Other Shared Service Centers
Questions (in bold blue) have been edited slightly for clarification, grammar or punctuation. Specific names or references to people have been removed.
Why do you use John Hopkins as your example when UC Berkeley is doing the same thing to much less success? [Oct 2010]
We look to John’s Hopkins University as a model because of their successful experience and longevity with shared services within higher education. They began developing their shared service centers in 2004; structured the functional, technical, and physical framework to support it through 2005 and went live in 2006. With four solid years of experience, their example offers many lessons learned that we can benefit from examining. In addition, John’s Hopkins SSC service and productivity metrics reflect an efficiency rate at the 90th percentile of corporate America – an accomplishment that establishes them as “best in class” by any measure.
UC Berkeley, by comparison, began its exploration of shared services in 2008 as part of its Operational Excellence initiative. They have established a human resources shared service center for one division, comparable to the UC Davis Administrative and Resource Management division. They are currently engaged in the preliminary design phase of their campus-wide shared service center model. Our SSC team has met with the UC Berkeley Operational Excellence team and shared information on several occasions. As we move forward we will continue to cooperatively share ideas with our sister campus and learn from one another’s experiences.
Since the ARM HR/Payroll, Accounting & Finance SSC have been in place, what are the efficiencies and challenges they have experienced? What has/is being done to overcome the challenges? [Aug 2010]
Click here to read about the ARM SSCs challenges and efficiencies over the past year.
What will happen to the ARM shared service center? Since the recommendation and agreement is that there be one shared service center for campus and ARM shared service center is already established (HR/Payroll) AND they are still trying to roll out the ARM IT shared service center, how will they be affected? Will those people in the ARM shared service center be lateral transferred to the new shared service center and if so, isn't that a little unfair to the rest of the admin unit's personnel who are being affected? [Aug 2010]
ARM’s SSC, along with several other administrative consolidation efforts across campus have trail blazed the shared services approach and provided invaluable practical information and lessons learned. Although ScottMadden has proposed a different organizational model from ARM’s current SSC design, this foundational work is immensely valuable. Leadership of the existing service centers must make strategic decisions about the best ways to move forward while understanding that work will ultimately be integrated into a larger service model. The last part of your question will be addressed when the project approach and staffing strategy is finalized.
Are there campuses - other than Johns Hopkins - using an IT shared services model similar to what we're considering? If so, how long has it been since their implementation? What do we know about what has/hasn't worked for them at each stage of the transition process? [Aug 2010]
Several universities have either restructured administrative services or are presently launching programs similar to what UC Davis is proposing:
- The University of Illinois administrative review group studied administrative processes across their three campuses and released a report in June 2010 that recommended efficiency options for a number of functions, including information technology. By streamlining processes and improving performance, UI expects to reduce spending on IT by $18 million by 2013. Examples of UI recommendations include: consolidation of data centers, standardization of computer workstation configuration, switch to data networks to carry voice traffic (eliminating phone service contracts), expansion of cloud computing (i.e. internet-based computing), and exploration of software as a service (i.e. software that is deployed over the internet) for online learning, among other options.
- Ohio University started its exploration of shared services in the fall of 2007. Its initial timeline allotted a limited number of shared service centers running by July 2008 and full implementation of services for all non-academic units by July 2009. By focusing on best practices and standardization of processes in HR and finance, Ohio University realized $490,000 in labor and efficiency gains in the first year. Suggested expansion of OU’s shared service functions for 2010 include procurement, communications and marketing, and information technology. Estimated savings could be as high as $5 million. Because IT is a recent addition to shared services at Ohio University, best practices and lessons learned are yet to be documented.
I'd like to see more comparisons with other UC's, not just John's Hopkins. Also, our own UCDMC has a shared service center or centralized model. What are the comparisons there? Putting out one statistic (UCD payroll error = 10% John's Hopkins = 4%) is not impressive. Tell us how their processes work, what their employees think, how their employees like the work, what the customer base thinks, satisfaction levels, etc. Give us some tangible examples, not just "trust us, it's going to work and be more efficient." [Aug 2010]
During 2009 and 2010, the OE team conducted extensive research on shared services in university, government, other non-profit and private sector settings. We also met with HR, finance and IT leadership at UCDMC to learn more about their service provision. Some of the universities that have implemented shared services include Purdue University, Ohio University, Oregon State University, Cornell University, University of Illinois, and, of course Johns Hopkins University. Johns Hopkins has the most mature university shared service center structure in the nation, having implemented their centers in 2005. As a result, they have the most robust metrics and customer satisfaction data. Some of this data can be found at their shared services website at http://ssc.jhu.edu/index.html. One of the most interesting findings relative to our research and discussion with university shared services staff was that employees who work in the shared services environment actually experience an increase in job satisfaction due to their increased levels of expertise in subject matter and the increased levels of decision-making responsibility and empowerment.
Are other UC campuses moving towards a shared service center model? [June 2010]
UC Santa Cruz consolidated administrative services in 2004-05 in the areas of HR, accounting and IT. Although they did not use a shared service center model, per se, they consolidated functions from decentralized units into a more centralized structure. This consolidation was done in response to fiscal challenges, and we understand there is a high degree of satisfaction with the model. UC Berkeley recently established an HR Shared Service Center for its administrative division (similar to ARM). Berkeley's Operational Excellence initiative was launched to evaluate other administrative functions and identify areas for improved efficiency. The remaining UC campuses are also looking into shared service models.