Expertise / Functional Domains 2016-11-10T16:17:19+00:00

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Aecus have experience in a variety of Functional domains and ‘hot topics’ which are highlighted here. Click on the links to the left to find out more. If you have any questions about Expertise/Functional domains please email holly.nicholson@aecus.com.

Better IT sourcing, through outsourcing or internal provision, can provide cost savings, improved productivity, and access to new technology, skills and capabilities. But poorly conceived IT sourcing can result in higher costs, poor service and lack of flexibility. In a constantly maturing market, what looked like a good strategy on day 1 could be inefficient and ineffective within a few months.

We know ITO, what works, what doesn’t and how to deliver real results from your IT outsourcing or Shared Service Centre (SSC) project. We have delivered over £1bn of cost savings to clients and our clients conclude their programmes up to 40% faster than using a traditional sourcing process.

Our IT consultants are functional experts with deep experience of IT sourcing from a range of industry backgrounds. Working across the five IT sourcing towers of Applications, Data Centre, Desktop, Network and Service Desk, we help leading organisations get the best out of their current and future IT sourcing arrangements, providing a full range of services to enterprises and other organisations.

The challenges for today’s Chief Financial Officers have never been greater. In an era of high competitive pressure and a sustained focus on risk and compliance, they are increasingly required to demonstrate that the Finance function is achieving more for less.

Finance and Accounting BPO and Shared Service Centre (SSC) are now well established sourcing solutions to these challenges. Organisations are increasingly moving beyond the more transactional activities associated with Procure to Pay, Order to Cash and Record to Report processes, to include more specialist areas such as Regulatory Reporting, Consolidation, Tax and Treasury Management. Nevertheless getting F&A sourcing right, whether first steps or later in the journey, requires strategic clarity and precise execution.

Aecus’s team of highly qualified Finance & Accounting consultants have delivered dozens of successful F&A strategies. They bring outstanding experience gained with blue-chip organisations and the Big Four professional firms, and have the specialist expertise to help you speedily attain your Finance sourcing goals. Aecus specialists work across the full spectrum of Finance and Accounting activities, providing a full range of services to enterprises and other organisations.

The sourcing of HR and Payroll services can be extremely complex, due to the diverse range of processes, their high visibility within any business, and the fragmented nature of the HRO market. At the same time, the HR and Payroll technology landscape is constantly evolving, with new systems (such as Workday), providing further complexity and opportunity.

Our HR and Payroll experts have addressed these challenges with dozens of clients. Our advisors appreciate the sensitivity and complexity of HR and Payroll sourcing, and bring to bear our operational and advisory experience to avoid the common pitfalls and maximise the benefits. Our expertise covers multi-process HR, as well as specific services such as Payroll, Workforce Administration, Benefits Programme Administration, Expatriate & Relocation Services, Time & Attendance, Employee Relations, Recruitment and resourcing, Performance management, Compensation Planning & Admin, Learning & Development and HR Contact Centre management.

In all our HR and Payroll work, we provide a full range of services to enterprises and other organisations. In addition we have deep skills in the supporting areas required for successful HR/payroll sourcing, such as Change Management and Organisation Design.

CPOs and CFOs are increasingly recognising the significant potential benefits of Procurement outsourcing, generated above all from more effective category management – a small percentage saving on a category of spend can far outweigh the normal efficiency-based benefits of outsourcing. However tapping into these benefits is challenging, as the procurement BPO market is highly specialised, involving different suppliers, commercials, and resourcing models.

Aecus has a dedicated Procurement sourcing team, drawing on deep experience with UK, European and global clients. We can help you assess the potential for procurement outsourcing (or Shared Service Centre SSC) within your organisation, identifying which categories could be outsourced, evaluating the size of the opportunity, and then help select and contract with an appropriate supplier.

In addition to the core services that we provide to our Enterprise clients, our Procurement expertise includes specialist support such as advice on:

  • Procurement Shared Services
  • Online auctions
  • eProcurement
  • Tail Spend Management

Outsourcing customer contact centres is a mature service and was one of the early BPO offerings with the rise of the call centre in the 1990s. Since then, especially with advances in technology and the adoption of the internet, outsourcing customer engagement spans a range of contact channels and services and covers business process management, provisioning, hosting and management of the technical infrastructure, as well as managing CRM platform / applications.

