Blog post written by AdJan Brouwer. Adjan is a former blogger on Blogpodium and Executive Partner Talent & Organization Accenture Netherlands till September 2012.
Recently, Accenture’s research report “Trends in Shared Services: Unlocking the full potential” confirms that shared services organizations are enjoying the benefits of cost savings, efficiencies and better service. But the shared services model continues to evolve. One of the main outcomes is that “the gap between what is and what can be will continue to be bridged by the innovative spirit of pioneering shared services leaders”. With this knowledge it is key to have insights in the developments and challenges of Shared Services professionals.
Since December 2009 Finance & Enterprise Performance and Talent & Organisation facilitate the Dutch Shared Services Forum twice a year. During these events structural Shared Service challenges are discussed by Shared Services professionals and Accenture representatives. Although the focus of the event is on HR and Finance, Shared Services Directors from all functions in the Netherlands and Belgium are welcome. By discussing structural challenges, the participating members share knowledge and experience to help each other take Shared Services to the next level.
On November 24th, Philips hosted the 5th edition of the Dutch Shared Services Forum at their headquarter in Eindhoven. In the presence of seventeen Shared Services professionals, the host started the session with a short introduction, followed by a recap of the DSSF organizational principles, the DSSF foundation backgrounds and the current trends in Shared Services by Accenture. The theme of this edition was “IT Enablers in a Shared Services Center”. Philips kicked-off by presenting their HR transformation program called HR Simplified. The requirements gathering of HR Simplified was done by bringing together all HR and IT specialists of Philips. This higher upfront investment paid off by resulting in one global HR system, global processes and improved data quality, combined with a professional portal where the information world and transformation world were brought together.
PostNL started with an introduction of the company and the current developments of the re-organization on how this impacts the Shared Services Center. This resulted in some interesting HR related discussions with regards to recruitment and creating a new Collective Labor Agreement (CAO). The presentation continued on the IT enablers used by the Shared Services Center of Post NL. Their SAP landscape is continually under construction where the main lesson is that good functional management is key.
ASML presented the way they are dealing with IT enablers. They are slowly working towards one single system by focusing on: improved BI, decreased bureaucracy, scalable recruitment, talent management and the information need of the employees. The presentation ended with an interesting discussion on the new trends of cloud based computing, which is seen as the future replacement of the traditional Enterprise Recourse Planning (ERP).
Similar to previous editions, there were a lot of interesting discussions and sharing of experiences during all presentations. All participants were delighted about the open character of the event, which gave everyone a good insight in the activities and opinions of Shared Services colleagues. Lastly, the key takeaway was that we are partners in the field of Shared Services, not competitors.
For further information about the Dutch Shared Services Forum, please contact:
René van Heijningen
Finance & Enterprise Performance
Talent & Organization