SSON Analytics Releases Top 20 Most Admired SSOs 2020 Benchmarks

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SSON Editors




2020 has been a very challenging year for many with the upending of normal business operations (i.e. self-isolation, managing remote teams, rewriting business continuity plans) as we are hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, what this past year has shown us is how resilient and critical the Shared Services and GBS industry is during trying and uncertain times, and how they can become an engine for future growth.

Not only is the Top 20 Most Admired SSOs study one of the most valuable and sought-after benchmark data in the Shared Services and Outsourcing community, it is also an opportunity to reflect on all the challenges faced and recognise the hard work by all Shared Services professionals to overcome them.

In its 4th year, the Most Admired global SSOs are identified using a methodology that collates SSON’s cross-channel proprietary data from its global community of 160,000 members and applies a weighting system to the various criteria under consideration.

Based on these scores, SSON Analytics is delighted to announce the 20 organisations recognised as the Most Admired SSOs for 2020. They are (in alphabetical order):

  • AkzoNobel
  • Ascension Ministry Service Center
  • Avis Budget Group
  • Boston Scientific
  • British American Tobacco – GBS
  • Celestica
  • Coca-Cola Business Services North America
  • Discovery Inc
  • Eli Lilly
  • ESAB
  • Experian
  • Kimberly-Clark Corporation
  • Lion
  • Mars Global Services of Mars, Incorporated
  • McDonald’s
  • Michelin Corporate & Business Services
  • Mondelēz International
  • Sonae MC
  • Tesco Business Services (Part of Tesco PLC)
  • UPS

The Top 20 Most Admired SSOs this year includes a mixture of organisations featuring for the first time in this listing and those who have received this recognition in previous years.

New this year: Avis Budget Group, Boston Scientific, ESAB, Lion, Michelin Corporate & Business Services, Sonae MC, UPS

Special mention also goes out to AkzoNobel, Ascension Ministry Service Center, Celestica, Coca-Cola Business Services North America, Discovery Inc and Eli Lilly for being part of the Top 20 SSOs list for four consecutive years.

This year, the benchmarking study captures 30 metrics across 8 common areas such as Automation, Attrition, HR & Talent, Payroll, Procure-to-Pay, Order-to-Cash, Record-to-Report and Travel & Expense. The study also shares insights on automation strategies, Future of Work plans and main targets and challenges faced by these leading SSOs.

“Despite the challenging business climate, the Shared Services and GBS industry has shown great resilience in adapting and overcoming this trying period and thus we believed it was more important than ever to continue with the benchmarking study this year. For the first time, the majority of the organisations were working remotely while contributing to this extensive benchmarking study. The results of the study are impressive to say the least, with the median benchmarks either maintaining or improving for 80% of the metrics captured compared to 2019. Indeed, 95% of them are also employing Future of Work strategies and many are looking to accelerate the use of automation to bring their SSOs and GBS forward,” said Syazana Lim, SSON Analytics’ Lead Research Analyst.

Highlights of the aggregated benchmarking data is available on SSONetwork and will be presented at SSON’s SSO Week Digital events throughout 2020-2021.

The full report is available to SSON Analytics subscribers in our latest Virtual Analytics Report and in our interactive benchmarking tool – the Metric BenchmarkerTM.

Key findings from the Top 20 SSOs include:

  • 90% have cited automation as a key enabler to help adapt their service delivery model to the current business environment
  • 95% are developing Future of Work strategies where rethinking the “how” and “where” work is done are ranked as most important
  • The top 2 biggest challenges in the next 12 months are to deliver results and maintain targets while engaging and motivating the remote workforce
  • 65% have moved beyond RPA and are exploring or scaling IA solutions such as cognitive, machine learning and AI

New in 2020 study:

  • Summary Table listing the top quartile, median and bottom quartile for 30 metrics across 8 categories
  • 6 new metrics:

o (Automation) Average cost savings per year
o (Automation) Improvement in error rate
o (Automation) Savings gained in average FTE hours per month
o (HR & Talent) Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)
o (HR & Talent) Employee self service portal adoption
o (HR & Talent) Number of transactions per HR service center employee



[This article is also posted on SSON Analytics]