When embarking on a shared services strategy and assessment initiative, organizations should consider a range of topics to ensure they reduce risk, quantify cost savings opportunities, safeguard current initiatives, design effective solutions and incorporate best practices. In order to help guide your shared service initiative consider the following points:
- Take the time to complete a proper fact-based analysis and business case then use this to aid in decision-making and consensus.
- Align the shared services strategy to support growth not just cost reduction and optimization.
- Align the shared services strategy with your company’s goals and objectives.
- Identify and leverage new delivery models and technology such as cloud and as-a-service.
- Do not look at shared services in a silo but consider all the options for an integrated delivery model inclusive of shared services, outsourcing and offshoring.
- Design and implement a strong governance framework.
- Plan initiatives to achieve on-going process optimization and standardization from the start.
- Ensure the strategy and implementation align with ongoing company initiatives (e.g., major ERP implementation.)
- Design and manage a focused risk management program to help you stay on track.
- Build a customer-focused shared services and customer service mentality.
- Incorporate effective internal communications and change management programs.
- Consider your company culture when designing solutions and the implementation strategy.
- Understand how to leverage the benefits of sourcing and next generation outsourcing.
When these considerations are addressed your shared services strategy will help to reduce costs, improve service, flexibility and agility and allow for process innovation. Shared Services, when properly implemented, helps the business focus more on delivering against strategic goals and objectives and less on managing non-core support services and technology.