Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) has revealed the results of its Shared Service Centre (SSC)/Centralized Processing Centre (CPC) survey.
Highlights of the survey
Results from the survey which cut across various sectors of the economy showed significant cost savings had been made by adopting shared services and centralized processing centres especially for large organizations.
Here are a few key points from the survey which was conducted among C-Suite executives across various sectors.
- 26% of Nigerian SSCs surveyed selected their location based on the availability of support infrastructure.
- 23% of respondents implemented the SSC/CCS for improved service/process quality.
- 50% of respondents have achieved their objectives of implementing the SSC/CPC.
- 83% of respondents indicated their organizations have adopted multi function Shared Service Centres.
- 31% of CPC and SSC respondents achieved a cost savings of between 10-30%.
- 83% of respondents indicated that Finance and Information Tecnology functions were major candidates for migration to Shared Service Centres.
- The survey also revealed that the next big thing for Shared Services and Centralised Processing will be the rise of ‘bots’.
- Robotic Process Automation (RPA) will make it possible to fully automate highly rule-based/repetitive processes, thus reducing headcount and associated costs.
- They also explained that expanding the service scope of SSCs/CPCs to include more complex activities, will require a new set of skills, knowledge and qualifications
- As more SSCs and CPCs implement advanced automation tools, the role of transaction processors will be redefined. Job roles will be more focused on handling exceptions, providing insights and ‘adding value’
During the event, Aigbe Olotu Group Head Finance at the Sahara Group and Sylvia Nwakwue Divisional head Transaction Services GT Bank highlighted the benefits of shared services and the challenges he had faced in their adoption such as dealing with staff redundancy, difference in time zones and convincing senior management.
Alistair Hoefrt, Director Intelligent Automation PwC South Africa also gave a presentation on why companies had begun using bots to handle some aspects of their processing and the benefits of using them.
What is a bot ?
A bot is an application that performs an automated task.
Benefits of using bots
Standard Control: Bots will make it possible to automate repetitive processes, thereby enhancing efficiency. Human beings are prone to error due to fatigue or poor skills.
Data validation/Quality: Due to their programming to follow specific instructions, bots maintain data quality. So if specific details of a drivers licence are required, the bot would accept/reject an application based on pre defined standards. A human being on the hand could decide to
Cost savings: Bots are far cheaper to maintain compared to human labour as they need no overtime and do not agitate for salary/wage increases.
What sectors could bots take people’s jobs?
Bots are used across several sectors, but are increasingly being used to replace customer care inquiries since the questions take a repetitive format.
Despite the inherent advantages in using bots, significant hurdles remain for their adoption in Nigeria. Job losses that could occour would be resisted by labour. In a country with poor internet supply, maintaining 24 hours services with bots might be a challenge.
The high level of illiteracy in the country will also serve as a stumbling block to a mass adoption of bots in business. Call centres for example, have had to employ staff that can speak indigenous languages in the country to sort customer issues.