Top 10 Mistakes When Implementing Shared Services

Having recently led the start-up of a Share Service Center that provides $800MM/year of order-to-cash operations, I can agree with this list. Yet, some of the “mistakes” are unavoidable; it’s all dependent on the environment and culture.

For example, take item #1: Not measuring costs or service levels before a move to shared services.  Sometimes the very act of determining the existing cost can jeopardize the entire project.  Why?  First, where and how will you get the data and cost model for the present state (pre-SSC)?  Well, usually from the very people that will be losing their jobs.  So, you need to accept that the data and models will need to be thoroughly confirmed and tested.  This resulting effort can extend the overall timeline substantially, which can be a very bad thing.

Why is that bad? Well, it’s mainly because you are dealing with people and, at its core, this is an organizational change project.  First,  you’re hampering momentum. Its important to leverage all that excitement at the start of any project to break inertia and get the ball rolling. Secondly, accept that the word is out and that the people who are in jeopardy know it. Also accept that those that are not in jeopardy will believe that they are. So, the entire organization’s performance and morale are affected.  I believe it more merciful to pull a band-aide off quickly. Finally, the additional pre-work allows the initiatives’ detractors more time to derail the project. We have all been there and seen politics kill the best ideas.

Now, if you happen to be lucky and are consolidated several tightly run operations that have proven cost models and associated history; well, never mind.  You are good to go.; just archive it all in safe place and carry-on.  As I said in the beginning, it all depends on the environment and culture.

Thoughts?

-JK

Top 10 Mistakes When Implementing Shared Services

“SSON reached out to some of the biggest names in shared services and outsourcing to get their take on the most common mistakes companies make when setting up shared service organizations…”

via Top 10 Mistakes When Implementing Shared Services.

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One response to “Top 10 Mistakes When Implementing Shared Services

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