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Unable to attend the first Shared Services & Outsourcing Week (SSOW) North America Digital event? View this presentation to see the chairman’s key takeaways related to global business services (GBS) strategy, workforce management, attracting and retaining talent, robotic process automation (RPA) strategy, and process automation.

Chairman Takeaways

GBS Strategy

  • Cost savings is not a sustainable strategy – you will become “the boiled frog!” Either change the way you run, or risk becoming extinct (e.g. Blockbuster vs. Netflix) – Filippo, former GBS Group President, P&G
  • Objective is not to reduce/centralize delivery hubs, but to use standard tools and make them feel as one – Caroline, Mondelez
  • Utilize three lanes of governance – a) strategic, b) steering, and c) tactical – Caroline, Mondelez
  • Tell your customers not to fear the unknown … if they don’t like it, you will change it – Filippo, former GBS Group President, P&G
  • We let strong governance evolve – started with giving business lines freedom, but as we learned and gathered information, GBS governance became more structured – Filippo, former GBS Group President, P&G
  • You are not running a manufacturing line, you are running an F1 pit stop – you don’t have time to straighten all the spaghetti – moving slow is expensive – Simen, Nordea
  • Be careful with independent hubs – think hybrid. Economic and political conditions change and you may need agility – Filippo, Former P&G GBS President
  • You wouldn’t do a month-end report on a sporting event, yet we live with that in business – Mihir, Automation Anywhere
  • We gave customers $0.25 cost advantage to use our services – created the motivation P&G needed for GBS – Filippo, Former P&G GBS President
  • Document your value to the organization in big numbers – e.g. delivered $1.8B savings over five years, delivered $16.9M sign-on savings – Caroline, Mondelez
  • Don’t become a commodity – the opposite is becoming “distinctive” or “relevant.” Reduce cycle time, build business capability, increase productivity – Filippo, Former P&G GBS President
  • We turned the organization sideways and got another 10% savings – Built the model based on work type (transactional, customer facing, analytical work) vs. business line accounting work (news, sports, etc.) – Cindy, Turner

New Workforce

  • Stop wishing the storm away and learn how to fly different – this generation grew up with technology and is more adaptable – Philip, Schneider
  • The new force demands more “relation”
    – no more separation of work and home life like the boomers or generation X – Vesta, Swiss Re
  • HR is no longer equipped to handle this workforce – this requires one-on-one manager/employee relating and development of career paths – Vesta, Swiss Re
  • Embrace the curiosity – why not let them try – they are willing! – Cindy, Discovery
  • Put the negative millennial comments aside and capitalize on the positive – a learning culture, freedom to act, challenging spirit – Vesta, Swiss Re
  • Consider moving away from the term “Shared Services”
    – transactions should flow underground, unnoticed, like water – We call it a Business Solutions Center – Vesta, Swiss Re
  • We shifted from managing people to managing knowledge – no longer came neatly to me, but was everywhere. I was no longer the single source of knowledge – Philip, Schneider

Attracting & Retaining

  • 95% of the people you are looking for are not looking for a job – why not start looking before you need someone (passive candidates)? – Vanesa, MGM
  • 75% of candidates leave due to missing cultural fit – should we spend a day with candidates vs. an hour? – Vanesa, MGM
  • I don’t find a work-life balance… I find a work-life integration. I’m an executive at the baseball field and I share my home life with my employees – Cindy, Discovery
  • It’s not just a question of adapting to generations, but also adapting to global cultures – Philip, Schneider
  • Investigate and find the “different” skill sets your organization needs – it’s not all journal entries – it’s controls, contracts, robotics, risk management, etc. – Caroline, Mondelez
  • We used the “Octagon”
    – Sponsor represented their employee to other business lines and gained a 360 view that was helpful – Vanesa, MGM
  • Find the “wow” – to be successful, you must master “wowing” people into your organization – Caroline, Mondelez

