Process Mining and Shared Services Centres are revolutionising the tech ecosystem

In today’s era, Shared Services Centres (SSC) have established themselves as a trusted strategic approach for global enterprises, imperative to a company’s processes running smoothly. SSCs are defined by the outsourcing of support functions within a company to a centralized team or department, i.e., when a company provides certain services to other divisions or subsidiaries within the same organization. The idea behind such ‘shared’ services is to centralize the common tasks for different teams in the company, instead of assigning a resource for every team. Hundreds of global corporations and almost all banks across the world have made the SSC shift to sustain their businesses in a more efficient manner.

Resource management is one of the most important parts of any business. Since both human and financial resources are limited, leaders need to be better at planning the best possible use of resources for their business. For instance, if the accounting department of a company is spending excessive time on data entry, an SSC could expedite the process by taking over, thus allowing the accountants to focus more on decision-making and analysing the performance of the enterprise.

The Shared Services Centres Landscape in India

For the last few decades, India has been the favoured destination for setting up a global SSC to achieve desired business objectives. This is largely due to the available talent pool and stellar STEM education in the region. India looks to remain the leader in this domain: According to NASSCOM’s India Global Capability Centres (GCC) Trends, in the first quarter of 2022, about 70 percent of US-headquartered multinational companies (MNCs) established their global capability centres in India. Globally, the GCC market is expected to grow by more than 11 percent.

Companies across the world are undergoing changes of an extraordinary magnitude. According to this article in the Economic Times, India hosts a flourishing GCC community of over 1,400 companies, employing over 1.38 million people. Several reasons compel GCCs to make a shift to SSCs. A centralized service has a substantial impact on a business by consolidating similar processes into a single unit. In addition, by shifting to an SSC, companies can save cost and time in comparison to every team working on its own.

Shared Services Centres – even more necessary during these macroeconomically unstable times

In the wake of COVID-19, leading SSCs around the world began undergoing disruptive changes. While many companies continued with “business as usual”, the ones who thrived throughout the pandemic were those who started to deploy new applications and tools, as well as automating processes to transform quickly.

As such, more pressure was put on SSCs to drive improved efficiencies and greater value for customers. SSCs had to swiftly mature to meet growing needs as companies began efforts to digitally transform. And now, with even more macroeconomic headwinds to navigate on top of the ongoing pandemic – war in Europe, inflation and more – companies must streamline processes and cut costs. SSCs are also being tapped to consolidate workforces as more people work from home and companies adopt hybrid work models.

As critical partners in helping companies increase efficiency and optimize resources, SSCs are increasingly asked to step up and help companies reimagine their business models and services to meet the current needs.

Shared Services Centres benefit from process mining

So much recent pressure on SSCs to deliver value in this new environment can be alleviated by technologies like process mining. By leveraging process mining, SSCs can gain a more holistic view of operations to ensure smooth business processes for their end customers. Indeed, SSCs are witnessing rapidly growing client needs, a rise in automation and AI, and company mandates for innovation.

According to Everest Group, a leading global research firm, process mining is critical in transforming Shared Services Centres and Global Business Services (GBS). As per the report, process mining provides SSCs with a data-driven approach to streamlining and optimising processes in back-office functions. Process mining enables Global Business Services (GBS) to accelerate its digital transformations and emerge as a strategic enterprise-wide partner.

Process mining completely changes the way SSCs and other consulting companies can operate, and serves as a platform that SSCs can leverage to bring even more value for customers. Process mining is like an X-ray machine for processes, that pinpoints exactly where there are problem areas and hidden inefficiencies.

Celonis, the pioneer and market leader in process mining and execution management, partners with some of the world’s largest SSCs to empower process transformation like never before, including partners like TCS, Wipro, Tech Mahindra, Infosys, and more to help companies increase efficiency and optimise resources. Celonis’ India HQ sits in Bangalore, one of the hotspots for SSCs in the country.

The use of process mining in SSCs delivers significant value and provides a deeper understanding of underlying processes. Process mining can help provide data-based insights to identify process bottlenecks, recommend levers for improvement, and drive best practices through process standardization. Process mining can help streamline and standardise processes across business units and geographies, improve process efficiencies, and deliver superior value and higher quality services within faster turnaround times.

Additionally, as SSCs integrate operations across regions, business units, service lines, and functions, the advantages that process mining can offer – analysing, benchmarking, and standardising processes at scale – are mission-critical. For example, SSCs can monitor the end-to-end Order-to-Cash (O2C) value chain from order management to billing and Accounts Receivable (AR), spanning across locations. The solution ties together process insights from each of these functions to improve overall process performance, thereby enabling greater collaboration and better change management.

A research report from Celonis illustrates many common process problems discovered by process mining. The research revealed the impact of these issues on average for a $5 billion enterprise company:

73% of invoices require manual intervention to process, amounting to $41 million in additional operating costs.

56% of customer orders require manual intervention to fulfill, amounting to $64 million in unnecessary expenditure.

54% of supplier deliveries are delayed, amounting to $396 million in costs.

1.5% of invoices are paid twice, amounting to an average of $172 million in wasted capital.

Anitha Scaria George
Vice President India COE, Country Leader at Celonis

Over time, these types of problems add up to millions and even billions in cost-savings opportunities for even the best-run businesses. Hidden process inefficiencies exist in literally every department, in every business, and every industry. And due to the complexity and rigidity of the underlying ERP, SCM, and CRM systems, these problems are extremely difficult and sometimes impossible to find using traditional approaches.

Inefficiencies exist in every business and identifying them and eliminating them has the largest impact. Process Mining has fast become a key enabler for SSCs to deliver enhanced value for global enterprises. Leveraging process mining in SSCs allows organizations to perform at levels they never thought possible.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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