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 Building a successful Shared Services Team at the World' s Largest Retail merchant.

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PostSubject: Building a successful Shared Services Team at the World' s Largest Retail merchant.   Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:36 pm

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By: Kathy Schroeder &amp; Joey Mixon, 聽 co-Chairs within the Marketing and Communications Committee, 聽 Wal-Mart Shared Services Division
In February 2006, Wal-Mart's finance executive control team began strategizing about transforming the numerous accounting processes for Wal-Mart Shops and Sam's Clubs in the states and Puerto Rico proper shared services organization. Factored in this process, a Shared Services Advisory Committee had been formed, consisting of open-minded corporate leaders from the accounts payable, accounts receivable, overall accounting and human source areas. The committee developed a technique that led to a vision to become a source of support to your internal customers, and providing them by using business solutions and value-added information that would allow them to pay attention to their specific business strategies and initiatives. Selling this message was key.
A result of size and volume for accounting transactions processed with Wal-Mart, efficiency had ended up worked into our surrounding. However, the plan was to choose from additional value to our own shareholders by lowering fees and allowing the business units to pay attention to their strategic priorities through resource sharing, increasing span of control, and integrating all accounting functions with different operating areas. Our strategy centered on developing the very idea of "People鈥? Process鈥? and Technology鈥? and communicating and marketing it into the company.
Marketing
The first marketing initiative was to create signs with our mandate statement ("to deliver useful financial services to Wal-Mart's organization and support units in the cost and quality much better than competitive alternatives") and post them all over the shared services building, just like lobby area, to be certain our business partners perceived our focus.
The Advisory Committee searched different shared services concepts via publications in the industry (such as this one) and also by networking with experts at SSON-sponsored conferences. The key thing was to discover how to effectively market and communicate our mission and realize a smooth transition.
In benchmarking with other programs utilizing shared services plus outsourcing support, our Advisory Committee traveled to Costa Rica in order to tour Procter &amp; Chance it, Hewlett Packard and IBM comforts. One of the vital takeaways from our benchmarking outings and conference attendances was the use of metrics to define operation cost and measure output and how those metrics is usually posted visually for all associates (our term meant for "employees") and customers to find. While many SSCs charge internal business units for their services, i thought this was not in our transition scope even as were seeking ways to prove the worthiness add our SSC might provide.
One of our very best challenges was selling the quality add of the provided services concept to other areas within the company which still running their individual F&amp; A transactional processes. Shared services was not mandated from the executive level for virtually all business areas, which made our focus on marketing a vital organ of the transformation.
Communication
Our initial communication into the management team defined "success, " and the "keys" to accomplish this success. Success was thought as:
reduced cost
improved controls
initiation of best tactics learned through benchmarking
improved client service
Keys to success were labeled as:
including the right consumers
developing the right lifestyle
incorporating efficient support models
a Results-Only Work Ecosystem (ROWE)
The Advisory Committee revealed gaps that existed amongst the environment as was and our vision, and developed a policy to narrow these. Another major challenge was overcoming resistance to convert. The previous structure had been in place for above 25 years; we knew that many of us would only win the divisions over if we could prove the implementation belonging to the proposed changes would get the job done and would create opportunities for associates to develop, learn new business thoughts and remain engaged in the change.
Organizational Structure
An organizational structure got its start to support each major process during the shared services division. Both new and existing resources were included in this restructure. Centers of Excellence (COEs) for any major transactional processes were created to promote efficiencies, develop our people, enhance career methods, promote sustainability, and improve controls. The Centers of Excellence are marketed with our "Shared Services Wheel":

Primarily, five such COEs was established:
Internal Disbursements (payroll, payroll tax bill, and travel &amp; outlay of money payables)
External Disbursements (merchandise payables, assembly line, asset &amp; expense payables, shipping payables)
Receipts (accounts receivable, payments and collections)
Controls (reconciliations, professional data, transactional controls, place audit)
Support (imaging, records entry, record retention, systems and Six Sigma continuing improvement)
In 2007, another COE for General Accounting was added as the integration of new processes from that region of finance began to speed up. Once we identified as well as realigned our existing steps and associates into particular COEs, we were allowed to utilize resource sharing in addition to identify process efficiencies. A continuing Improvement team was established which utilized Six Sigma principles in its can it processes for all COEs. Several successes resulted within the reallocation of resources and the streamlining of processes which deemed inefficient by the associates.
