Public sector pressures drive new interest in shared services

Success in adopting shared services relies on finding the right approach – a new White Paper sets out six approaches for sharing services after research found 83 per cent of professionals see pooling resources as the future.

May 10, 2013
By Paul Jacques
Adam Commons

Success in adopting shared services relies on finding the right approach – a new White Paper sets out six approaches for sharing services after research found 83 per cent of professionals see pooling resources as the future.

A growing number of public sector organisations are now investigating shared services to save millions of pounds per year without damaging frontline services. This is according to a new White Paper commissioned by finance software specialist, Advanced Business Solutions in partnership with business process service provider Agilysys.

The paper, Six Approaches to Successful Shared Services, sets out six proven approaches to sharing services, depending on how ambitious the parties involved want to be. Options range from shared software and underlying IT systems, to contracts and framework agreements, management, operations and transaction processing.

Dean Dickinson, managing director, Advanced Business Solutions, says: “Shared services through merged back-office functions offers organisations huge potential for cost-savings, removing the need for each party to make their own individual investments in administrative staff, IT systems and associated floor space. Each year those savings grow exponentially.

“In the local government sector alone, at least 337 councils across the country are engaged in 305 shared service arrangements, resulting in £263 million in efficiency savings. We recently conducted a survey which found 83 per cent of professionals are now looking at shared services as a means of delivering substantial improvements in efficiency, without harming frontline services.”

Following the publication of the Comprehensive Spending Review, it has become increasingly important for organisations of all shapes and sizes to minimise the costs spent on running administrative functions which do not add value to the customer experience.

The paper also highlights procurement savings as a significant benefit of shared services.

Examples include Rotherham Metropolitan Council, which is looking to save £3 million on procurement by using Advanced Business Solutions’ cloud-based solutions and services to jointly run back-office processes, pension-related activities and a housing ALMO (arm’s length management organisation).

However, every case is different and success relies on organisations finding the approach that best suits their requirements.

The White Paper, Six Approaches to Successful Shared Services, can be downloaded at www.advancedcomputersoftware.com/abs/resources/ regform.php?ID=982

•Advanced Business Solutions provides integrated business applications and services to public, private and third sector organisations.

Software systems comprise core accounting/financial management, procurement, supply chain management, human resource and payroll systems, integrated with a range of collaborative, document management and business intelligence solutions.

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