Shared service centers play increasingly strategic role for many firms

While cost efficiency is still a key benchmark for shared services centers, it’s no longer the only consideration, according to a recent report from consulting firm Deloitte.

As part of its research, the firm surveyed 379 executives worldwide across multiple industries, and found a growing trend toward global, multifunctional models that are expected to deliver higher value at lower cost.

Once used for single functions such as finance and human resources, SSCs are being tapped for more strategic areas such as procurement, supply chain and manufacturing support, and sales and marketing. These areas saw growth of 14 percent, 33 percent and 35 percent, respectively, compared with 2017 survey results.

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"Shared service centers are shifting from being a 'provider of what they ask for' to a generator of tangible business value—especially as SSCs are witnessing an increased penetration in strategic and interaction-heavy functions,” said Jean White, principal and U.S. global business services lead at Deloitte Consulting LLP.

“This new approach is ultimately changing the way success is measured when leveraging a shared environment," White said.

Emerging technologies such as cloud, robotic process automation and single-instance enterprise resource planning, are putting SSCs at the forefront of enterprise transformation, the report said. And in an effort to establish global impact organizations are increasingly leaning on their SSCs to help scale and support critical operations.

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