Poland Still Leads CEE Shared Services (But for How Long?)

Central and Eastern Europe has long been a shared services location of choice for Western European enterprises, as well as multinationals wanting to service their European businesses. Poland in particular has been a preferred choice and today hosts nearly 50% of shared services centres (SSCs) across the region (see here).

However, over the past six years, Bulgaria, Lithuania, and Croatia have displayed huge growth rates [the Bulgarian shared services industry has grown by 600% since 2010, albeit from a very small base!], proving there is significant opportunity across other countries for organisations seeking less crowded markets.

Over the past four years, Warsaw in Poland has retained its position as the top shared services city in the region and is home to 48% of all CEE SSCs. Budapest has suffered slightly by comparison, having been knocked off the top spot by Warsaw in 2012, while Vilnius in Lithuania is on the rise.

While finance and accounting is still the most popular function across all shared services centres [more than a third of SSCs across the region support F&A], there is also significant interest in newly emerging functions such as marketing, customer experience, business planning, risk, and logistics. And while analytics capability is still underrepresented, nearly 75% of the current analytics capabilities is found in Poland, making it the region’s biggest analytics hub. Poland also has the highest ratio of value-adding vs transactional processes across Central and Eastern Europe.

Most significantly, perhaps, for now, is that nearly 40% of shared services in the region are US headquartered, i.e. the US is still the key originating market, and nearly three quarters of all shared services operations across CEE service EMEA, with only 16% providing services across the globe.

Find out more about the Central and Eastern European shared services market in SSON Analytics' CEE visual analytics report.