One of the key challenges that many organisations face is the siloed structure of its different teams or entities. More often than not, the issue is reinforced by inadequate IT systems that don’t communicate with each other, or require expensive licenses to access.
However these days, cloud-based technology solutions enable different teams to collaborate in real time, work remotely from different entities (or even from home!), and access the same pool of information.
Taking a step further, a cloud-based operation allows silos to not only work together, but also to create exponential synergies. One such benefit is the creation of a central shared service centre (SSC). Much of the work previously undertaken by silos can be transferred to a shared entity, because all data is accessible online. The different teams become part of a digital cluster of business entities, where the SSC is a hub.
Hotel groups are a great example of geographically-spread companies that can benefit from a Shared Service Centre structure. More often than not, each hotel tends to have their own Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, finance, HR and other admin teams. They each have their own distinct processes, sometimes have difficulties recruiting qualified staff in the remote locations…
Grouping everything within a hub can bring a number of benefits.
Benefits of Shared Service Centres
- Sharing of Knowledge & Expertise
Decision making is often quicker and easier in an SSC when you have the surety of advice from experienced colleagues. This leads to more consistent and efficient processes across all entities.
- Digitised information sharing
Colleagues can quickly access information which was previously kept in siloed departments, on paper or in incompatible systems. This enables economies of scale and moving away from paper. For instance, if one single team processes all Accounts Payable, rather than 8 different teams in each entity, they can do it much quicker and efficiently.
- Sharing of Jobs
Shared Services Centres make it easy for people to share jobs. The team shares the load, so there is no interruption of service when someone goes on holidays or is off sick. This also avoids duplication of efforts and roles across different entities.
- Best Practices
In silos, individuals do their jobs not knowing if their way is the best or not. An SSC allows people to learn from each other and to bounce ideas from each other. Through these discussions, the best working practices are established, which leads to everyone using the same high standard.
- Key skilled staff in SSC
SSCs are normally located in more densely populated areas such as capital cities, where more skilled workers are available. It’s therefore easier to find skilled workers for an SSC than for any remote entities. By having the core skilled team in the SSC doing the bulk of the work and leveraging the efficiencies created by automation and best practices, fewer staff are required.
- Expand with Confidence
New entities have the benefit of immediately applying best practices developed at the SSC and they hit the ground running with key staff already in place at the SSC.