COVID-19: Saving Millions by Consolidating Unused Airline Tickets

Introduction

The hot topic for the last year for everyone has been adjusting to the new realities for conducting business in a world facing the COVID-19 global pandemic.  While the business impact varied by industry, with airlines, hospitality and restaurants taking biggest blow, every person and every company has been impacted.  With new work-from-home requirements impacting all of Shared Services, the processes for travel, including bookings and expense report processing, took a direct hit with an unprecedented decrease in transaction volume.

In the mix of chaos comes opportunity.  For example, one of the many financial impacts to Corporations was the cost of unused tickets, where reuse or exchange was complicated by manual processes with the potential loss of millions of dollars related to trip cancellations and changes.  This research paper highlights how a Peeriosity member company designed new process to control the losses, achieving a net saving of more than a million dollars as a result.

Company Experience

A recent Peeriosity PeercastTM featured a global company with over $15B in annual revenue discussing their Travel Services strategy, and specifically their response to reduce the financial impact of unused tickets which resulted a million-dollar savings to the company.   

The company’s stated travel vision is to “Enable travelers to compete and win every day by providing safe, comprehensive, east to use, and cost-effective global travel solutions”.  Their mission statement is broken down into three components including achieving a best-in-class customer experience, driving savings and compliance, and expanding Travel Services’ global offerings and footprint. 

The opportunity addressed by the company’s Travel Services team was to create a better process for eliminating costs related to unused airline tickets.  In the pre-COVID-19 world, unused tickets were valid for one year, with stringent reuse requirements and a very manual process for reuse.  Post-COVID-19 the volume of unused tickets went up dramatically, with airlines waiving change fees including name changes, with the process remaining both messy and manual.  The solution developed was to consolidate unused ticket costs to one credit card per airline and use the credits for any future travel by any employee.  Considerations to address included potential employee or cost center dissatisfaction and confusion in the expense reporting process.

The project started by getting approval and alignment within Finance and with functional leadership.  Next, they negotiated with key airlines to consolidate unused ticket value to one credit card, followed by communicating the changes to impacted travelers.  The new process automated ticketing to use one credit card per airline, and when an employee travels they receive notification that the credits have been used and the associated pre-paid expense has been processed as a travel cost.

For details, Peeriosity members are encouraged to sign into the members’ 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 how companies are responding to the impact of COVID-19 more broadly.  The first question in the poll asked Peeriosity member companies about how companies are handling business travel as restrictions for COVID-19 are relaxed.  For 53% of Peeriosity member companies, many employees have developed new ways of working without travel, with the expectation that travel levels going forward will be lower than they used to be.  An additional 42% see continued need for significant travel requirements, with the expectation that they will be cautious about ramping up travel to ensure employee safety, with a slow ramp up of travel expected.  Here are the details:

The second poll question asked about the impact for employees who are responsible for Travel Expense processing, and the primary changes, if any, that have been made to their work roles during the pandemic.  Responses were fairly evenly split, with 37% indicating their roles were partially shifted to other projects and work within T&E that needed attention, 27% indicating that their roles were partially shifted to other areas where additional resources were needed, and 26% indicating that there had been no significant changes.    

A few of the comments from members include:

  • We have also outsourced most of the activities of this area to our BPO partners with a corresponding reduction in workforce.
  • We have had our staff working on some project activities within our card functions but over the next few weeks we will be reducing the workforce in that team with some people coming off fixed term contracts which will not be renewed, and others will be redeployed to other functions within our Shared Services organization.
  • Like others, we have learned how to work effectively without travel, so suspect not only will we ramp up slowly, but we will also scrutinize where travel is necessary vs remote connectivity.
  • We had already reduced travel in recent years, so not a big change.

Closing Summary

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses globally can’t be understated, with reductions in revenue and new requirements for how work gets done.  Responding to the challenges created by the pandemic can create new opportunities for cost savings.  For example, one of the large financial impacts was the cost of unused tickets, where reuse or exchange was complicated by manual processes with the potential loss of millions of dollars related to trip cancellations and changes.  A solution discussed in detail by a Peeriosity member company was to consolidate the value of all unused airline tickets to a single credit card, creating an efficient and effective way to maximize the value of the unused tickets.

