Accounting for an Increase in Volume
One of the main challenges that shared service centers face: keeping up with a high volume of transactions.
Let’s say that 10 individual business units decide to use shared services for invoice processing. Each of these business units normally handles 5,000 invoices a month – leaving 50,000 invoices for the shared service center to confirm and pay.
More invoices doesn’t just mean more paperwork. It also means more contracts, more discount terms, and more deadlines, which can be hard to keep straight.
Keeping Labor Costs Down
The decision to use shared services is primarily financial. Most companies account for geographical trends in operating costs and employee salaries when choosing a shared service location – but they don’t always forecast the true cost of high-volume business.
Let’s go back to the invoice example:
5,000 invoices a month take about 833 hours to process. That requires at least 5 full-time employees.
For a shared service center that’s dealing with 50,000 invoices a month, that’s an Accounts Payable team of 50+ people – and the need to hire more employees if the organization grows. In addition, turnover requires a constant state of retraining. When there’s a new acquisition, their internal team may not move to the shared service center – but their workload certainly will.
Of course, the best shared service centers have ways to work around this. And hiring more staff isn’t necessarily the answer. Technology provides a reliable way to work smarter – especially when it comes to routine processes.
How Automation Can Improve Your Shared Service Model
According to Gartner, one of the main characteristics of a successful SSC is the ability to consistently expand their functions’ scope and scale. Automation makes this easy.
Computers can handle simple back-office processes, like invoice matching and sales order creation. Some programs can even complete the same process hundreds of times in a matter of minutes. Even the most productive employee can’t compete.
That’s not to say that experienced employees are no longer needed in shared services. In fact, when they no longer have to worry about manual data entry and other routine tasks, they can contribute even more – in ways that computers can’t. A stronger focus on strategy and analysis can help them provide much more value to their organization.
In fact, this shift is what’s driving many shared service centers to become more competitive. In a Tata Consultancy Services survey, more than 62 percent of companies considered a technology-driven transformation to be important or highly important to their ongoing relevance. Companies that aren’t committing to value-added improvements may find themselves falling behind in an already competitive market.
Start Working Smarter with IntelliChief’s Shared Services Solutions
At IntelliChief, we’ve helped countless companies become more efficient. Duplicate processes? High operating costs? Difficulties keeping pace with organizational growth? No match for our best-in-class shared service software.
Our automation software is designed for the enterprise. That means that a single investment can impact multiple aspects of your business – and scale as your business grows.
IntelliChief can help you automate almost any document-driven process. GL coding, non-PO invoices, manually matching purchase and receipt information, inputting the details into your ERP – all of these headaches will be a thing of the past. And it’s not just accounts payable that can benefit; our solutions can also help you streamline sales order processing, customer service, and human resources. Anywhere your team has to manage a high volume of information, IntelliChief can help.
To learn more about our shared services solutions, contact us today. Or, visit our Resource Library to see how our software has helped other large organizations achieve significant, sustainable growth.