Poland is the second most preferred location for Shared Services Centers worldwide

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Shared Service Centres (“SSC”) and Global Business Services (“GBS”) are becoming increasingly flexible, digital, and cost-effective, according to a report by consulting firm Deloitte entitled Global Shared Services & Outsourcing Survey 2023. One of the key priorities for leaders of such units worldwide is the implementation of modern digital solutions, primarily enabling standardisation and efficient operation of handled processes. This also includes support for analytical, planning and reporting solutions – delivering value for the GBS client, i.e., the business. The Deloitte study also revealed that a key area of activity for Global Business Services also includes issues related to corporate social responsibility (ESG).

The authors of the Global Shared Services & Outsourcing Survey 2023 report examined Shared Service Centres and Global Business Services centres. They indicate that, in the face of dynamic economic changes, business service centres still prioritize cost reduction. According to the report, about 70 percent of GBS plan to reorganise the portfolio of services provided in the GBS model while maintaining current locations. In the case of decisions to change location, more than half of them are dictated by the pursuit of reducing costs. It is also worth noting that a significant part of location changes results from the search for employees with specific competencies.

Currently, Shared Service Centres and GBS are characterised by increasing agility, digitisation and cost-effectiveness, resulting not only from the pursuit of increased efficiency but, above all, from the desire for continuous improvement in customer service and employee experiences. They strive to continuously enhance their digital solutions through automation, workflow systems, joint ERP systems, but also those delivering value for the GBS client, i.e., the business.

A significant finding of the report is that shared service centres are also becoming increasingly concerned with social responsibility in business. Half of the respondents would not describe ESG as a main area of their interest (53 percent), while the other half believe the opposite (47 percent). Interestingly, 67 percent of respondents associate GBS with an organisation that promotes social responsibility and diversity. Also, almost half of respondents see ESG as a function that can be supported or serviced by GBS (e.g., ESG reporting).

Poland on The Global Podium

Among the most popular locations for Shared Service Centers in 57 countries, the top three are India, Poland, and Mexico, followed by the United States, which boasts the most significant SSC.

Poland, alongside Bulgaria, Ireland, Mexico, and Malaysia, is among the countries that experienced the most substantial percentage increase in customer preferences regarding the location of Shared Service Centres since 2021. The common advantage of Poland as a GBS location is believed to be access to qualified experts, positive customer experiences, and benefits arising from the fact that Poland is a member of the European Union, providing comfort resulting from applicable regulations regarding information security, cybersecurity, and others.

Functions Supported by GBS

The main functions serviced by GBS for several years remain finance as indicated by 91 percent of respondents; HR (staff and payroll, analytics, recruitment) – 62 percent; IT (service desk and project management including implementations, and increasingly data management) – stated by 57 percent of respondents and procurement (52 percent). The type of functions serviced by GBS does not change fundamentally. What changes is that more sophisticated elements of processes are increasingly transferred to GBS, not only transactional and reporting ones, but also those that support decision-making in the organisation.

Challenges in GBS

One of the fundamental challenges in GBS is customer experience. For instance, a lack of self-service, inability to resolve certain issues, long response times, and unclear objectives (KPIs). Steps they are already taking to improve customer service include conducting customer surveys (63 percent of respondents), adjusting service types to customer objectives (51 percent), and increasing transparency of applied service standards (48 percent).

Digital Transformation of the Industry

The GBS industry is a pioneer in the implementation of modern IT solutions. Almost 60 percent of respondents agree that the crucial factors for GBS development are process automation, joint ERP systems, workflow tools, and centralised reporting and analytics. The critical challenges companies encountered during automation implementation were associated primarily with process complexity and the technical complexity of the solutions themselves, leading to automation – as stated by 51 percent of respondents, compared to 43 percent in 2021. This is particularly significant considering that more and more centres are taking responsibility for entire processes (End to End).

Continuous improvement processes stood on the podium areas of interest of GBS organisations in 2023. 71 percent of organisations claim they have already implemented them, and 23 percent plan to do so. The authors of the report foresee that the dynamics of organisation evolution and the growing role of Global Business Services in the business space will lead to increased interest in GBS companies over the next three years.

About the Study

Deloitte’s 2023 Global Shared Services and Outsourcing Survey was conducted among leaders from 40 countries, with the best SSC locations in about 57 different countries. The global survey received approximately 500 responses from respondents in 6 industries such as the consumer industry, renewables and industry, technology, media and telecommunications, social sciences and healthcare, financial services, government administration and public services. The study was conducted from October 2022 to March 2023.