Starting situation – local back office functions led to high process costs and a lack of standards
At our client, a technology company with an international footprint, back office functions for accounting, invoicing, and HR were locally scattered across 18 different countries and four companies. This resulted in a very low level of cooperation and therefore in redundant activities, higher coordination efforts, and a lack of standards in the area of customer support. As a consequence, the company suffered significant efficiency losses and the efficiency of its sales organization was affected.
Project approach – consistent process recording and allocation facilitated bundling without creating parallel processes
A holistic process recording and analysis using standardized templates formed the starting point for the project. Based on the process landscape established, the centralization potential was determined, while at the same time making allowance for customer interaction. The first (sub-)processes were able to be bundled following the business case evaluation, which included a comprehensive location analysis. Centralizing repetitive processes in specialized units not only produced cost savings by boosting efficiency, but also increased effectiveness by ensuring a clear focus and clear responsibilities. Best practice sharing, documented process descriptions, and training courses on all the standardized processes ensured that change management went smoothly.
Finding – allowance needs to be made for customer needs when centralizing standard processes
Decentralizing back office processes was considered innovative two decades ago, but today is no longer considered up to date: international competition has reduced cost tolerance and strengthened customer expectations for professional, standardized services. Only if you have comprehensively recorded and structured the process landscape and process sequence can you ultimately offer the customer a similarly professional and individual service – and, what’s more, one with a more attractive profit contribution.
- Development of a Europe-wide shared service for back office processes in the field of customer service and marketing
- Increase in efficiency of 15 percent through specialization and focusing