model with the remaining 6% expecting to be in the Early Learning Mode.     

A few of the comments from members include:

  • COE model is currently in place. Responsibility for managing bots and associated processes remains with business functions. More bots and processes may be managed by Shared Service centre in future, but not feasible to move to a full operations centre model. Some processes and associated bots e.g. manufacturing, will likely always require a level of detailed specialist knowledge.
  • As an organization we have placed a handful of bots into production. A center of excellence exists and serves as a conduit to help provide oversight, training, and ensure some level of consistency across multiple business units. We are still in a growth/training stage but believe we can reach option 3 in the near future as we continue to develop more automated solutions.
  • We have around 40 bots in production; we are working now as an intelligent automation product team to deliver more value.
  • COE model is in place and developing real time centralized dashboard for bot performance/troubleshooting. Responsibility for managing bots remains with the operations in the service center (i.e., a person is the digital supervisor). Quite a learning journey.
  • We are still in a transformative stage after an initial attempt at creating an automation COE.

Closing Summary

As companies transition from successful pilots to full-scale implementations, when does it become time for a Center of Excellence to look more like an Operations Center, that is closely managing and monitoring thousands of bots and hundreds of work processes? How does the physical environment change, and what skill sets are required?  Early adopters of Intelligent Automation solutions are making the transition today, with many expected to implement an Operations Center design for Intelligent Automation within the next two years.

What is the level of maturity at your company for delivering automated solution to your customers?  How do anticipate your design changing over the next two years as more projects move from implementation to long-term production status?

Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?

______________________________________________________________________________

“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 iPolling.

“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. 

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.