The story begins in 1940 – that time Dick and Mack McDonald opened McDonald’s Bar-B-Que restaurant in San Bernardino, California. The food offered has to be: always fresh, always looking and tasting the same way and basic – burger, cheeseburger, fries, shakes… But: What does that all actually have to do with shared services?!
“Real good and still only 15¢”? I am not going to tell you that your service should start with 15 cent rate as that was in one of the first McDonald’s advertisements. I am also far from saying that a shared service center should deliver fastfood. But: recognizing and analyzing of similarities between the McDonald’s and shared services’ way of doing, can bring many interesting findings.
One of the first McDonald's restaurants: Store in Des Plaines, Illinois
Source: McDonald's, http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com/etc/medialib/aboutMcDonalds/image_lib...
From Bar-B-Que to the world’s largest chain of fast food restaurants, which can be found 119 countries, operating over 31,000 restaurants and serving nearly 47 million customers daily? In That could be an ambitious long-term objective of a shared service center or a BPO company, couldn’t it?
“McDonaldization” of shared services? – What are the key success factors? Basically, the rules are very simple. As simple as burger, cheeseburger, fries or shakes:
• Standardization of products and services,
• Process simplification and automation,
• High intelligent and accurate controlling,
• Globalization, expansion world-wide,
• Well-trained personnel,
• Proper reaction on the needs of target market.
Do you recognize the characteristics of shared services in it? Most corporations expect from their shared service centers to bring savings between 20 and 30 percent. The cost cuts are mainly reached due to harmonization, standardization and automation of processes The shared services solution also brings more transparency and service mentality, which increases the overall quality of services offered.
Except of the above mentioned process dimension, human factor is of importance. Professional qualifications and language skills of employees pay a crucial role for a shared service center to be successful.
Shared services: McDonald’s way of doing, isn’t it? But the rules of taylorism, fordism (“You can have any colour you want, so long as it’s black”) can be found here as well. That would be a subject for another text showing that the beginning of shared services was earlier than in 1940.
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