Chairman's Takeaway of SSO Week North America Trends

Brad DeMent
Posted: 03/23/2018

Brad DeMent, Partner at ScottMadden and Chair for SSOWeek North America, shares the highlights of this past week's flagship Shared Services event in a few succint points... Download them here, or read below:

Digitizing the Customer Experience

Julio, P&G

■   Digital counts at “the moment of truth,” when the customer uses a product

■   90% of the manual touches in AR were eliminated, but the value was in the 10% opportunity to get money back

Nick, Futurist

■   Demographics are useless – it’s about “do you hate it, or love it”?

■   7000 brick and mortar stores closed last year, and most blame Amazon

  • Borders and Circuit City provided a bad customer experience
  • Trader Joe’s tells a meaningful story and provides a great customer experience

■   Digital experiences can be excellent (Doc on demand, Opternative)

■   Voice will come full circle and be the new OS

■   By 2020, the customer experience will overtake brand and price


Planning and Implementing Robots

Jay, Dell EMC

■   Plan on huge hype, followed by disappointment, followed by big value

■   Within one year we automated 100 FTE’s of work

■   Front office can offer even bigger value – we gave back sales capacity

■   Partnership with IT is critical – you will need hardware, test beds, and access

■   Process SME’s were our best developers

■   Building the COE took a few months, but then went from 3 robots to 400

■   Having multi-function worked to our advantage – could automate end-to-end

■   Our COE = a) training, b) infrastructure, c) development, d) level 2 and 3 ongoing support

■   We trained 263 people with about a 50% stick rate for developers

Our invoice analyst was an average performer but an RPA superstar


Mark, AA

■   Good RPA implementations get 4X value and improve processes 50%

■   Plan a four month learning curve for several robots, then enterprise wide robots in another six months

■   Measure “Bot Velocity” – some companies are churning out 1-2 robots/day

■   “Bot stores” – if one company has a working robot, why not sell it to another

Samir, Delphi

■   Three robots eliminated 21 FTE’s of work in AP, and we are planning on 50-60 FTE’s by year end – headcount was eliminated too

■   Start with an RPA “skunk works” – focus on the “A” first then governing the “R”

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Transforming the Workforce

Daniela, Teva Pharmaceutical and Dan, Breakthru Beverage

■   Signs that your talent is ready for a modern GBS

  • Agility and flexibility – willingness to rotate jobs
  • Putting customers before process – willingness to get involved with customer
  • VUCA – Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity
  • Effective in global cultures – understanding how diverse cultures solve problems

Zach, Evoqua

■   Shift from local thinking to enterprise thinking – we reported regional/site HR to SS

Daniel, Coca-Cola

■   Leadership track used to be accounting/finance role, now more of an analyst role


Pushing Forward (Continuous Improvement)

Daniel, Coca Cola

■   Documenting processes as a first step lends tremendous advantageous

Julio, P&G

■   If cyber-security is an afterthought, we have trouble

■   For every ten ideas, seven die, three stick, and one is the 10X

■   We track ideas in a dashboard – 45 days to adopt an idea, 27 days to kill an idea

Zach, Evoqua

■   Don’t hesitate to create “buckets of leftovers” – we postponed Payroll and Finance (too much too fast, but can come back to it)


Working with the Millennials

Christian, Bacardi

■   “Millennial” is an attitude, not a generation

■   We allowed use of “Yammer” as a social media business tool – were willing to send questions ahead of time vs. voice questions publically

■   Our training was informal and pulled together on an as-needed basis

■   We gave them freedom to create a newsletter and define their own content

■   They loved engagement with work-related sporting activities

■   Women in Leadership Committee was not just composed of women

■   We crowd sourced recognition programs

■   We replaced chairs with couches and had open and unbound conversations with leaders


Artificial Intelligence

Karla, Coca-Cola and Pavan, Levis Strauss

■   We are doing an AI pilot with Watson to improve candidate sourcing

■   We use AI to review history and determine how problems were solved in the past

■   We use AI to gain real time visibility of inventory

Future of BPO

Parker Hannifin

■   Standardize processes now… or you will wind up doing it mid project

■   Design supplier proof of concepts to encourage fail-fast culture


Workforce Transformation

Andrea, MasterCard and Karla, Coca-Cola

■   Countries in Africa use cell phones for ID cards and financial transactions – Andrea

■   Re-skilling is a bigger question than shared services – it is a national problem, aglobal problem – Andrea

■   We will transform our skill sets on average three times – Stanford study

■   This is not a “death knell” for BPOs – it simply gives us the freedom to determine what should be automated, internal, and outsourced

■   We will be able to plug in the right talent anywhere in the world to solve problems

■   We created a Chief Data Officer (CDO) role to focus on data governance

Mehdi, Microsoft

■   Our hiring had been done for yesterday, and needs to be done to fulfill future needs

■   We went from an functional construct to a service construct


Future of GBS

Juliano, Kraft-Heinz; Patricia, Loews; and Richard, Koch

■   Must be global, multi-function, organized by process, and governance with business

■   Needs to report to one leader? – Yes, Yes, No (but must be coordinated)

  • Who does GBS report to? – CFO, CIO, and CIO

■   We do not define anything we do as GBS, just adding value – we are not mandated

■   Started with lift and shift covered with a service blanket – work from there

■   Best time to challenge us in the first three months, when you have a fresh perspective

