Moving HP’s Global Business Services from low cost provider to value added business partner
Blog01.11.2012 Comments (0)
Finance shared services
At the sharedserviceslink.com Summit for Leaders in Finance Shared Services, Jeff Fiorini (GBS Program Manager) presented on Hewlett-Packard’s Global Business Service’s journey to become a valued business partner.
HP is the world’s largest provider of information technology infrastructure, software and services to both individuals and organisations of all sizes. Their Global Business Service employs 18,000 people, serves 150 countries and processes over 100m transactions annually. The GBS manages HR, Payroll, IT, Big Data Analytics, Global Reporting, and Supply Chain.
Their Global Business Service has evolved into a valued business partner through a journey of transformation and service improvement. After establishing themselves in low-cost offshore locations, they globalised and standardised. Once stable they focussed on improving end-to-end operations supporting global reporting, and benchmarking themselves constantly. Jeff gave a complex and detailed insight into their journey, and here are some of the critical success factors for their successful transition.
Critical success factors:
Align your vision with senior management. In establishing the vision for managing end-to-end processes, the key question Jeff posed was, ‘What is the strategy at the CEO level and how can we support that strategy?’ Ensuring your vision supports the goals of the wider business will help you get the support you need and help you work across organisational boundaries.
Take process seriously. Jeff explained that to improve processes, they built a visual collation of process knowledge, which held all process data and knowledge, they kept these posters and collections in what they called ‘Process War Rooms’. They worked with Cross functional teams to build the End to End process knowledge, using quality and improvement tools such as metro maps, data flows, drill down trees to systematically identify opportunities for improvement, ensuring these maps stay up to date.
Identify pain points. HP also runs a Bureaucracy Buster programme where people can lodge complaints about things that they feel hinder their work. Taking in these complaints, they organised the comments into ‘pain points’ that fell into four categories,
- Service quality (issues dealt with quickly with a single point of contact)
- Payment process (people understanding payment policies)
- Payment terms management (Payment terms policy)
- Invoice management (end-to-end visibility of invoice submission and vendor set up)
Having these issues laid out gave them a starting point to improve the parts of the process that most affected the business
Address the issues
Having identified the key issues of process, and the issues that affect the business, HP set up several initiatives to address these pain points, including:
- A collaboration portal between suppliers and buyers which give the buyer and supplier view of all necessary information and end to end visibility.
- Workflow which dynamically allocates discrepancies to reduce cycle time
- A service desk which standardises over different portals – people, process and technology. Crucially they also addressed the skillset of the people they wanted on the service desk, people who know AP, who had good people skills and that were good at thinking outside the box, and able to work with clients.
- Low Cost Financing including dynamic discounting and supply chain finance helped with the issues around payment process and payment terms management
This was a complex journey, but ultimately successful in that they became a trusted business partner. In sum, they were successful because they had
- A clear vision
- A benchmarked journey
- They were focussed on customer requirements
- Change was clearly communicated at the right levels