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Shared Service centres… To do or to have it done? 3/4

1st part here, 2nd there.

How can an SSC be sustainable?

J-P. B.: Whether the SSC executes all or part of the activity, in the end the SSC has one responsibility: mastering what is being produced.
It can become the trusted advisor only if it knows where its limits are, where it strengths and weaknesses lie. Don’t get me wrong! It is a major transformation. One enters this new economy of sharing and collaboration i.e. each stakeholder becomes responsible. Doing your job right is not quite enough, it is all about communicating to let people know that you are doing right. You must create trust that the SSC is a reliable organisation. You need to train the Business Units to new possibilities that drive their performance.

This is done in steps. Define the area of competence, accumulate real life experience and execute on it. Large companies have completed a first round and are now entering a second phase of rationalisation with peers or internationally. The largest of the medium sized companies have to take decisions now and this goes with defining a document strategy critically assessing the value of their documents and where they stand on the maturity curve.


JLS. : Creating a sharing culture is a deep change in current practices. Each Business Unit must be ready to negotiate, which implies changing its habits and processes so that a common target can be achieved. The death trap for such projects is when each party will not relinquish its own particularities, denying the value of mutualizing. No SSC or Outsource project has ever been built on such terms.
The added value of a provider is to confront regularly the business with production reality and its evolutions. A supplier just executes. A partner helps you evolve.


J-M. J.: Too often these decisions are made in emergency mode when the current system is on the brink of failure. This is just too late and competence will be lost. And to execute well these transfers, having lost internal experience, is a gamble. In practical facts it is not a question of “if” but of “when” so the question is to do it properly.

If mutualizing is accepted as a profound change to the organisation done to improve document production favouring the business, this new model should give it extra flexibility. Some of it with less value will be effectively outsourced, but some key competences could be leveraged and potentially when mature create a revenue stream of its own.

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This article was written on 09 Jun 2016, and is filled under Business Forecast, Point of View.


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