I was recently asked if I had any material on implementing shared services in organisations.

Unfortunately I do not, however I have made some observations and they are listed below.

  • The major saving in AP is not to go to shared services but to bring it into the 21st century. Ford have 500 AP staff and Toyota in the USA has only 8!!
  • The pain of centralizing can sometimes not be worthwhile.
  • However, AP can work very well in one unit serving a number of companies.
  • Never contract AP overseas, you can reduce over 50% of the volume by applying better practices. To find out how, contact me about my “50+ ways to improve AP” whitepaper.
  • IT amalgamation is a big issue. I have known organizations to contract out IT to get rid of a problem team and then rebuild an in-house team years later.
  • Visit as many shared service teams as possible before you build yours.
  • Run the project yourself, consultants may well have never run a larger shared services operation themselves!