Optimising financial processes

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Another One Bites the Dust!

You gotta love that bassline (here . . . .  )

Deborah Kops of Sourcing Change started a great debate in a post this week, serendipitously coinciding with the “Gathering of the Clans” at the Shared Services & Outsourcing Week conference in Orlando.

Global Business Services (GBS) organizations are being formed, rebooted and dissolved with increasing frequency.

At least a few times a month, someone confesses that the operation they painstakingly built or nurtured is being dissolved.


The article shares several reasons, and a healthy LinkedIn debate has ensued.

You cannot ignore the current economic conditions. C-Suites are looking hard at how they can drive increased revenue in tough times and shave the operating cost to serve that revenue.

SG&A is at the heart of the GBS value proposition. So cost matters.

We talk a lot about value creation. But we need to articulate and create that value in P&L terms.

Of course, GBS is about “horses for courses” and “Global” does not fit every situation.

Does a GBS behemoth sometimes suffer loss of customer trust? “Customer first”, Customer Experience and intense Stakeholder, Customer and Participant focus is needed. What have you done for me lately?

Despite the potential of GBS as a transformative operating platform, it doesn’t always work out that way or the enterprise does not necessarily “get it”.

Changes in leadership, strategy, or ownership are always a catalyst to re-examine the foundations of the business and the cost structure.

The work that GBS organizations deliver isn’t going away or even automated out of existence; but it CAN be delivered in other ways.

In one such case of a GBS “dissolution” and repatriation of work to the host functions, I asked what impact it had had on quality, service or cost.

The answer was “none, except that we are spending less now”.

If the value and cost structure of GBS is not well articulated, measured AND delivered, then this is a reasonable reaction.

It is our job to deliver P&L impact, fast (100 day sprints). And ensure everyone knows . . . .

The bottom line, when the wind changes, you can’t just blame plain bad luck.

When the wind changes, adjust the sails . . . .

You can read the article “Another One Bites the Dust: Why GBS Organizations Are Pulled Apart“ here . . . . . and the LinkedIn debate here . . . 

Let’s sharpen intense focus on the P&L, Cashflow and Balance Sheet of the business. GBS needs to have a clear, well understood, accepted and measurable contribution to all three.

This is no time for another one to bite the dust.