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Shared Services, Outsourcing and Business Services

We are most recognised for our ability to set up shared services, outsourcing arrangements and (Global) Business Services, and have worked with over 60 organisations in setting up these structures to drive operational excellence, efficiency and effectiveness.  We are award winning in this space.

In the set up of each of these models, we aim to resolve a number of common key operational issues faced:

  • People
    • Multi-layered organizations with above market salaries
    • Staff levels geared to support peak demand periods
    • High spans of control in a decentralised mechanism
  • Process
    • Complex, non-standard, duplicate, costly processes
    • Lack of process documentation
    • Number of workarounds in place
  • Organisation
    • Too much management time spent on transactional activities
    • Disparate reporting and many versions of the “truth”
    • Sub-optimal compliance, risk and control environment
  • Technology
    • Duplicate, non-standard systems and infrastructure
    • No business case for investments in technologies
  • Service Management
    • Function operating as a back office, rather than as a service
    • Limited visibility of efficiency and effectiveness
    • Few measures for productivity, cycle times, quality and customer satisfaction


Our point of view is that in the market, too many companies confuse shared services with centralisation (simply the co-location of services).  Shared services represents more than centralisation.

  • Shared Services involves the consolidation and redesign of administrative processes into internal service centers
  • The objective is to deliver the optimum in cost-effective, high quality services
  • Consistent delivery of service levels across operating units / geographies
  • The Shared Services model helps to achieve economies of scale by eliminating the replication of transaction processes
  • Shared Services also helps to deliver economies of skill in non-transaction processes with inconsistent expertise

Clearly shared services is not centralisation:

(Global) Business Services (GBS) reflects the evolution of shared services and outsourcing.

GBS is the integrated platform of a company, focused on delivering business outcomes through the multifunctional delivery of transactions, analytics and consulting and supporting the business units and corporate, under a single governance (reporting lines, budget, processes).

A number of factors are leading companies to set up (Global) Business Services, and we sit at the forefront of these initiatives:

  • Governance – business divisions are embedded into the steering of the service portfolio and service delivery at the strategic, tactical and operational governance layers
  • Organisational Structures – from a functional structure to an integrated end to end organisational structure focused on driving efficiencies and effectiveness benefits
  • Processes – end to end process orientation, leveraging global process owners responsible for the end to end design, standardisation, automation and transformation of the process
  • Roles – rather than a mixed set of roles where individuals are carrying out transactional activities, specialist activities and strategic roles, GBS specialises the roles into Corporate, Centres of Expertise, Business Partners, Local Transactions (required from a legal and regulatory perspective) and Support Transactions
  • Bundling – combining similar activities into similar roles to ensure that the right people are carrying out the right roles, in the right (most cost effective) locations
  • Sourcing – combination of internal service provision, and external outsourcing to deliver the best outcome (right-sourcing)
  • People – reshaped and relocated jobs to attract new talent into the organisation, with different profiles then what was traditionally required
  • Culture – stronger solution and outcome orientation, with a focus on cost effective value adding service delivery