As a 14-year-old I spelled Time magazine. Especially the interviews with ‘captains of industry’ fascinated me. I imagined how these men, in a beautiful suit with a matching tie, a car with driver, present to tens of thousands of their employees their visions and business plans they want to achieve.
I imagined myself doing that and chose to study business administration. I majored in computer science (the hard side) and change management (the soft side).
Since 2002 I am Shared Service Center (SSC) specialist.
- My 5th SSC saved costs by 75% without any forced redundancies or hassle with the Works Council. This was €2million in cost savings per year and 8% growth in profit. Also, all divisions wanted to work with the SSC. In fact, they asked for new services and invited the SSC to participate in commercial tenders.
- My (dutch) book ‘The success of shared service? You!’, describes how this was achieved.
- My 10th SSC was that of a family business where setting up an SSC had failed twice in 10 Help of the well-known strategy consultants didn’t have the desired results. Their reports caught dust on a shelf. This 3rd attempt succeeded and yielded 4% growth in profits. This SSC is so successful that in addition to finance and HR, it now also provides facility, fleet management, legal affairs, purchasing and IT services.
- My 14th SSC belonged to a family business where 6 years earlier all SSC professionals had moved to one location. They were still doing their previous work. Directors of operating companies complained and did SSC-activities themselves again. In 2 years we organized the SSC with process-based teams, standardized 20 financial processes and brought all operating companies ‘back on board’. The accounts payable team was able to handle the work with 70% fewer people. SSC professionals were happy because they were recognized for their craftsmanship. The Works Council complimented the CFO for the way he did this change.