Such process changes had an attractive impact on business units, both inside and outdoor our division. These positive changes created an avenue to plug and communicate the benefit add our transition will have, not only to the work but also to the associates all through the business. The largest impact for change within the organization was realized with the development of our Governance Committees. These committees were manufactured because we understood that others were the key to your success and giving all of them a voice in judgements made would create the "buy in" required to make our transition profitable.
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Primarily, nine Governance Committees were created:
Communication
Finance
Government
People (Associate)
Process (Metrics)
Internet marketing
Risk
Sustainability
Technology (Innovations)
At the outset, committees were staffed only with management associates. Each manager selected a committee to participate on, based on their specialized niche and commonalities. Over the next several months, the committees made great strides in rising communication, creating a brand new culture, and instilling an even greater level of pride during the organization.
To enhance communication to all associates in the contributed services division, the Communications Committee developed a daily newsletter which marketed committees' projects, highlighted new hires plus promotions, and introduced an innovative avenue of communication labeled SharePoint (Microsoft software) to help you th edivision.
Initiatives
The Marketing Committee led several initiatives to generate divisional pride by acquiring apparel with Wal-Mart Contributed Services embroidered logos, ego pins, and other items that incorporated the shared expertise logo. The senior leadership squad wore these shirts and pins to encourage pride within the category, and the items were definitely presented in meetings.
To guarantee the division had representation and insight at all levels, we expanded much of our committee participation to per hour associates. This move to include all associates within the particular division enabled us in order to overcome another challenge that him and i faced鈥攖hat of divisional satisfaction. Our associates could now identify using an organization that embraced modify, was willing to promote and involve all numbers of associates, and create a professional atmosphere that promoted ability and career development. Governance Committee participation additionally helped identify several on an hourly basis associates with specific talents should push the organization onward. Career opportunities for all these talented associates were sped up, based on their increased experience of a broader base of divisional leaders.
Associate Engagement scores measured through belief surveys grew from 58% inside FYE2007 to 71% through FYE2009. In addition, Senior Leadership held "skip level" meetings with associates to present another avenue for communication, offering an opportunity for the associates to speak directly with Senior Leaders while in the division without management reporting levels present, to offer ideas and give feedback on our advance. As our business expanded, so did the want to promote and fill new and existing positions around the organization. From July 2007 to help you August 2008, there were 108 promotions within the division, including 66 promotions while in the hourly ranks, 31 promotions from hourly to direction ranks, and 11 promotions for management associates towards a higher level of relief; all on an correlate base of 850 people centered at Bentonville, AR and Derby, KS.
Committees Happen to be Key
The Governance Committee structure has expanded to a overall of twelve committees. The Marketing and Connecting committees were merged into one simply because it was recognized that they overlapped in lot of areas, resulting in a good duplication of initiatives. The merged teams these days create common strategies on what to market with imaginative input, and who to help you communicate those efforts so that you can. There is also a person Experience Committee, which can provide guidelines on service place agreements and customer scorecards.
What's more, we added Talent Control, Building Pride, and Strategy Committees. Our Talent Management Committee meets weekly to examine divisional job openings regarding internal postings, along with developing work paths and succession plans for the division. The Building Golden technologies Committee, made up associated with mostly hourly associates, prioritizes any project list for enhancing our facilities from a associate's perspective. The Strategy Committee is up to date addition, developed to improved define the division's long-term (greater as compared with five years) strategy. Giving autonomy to these potent, cross-divisional committees we've achieved remarkable results鈥攚hile all at once avoiding bureaucracy.
Governance Committees are actually the key success during improving associate engagement, response, and level of morale. As an example, the year's "Victory Campaign, " wherein we were challenged to operate with an expense structure which was four percent less than that of your previous year's. The Marketing Committee developed a campaign drive an automobile this initiative (Win With Reducing, or WAR) and motivate all associates to play a part with expense saving tips and personal commitments to lower costs throughout the dividing. Signing for the WAR theme was using the 1940s theme during World War II, with illustrated pictures and concepts within the U. S. public pulling together in times for need.
Another initiative, any HERO (Helping Expense Diminishment Occur) pledge, was introduced for associates pledging to lower expenses. Each associate which will pledged received a military t-shirt, a HERO lapel green and lanyard. The camouflage shirts tend to be worn on jean time or casual dress days while in the division, and the lapel hooks and camouflage lanyards will be worn daily. In option, the team created a good BRAVO award which is known as "Bigger Rewards Allow Victorious Outcomes" which provides financial incentives (up in order to $1, 000) for cost saving ideas implemented with suggestions by hourly acquaintances.
