Shared services is a common approach to standardise back-office processes (such as HR, finance, payroll and procurement) of multiple different departments or agencies, so that they can be provided in a repeatable way and in high volumes by a dedicated team (the shared service centre). The process usually involves migrating numerous different entities onto a common IT system and operating platform.
This increases efficiency and has the potential to reduce costs. It can also free up time and allow departments to focus on their core areas and therefore deliver a better service for citizens.
Implementing a shared service centre comes with many challenges. Past projects have tended to stop short of truly transforming their organisations, lacking the standardisation of processes and technology required to deliver real value. In order to operate effectively, shared service centres need to generate economies of scale, which means they require multiple participants willing to join the platform. The transition permeates the entire organisation with implications for most business functions.
Based on our experience gained from numerous large-scale shared services implementations in both the public and private sector in the UK and internationally, we've compiled the five key steps to help you ensure your shared service programme is successful. These are:
- Secure strategic buy-in across participants
- Create a single business case underpinned by a single budget
- Invest early and significantly in a cultural change programme
- Standardise processes and platforms
- Establish clear governance and accountability
Reduce back-office costs through service standardisation
Access to a fully standardised back-office shared service for HR, payroll, procurement and finance
Drive new efficiencies through self-service
We enable civil servants to self-serve their administrative tasks through a single, online portal with 24/7 access
The speed and accuracy of our ProcessAutomate RPA solution has significantly cut costs per process by up to 80%
22,500 UK civil servants use our shared services platform for the Department for Transport (DfT) to self-serve their administrative tasks
"We have an open, honest and collaborative partnership with Arvato with the clear goal of using shared services to not just deliver cost savings, but to help our employees focus on delivering excellent services to the public. Arvato’s structured, process driven framework and clear direction has played a key role in the programme’s success and we look forward to delivering greater value to our customers in the years ahead."Spokesperson from the Department for Transport (DFT)