Smart Sourcing: Kellogg opts for Center of Excellence
2010 saw the successful launch of a Center of Excellence for Kellogg Europe, in Dublin – something John Kellogg, its leader, is rightfully proud of. "We basically took a look at the work our people were doing," he explains, "and if they were not spending at least 60% of their time on customer-facing tasks, then we recognized that they were spending too much time on transactional, or low value-added, work. So that work was either eliminated, moved to shared services if it was transactional, or to the Center of Excellence if it supported commercial insight.
"This led to an evaluation of existing skill levels. In some instances we found that the necessary capability for the new business support roles was not in place or not developed. Consequently a new leadership initiative was developed, resulting in a business partnering development program that identifies and fills the skills gap. The vision for the team is now to become ‘The Best Business Partners’ possible."
Another positive development from the implementation of the Center of Excellence was aligned support for the newly centralized areas of Marketing and Sales, and beefed up local support for the Sales organizations. This focused finance resources at the heart of value-creating activities. Today, finance staff are embedded into the sales & marketing function, and form part of early discussion teams. They no longer wait to be asked to the table. Kellogg’s finance organization is now a truly commercial operation and is a key decision-maker in strategy development and implementation. This is underscored by Kellogg’s "K-Lean" mindset, where change is a way of life, and improvement always around the next corner.