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									        The Shared Services Journey – Early Years Panel Debate with Q+A
Chris Price – Alsbridge Plc (CP)
Lee Brittain – SpecSavers (LB)
Andy Hickson – Enterprise Plc (AH)
Sue Stuttard – The Manchester Airport Group Plc (SS)

Session Notes:

The Manchester Airport Group Plc
   -  Manages 4 airports with 27 million passengers
   -  Small finance departments in each of the 4 airports
   -  Went to Shared Services implementation in early 2009
   -  Team of 40 people doing finance processes
   -  75% of the way through SS implementation and going well so far
   -  Billing will go live in December 2009
   -  Looked at introducing KPI’s and SLA’s
   -  Taking the best processes from across the 4 airports
   -  Making sure the service customers expect is delivered

Enterprise Plc
   -   £1.2 billion organisation which is growing rapidly
   -   Maintains some of the London underground, power lines and underground drains as well as
       doing car rental
   -   The size of the organisation has increased 4 times due to acquisitions
   -   Their philosophy is to maintain stability
   -   The organisation’s routes are in a centralised function
   -   Has seen evolution from a centralised function to SS
   -   75 people work in the SSC mostly in finance processes
   -   Has KPI’s and is developing SLA’s

   -  Based in Nottingham
   -  Largest privately owned optical company in the world
   -  Has a £1.5 billion turnover from 10 countries, mainly in Europe
   -  Owned by the Perkins family in Guernsey the location of their HQ
   -  Business model is akinned to franchises i.e. the individuals own their own shops – Which
      makes it challenging to do SS
   -  Their SSC went live in October 2008
   -  The SSC was established in October 2008 in the UK due to the growth of the company
   -  In the middle of their transition to the SSC with 50% of the headcount and 25% of the
      processes currently in the SSC
   -  The SSC does VAT, UK accounting and sales compliance between the 75 staff currently in
      the SSC

CP Question – Why do you have SS and what value does having SS add to the organisation?

LB – Driver to establish SS as to support the growth of the company and ensure SpecSavers has a
scalable platform. From Nottingham they support the UK, Holland, Ireland and intend to support
companies in other countries too. Cost is important in driving efficiency but it is not the primary driver.
SS – 4 airports = 4 customers. The operation needs to be scalable and to have the ability to add
further airports in the future. The driver for finance SS was seeing the HR SS implemented
successfully first with their costs being reduced.

AH – Driver for SS was to provide a stable platform to grow the organisation. Enterprise bought its
core20 businesses some years ago which were made up of several small companies. Works
Manager is used as their bespoke system, not SAP or Oracle. Another driver for SS was to take
control (of the 20 companies). Their evolution = recognising the need to think in support service way.

ITV – Looked at SS from a standardisation and centralisation point of view. They wished to make
policies and processes more efficient to create a track record.

NWBSP – Drivers for SS were standardisation, cost saving (particularly as they are public sector) and

CP point – SS is about serving customers. He ran Centrica SS with payroll, finance and HR. His
company did not like SS as it was seen like being a parent.

LB – SpecSavers has had a challenging 12 months. The customer should not see any change from
what they had yesterday to what they have tomorrow with the implementation of SS but this has not
been the case at SpecSavers. Their service delivery is not as transparent as it could be. They have
750 stores so it is like having 750 on the board as everyone owns their own stores.

Business as usual must be established – This is what Lee has taken from the first 12 months of SS.
BAU has been established as well. SpecSavers is trying to get all of their customers to adopt a
standard way of doing things which has been difficult. They have tried to embrace the customer and
get their message across.

CP Question – Do you have KPI’s which manage customers?

LB – SpecSavers are beginning to build KPI’s and SLA’s e.g. regarding their call numbers, why stores
call in and how often a sore is in the top 10 for the most amount of calls received.

AH – 20 customers were bought as subsidiaries. Payroll and sales ledger have been brought not the
SSC and a bit of convincing was required as to why processes needed to be moved to Leyland. They
win customers by the virtue of the prizes of greater efficiency and improved services. Enterprise can
now provide cover when people are sick rather than not being able too when processes were
completed locally. The SSC cannot just dictate what will be happening with regards to its customer’s
processes. One of their key KPI’s is to answer all payroll queries within 30 seconds of them being

CP point – People don’t like change and it takes 2-3 years to forget the history. After 2-3 years people
don’t wish to go back to their old processes as the benefits of change are realised.

SS – Communication with customers and stakeholders is key. Talking through how processes and
procedures are to be changed gets more agreement from the customers as they then understand how
the changes will help the organisation. Manchester Airport Group has done many workshops across
the business i.e. sent their payroll team around the airports to show how changes will happen and
what will change.

RBS – Feel it is not what is done now but also how you prepare for the future that matters.

