SSON's Advisory Board – Q&A with Philips' Julie Harbert
SSON's Global Advisory Board guides both our online and our event agendas to ensure we are meeting the needs of our members around the world, no matter what stage of SSO evolution you are at. This month, we introduce our new European Board Members...
Who are you and what is your role?
JH: I am the Head of Global Business Services for Royal Philips. Philips recently separated their Lighting division to focus the company exclusively on Health Technology. GBS helps underpin that growth & innovation strategy with an efficient business service support arm, cross function. Prior to joining Philips, I worked for IBM.
What has been the defining moment in your shared services career so far?
JH: After years of international assignments and global roles focused on Finance and Finance-focused transformations, IBM shifted their focus on growth areas and deploying a globally integrated enterprise – so I joined their BPO division which expanded the in-house footprint of cross-function services, as well as increased focus on commercial activity.
Where do you see the industry going in the next 5 years?
JH: Better optimization of technology and increased ability to automate. Further collaboration across functions to build true end-to-end capability in the enterprise.
What is your key objective in the medium term?
JH: All 7 GBS hubs are operational; wave 1 of lift-and-shift is completed and pre-transition begins for further shifts to provide working demonstration of the integrated strategy for Philips.
What’s your favorite SSO metric and why?
JH: In this regard, I remain a bit old school! I think Headcount indicates a lot more than the basic metric might imply. Are your systems reconciled so that you can report headcount in an automated way (many/most are not), is headcount trending the way it should with productivity achievements (ie, do you really realize savings or are you simply repurposing people into different overhead roles? – fine if that’s a conscious decision). And, of course: Where does your talent sit and does that match the business’ objectives and strategy?
What is one tip that you’d share on driving SSO's success?
JH: Transparency in everything that you do! Putting your customers – external & internal – first and managing with clear and transparent objectives builds trust.