What approach does your company take to maximize the value of unused airline tickets?  Overall what changes has your company made to business travel in response to COVID-19?

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.


Creating a Continuous Improvement Culture In Shared Services

Introduction

Does your Shared Services organization have an embedded culture of personal and collective accountability to deliver increasing value to your customers that gives them a strategic advantage in their markets?  For a Shared Services organization to evolve and move up the value-chain, a continuous process improvement (CPI) foundation is critical to shaping the organization and fostering a self-sustaining value creation culture. Most importantly, it creates a mindset of personal and collective accountability to deliver results. 

Company Experience

One attribute of many successful Shared Services operations is a well-established continuous improvement program that is ingrained into the culture of the operation. A recent Peeriosity PeercastTM featured a global company with over $10B in annual revenue discussing their approach to making “continuous improvement the way to work every day”.

Prior their efforts to fully imbed continuous improvement into the Shared Services culture, their status quo included:

  • A limited number of continuous improvement tools were available
  • There was no formal continuous improvement recommendation process
  • Improvement efforts were isolated, with little visibility or awareness
  • Improvements were often not sustainable
  • There was no clear tracking of the impact or benefits of continuous improvement projects

After discussing in detail the steps to complete their implementation, the following benefits and results were discussed:

  • They were successful in creating a continuous improvement mindset within Shared Services, including a standard language towards processes improvement opportunities, and where continuous improvement is not a project but rather recognized as being inherent to how the business runs.
  • The successfully created a defined pipeline for improvement ideas, with a clear structure for how ideas are proposed and prioritized.
  • These efforts were carefully integrated with automation efforts, where the improvement mindset can both facilitate and drive automation, with a strong structure in place to analyze and prepare automation opportunities.

For details, Peeriosity members are encouraged to sign into the members’ 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 extent to which their Shared Services organization demonstrates a culture of continuous improvement.  The results indicate that 55% of Shared Services organizations demonstrate a continuous improvement culture to either a high extent, where everyone understands the importance and it is widely used, or to great extent, where a culture of continuous improvement is essentially the foundation of every work activity.  An additional 41% select the response of moderate extent, where everyone understands the importance but there are some gaps in practice.  Here are the details:

The second poll question asked what would be the biggest help to the Shared Services organization to be able to increase continuous improvement as a part of their culture.  The top three responses were to have staff who are knowledgeable in tools/techniques to lead others (23%), making participation in continuous improvement projects a higher priority (22%), and making participation in continuous improvement projects a requirement (19%).  

A few of the comments from members include:

  • We have many CI initiatives that we worked on in 2020. We certainly can use additional focus and training on process improvement as most of our CI is around RPA development and reducing manual tasks. I feel that working with a remote workforce challenges CI as process people need to find a new way to watch the processes and look for gaps and opportunities. Challenging to try to do that through Zoom.
  • Important to have a leader with a clear vision for how processes should work most efficiently and accurately then tools to track whether it is being done that way. Tracking of errors or deviations would be extremely valuable, as well as efficiency related tracking.
  • I think we do a good job in supporting continuous improvements and leveraging all of the above to an extent. That being said, resource limitations are always still an issue.
  • The challenge for us is looking at it from end-to-end perspective.  Most employees look at it internally within their own team and they are not consistently looking at the bigger end-to-end process.
  • Adopted in theory, but in practice capability, tools and process gaps prevent us from properly embedding it as part of our culture so far.
  • Continuous Process Improvement, if the employees are equipped appropriately, will go a long way in streamlining the processes and having a long-term positive productivity impact.
  • Instilling this in a culture means it has to flow from the top down (giving tools and resources) as well as bottoms up (encouraging and supporting ideas from the individuals who perform the tasks every day). The larger the company, the more difficult I find it is to make change – more functions need to be involved, and IT support is frequently needed to automate a formerly manual process. Every leader needs to consistently send the message that new ideas are encouraged and supported, and then work with their team to drive them to conclusion.
  • Global Operating Model (ERP systems & processes) of continuous improvement is a core strategic tenant of Finance Shared Services with heavy attention to inclusive and systemic governance programs in place.

Closing Summary

Continuous improvement can reap significant benefits when the appropriate focus is placed upon it by Shared Services leadership.  As was well demonstrated by our feature company, if there is a vision for how the program should operate and a concerted effort to make this an inherent part of the day-to-day operation of the Shared Services organization, great things can be achieved with a reasonable commitment of time and resources.

