Build it, then market it… and then they may come


Shared services maki… plug and play, surely?

In her latest contribution to HfS Research, contributing analyst Deborah Kops of delves into the trials and tribulations of shared services leaders tasked with selling the value to their internal customers…

“In most organizations, believe it or not, shared services delivery models (read: centralization of operations through outsourcing or shared services…or both) is still optional. While the C-suite huffs about new business models and efficiencies, they often espouse the “Build it and they will come” approach, neglecting to use their considerable clout to really change the way the organization works.

“So the poor shared services team is left holding the bag, thinking they’ll get good air cover from the top brass, yet finding out very quickly that they are no different from a third party provider when it comes to sales and marketing. Yet few have the experience or the expertise to go out hat in hand, selling the model as a truly compelling proposition.

“Ultimately, shared services success is simply about growth. If, like a provider, the model can scale across the enterprise, it’s a raging success. But getting there is the trick. In her latest article for HfS Research, Deborah likens shared services growth to eating sushi—most people will eat the ingredients individually, but few like the wrapper…”

Find out more by downloading the article How do you get them to eat sushi over at our Research Page.

Posted in : Captives and Shared Services Strategies, Sourcing Best Practises, sourcing-change



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  1. The metaphor is an interesting one since it has similar connotations with the need of buyers to immerse themselves into the culture of the target region. In an earlier post blog post that I did I emphasized the immeasurable value one gets when they step beyond the western hotels and dining experience. Buyers will get the real tenor of the region and how suppliers operate.

    Sorry I digressed from the main thrust of the posting. Your comments are so so true. The real issue is the team is tactically focused on delivery and poorly equipped to deliver a compelling argument as to the value that a shared service model can benefit stakeholders. You might “build and they will come” but not unless they understand what they will come for.

  2. Thanks, Jerry, for your comment. As I implied in my article, shared services organizations are busineses that must grow. And growth is much more than putting a list of processes in front of a client.

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