The Talent Challenge
With Operations and Merchandising the hub of Wal-Mart's business, the shared services division together with other divisions indirectly related to be able to operations face challenges along with recruiting talented associates (both hourly and management). The more attractive jobs were viewed as being related to Functions or Merchandising. To build up divisional talent, we should position ourselves within the manufacturer as a destination purpose for talented associates. Our continued marketing efforts have payed off. We are starting to see ever more interest in our division even as continue to create excitement inside company and promote our associates to their fullest potential. This trend, in turn, has enabled us in order to showcase our talent while in the finance organization.
Career opportunities while in the division enabled our associates to fulfill F&amp; A core abilities outlined by Wal-Mart money leadership for more mature level promotion opportunities. Increased interaction while in the finance organization has granted us with opportunities to participate in quarterly finance meetings, accolades to your team from our CFO plus CEO (unprecedented visits to our facilities! ), and a vigorous seat at the Funding table as accounting experts.
As we continued in order to showcase our accounting in addition to process expertise and current the scope of latest transaction volume and funds, we began receiving requests from different areas of the company for an assessment their F&amp; A processes. As a result regarding implementing the Centers associated with Excellence concept, the integration of innovative processes occurred with modest to no interruption to client service. Many processes were involved without additional headcount.
Actually, specific teams were integrated with their processes. This enabled usa to implement F&amp; A good controls and efficiencies by way of merging into existing steps with commonalities. Communication and Marketing one's financial shared services also included education of this concept to our business customers past Wal-Mart. In September '08, we held a Supplier Summit which had been attended by more than 300 Wal-Mart merchandise providers. Each Center outlined it has the key responsibilities, contact information and shared easy methods to communicate effectively to take care of issues.
Global Services
Mainly because Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. keep increasing, especially on the worldwide front, it has become apparent than a Global Finance Transformation Project is support continuing initiatives. We've embarked on this assignment, which will dramatically alter the financial landscape most of us operate in. The journey includes moving all ongoing financial systems to SAP. Several SSC managers were used in a project team to assist with the planning and integration from the SAP system.
The transformation to SAP will grant Wal-Mart to move to the single global platform for those countries. Different financial platforms have already been a significant roadblock with the path of continued progression. Based on the success your US Finance SSC, Wal-Mart is exploring various options to be effective financial SSCs to help all our operations in Canada and america, Asia, Europe and Latin America began this morning the PROFIT Global Money Transformation Project. The project group formed a global Financial Shared Services team which spent much time with managers with the U. S. shared services division reviewing organizational framework and process maps, together with benchmarking the governance panel approach.
Our transition is not really yet complete, as we strategize on becoming organ of the North American Shared Assistance Center. We have learned considerably through the transition up to now and are currently accommodating complete a professional catalog of services to publish and display for each of our business partners. With as well as hindsight, this catalog of services would have been beneficial to our customers right from the start as we were adding processes into our section.
Additionally, we continue to pay attention to growing our management talent in the organization as we currently have lost several subject-matter specialists to job rotations throughout the three-year transition. Our shared services administration team is excited and ready money. The future includes worldwide growth, increased skill set through professional certifications in the F&amp; A profession, a continued look into our business partners, and extra integrations to provide the value-added solutions for any company. In the last part, our journey so far has shown that financial shared companies works at Wal-Mart.
Tips of Discussion:
In February 2006, Wal-Mart's finance executive control team began strategizing about transforming the numerous accounting processes for Wal-Mart Shops and Sam's Clubs in the states and Puerto Rico proper shared services organization. Factored in this process, a Shared Services Advisory Committee had been formed, consisting of open-minded corporate leaders from the accounts payable, accounts receivable, overall accounting and human source areas. The committee developed a technique that led to a vision to become a source of support to your internal customers, and providing them by using business solutions and value-added information that would allow them to pay attention to their specific business strategies and initiatives.
1. 聽Can you give basic plus the how your organisation provides supported internal customers and what has the reaction from them already been 鈥? positive / destructive?
2. 聽Benchmarking against other programs is key to Wal-Mart's strategy as they have done this vs P&amp; G, Hewlett Packard and IBM conveniences 鈥撀爃ow important has benchmarking been to your organisation and do you share some takeaways from doing this?
This article was earliest published on www. ssonetwork. com. Check this to read the classic article <! --INFOLINKS_OFF-->.
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