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How Strict Can You be When Mandating Global Processes?

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Editor Coda
Jul 23, 2013

One of the biggest savings that can come from moving to a shared service model is the benefits that come from standardized processes.  While it is a challenge to get people at local sites to adapt to new ways of working, the dividends can be huge.

When functions are moved into a shared service center, processes can be automated and streamlined, and there are enormous efficiency savings to be gained.

However, how hard can you push the local sites to adapt to new ways of working? Can you just mandate a new way of working? You can try, but a better way of working is to define a standard process, communicate and control.

Use a consistent communication programme explaining why the changes are happening, why people need to move to a new process and how it will improve the business.

Use your own process experts to define processes with one document outlining one acceptable and mandated process.  Everyone should have to follow the same process unless they can present a document which states that, legally, they are obliged to follow a different process.

But what if local sites insist on doing things their own way?  If a country is insisting on sticking with their own processes and ignore the shared services process what can you do?

There are some processes that will need to be different for legal reasons and local regulations in different countries.  If the site can document their legal case for their process, they should do so.

If it’s not a legal reason, however, try to engage them and ask them to make the case for their exception. Who knows, you may even learn something from their way of working. At the same time, present back to them the reasoning for the new process and the new way of working. If you don’t feel they have a compelling reason to continue with their previous way of working, explain to them clearly, why.  This level of engagement will help you understand the reasons behind any resistance, and help them understand your point of view.

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