The Shared Services concept entails operating an internal service function, such as Information Technology, Human Resources, or Purchasing, as though it were a business unit. In this respect, the Shared Service unit decides what products and services it will offer versus which ones will be outsourced, based upon explicit, business-driven, cost/benefit criteria. Not surprisingly, such informed “make-versus-buy” decisions can lead to major cost savings and service quality improvements for internal service customers, and offer a reasonable alternative to 100% outsourcing.
Equally important, however, is the “customer focus” engendered by the Shared Services concept. Shared Service units negotiate contracts (called Service Level Agreements) with their customers, specifying the level of service to be delivered and the costs that will be charged to the customer. The negotiation process brings service delivery into closer alignment with customer requirements, and injects healthy dose of realism into the customer-provider relationship. Wolf Management Consultants can help to ensure the effectiveness of Shared Services by implementing a customer satisfaction assessment and improvement process, assisting leaders in segmenting their customers, and in creating and deploying Shared Service strategies and scorecards. Achieving excellence in Shared Services can start by assessing the current Shared Service process, along with its strengths and weaknesses and recommending a service improvement strategy.
Leadership insights in your inbox.