Opportunities for Shared Services in Challenging Times!

SSON News and Analysis
Posted: 07/09/2012

Recessionary times translate into nothing short of an incredible opportunity for shared services organizations. Times are favorable for proving your shared services organization is fundamental for reducing cost and adding value to your organization.

An economic recession yields five key opportunities for shared services organizations, including a chance to:

  1. improve operations
  2. add value
  3. re-brand and market yourself
  4. expand scope
  5. raise your talent level

Each of these opportunities can contribute to cutting costs and increasing your company’s bottom line.

1. Improve Operations
In order to enhance operations, your shared services organization should be in a mode of continuous improvement from day one of operation and continue to be so throughout its maturity.

2. Add Value
Adding value to your organization during an economic recession can be achieved by scrutinizing costs and leveraging service level agreements (SLAs). To scrutinize costs, it is necessary to pay close attention to customer usage patterns in your shared services organization. When leveraging your SLAs, you want to be sure they are scalable, they are utilized in the customer negotiation process, performance metrics are included, and they are used to eliminate low-value or inefficient work.

3. Re-Brand and Market Yourself
It is crucial to be aggressive with your re-branding and marketing plan to establish shared services’ role in the company. Take time to re-examine your shared services organization value proposition to ensure it is aligned with your stakeholders and business needs and allows you to add value in the organization.

4. Expand Scope
During a recession, times are opportune for business units to identify ways for cutting costs; for this reason, it is important for the shared services organization to evaluate opportunities for scope expansion according to the market and business needs. You should be aware of which services are needed that are not currently being provided, as well as who your potential customers are.

5. Increase Talent Level
Talent should be assessed and the bar raised, since you will need to maximize the efficiency of your labor costs during tough economic times. Formal performance plans should be used in assessing talent and should lend an obvious understanding of performance levels.

Opportunity for Shared Services

Tough economic times play into the strengths of shared services and provide you with multiple opportunities for success! These times often call for companies to use cost-cutting techniques to generate a profit, which means shared services can have a major strategic impact. If efforts are focused on increasing operating profit through a reduction in shared services costs, this direct decrease in a fixed cost will have a dollar-for-dollar impact on the bottom line, resulting in larger profit gains for your organization. Wake up! Opportunity is knocking!

The full version of this article will be published in the November issue of Shared Services News. 

SSON News and Analysis
Posted: 07/09/2012

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