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Transformation of Service Delivery on a Dime

Human Resources Shared Services Case History

Our client, a world leader in scientific instrumentation, has grown through technological innovation, commercial excellence, and strength in emerging markets. The company has also enhanced its capabilities and market reach through complementary acquisitions. As acquired businesses integrated into the corporation, disparate Human Resources (HR) policies and the need for standardized HR processes and systems became increasingly evident. To support the organization’s growth, goals, and objectives, the HR team was focused on standardization of shared services, such as the administration of global processes, centralization of administrative tasks, and elevation of the HR business partner role. However, implementing these goals was difficult with the widely dispersed employee base, competing objectives of each business, and fluctuations in funding due to economic factors. ScottMadden was engaged to support the HR team in realizing their goals.


The client has a strong culture of analysis and problem-solving, bred from their research and development foundation. The HR organization uses this philosophy in its program development and execution. However, the organization needed help mobilizing the HR group, standardizing processes, and implementing those new processes. The HR organization had already decided to launch a new HR service delivery model, which included a central HR shared services center; however, the company had yet to transition due to economic challenges. Rising cost pressures led to the need to execute the plan quickly.

The HR organization launched a pilot HR shared services center in one of its business units, serving 18% of the U.S. employee population. The success of the pilot led to a decision by the company’s leadership team to quickly scale to serve the remaining U.S. employee base. The biggest challenge in the project’s next phase was the lack of process standardization, a central source for answers, and the need for training and change management. Additionally, the HR team wanted to transition the HR service delivery model for all U.S. employees, with limited funds and needed a plan and approach that fit this requirement. For example, it wanted to leverage existing in-house technology—applications required to be adapted for use, without cost, by the HR organization.

Additionally, the client was cognizant that the new HR service delivery model needed to support the entire employee population, 30% of whom were in a manufacturing role without daily access to computers. Centralizing HR service support to a shared services solution center reduced the availability of on-site, face-to-face HR to this employee group, and the HR organization wanted to be sure that it continued to provide high-touch support to all employees.


The ScottMadden team of consultants leveraged its deep experience in HR shared services delivery to create and manage the overall project plan and to lead the client’s project team through critical decisions and milestones in the transformation. During this 10-month project, ScottMadden provided guidance, oversight, and resources on the following project objectives:

  • Project design and management
  • Organizational and staffing changes
  • Policy harmonization and process standardization
  • Knowledgebase development and launch
  • Communications, marketing, and change management
  • Training content development and delivery
  • Go-live and stabilization support

HR Shared Services delivery strategy - ScottMadden Consulting

ScottMadden started by developing and defining a detailed project plan, leveraging our standard implementation approach based on the client’s required timeline and internal resources. Our consultants organized a core team of client representatives to lead each work stream and provided each team lead with the framework to execute the plan. Where necessary, we customized the approach. For example, the client needed to leverage the existing employee intranet as the portal and knowledgebase in their HR service center, and we worked with the core team to build these requirements into the implementation.

Once the necessary organization was in place, we launched the work streams. Each leader was responsible for their part of the project plan, and ScottMadden and the core team coordinated the work streams. The client involved roughly 60 HR employees in the implementation team, as these subject matter experts were called on to contribute to process redesign workshops, portal content, training, and change management efforts. The teams were virtual due to the representation of many Field HR and Center of Excellence (COE) members across the United States.

Since the HR organization was dispersed across many business locations, a key focus for ScottMadden during this project was to drive change management through more face-to-face interaction. Throughout the implementation, HR leadership brought together the HR community to participate in process workshops and pre-launch, two-day training sessions. The “roadshow” training covered process changes with the HR service center launch and associated role and responsibility changes with Field HR and in COEs. These sessions, attended by 240 individuals, were viewed as a valuable way for the HR community to learn and network in the changing service delivery landscape.

Through the launch of the service center and during the stabilization phase, ScottMadden provided support in process, operations, and communication stabilization, helping the client’s employees and the HR community adapt to the new service delivery model.


The client met the short implementation timeline with our assistance and launched the new HR shared services center for all employees. This go-live showcased 21 harmonized policies and 61 standardized processes. In coordination with the HR service center, a new HR portal, through the company intranet, was launched to allow employees access to readily available information and to initiate service requests. The new HR portal included 165 employee-facing pages.

We also helped the client focus on defining the role of the HR business partner in the HR transformation. This role needed to be promoted and defined within the field, so part of ScottMadden’s support focused on this critical component in the service delivery transformation. The client developed plans to assess the competencies and skill sets of their strategic HR staff and to execute the assessment and development of these team members in the coming months.

Our team of experts and the client’s leadership were pleased with the successful HR transformation. A representative from the company said, “We could not have done it without ScottMadden.”

Moving forward, the client will continue to optimize their shared services through the HR service center, focusing on metrics, customer service scores, and ongoing continuous improvement. They are looking to expand their efficiencies in HR service delivery by implementing other offerings in employee and manager self-service in the years to come.

Human Resources Shared Services Strategy - ScottMadden Consulting

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