Why Go Multifunction? Understanding the Benefits and Implementation Challenges of Multifunction Shared Services

Shared services has come a long way since the early 90s when major corporations, such as Proctor and Gamble, adopted the approach to improve services and reduce overhead. Companies today are moving further to gain additional savings, capitalize on analytics, and leverage infrastructure by creating or consolidating services into multifunction shared services organizations.

Our experience working with shared services organizations validates that multifunctional organizations offer significant advantages beyond single-function models. Multifunction shared services reduce management overhead, employ common customer service functions, and leverage operational support and technologies across functions to deliver improved service at reduced costs. Moreover, multifunctional shared services facilitate process harmonization and end-to-end process integration with one management philosophy.

The implementation of multifunctional shared services does not come without challenges. When you venture across functional boundaries, sometimes you disrupt highly integrated single-function organizations that perceive themselves as experts at delivering high-quality services at low costs. While the existing standalone functions may perform well, looking at broader opportunities can enable even higher levels of efficiency and customer service.

Implementation of multifunctional shared services provides significant value to companies willing to tackle the challenges. Customer experience can be enhanced while reducing supervisory overhead, combining operations support, and consolidating customer service. Finally, greater depth, scale, and flexibility to handle expansion or shifts in strategy are key reasons to begin this journey.

This report highlights the advantages of incorporating multiple functions into one shared services model and common challenges that arise with the transition.

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