RPA Strategy

  • RPA may not be your biggest strategic advantage, but no action could make it your biggest strategic disadvantage in 5 years – Curt, Walgreens
  • Treats bots like people – if they work in Finance, they report to Finance, if they work in HR, that’s where they report – Simen, Nordea
  • We overdo RPA governance and underdo RPA data flow – you don’t put governance around manual processes, so why around RPA? – Simen, Nordea
  • Go wide vs. deep – Chinese proverb “If you want to go fast, go alone… but if you want to go far, go together.” Cast a wide net and make a larger impact – Simen, Nordea
  • Determine if you are raising pets or cattle – you nurture pets, but bots are cattle – you use them, sell them and buy another – Simen, Nordea
  • ROI can range from 40% to 1000%+ – Mihir, Automation Anywhere
    • The higher range as people working digital projects begin to think digitally – opportunity becomes more and more apparent
  • My CTO brought me into this job – 100% communication, and IT does not need to own robotics – Cindy, Discovery
  • IT does not want to code your RPA programs – they want to be involved in determining infrastructure (e.g. servers vs. cloud) – Curt, Walgreens
  • It’s rare to see people not employed now because of automation – companies are using the extra headroom to problem solve, to scale, to spend time with customer – Joe, Ascension
    • Determine your right staffing mix of doers and thinkers – you need both
  • Target 15% reduction of transactional work – 25% is undoable, and 5% does not deliver enough impact – Simen, Nordea
  • Make a video of your Proof of Concept – it’s the best way to sell internally and will encourage people to think about their processes – Curt, Walgreens
  • Yes, maybe the system should do this, but it doesn’t and it’s not going to get done because IT is busy, and it cost too much – so use RPA – Curt, Walgreens
  • Let your people use robots as much as they can – less manual processes the better – Curt, Walgreens
  • Data is the plumbing (can’t see, but better be there). Structure your data now in 4 steps – 1) capture, 2) clean/tag, 3) store, 4) govern – Viral, GM
  • Our IT preferred in-house servers due to data security stigma; RPA records every single key stroke – Curt, Walgreens
  • Plan the servers outlay (number and brand) early – would have saved us time – Curt, Walgreens
  • Make sure you know the “all-in” cost – is training included? Is scripting included? How many? Do you need an integrator? Cost can add up – Curt, Walgreens

Process Automation & RPA

  • Involve the do-ers – we host “Turner Shark Tank,” music and everything, to entertain innovative ideas – Cindy, Turner
  • Processes may not require standardization or optimization before automating – Joe and Todd
  • We used to think in order 1) what are we doing, 2) why are we doing, and 3) what does it mean to you – try reversing and get a better automation result – Todd, H&R Block
  • Fish where the fish are – if there are a lot of people working on a particular tasks, it’s probably a good place for RPA – go after the right processes – Mihir, Automation Anywhere
  • The business case does not have to have a positive ROI – If we enabled 10,000 H&R Block offices to have the right information at the right time, that was success – Todd, H&R
  • RPA can deliver 5x the productivity at 1/5 the cost – Mihir, Automation Anywhere
  • Automation is easy, but it’s also easy to face plant running downhill – involve Operations, IT, Auditors and Legal – Todd, former H&R Block
  • There is not a pre-requisite for size/scale of process, but there is a pre-requisite for maturity – knowing who the stakeholders are and who needs to signoff – Joe, Ascension
  • Choose processes wisely – picking the wrong one could waste valuable time, money, and resources and sink the next RPA project – Simen, Nordea
  • Easy way to explain to IT and Finance – it’s an old Excel macro with the ability to login to other systems and get information it needs – Curt, Walgreens
  • Try “Black Hat Thinking” – pressure test automation. How can it fail – Todd, H&R Block
  • Recording vs. Modeling – Turning a recorder on in the background and converting steps to scripts vs. plotting what you want RPA to do and “Vizio” mapping – Curt, Walgreens
  • Use technology to let the new workforce focus on value added-tasks – Philip, Schneider
  • You can run RPA on a laptop or desktop, but our IT preferred servers – Curt, Walgreens
  • New employees and customers demand digital information – forces us to make progress with digitization – Philip, Schneider
  • Make sure the output of one robot does not change the input of another robot – Curt, Walgreens
  • Timeline to record processes is typically a couple days, no more than a week – Curt, Walgreens
  • Flow with your people’s ideas – they want to get the robot out of their work as much as you do – Simen, Nordea
  • What is disruptive now will not be disruptive in a couple years – Rodney, Celestica
  • We left 4 instances of ERP in place and still got excellent ROI and productivity increases with Trintech and other “connecting” tools – Cindy, Turner
  • Fail fast, pick up, and try again – Vesta, Swiss Re
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