Shared Services and the Importance of Global Process Documentation

Introduction

Simplifying processes to eliminate unnecessary complexity and work steps has the greatest impact when the scope is across a large client base, spanning multiple business units and geographies.   With common systems and a global organization increasingly the norm, more companies are pushing to complete the puzzle by implementing common work processes that require standardization, with local statutory requirements as the only exception.

iPollingTM Results Review

Recently, Peeriosity’s iPollingTM was used to better understand the shift to global work processes for members who had global operations.  The poll results show that 95% of global companies have documented global processes, with 35% having one standardized documented way to perform a process, and with the other 60% having more than one.  Only 5% of global companies have minimal or no documented global processes. 

The follow up question asked how extensively processes were documented globally, and whether or not the scope included all processes or only key processes.  At 43% of the companies, key processes are documented globally and, at 19% of the companies all work processes have global documentation.  For 24% of Peeriosity member companies, global documentation is sporadic, with the remaining 14% reporting that they have no global documentation, and instead they rely on each major site to have their own documentation.

Here are a several of the comments added by members:

  • We try to keep one global process as much as possible, but the folks in the Regions fight us on it almost daily, so it’s a constant battle.
  • We have detailed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all of our processes performed at our largest Shared Service Centers, but we do not have global ownership of those processes.
  • While it is always the goal to standardize and document all processes, as companies are being integrated it takes a while to not only standardize but also document.
  • Generally, we have global processes documented. There can be regional variations (which are also documented as part of the ‘global’ documentation).  There can also be variation on how to perform the process depending on the service line within shared services.

Closing Summary

Having standardized systems and processes can be a significant factor in reducing complexity and achieving lower costs and higher levels of quality.  The good news is that most of Peeriosity member companies with global operations have been successful at documenting key processes globally, with many who have documented all processes globally.   The positive impact from having a global process design can extend well beyond benefits to Shared Services, by providing a consistent look and feel to processes for external customers as well as internal customers and employees as they work between geographic regions or different lines of business. 

Are your Shared Services work processes documented globally? If yes (excluding local statutory requirements), are you moving towards implementing one standardized process?

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.


RPA Impact and Speed to Implement

Introduction

Similar to the hype and buzz that surrounded BPO 20 years ago, today’s Shared Services leaders can’t avoid questions about approaches and strategies related to Intelligent Automation. Being able to filter through the hype and point to specific examples from peers is critical to be able to design an approach that is right for your company.  The good news is that many companies are making rapid progress, and through active collaboration with peers they are able to create a design that has a high probability of success, with the ability to fine-tune and adjust quickly as needed to ensure the best possible outcomes.  

iPollingTM Results Review

Recently, Peeriosity’s iPollingTM was used to better understand the impact for Peeriosity members from using Intelligent Automation solutions and specifically by deploying Robotic Process Automation (RPA).  The results were overwhelming, with 75% of members indicating that RPA is an important technology that provides them with new tools to improve their operations.  An additional 20% reported that RPA is an interesting technology that they are beginning to leverage, with only 5% indicating the RPA is an interesting technology but so far, they have not been able to capitalize on the benefits.  Here are the details:

The second polling question asked about speed to implement, defined as the average amount of time it takes to get a bot into production once a project is approved.  While the results indicate a wide range, for 47% of Peeriosity members the average is between four and eight weeks, with an equal number of companies reporting either higher or lower average times.  Here are the details:

Here are a several of the comments added by members:

  • Since we started with RPA, we have gone through some learning curves and hence initial deployments are a bit slower, but we hope to ramp those up going forward.
  • RPA is one of several technologies being leveraged to automate business processes in our organization. Timelines will vary based on process complexity and your customers’ readiness (for example, whether there has there been a full process improvement assessment conducted with some changes already implemented). While 8-12 weeks on average is accurate, we do have projects that have taken 16+ weeks to complete due to high complexity, IT/Business constraints, SME availability and/or change management efforts.
  • We have implemented over 100 robotic process automations in 2020 so far.
  • After 1 year we have implemented 15 bots. We plan to expand this further in 2021.
  • Averages can be misleading. Most of our medium-complexity automations are in production within 10 to 14 weeks from the official start date.  Automations that are highly complex, require client approval, or involve prioritization/development work by a core system team can be 16+ weeks in duration.

