From May 24 to 26, 2016, the 16th Annual European Shared Services & Outsourcing Week took place in Dublin. Claire Delcroix, International Business Associate, attended this special event.
A shared services center is internal to a given organization such as a company, group or municipality. Like outsourcing and offshoring, shared services are a response to the need for organizational efficiency. Diverse functions such as HR, finance, IT, sales, procurement and others can be centralized at one or more sites.
Shared services are applicable to all industries
A concept prevalent in the United States since the 1980s, shared services have been in use in Europe for the past fifteen years. Banking, insurance, industry, telecom, media, health, transportation, logistics, distribution, defense and more—every sector, public or private, can benefit from cost, process and knowledge sharing. Deloitte has noted that the number of global companies with two or three shared services centers has risen since 2013.*
Globalization and cloud computing contribute to an upward trend
Google and its focus on data, ErDF and its Linky counter, and cloud computing: these all have an impact on the way we work. The use of robotic process automation and artificial intelligence lead executives and HR departments to rethink management and recruiting methods.
“There’s more to shared services than lower cost, productivity gain and improved processes. It is important that shared services create value too and this value comes from a real change in the way we think and approach organization,” notes Claire Delcroix.
Where to locate a shared services center
“Today, for cost reasons, there are many shared services centers in Eastern Europe and Asia,” says Claire Delcroix. Lille can be a player in the Global Business Services (GBS) game, the second generation of shared services. “Lille is a choice location within Western Europe and has a talented, multilingual labor pool but operational costs and salaries that are lower than those in London, Paris and Brussels. To wit, IBM Services Center located in Lille in 2013 and has plans to hire 700 employees. We have helped Booking.com, Admiral Group, and Verisure par Securitas Direct set up shop here and they have focused on shared services in the Lille area. We are happy to assist other companies who would like to create shared services centers within Europe,” states Claire Delcroix.
* 2015 Global Shared Services Survey – Deloitte Consulting LLP