As with other functional areas, there has been increasing pressures to contain cost, keep up with innovation and the exploitation of new technologies; and especially important in this area, improve and sustain the customer experience.

Aecus’s team of experienced sourcing advisors combine an understanding of today’s challenges in managing B2C relationships across a multitude of channels with knowledge of the underlying technologies, applications and service providers in the market offering such services. We have supported many blue-chip organisations across a range of industry sectors throughout the full sourcing cycle; from developing service delivery model options, feasibility and sourcing strategy, to finding the right service providers and putting in place the commercials and master services agreement to effectively manage the end-to-end solution.

Contact: andy.kitcher@aecus.com

We frequently advise clients on sourcing a range of industry specific processes. This has included, for example:

  • Banking: mortgage processing
  • Entertainment: royalties processing
  • Insurance: actuarial processing and policy administration
  • Local government: revenue and benefits collection
  • Travel: ticketing and revenue accounting.

We apply our sourcing best practice and our extensive experience of wider sourcing issues, supplemented by relevant industry expertise.

If you are looking at sourcing options for industry specific options please contact Rick Simmonds for a discussion about your requirements at rick.simmonds@aecus.com.

Aecus has expertise in a comprehensive range of other processes, in addition to the more standard areas of IT and BPO. In each area, we have subject-matter experts, tools and benchmarks to support your shared service or outsourcing programme:

Industry-specific processes
Aecus works across all industries, including many which have industry-specific processes that are outsourced or consolidated into Shared Services, such as:

  • royalties processing in the music industry
  • revenue and benefits collection within the public sector
  • mortgage processing within financial services
  • life / pensions and general insurance processing

Knowledge Process outsourcing (KPO) covers a broad range of services involving data mining, analytical research, decision support analytics, predictive modelling and business interpretation of data. We offer sourcing expertise, knowledge of this fast-changing market place and advice on the potential for further KPO deployment.

Outsourcing, the subcontracting of work to an external supplier, has been a maturing part of the business landscape for decades. Almost every organisation will outsource at least some of its IT or business processes such as Finance, HR or Payroll. Many organisations also outsource vertical processes that are unique to their industry such as credit card or insurance administration. At the same time, more sophisiticated, ‘value-added’, outsourcing in areas such as KPO and Analytics is becoming more common.

Despite being so well established, the range of outsourcing experiences varies massively, from very high satisfaction through to indifference or worse. Issues range from poor design, scoping and implementation, to low service quality. And whilst most outsourcing relationships progress beyond these teething troubles, many clients express frustration at the lack of continuous improvement and innovation they generate through outsourcing. Outsourcing has great potential, but it is not always realised.

In our experience almost every outsourcing programme can deliver good value. By bringing experience, data, tools and an external perspective, Aecus is focused on helping clients to avoid the pitfalls and maximise the benefits of outsourcing. Aecus provides a comprehensive set of services at every stage of the outsourcing process, from initial concept through to post-implementation optimisation.

The Shared Services model is well established, but navigating the landscape and options can be complex. Organisations have taken many different roads to Shared Services and a plethora of models have evolved over the years. These range from a single SSC providing multiple services to a region or subsidiary, to multiple SSCs split by function (e.g. separate SSCs for IT, HR and Finance). They vary in terms of functional and geographical scope, have differing commercial structures and diverse migration paths.

Aecus has a team of Shared Services experts who have been involved in every stage of Shared Services, from initial feasibility thinking, to setting up shared service centres on the ground in the UK, Europe and globally, and developing a new or better service culture. Our team knows what works well, the pitfalls to avoid, and with our benchmark data we have a very clear idea of the best practice in the market today.

Aecus’s Shared Services team can help you to steer through each stage of the Shared Services lifecycle, from initial strategy to optimization.

The proliferation of outsourcing relationships for many organisations has resulted in a range of risks and challenges – how do I make sure that my suppliers work well together? How do we manage change across multiple suppliers? How do we promote improvements across multiple suppliers? The sourcing landscape is becoming more complex still with the addition of cloud, XaaS and other pay-as-you-go commodity services.

