The world is changing rapidly, and the transformation of shared services is no exception. In the past, value for a shared services center (SSC) meant delivering the same service at lower cost. However, as shared services mature and reach the next level, there are new emerging topics that are helping SSC to re-shape the future.
First, business analytics in SSCs is helping the company to understand better customer beahavior in revolutionary ways. This data allows firms to find new ways to tackle and resolve inefficiencies across transaction processes and provide meaningful insight to stakeholders in order to make sound business decisions with more confidence.
Second, process automation in SSCs will re-define service level agreements (SLA) in ways never seen before. They can now provide services with a new set of standards around quality, compliance, functionality, best practices, regulatory functions, and customer satisfaction. Also, the skills needed in a digital world — and offered by a younger, emerging, tech-savvy workforce — will transform the way SSCs attract, hire, and retain the best talent in the industry.
Analytics and Shared Services
The shared services dashboard is a key vehicle to track performance, but scorecards often scorecards are neither automated, intuitive, nor predictive. Many key performance indicators are designed to only look at internal aspects of the business and in a single dimension of the data.
There is nothing wrong with keeping the right metrics in place to track financial and operations performance. However, using analytics to constantly hear what customers are saying is a great vehicle to group around a client issue and solve pervasive situations. But using advanced algorithms to create new models that correlate SLA attainment with other data sets, such as billing disputes or customer satisfaction, will create new insights about inefficient processes and services that can be quickly fixed via process re-engineering and RPA.
Moreover, the use of these advanced models can easily become a great source for productivity and savings. Imagine a new scorecard — fully automated and with access via your preferred mobile device — that brings together customer satisfaction data (external and internal) and transactional data such as sales orders, complaints, and disputes.
By using advanced business analytics you can quickly visualize existing correlations among your data set. You can then look at how stronger correlations impact positive or negative client satisfaction and SLA attainment. Furthermore, advanced analytics will find, within the universe of rejections, those transaction types that have the lower and higher ratios of rejection so that you can quickly find a lack of standard inputs and fix it via process improvement and robotics process automation (RPA).
Embracing the New Generation in Shared Service Centers
A new mix in SSC workforce has arrived. Too much has been said about the cultural clash among Millenials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers. The fact is a new mix in the workforce is shaping and SSC are part of it.
New generations are natives to technology and extremely tech savvy. As technology transforms almost on an hourly basis, this positions new employees as very adaptable and ready to seek and find innovation in almost every process in your SSC given the right environment, empowerment, and freedom to act. Furthermore, they are always online and active in social media, which means they can find new ways to form positive, high-impact connections with colleagues in your SSC.
With the right setup and freedom of action, your Millenials are ready to operate in small groups that can be assigned to tackle real business, process, and customer issues to come up with new and innovative ways of doing business. With the use of emerging technologies such as cognitive computive, predictive analytics and RPA there is no one better suited than your SCC millenials to make a difference across the enterprise.
Bringing Robotic Process Automation to Shared Services
Automation is not a new concept. But what does SSC automation really look like? In the past, we have seen traditional automation in terms of manufacturing technology, self-checkout counters, and ATMs. But in a SSC we don’t deal with a physical aspect of the company, so traditional robotics are not applicable.
Instead, SSCs deal with transactional processes that can — and should — be fully automated when possible using software to perform repeatable tasks that usually take humans more time to execute. RPA eliminates the need for tedious and repetitive tasks.
Several companies are already taking full benefit of implementing RPA while contining to look for new opportunities within enterprise transactional processes to realize further automation and benefits. They key is to understand that ERP and workflows have delivered on their fair share, and now it is up to RPA to being the next set of automation to drive speed, quality, compliance, and even a new set of functionalities and services provided by the SSC.
Another aspect that is fundamental for your SSC automation is to realize that any platform that is picked to run your RPA projects needs to be reusable and replicable so your projects don’t become one-of-a-kind, ad-hoc patches. Finally, as this automation replaces human intervention in the repetitive tedious tasks, there is an opportunity to focus your SSC workforce in more value added, customer satisfaction oriented roles and responsibilities.