Our middle name is “Service” – but – Our first name is “Bad”

“Our middle name is service… but our first name is bad,” is the comment I heard at the Shared Services Conference in Dallas last week. Shared Services is a very interesting mix of consolidation, value,  cost reduction, help… but the thing that struck me the most is that Shared Services is a business within a business. Very interesting in the respect that the groups that understand this idea and do Shared Services well are those that really see their services center as just that… service.

This conference was unique because all of the speakers were colleagues… not industry experts, just people leading Shared Service centers all over the world. There was a common thread with all of the speakers on the first day of the conference, one that I write a lot about in the 8 Pitfalls… You really have to know your organization well. I was talking with a group about the book (imagine that?). We were on the topic of creating a plan. I explained to them, as I do to anyone who is interested in the ideas in the book; there are 200 pages in the 8 Pitfalls. Out of those 200 pages the first 100 deals with 3 pitfalls. Since you all know math so well – or you have a spreadsheet open, that means the last 50% of the book covers 5  pitfalls. At this point I should really encourage you to buy the book (I have 4 kids) to find out why those first 3 pitfalls are sooooooo important. However, because I promised myself to write at least 400 words per blog, I will go ahead and give you the answer.

1. Know Your environment – Who are you? What is your likelihood of changing? Where is your company headed – Questions like those and information on how to find out what is currently going on in you AP department.

2. Select A Service Provider – There are so many options out there. This pitfall explains how to go about doing that process and calculating your cost per invoice.

3. Get Organized – This chapter is about more than goal setting. Knowing your current environment and selecting the service provider that is appropriate for your situation lead to the next logical step…. setting appropriate time frames and actions. I guess you could say “really good” goal setting.

So, to sum it up, if you don’t know where you going, who you are going with, and what is going to take you there… chances are you are going to have trouble.  When you are in such trouble people will say, “Our middle name is service… but our first name is bad”!

To get your copy of The 8 Pitfalls of Accounts Payable Automation – click here to buy.

For more information go to www.costperinvoice.com

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