Closing Summary

When it comes to Intelligent Automation, separating fact from fiction, and knowing the detailed experiences of your peers is critical to achieving the best possible outcomes.  Fortunately, members of Peeriosity’s Intelligent Automation best practice research community are well positioned to understand and learn from the actual experiences of leading peers.  Based on actual Peeriosity member experiences (without any spin from vendors or consultants) the results are overwhelmingly positive, with 75% of members indicating that RPA is an important technology that provides them with new tools to improve their operations.   

What best describes the impact of RPA within your organization? How many bots do you have in production and what is the timeframe to implement once a project is approved?  

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.


Fraud Control using Oversight’s Risk Mitigation Solutions

Introduction

The risk of fraudulent transactions continues to impact the ability of companies to expand the distribution and allowable usage of both the Purchasing Card and the Travel Card.  While the appropriate use of merchant category codes (MCCs) and monetary limits are cornerstones of any card fraud prevention structure, in recent years new tactics and technologies have been developed that can help to mitigate these risks, when implemented and administered properly.  Some of these solutions have been developed by software solution providers, while others are being developed within companies to address their own specific requirements.

Company Experience

A recent Peeriosity PeercastTM featured a large global company with over $50B in annual revenue discussing their experience with using Oversight Systems software’s risk mitigation solutions to reduce the risk of Corporate Card fraud. With a project that was implemented in 2020, the project’s mission was to transform the travel and expense and purchasing card process by leveraging technology to focus on high-risk areas and transactions without sacrificing accuracy, internal controls or compliance with corporate policies. Implemented for their North American Finance Shared Services Center, the project scope included 30+ business units in the US and Canada with over 5,000 active Corporate Card accounts with roughly 100,000 expense reports and over USD $100 million in credit card spend.  The company uses a One Card program for Travel and Entertainment and for Purchasing Card transactions, using Concur as the expense reporting platform.

The company’s history includes the implementation of Concur in 2010, implementation of Concur Paperless Pay and transition to a One-Card program in 2017, implementation of reason codes for exceptions in SAP Concur in 2018, and most recently the launch of a project to utilize software and Artificial Intelligence technology in 2019, with the project completed and implemented using new processes and technology in 2020. 

Some of the benefits from implementing Oversight Systems software discussed by our feature company included:

  • Quick identification of high-risk transactions
  • Pre-built analytics based on best practices and industry data
  • Visibility to repeat offenders
  • Case management enabled workflow to support root-cause tracking
  • Reduction of overall operating cost by more than $250,000 per year

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 additional insight to this topic.  The first question in the poll asked Peeriosity member companies about the primary solution/approach they were using to identify fraud related to the use of their Corporate Card.  The results indicate that 31% are using Oversight Systems software, with an additional 31% at the other end of the spectrum and relying on supervisor review.  An additional 22% indicate that review by Internal Auditors is the primary solution/approach, with 8% relying on Concur Detect and 8% relying on Forensic Auditors. 

The second poll question asked about the use of technology to reduce the exposure to corporate card fraud.  While only 8% indicated that they rely on technology almost exclusively, 46% report that technology is important to reducing exposure, and is used along with other approaches, with 31% indicating that technology is helpful but that they are mostly rely on other approaches.  The remaining 15% indicated that their use of technology is limited as a means to help reduce exposure to corporate card fraud. 

A few of the comments from members include:

  • We utilize Concur alerts, manual audit with specified criteria for audit, after the fact transaction review. Corporate card provider also assesses and declines fraudulent transactions and disables credit card.
  • We use Oversight analytics tool to help us focus in on potential issues as part of an after the fact review.
  • Our primary solution is Concur Detect but our process also incorporates additional system checks within Concur along with supervisor review and approval prior to reports being approved for payment.
  • We use Oversight and we have monthly updates with Steering Committee.
  • Manager Review is our primary detection; however, we also have other tools we leverage, including Concur Detect. However, since the manager is closest to the spend and knows the details of the employees travel, spend, etc., they are the primary control.

