What You Missed At SSOW Live 2020, Part 2

By: Heather King

It’s time for Part 2 of the Top Takeaways from SSOW LIVE! Again, I must give credit where credit is due and our illustrious chairman, Brad DeMent of ScottMadden is responsible for compiling these nuggets from our illustrious speakers:

On Managing a Remote Workforce, Jay Desai, the VP and Head of GBS for JTI and Charles Arnold, a Principal at KPMG had a robust conversation. Some of the insights were: “Connectivity does not equate to connection. Consider flexible benefits in childcare, flex hours, etc. Make employees feel cared for.”

As well as: “Our ’pivot point’ will be when WFH decisions are made with intention… we are still in a reactive mode.”

And finally: “CFOs are taking note of the real estate cost and savings potential opportunity.”

When it comes to Automating Processes, AJ Wijesinghe, VP for Shared Services for Univar Solutions said, “Infrastructure matters even more now. Slow infrastructure has a direct impact on floor productivity.”

And Jean Taylor, the Global Director for Talent Acquisition at Flowserv said, “We are using technology to launch candidate searches in 13 languages simultaneously.”

But there is a clear mental cost to all the change that has happened over the last 9 months, even as shared services organizations have proven to be invaluable to their businesses.

Victoria Pelletier, VP and Senior Partner at IBM released the statistic that “64% say this is the most stressful time of their careers.”

But, even with that stress (and we all still feel it!), the successes have been incredible.

Jana Vondran, SVP for GBS for Ingram Micro detailed how her GBS organization, “…empowered our SSO staff to support sales staff with small/mid size sales (cross-training).” And that the pandemic has acted as a sort of equalizer where, “Our smaller GBS clients are now getting more attention.”

Michael Bender, the Global Shared Services Director at Cubic Corporation echoed those statements, saying, “We have used this opportunity to equalize work across the regions between centers.”

And Wayne Rappaport of the NBA Development League said, “Communications are now more open … and actually paid attention to.”

So while things are still scary, there is a lot of good coming out of business services right now that maybe wasn’t being paid attention to as much pre-pandemic. With the entire landscape of how we work changing, the only certainty is the uncertainty of what’s to come!