3 Insights from the Business Services Event, Spain
This virtual event, organised by the Kaizen Institute, brought together the Spanish Business Services community and was led by three organisations, TK Elevator, Duracell and BNP Paribas, who shared the latest trends and solutions in the sector.
End-to-end process vision
The evolution of Business Services has shown that they are more than simple low-value transactional services, but rather differentiated services capable of becoming a competitive advantage for the business. The most effective way to transform these services is to analyse the processes end-to-end, that is, to analyse the entire value chain from the production input to the output of the deliverables. In this model, cost synergies are not achieved solely by relocating to low-cost geographies, but by systematically eliminating tasks that do not add value. This vision proves that it is possible to adopt a new paradigm in which excellence in service level can coexist with excellence in efficiency and productivity.
This end-to-end vision demands agile teams that are organised by value stream, meaning global visibility of the process. This new paradigm entails that the organisation focuses on the information flow efficiency, instead of prioritising resource efficiency. To increase the rate at which value is added to information, losses in resource efficiency are expected, as resources are no longer dedicated to the same tasks and start managing processes in a cross-cutting way. So that information does not stop, in other words, so that there are no losses in the flow, it is essential to eliminate or minimise all waste. In addition, this model demands greater versatility from the resources, which have a wider dispersion and diversity of tasks. To enable this requirement, it is necessary to invest in the training and re-skill of the teams.
Smart digital transformation
All speakers agreed on the step-by-step approach that leads to success in digital transformation: start by identifying which critical processes have the most pain points, reengineer the processes and support the improvements with the best technology available for each company. Another perspective of this transformation is the use of data and its processing in a massive and fast way. Easy access to information created from data in real-time allows problems to be solved in a structured way, identifying root causes in an objective and focused way.
There can be several digital tools selected to implement these changes; however, regardless of the tool selected, it is essential to ensure that processes are not fragmented and, for this, end-to-end process re-engineering is essential. On the other hand, it is important to understand the key role of leaders to define the consequences of freeing up teams’ time as a result of automation. With Business Services focused on delivering relevant and excellent services, this time should be allocated to high value-added tasks for the company, for example, in the case of a financial team, improving cash flows or reducing customer debt.
Efficient talent management
Business Services also has a wide variety of team profiles. For example, areas such as Customer Service have a predominance of soft skills. This characteristic brings added challenges to integrated and transversal team management, which must reinvent itself to become closer and more flexible. According to the first insight presented, the vision of end-to-end processes implies that, in terms of human capital management, customer-centricity must be ensured, regardless of whether the customer is internal or external.
Furthermore, the challenge of retaining talent is increasingly pressing in this sector. Ensuring the empowerment of people, an organisation focused on the development of team leaders and consistent career plans aligned with the evaluation models are the main measures pointed out.
In addition to investing in career plans with the evaluation format, it is essential to also align training and education methods. The synchronisation between these three pillars has positive effects on employee engagement; however, the rotation of human resources is also essential. For this reason, in addition to implementing measures to prevent it, it is vital to design a model that enables a quick reaction. To this end, the creation of standards for the most critical tasks and training are vital tools for increasing efficiency and reducing the onboarding duration of new team members.
The upcoming years will pose exciting challenges for Business Services. As technology evolves, it will intensify its importance in decision-making and task automation. The pressure on customer experience (internal and external) will increase and human capital management will have to keep up. How these forces shape Business Services will dictate much of its future.
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