Leveraging Process Optimization & Automation for Shared Services Transformation
Large companies across the globe are seeing an increasing shift towards leveraging global, multifunctional, and remote service models owing to the key learnings derived from COVID-19. These organizations are furthering the value which shared services and outsourcing models bring by reducing costs, increasing operational efficiency, and driving greater business value. These shared services are increasingly using emerging technologies such as digital, analytics and reporting are enhancing the customer experience.
The pandemic has accelerated the transition from old to new models, and it is the right time for organizations to prepare for the post-pandemic world, starting with their internal process frameworks. Process optimization is a powerful practice that transforms individual processes and helps in eliminating inefficiencies, better clarity, and enhanced compliance via intelligent automation. End-to-end process optimization drives value by considering individual process steps based on a more holistic view and eliminates inefficiencies across shared services processes such as Source to Pay, Order to Cash etc. Let us look at the key benefits of shared services process optimization.
Efficient & Clear Processes
Process optimization eliminates unwanted steps and automates steps to minimize errors, remove duplicity and save valuable time. Process optimization can provide great benefits, especially with frequent, day-to-day processes. Process optimization also minimizes ambiguity, facilitating clear roles and responsibilities and understanding the bottlenecks in the processes.
Better Compliance & Collaboration
Well-organized and carefully documented processes form the foundation for continuous improvement. Well-organized processes spur innovation, creativity, and continuous improvement. It also makes it easier for cross-departmental collaboration and sharing best practices with each other.
Enhanced Customer Experience
Process optimization helps employees act faster as they have more accurate and complete information, enabling them to help the customer better and reduce the turnaround time significantly. Naturally, enhanced customer service leads to more satisfied customers and is in the primary interest area of all organizations.
Process Mining: The Future of Process Optimization
To remove bottlenecks and automate for optimization, enterprises must embrace digital transformation. Enterprises need to find ways to break down information silos and allow the free flow of information. Digital tools offer a solution to this problem. Digital tools also help the workforce, by freeing them of repetitive, mundane tasks that plague their overall productivity and help them engage in value-added tasks. Process mining tools help in analyzing event logs and other available data to build up a graphic representation of your workflows, which assists in locating process bottlenecks and highlight duplicated areas of work.
Some of the key capabilities of a process mining tool are:
- KPIs monitoring in real-time.
- Predictive Analysis
- Process Standardization
- Visualization of how processes contribute to business outcomes.
Process mining, therefore, acts as the keystone to enterprise digital transformation initiatives. It provides important information needed to make sound business decisions. Through process mining tools, enterprises can visualize the impact on businesses when they run through the scenarios of changing the process. Enterprises subsequently can make improvements in their existing processes and know what returns to expect from their investments. Process mining tools should be the foundation upon which all future investment and transformation projects should be based.
Digitally matured Shared Services organizations have fared better with minimal impact on service delivery through the pandemic. Enterprises with a high degree of digitalization have also often enabled agile business processes and employee flexibility. Enterprises across the globe are now accelerating their pace to digitalization as a key lever to deliver a competitive advantage.
Robotic Process Automation
Shared Services have always focused on delivering cheaper, faster, and better services to the enterprises they serve. However, while cost-efficiency continues to be an important strategic imperative, there is more pressure than ever for SSCs to digitally transform the operations they are charged with, and create new services and business value, not just cut costs.
SSCs stand to benefit immensely from RPA as it improves efficiency, reduces costs and increases ROI. This allows organizations to shift their workforce to higher-value tasks, as RPA takes care of low-value repetitive tasks. Most SSCs and GBS are still in the early phases of shared services automation, primarily using unattended robots, with little to no functionality or intelligence, to improve several back-office tasks. However, as RPA has increased its capabilities – through embedded and Artificial Intelligence, SSCs would be able to perform more cognitive-heavy tasks automatically while keeping human employees in the loop.
Shared services organizations can leverage predictive analytics using data from multiple departments and perform cross-functional analytics that can deliver unique operational insights. In a recent global survey, 61% of respondents said that the data analytics in their organizations was still ‘basic’, while 27% said they had sufficiently competent analytics. Only 8% had capabilities for complex event processing and neural networks. Enterprises today are increasingly looking towards predictive analytics to manage uncertainties and make swift and sound decisions.
AI will increasingly be adopted by enterprises worldwide for business transformation with newer capabilities of AI already being used by some organizations like facial recognition and natural language processing (NLP). For global business services organizations, AI can mean automation beyond RPA. Using cognitive AI and analytics, organizations can use unstructured data and handle complex marketing, finance, accounting, and customer service processes with automation.
Shared services can become the core backbone for an enterprise’s goals relating to agility and innovation by moving up the value chain both in terms of processes covered as well as on how they cover them by leveraging new business models combined with digital technology. The pandemic has accelerated the emergence of these technology trends manifold and GBS organizations are now at a point of taking the leap which is no longer a choice but a necessity to be future-ready.
Shared services can become the core backbone for an enterprise’s goals relating to agility and innovation by moving up the value chain both in terms of processes covered as well as on how they cover them by leveraging new business models combined with digital technology. The pandemic has accelerated the emergence of these technology trends manifold and shared services organizations are now at a point of taking the leap which is no longer a choice but a necessity to be future-ready.