Closing Summary

The concern with card fraud is that companies can develop a false sense of security that their existing systems and controls are more than adequate, while, in actuality, there could be a significant control breach that they are not even aware of.  With the large number of cardholders and high monetary amounts of transactions flowing through the typical Travel Expense and Purchasing Card program, comes the need to continually upgrade the capabilities of the fraud detection systems and controls to mitigate the exposure that the company faces.  A nominal investment in new tools might save many companies a significant amount of money by allowing them to better detect and control fraud.

Is your company leveraging the latest technology to keep Corporate Card fraud to a minimum?  How confident are you regarding the integrity of your card program?

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.


Performance Scorecards for HR Shared Services

Introduction

While individual process areas often have very detailed performance measurements related to cost, productivity, quality, and customer service, many times the overall HR Shared Services operation struggles to present their results in a concise and effective manner.  The challenge for any HR Shared Services organization is to develop and maintain a cohesive reporting package that meets both the needs of the HR Shared Services organization and its key customers and remains relevant as the business evolves.

Company Experience

A recent Peeriosity PeercastTM featured a large global company with over $50B in annual revenue discussing their experience with creating and administering a performance scorecard for HR Shared Services.  The company’s HR Global Operations covers many end-to-end services including Global Pay, Global Benefits, Global Employee Support, Global Workforce Mobility, and Global Talent Acquisition.

The company formally tracks deviations, with response protocols based on the severity of the deviation. Extensive use of metrics and problem solving using the lean A3 process, which includes the following 10 steps:

  1. Identify the problem
  2. Analyze the current state
  3. Identify root causes
  4. Define countermeasures to address root causes
  5. Define the target state
  6. Develop a plan
  7. Develop a follow-up plan with predicted outcomes
  8. Get everyone on board
  9. Implement
  10. Evaluate the results

The companies balanced score card for measurement includes four primary operational components to maintain success in the areas of 1) Financial and Operational Performance, 2) Quality, 3) People, and 4) Customer Service.   Over the past five years the company’s measurement journey has transitioned from discrepancy metrics, to Business Process Management, to Change Control, and now to the use of Predictive Analytics, complete with automated dashboards, automated processing of metrics, and quarterly reviews with formal presentations to management.

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 provides insight to the current HR Shared Services performance reporting at Peeriosity member companies that are provided for key stakeholders and internal customers.  The first question in the poll asked for a description, with 39% indicating they use a balanced scorecard that provides a mix of measures, each compared to a target value with a single concise report.  An additional 23% report using a formal dashboard that provides a good mix of measures that are not as robust as a balanced scorecard.  The remaining 38% report using a variety of measures from major process areas in an unstructured format. 

The second poll question asked about the frequency for reviewing or updating the structure of the HR Shared Services performance reporting package.  For 69% of companies, the review/update takes place at least annually, and for the remaining 31% there isn’t a regular schedule for updating.

Closing Summary

Having a robust process for measurement can create the necessary discipline for organizations to effectively increase efficiency and streamline operations.  Having your measurement processes follow a balance scorecard approach helps to ensure that improvements in one category of measurement, (for example, reduced costs), doesn’t create a negative impact in another category, (for example, decreased customer satisfaction).  While all Peeriosity member companies have measurements in place for HR Shared Services, the majority of companies are doing so on a formal basis, using a formal performance dashboard and often a balanced scorecard approach.

What does the current HR Shared Services performance reporting process for key stakeholders and internal customers look like at your company?  How often is the process reviewed an updated?

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.


Intelligent Automation – Lessons in 2020 and Plans for 2021

Introduction

In mid-2017 Peeriosity added a new research program focused on Intelligent Automation.  Since the launch we have had over 50 PeercastsTM featuring leading Peeriosity member companies sharing their experiences, with an audience restricted to other Peeriosity members, where consultants and vendors are specifically excluded from the membership to ensure a that a candid and open discussion can take place between peers.  And, since a Peeriosity membership is required, all participants have been screened and prequalified to attend.