Tetra Pak – When it is communicates what SS actually is they communicate what stabilisation will
take place.
CP point – Overriding message is change takes 2-3 years – It will be tough as customers can be hard
to manage. Organisations are not doing anything wrong if they fell they are struggling during the first
few years of SS implementation.

CP question – SSCs never get the whole end to end process. Some activity is always kept with the
customer. How do you cope with the bits of retained functions?

LB – Do SpecSavers customers appreciate how they fit into the end to end process? The overall
answer is no. Due to recent migration to SS if anything goes wrong in finance then people relate it to
the new SSC but that is not always the case. Their mission is to create a centre of excellence for
transaction processing for Europe. Strategic decisions are made on Guernsey for tax purposes and
they don’t work in isolation.

KD of SpecSavers – SSC gives finance opportunities to see other opportunities for value add
processes. An SSC needs to get the hygiene factors right first time rather than concentrating on wow
factor processes. SpecSavers has created a customer response team to mitigate the impact from
customers which they have. No point in reminding customers that things are done correctly 99.9% of
the time as there is still something not correct which needs to be addressed.

AH – If subsidiary directors of finance hear that 1 transaction is done wrongly they can think that SS is
not working. Some residual activities such as admin support still g on in some local locations as local
knowledge is important. Enterprise has no experience of people trying to replicate SSC processes
locally though. Andy’s strongest advocates are those people he had problems with at the start of the
journey as he has gone and understood their problems. Can’t evolve to being a good SSC if
customers are being dictated too.

SS – The 4 FD’s from the airports were bought into SSC values, adding value and they want the SC
to deliver 100% of the time as if 1 thing is done incorrectly it stands out. Manchester Airport
concentrates on keeping standards and delivery high. They have a long accounting process which
they are looking at shortening via transactional processes so info can be obtained more quickly.

CP point – Leadership – SS can be a lonely job unless you have got good sponsorship. Good SS
leaders make the difference by how good a leader they are with good sponsorship from above.
ITV – Went live on 08/07/2008 and initially packaged transformation as 21 century finance which
was their first mistake. ITV didn’t have a high profile sponsor at the top and they didn’t have

someone saying if something doesn’t get done this way then it won’t work. ITV has had tough times in
the last 12 months and had to become a Plc overnight. They now have a new FD and things are
improving also leading them to believe that good sponsorship at the top is key.

NWBSP – Has got through the first 12 month and are now thinking about where they g from now.

Greg Hyatt is the new FD at Nuffield Health and has been in SS for 2 years. There has been a mixed
reaction to SS across the hospitals and he asked the group what difference can he make in the

Group responses:
   -    People would want him to buy into the philosophy / strategy around SS not being the core of
       the business
   -   Not to get caught up in the focus of transactional activity
   -   Concentrate on what you are supposed to be able to do
   -   Get innovations in which are not achievable locally
    -   Pick the bones out of current processes and try to find one which is best for everyone
    -   FD is the biggest cheer leader / salesman in the organisation. If you see an opportunity get a
        team of experts to take it on rather than do it yourself
    -   Ensure there is a good understanding of the SSC at board level.
    -   Focus is always on front office in companies rather than on finance e.t.c
    -   Spend time in your SSC and understand your role in supporting the team

CP point – As a leader he struggles with time balance of being with the team V managing customers.

AH – Divides his time 50/50. He spends a lot of time managing his boss and delivering a clear
message down to his team. If you have a good strategy document when you start then it is a bit
easier as you have a clearer idea of what is being worked towards. Andy asks his Enterprise team
what they want from him and what they want out of him which he tries to work towards.

SS – 70% of time is operational with the team and 30% of time is management. Sue has had times
where she has spent lots more time talking with management. Now processes and technology are
being implemented she spends more time with her team.


CP point – In building a culture you need customer service relationship with customers but need to
think abut the overall aims of the business as ultimately you work for the good of the business.

LB – People values and family values are embedded in SpecSavers. Creating and maintaining culture
across the whole organisation takes time. If a company creates an SSC then redundancies happen
elsewhere culturally you do their jobs which can be tough to get past.

SS – If staff are asked who they work for they say Manchester Airport Group. They have good values
and do things daily to maintain these values. Sue is keen that within their SSC staff don’t feel like they
are just doing the same thing over and over again.

SSCs are a function of change and maturity. As an SSC becomes more mature things get easier with
regards to customers as they accept the ideology more and more.

Rolls-Royce – Has European and USA AP and payroll e.t.c. They setup a management accounting
centre last year and asked if anyone else had done it as a centralised function as they struggle to
manage SLAs.

The session then ended so Rolls-Royce could ask their question on the ask a question facility on the
NWSSF website ww.sharedservicesforum.org.uk.

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