COVID-19 has been big test for the resilience and agility of GBS and Shared Services organisations as well as business as a whole.
Many have met the challenge head-on and achieved more than anyone expected In short time frames.
Recovery from this crisis, however, will not be a return to normal. Business realities have changed, consumers have changed, expectations have changed and there is a great deal of concern around an impending economic downturn that could dwarf the financial crisis a decade ago.
CFO’s and Treasurers worldwide are looking to preserve liquidity and keep a tight rein on cash in the current volatile business times. This situation will not change any time soon.
How should Shared Services and Global Business Services respond?
We started out with an efficiency promise of centralization, simplification, standardization and automation. Productivity benchmarks improved year on year.
We are faced with new challenges, the need for our businesses to compete on consumer safety and security as well as intimacy and convenience, the drive to mass personalization, digital transformation and doing more with less.
Maybe the biggest challenge is the need for agility. Predicting the future is no longer about looking to the past.
We are presented with the glittering prizes of some very sophisticated and promising technologies from cloud ERP suites, niche process automation applications, robotic process automation, Artificial Intelligence and more. We are also confronted with choices on new operating models, driving global process ownership, delivering new services and more…
From strategy, priority and execution perspectives there is a need to tighten up on cost, drive value, optimise resources, maximise cash and ensure financial “fitness”.
Steve Fox and Dan French shared GBS leadership experiences and took us through tactics, lessons learned, next steps and strategy for continuing to improve and transform Global Business Services/Shared Services in this new world.