Building a Better Shared Service Center

Many company executives are dissatisfied with the performance of shared service centers, a survey shows.

Shared service centers that handle such back-office tasks as billing and payments have become a part of the corporate landscape, many executives seem to unhappy with the performance of such centers, according to a recent SunGard survey.

The survey included 485 executives from companies around the world, some of whom worked in shared service centers (SSC) and others in business units served by shared service centers. Almost 37% of the business unit executives expressed dissatisfaction with their shared service center’s performance, although that sentiment was shared by just 19.7% of the shared service center executives.

Ryan Senter of ProtivitiRyan Senter, managing director of business performance improvement at consultancy Protiviti, emphasizes the importance of paying attention to the metrics showing how the shared service center is performing and then working to improve them.

“When you look at achieving the expected efficiencies in moving from a decentralized to a centralized environment, it all becomes about performance management and being able to manage to [key performance indicators],” said Senter, pictured at right. “It’s really focusing in on the accuracy of the measures that we have and setting targets to gain additional efficiencies.”

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