In 2017 and 2018 the hype for what was possible was clearly out in front of the actual results companies were able to achieve.  Today, that isn’t the case, with many companies taking the leap and achieving excellent results, with almost all of those having active programs that are continuing to ramp up and expand. 

Company Experience

Recently leading Peeriosity member companies attended a panel discussion of their peers to better understand and discuss the approaches members have taken to this issue, including lessons learned.  Peeriosity members can access a recording of the PeercastTM at any time in the members area of the Peeriosity website.

Here are some of the questions we discussed during the panel discussion:

Data Analytics

  • Setting priorities – using tools to identify opportunities, gut feel from users, input from process owners, process reviews.  Has the process changed over time?

Process Design

  • Processes that have shown the greatest impact, range of processes covered
  • Are results so far incremental or transformational, how will it change in 2021?

Implementation Strategy

  • Implementation team, delivery infrastructure
  • Creating internal expertise vs. help from external consultants…  (and is it better to go big firm or are niche players the way to go?)
  • Experience with software platforms, have you changed, what providers will leap ahead, does it make a difference?
  • Robotic Process Automation and more advanced Artificial Intelligence solutions, landscape in 2020, expectations for 2021

Governance

  • Project funding and approval process
  • Role of the internal customer

IT Collaboration

  • How IA efforts are coordinated or integrated with IT in 2020, expectations for 2021

Measurement

  • If you were to draw a benefit curve, from when you started, through where you think you will be at the end of 2021, what does the curve look like?

Change Management

  • Re-tooling the workforce in 2020, expectations for 2021

Risk Management

  • What were your greatest risks to date, and how do you expect that to change in the future?

iPollingTM Results Review

The results from a recent Peeriosity poll created using the iPollingTM technology illustrate how extensive implementation of Intelligent Automation solutions have been, with 64% reporting that they have technology that is fully operational with dedicated resources and a strategy in place, with an additional 18% reporting that the technology is being tested/implemented now with resources and strategy under development.  Only 6% report being interested in the technology with no progress yet.  Here are the details:

Results for the second poll question that ask about plans for 2021 are also compelling, with 58% reporting that for 2021 their plans are to continue on an aggressive implementation path, with an additional 24% planning to take their project to a fully operational level.  12% report that 14for 2021 they either have no tangible plans for testing solutions, or otherwise have no plans to move ahead in this area.

A few of the comments from members include:

  • These questions were both answered with an emphasis on RPA – where we’ve had a active program for several years. In 2021 and beyond we are looking to enable more AI/ML capabilities to our existing suite of services.
  • An RPA Centre of Excellence is in place. Plan in 2021 is to increase capability within Shared Services and expand toolset (Predictive Intelligence, Machine Learning, Chatbots etc).
  • We have an established RPA Center of Excellence that provides services to many departments within our organization. We have deployed over 10 Bots into production that run on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis. in 2021 we hope to continue our aggressive efforts to produce more Bots and provide services globally to our organization.

Closing Summary

During the past 2 or 3 years more and more Peeriosity member companies have achieved success with Intelligent Automation solutions, with the majority of companies both having active program in production with plans to continue to expand their rate of implementation in 2021.  Unlike a major ERP implementation costing many millions of dollars to implement, Intelligent Automation is an area where the investment costs are much lower, with a long list of opportunities for the technology to be leveraged.  The question is why go it alone?  Peeriosity member companies enjoy direct visibility to the experiences of their peers, giving them a significant advantage when evaluating options and making decisions regarding this important technology which continues to grow and mature.

How has your company approached Intelligent Automation opportunities in 2020, and what are your plans for 2021? 

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.


Shared Services Remote Workforce – Curse or Cure?

Introduction

The aggressive move to a remote workforce model in early 2020 was dramatic and sudden, caused by a global pandemic that required immediate and, in some cases, risky and extreme actions. This was a situation where everyone had to leap off of a burning platform to survive – there was no other choice.