Have you implemented an effective continuous improvement program in your Shared Service operation?  If so, is it reaching its full potential or are adjustments necessary?

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.


Using ServiceNow to Manage Inquiries and Workflow

Introduction

Companies in all industries are looking for ways to transform underlying work processes, including increased flexibility and agility for how they provide services to their employees, customers, and vendors. One software solution for query management and workflow that has gained prominence in the past five years is ServiceNow.  Because Peeriosity is founded on creating interactions between peers who are all practitioners, without any participation or influence from consultants or vendors, members are able to candidly discuss their experiences with any number of possible solutions, including use and satisfaction of solutions from ServiceNow. 

iPollingTM Results Review

Recently, Peeriosity’s iPollingTM was used to better understand the experiences of Peeriosity members from using solutions from ServiceNow.  As background to the poll, the poll author added this statement: 

“Currently, internal and external queries into our Shared Service centers are managed through email boxes. We are looking to implement ServiceNow for query management and workflow. We are looking for the level of satisfaction regarding ServiceNow and similar tools.”

The first of two questions in the iPoll asked how Peeriosity member companies were managing Shared Service inquiries and workflow.  The results were impressive, with 60% of member companies using ServiceNow, 12% managing queries through email, 8% using tools within SAP, and the remaining 20% using various other approaches and solutions.

The second polling question asked about the overall level of satisfaction the Peeriosity member company experienced with the vendor selected.  The results indicated that 13% were very satisfied, and an additional 43% reported that they were satisfied.  While 9% indicated it was “too early to tell”, of concern were the 22% who indicated they were indifferent and the 13% who indicated that they were unsatisfied.  Here are the details:

Here are a number of the comments added by members:

  • We are using ServiceNow for master data requests (vs Shared Service inquiries as a whole)
  • We’ve had great success and adoption by our workforce utilizing ServiceNow for case management, workflow. It’s very configurable, intuitive and can become a destination for employees seeking information or initiating requests. It’s a great tool for measuring SLA’s and productivity.
  • We are satisfied with ServiceNow
  • We have email addresses that feed into ServiceNow for inquiries that are handled by our service provider. We struggle with multiple tickets for the same topic. If someone doesn’t reply with the ticket number in the header, it creates a new ticket. Not sure if a system setting, but if multiple people are copied the ticket number doesn’t go to each person for reference. As the information comes from an email, there are several fields that team has to populate. A template would be ideal. We still have work to do on this topic.
  • Satisfied but licenses under our agreement are limited so be mindful of how the agreement is structured.
  • We’ve just recently implemented ServiceNow for HR shared services inquiries only. Inquiries for Financial shared services come in via e-mail while we evaluate moving to ServiceNow as well.
  • We are at the start of implementing SAP Shared Services Framework. It is too early to give any feedback.
  • We were using ServiceNow and satisfied; however, we are moving to PEGA and in the midst of transition.
  • We use ServiceNow across all GBS services in the company (HR, Customer, Vendor, Master Data, Accounting, Corporate Cards etc.). It is also the platform of choice for our IT team. We are currently working on a major re-platforming of our whole Service Now eco-system. Plenty of learnings from this and happy to chat through them!
  • Use ERMS within the CRM module of SAP.
  • ServiceNow is a good tool, but you have to devote a fair amount of time to configure it.

Closing Summary

With so many options for process design and implementation of new technologies, having direct insight to the actual experiences of peers at leading companies is the best possible way to understand the nuances of how to make the selection, and even more importantly, how to implement to achieve the best possible outcomes. Peeriosity is the only professional best practice research company in the world that gives you the ability to make this happen for any topic and any issue that is currently most important to you.  Not only do you get insight to individual company experiences, but you can also follow up directly with peers for additional discussion and interaction using our proprietary Peer Mail capabilities, or if you like, forming connections to get access to underlying email address and phone number information.  With Peeriosity, there is no reason to “go it alone”, or “make a best guess”, or “rely on the potentially biased advice of consultants or vendors” (with the associated price tag and never-ending follow up sales calls). 

How does your Shared Services organization currently manage inquiries and workflow? If you have selected vendor, how satisfied are you with their products and services?  

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.


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.