The continued pressure on corporate profitability and the ongoing need to increase the effectiveness of business support functions has driven interest in global sourcing to a new level. More than ever before, today’s business environment demands from firms to maintain and develop a competitive advantage through improved service levels, lower costs and innovation. As a result, the three areas of global sourcing - outsourcing, shared services and offshoring - are becoming entrenched business strategies, to the point of giving rise to a new era of collaborative partnering.
In reviewing traditional models, companies may find a shared services centre (SSC) an effective delivery option for their operational strategy - especially if they need to keep processes in-house. Companies state two major reasons for implementing a SSC: increase of quality (standardisation and optimisation of processes and improvement of services) and reduction of operating costs (human resources costs and infrastructure costs).
Realizing the fundamental goal of achieving a higher quality of service at a lower cost requires more than just a one-off effort. Companies that have already established a SSC are confronted with a number of challenges, both internal and external. In order to address these challenges effectively, a SSC needs to constantly review which services it provides, the level of service delivery and the structure of the organisation.
For organizations using SSC, continued optimization not only generates additional savings, but also can create operational flexibility with the right strategy. SSCs are often separate business units with their own organisational structure and, furthermore, the SSC may even decide to transfer selected processes to an external service provider.
In Slovakia, the number of SSCs is growing and they can be considered a new industry that creates new jobs, brings investment and is beneficial for the Slovak economy. PwC has been focusing on this sector for several years already as we believe the sector is a growth area.