Process Optimization in Shared Services Centers – Easier Said Than Done?

Note: This is the second installment of our series on optimizing shared services centers (SSCs) – if you missed our first post, you can find it here.

As we outlined in our previous post, the 2015 Annual State of the Shared Services Industry Report by the Shared Services and Outsourcing Network (SSON) identified 5 key trends making an impact on the shared services space with process optimization being one of them.

So what are SSCs focusing on to achieve process optimization? According to the report, “many practitioners see data analytics as key to unlocking process optimization, and technology as a means of delivering it more effectively”. However, in our interactions with industry executives, many have acknowledged that discrete tools that focus on specific functions such as HR and IT or in-house solutions fall short in delivering the right data needed at the right time. This challenge is even more acute when non-voice processes and multiple locations are thrown in the mix. As a result, many SSCs are finding it challenging to go beyond that first step of process standardization towards optimization, still relying on spreadsheets and manual analysis to gather the insights required to improve their processes.

SSCs are in need of robust analytics that will not only optimize their processes but will also help them make a positive impact to the business’ top and bottom lines such as:

  • Real-time data via flexible configuration rules that delivers insights when you need them
  • Benchmarking data that allows meaningful comparison amongst service teams especially those across multiple locations
  • Accurate work/performance data on non-voice processes
  • Quadrant analysis that gives multi-dimensional insights including correlation of time-based productivity with output-based metrics

With access to these types of information, we have seen our customers boost efficiency and productivity by 15-30% as well as reduce overtime costs by 75%.

For example, at one customer organization providing IT support, the use of automated and non-intrusive time tracking gave management the visibility and data accuracy they needed to determine work pattern and utilization. This information allowed them to identify process inefficiencies which were subsequently ironed out, resulting in an increase in productive hours from 4.6 to 7 hours per day.

For another ProHance customer delivering finance services, having access to real-time workforce utilization data meant managers are now able to proactively assign tasks to team members where previously they could only identify utilization after the fact. The end result? Implementation of a more effective resource planning process that saved the customer almost a quarter million dollars a year.

With the right analytics technology solution that supplies the right data in a timely manner, SSCs can achieve process optimization more easily than tedious manual systems. So what are your process optimization challenges and how are you planning to address them? We’d love to hear from you.

Be sure to stay tuned for upcoming posts where we will continue to explore how technology can help SSCs leverage the other trends impacting service delivery: digital transformation, automation, analytics and new and evolving skill sets.

Leave a Comment