■   Use an ongoing challenge board anyone can question a process

■   It is really difficult, seriously difficult – local alignment, getting people to think across the enterprise vs. their business/country, and no one calls and says “good job”

■   Strong functional leaders can take advantage of exhaustion or complacency


Future of Global Process Owners (GPO’s)

John, World Vision

■   Each region created own P2P, but we tasked them with integrating to one

■   OK for global environments to have a few standards (vs. one), and allow exceptions

■   Process documentation can be painful, but it is critical

■   Shared service is a good independent place to house master data

■   Have region process owners that liaise between GPO and countries

■   You do not have to have common systems to have a global process

■   Help country restructure their organization after you shift work to shared services

■   Monitor adoption of the process

■   Process master black belts are for sale outside of the shared service

■   The GPO is responsible for training, but not the training resources


Humanizing Leadership

Kris Wadis

■   Our current motivation tactics to retain important staff are to grudgingly offer more money, and a new job title or a promotion without a raise

■   It is a myth that high tech cannot be high touch (Doc software)

■   People will forget what you said/did, but will not forget how you made them feel - Maya Angelou

■   Add targets for behaviors in your KPI’s, not just $

  • President of J&J has a metric of having the healthiest workforce

■   Poor staff motivation can cut productivity by 50%

■   Avoid “presentee-ism” (turning up for work when you could not care less)

■   31% of British workers would be happy to report to a robot vs. their current boss


Managing Change

David, CCCI

■   I spent two days listening and having meals with an influential resistor

■   You do not have to move negatives to positives, but you have to get them to neutral

■   We established a different but connected model for very small countries

■   Distinguish between the philosophically pure and the pragmatically possible

Service Focus

Mehdi, Microsoft

■   Do not get blindsided by tech – these are not technology projects, they are people projects



Terry, Travelocity/Kayak

■   Disruption spreads – automated cars

  • What about truckers
  • Do not need hotels anymore, sleep in the car
  • Who are police going to arrest?

■   Robots and drones will guide us through stores, ship our packages, and make our cocktails

■   Block chain and 3D printers will almost eliminate the supply chain process

  • Amazon will print your product in the truck on the way to your house

■   80% of our data is unstructured

■   If you do not like change, you are going to like irrelevance even less

■   “How did your company go bankrupt?”  “First gradually, then suddenly”

  • The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway


Terry Jones, Travelocity/Kayak

■   Uber owns no cars, AirBnB owns no hotels, and Facebook owns no content

  • They own the “edge”
  • Where your customer touches the product
  • OPA = Other People’s Assets – Less assets, more speed

■   Get ready to be sold - Waze will sell you a donut, your car will give you a coupon for the 3 passengers in your car, and your washing machine will buy you a new tie

■   Amazon will print your package in the truck on the way to your house – the edge

■   Alexa only mentions one product when you order – what will that cost to be the one?

■   You will be able to talk to an ad with embedded chat bots

■   AI is not coming… it is here

■   Step one, install software… there is no step two (are you that easy)?

■   The day Kodak went bankrupt, Instagram raised $1B – Photography did not go away… Kodak did

■   AI is hard – the most important and difficult part is training people

■   The “Bozone” layer is middle management, you have to reach through it and give people another chance – make it safe for people

■   If it is your idea, it is innovation… if it is done to you, it is disruption

■   If you get Culture and Team right, innovation will flow

■   Innovation is like baseball – if you fail 70% of the time, you are awesome

■   20% of what you see at Kayak everyday is an experiment… constant testing

■   When you fail… kill projects, not people

■   One persona at Expedia beat Travelocity – combined air, hotel, and car.  Take care in who you hire….

■   Big teams do not innovate – little teams do (2 pizza rule)

■   Who are the idea approvers? – people in the department?… should be outside of department (the jet plank)

■   Internet was a C-suite position, then it grew up, and we did not need it anymore

■   Get out of the building

■   Get funding from CEO

■   I used legal, and advertising… but bypassed purchasing and IT (too slow)

■   Hire people that do not fit in


Process Automation (not RPA)!

Richard, Koch

■   Can benchmark processing activities against each other with time stamps – Ben and Celonis

■   Took a couple months to get up and running start to finish

■   The transparency of the data opened our eyes (140 day tickets)… then we found other places to apply

■   Created a COE on RPA and process mining

■   Process mining allows you to see bottlenecks and target things you can do differently

■   We manage the technology, vendor relationship, and licensing in a COE, but evangelize the product to the business lines to identify the processes 


Customer Experience

Matt Willden, Amazon

■   A remarkable customer experience starts with heart, intuition, curiosity, play, guts, and taste – you will find that in a customer satisfaction survey

■   Staple yourself to an order and follow it around

■   Be the customer – take the actual journey

■   Do not take c-sat questions out of the box – create questions that resonate in your culture test anchor questions, and get reactions to statements, experiment

■   Even when customers do not know it, they want something better – sometimes you have to invent on the customer’s behalf


The GBS Journey

Simona and Laura, Walmart

■   With trust comes new partnerships and new services

■   Digital will get you there, but you need the tools to get better

■   RPA targeted areas of processes with more people

■   RPA, if not done right, can multiply mistakes fast


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ScottMadden Chair SSOWeek 2018

Brad DeMent
Posted: 03/23/2018


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