Ask the Pro: Deloitte’s 2011 Global Shared Services Survey
Richard Sarkissian, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP
According to this year’s survey results, what changes and trends have shared services leaders seen in the marketplace since the 2009 survey?
Deloitte’s 2011 Global Shared Services survey has shown that many of the emerging trends from prior surveys have arrived. The more significant trends are global, multi-functional centers, expanded scope of services and focus on savings.
Global, Multi-Function Centers
Numerous factors, such as the need to support growth and improve performance, are driving organizations to adjust where their centers are located and how many they operate. About one third of the SSCs in the survey serve two or more continents – up from one fourth in 2009. Consistent with this shift, the deployment models continue to progress toward global models – decentralized models now account for only 15% of all centers. Additionally we have seen an increase in the number of SSCs that are multifunctional in nature. Multi functional centers now account for nearly half of all SSCs, with more established centers having an average of 2.4 functions per center.
Scope of Services
As the more established transactional services such as Finance, HR, IT, and Procurement have matured and built credibility, SSCs continue to expand into new functions such as Real Estate, Sales & Marketing and Legal. Even within the transactional process areas, Shared Services continues to move up the value chain taking on processes such as Financial Planning & Analysis in addition to the more traditional processes (i.e. Accounts Payable) within Finance. The majority of survey participants plan on continuing to expand the scope of their Shared Services operations by increasing both the number of transactional and advisory processes in their centers.
Financial impact from Shared Services continues to be a driver for implementations. Respondents reported average initial savings primarily ranging from 10% to 20% and annual savings ranging primarily from 5% to 10%. 67% of respondents indicated initial headcount savings of 10% or more – a 26% increase since 2009. However, more and more organizations are recognizing that other benefits from Shared Services are just as much or more valuable than the cost reduction -- controls, data visibility, and creating a platform for growth, just to name a few.
People and change management related factors continue to be the most underestimated aspects of a Shared Services implementation - over half of the respondents indicated that they would have increased change management during their Shared Services journey. But the challenges do not stop after implementation. The number of respondents experiencing difficulty with recruiting and retaining management staff has increased by 49% since 2009, which may be somewhat surprising given today’s high unemployment rates. Organizations that do not focus on creating strong morale and an appealing culture experience a significant negative impact on retention and productivity.
The good news: Global, multi-functional centers are here, scope continues to expand, and savings are increasing. On the flip side of things, people challenges increased from 2009 and may become a more significant challenge as the economy improves.
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