The Shift to Global, Automated Shared Services Operations
The results of the benchmarking study conducted by ScottMadden and the American Productivity and Quality Center across seventeen different industry segments indicate that companies are continuing to innovate their Shared Services operations to grow globally and increase end-to-end process expertise. 75% of participant organizations’ identified expanding global Procure-to-Pay processes as their most important Shared Services goal for the future.
According to the study, global Shared Services models deliver more savings than single-country operations. Shared Services centers that provide services to at least 10 countries processed over two and a half times the median number of invoices processed by other shared service centers and reported about $35,000 more in saving per FTE in operating costs. The data collected in this benchmarking survey clearly demonstrate that wide-reaching country coverage can lead to a significant boost in transactional productivity in global companies. Single-country models are still operating in companies today, but, as the benefits of multi-country models become more apparent and companies continue to innovate and grow their competitive advantage, we predict more companies will shift to multi-country operations to take advantages of the increased savings and efficiency.
In addition to expanding their operations globally, companies are focusing on streamlining their process and increasing productivity through automation and analytic platforms like Direct Commerce. In particular, companies are trending toward predictive analytics to direct business processes and forecast company growth. With analytic tools and reporting, companies are able to evolve their expertise and expand with the data and knowledge to support their decisions.
The results also revealed the benefits and savings companies are seeing from improving their GBS and Shared Services operation only increases over time. According to ScottMadden, Shared Services Centers reported a difference of more than $70,000 in savings per FTE in operating costs between Shared Services Centers operating for more than five years and those operating for less than three years.
Global platforms like Direct Commerce simplify and automate business processes, increase tax compliance, and leverage analytics to streamline organizational work flows. With these technology tools, large organizations are able to expand their shared services centers globally and take advantage of the notable increase in returns and productivity that come with efficient, global Shared Services Centers.