What have we learned? How did companies Shared Services organizations respond to the required changes in People, Process, and Technology, while maintaining a focus on business controls, cost containment, and customer satisfaction?  When getting a critical mass of resources at large Shared Services centers with hundreds or thousands of people is the norm, can we maintain that design as a strength or are smaller, more dispersed operations now a new requirement?

Remarkably, during the COVID pandemic, companies have generally reported a high degree of success with their work from home models and their ability to continue serving customers. Is remote working now going to become the new normal?

Company Experience

Recently Peeriosity member companies attended a panel discussion of their peers to better understand and discuss the approaches members have taken to this issue, including lessons learned.  Peeriosity members can access a recording of the PeercastTM at any time in the members area of the Peeriosity website.

Here are some of the questions we discussed during the panel discussion:

Talent Management

  1. Does your Shared Services organization have the right talent to enable WFH?
  2. Are there changes to your performance review and development process that were needed?
  3. How do multiple supervisors/managers get visibility to performance to support rankings?
  4. How will WFH change your approach to recruiting?  Do the challenges vary based on individual differences with people, or is it by job level?

Process Design and Technology

  1. Are there specific process areas that are more difficult to support with remote workers, and how do your overcome the difficulties?
  2. What factors inhibit working from home?
  3. What technologies are most effective for collaboration?  Zoom, Google Meet, BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, standard email?
  4. How do you approach technology security?  Issues with VPN, connectivity, and response time?
  5. Are you fully electronic or is there some paperwork routing that happens?
  6. Are employees using dedicated computers, or can they work using a home computer, and if yes does that raise security concerns for cyber-attacks?
  7. Any security breaches or concerns?  What changes has Internal Audit made?

iPollingTM Results Review

The results from a recent Peeriosity poll created using the iPollingTM technology indicates that as of October 2020, only 10% of member companies report that 75% or more of their workforce has returned to the office in a manner that was customary prior to COVID-19.  For 64% of companies, less than 10% of the workforce has returned to the office in a manner that was customary prior to COVID-19.  Here are the details:

The second poll question explored expectations of members regarding work from home after the dangers of COVID-19 have passed.  Only 10% expect that employees will return to the office as they were before, with an additional 27% fine tuning this response to suggest that most people will return to the office, but others will have more options to work from home.  The balance of 63% of member companies have the scale tipped towards greater work from home options for most employees with times where employees are also scheduled to be in the office. So for most, a significant shift in where work is performed is expected to continue, even though the underlying reasons for the shift in the first place no longer apply.

A few of the comments from members include:

  • No firm plans on all returning to office. We are planning and executing it in waves and still leaving working from home as an option for employees until probably Jan at least.
  • My understanding is that return to the office will depend on business need, balanced with the local guidance from health officials.
  • Effective October 12, 2020 all associates at headquarters were required to return to the office unless a temporary exception was granted.
  • As a company we are still evaluating. My preference is to keep all of Shared Services working remotely.
  • Only essential personnel are in the office. Most will remain at home.
  • We will mostly be hybrid when our community moves to a ‘green’ status with COVID.
  • Following Covid-19 lockdowns we have reviewed our ways of working and given teams and staff far more flexibility to work from home. The new normal appears to be 2 days per week in the office for operational staff, 3 days per week for team leads. A small percentage of staff have chosen to return to the office full-time. We are fortunate in New Zealand not to be subject to any lockdown / movement restrictions currently.

Closing Summary

While the rapid transition to a global work from home strategy for Shared Services was forced on everyone, the good news is that for most, the change was implemented successfully, with limited overall negative impact.  Companies are now considering possible long-term changes to how work gets done after the risk of COVID-19 has passed, with the majority of companies seeing greater flexibility for work from home options as the new normal.   

How effective was your company’s Shared Services organization in responding to the new work from home demands created by COVID-19?  When the virus threat is over, what does the “new normal” look like for you, and can the leading practice of your peers help you shape your strategy?

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.


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.