Many organisations have now realised that in order to make multi-sourcing work someone needs to be formally responsible for managing and integrating the service delivered by multiple suppliers. SIAM (Service Integration and Management) is an approach to addressing these challenges. It seeks to establish a new ‘layer’ in the operating model that focuses on ensuring individual suppliers co-operate within the wider supplier ecosystem to do what is best for their customer.

In a recent survey, Aecus found that 74% of clients were pleased with their supplier’s general performance, but that 71% were dissatisfied with the level of innovation they were seeing in their outsourcing relationship. Instead of driving significant new efficiencies and business outcomes, outsourcing relationships for most organisations tend to be rather static, focused on getting the service right and delivering only small incremental changes. Aecus believes that as businesses continue to be pressed to deliver more for less, the expectation that outsourcing should drive innovation will only continue.

Today Aecus see the smartest suppliers and smartest clients investing time and effort on this, and achieving their innovation goals as a result, in the form of discrete projects, transformational innovation, or improvements in the client’s business. However, many organisations are held back in this drive for innovation by a lack of clarity and focus.

Aecus has developed an ‘Innovation Blueprint’ to help organisations approach the subject, and tackle 3 fundamental barriers:

  • Define: What are the different types of innovation in outsourcing?
  • Design: How will the innovation be funded?
  • Enable: Are the right enablers in place?

Offshoring, the process of tapping into global labour in locations such as India, Poland or South Africa, is a well-proven business strategy. Whether via inhouse ‘captive’ centres, or through an outsourcer’s facilities, offshoring can provide competitive labour rates, and other benefits such as access to scarce expertise and the de-risking of operations by moving away from a single delivery location.

Increasingly the challenge for organisations is to move from running a few offshore activities, to developing a coherent and integrated Global Business Services (GBS) approach.

Aecus has very extensive experience of designing, implementing and optimising offshore sourcing. Aecus has worked in all the key global offshore locations, helping clients to assess the right offshore location and supplier, validating pricing and business cases using our price benchmarking tools, through to supporting transition and the bedding down of offshore operations.

Insourcing – the returning of outsourced activities to internal provision – is a highly topical subject. Although in practice it is a relatively rare course of action, it is an important option particularly for an organisation where outsourcing is seen to have failed to deliver, or where the underlying economics have fundamentally changed.

Insourcing can be a complex undertaking. Before doing so organisations will need to carefully assess the pros and cons, as well as mitigating the risks and penalties of exit from the supplier relationship, and simultaneously rebuilding inhouse capabilities needed to deliver the service. This process is made all the more challenging by the relative scarcity of best practice and experience available in the market.

Aecus has real experience of assessing and implementing this strategy, from small scale tactical insourcing of small areas of scope, to larger insourcing programmes. Aecus can therefore provide real insights into how to assess, plan and deliver an insourcing programme. Aecus can also provide advice on how to outsource without losing the contractual flexibility, skills base and independence needed for insourcing to remain a realistic option throughout the many years of a typical outsourcing contract.

With outsourcing and shared service practices increasingly prevalent for organisations across the world, their portfolios of sourcing activities is becoming ever more complex. Long gone are any simplistic notions that a company’s IT or back office activities would be ‘purely’ outsourced or 100% Shared Service Centre (SSC). The reality is that successful companies are developing nuanced and balanced sourcing mixes, which combine outsourcing, Shared Service Centre (SSC) and other sourcing models such as JVs.

These mixed models can be variously described as ‘hybrids’ or ‘global business services’, but whatever they are called they present new challenges. The first question is one of strategy – what is the right balance of internal and external provision, or of global or local delivery? Then come issues around implementation – what is the right way to roll out or develop the sourcing? What is the right way to coordinate, govern and integrate services across a complex global services structure? Finally there are challenges in optimisation, such as how to benchmark the services, or to build in innovation, where responsibility for delivery is shared by inhouse and outsource partners.

Aecus has been advising organisations on these and other ‘hybrid sourcing’ questions for over a decade. We have case studies, best practices and benchmarks to help companies make decisions on these ‘big picture’ questions based on tried and tested intelligence.

Cloud computing is tipped to be the next big thing in the world of IT. If you believe the hype, it won’t have escaped your notice that new business models enabled through cloud technology have the potential to transform the way we buy and sell both infrastructure and software. In doing so it could re-write the rules of the outsourcing industry.
However, as is often the case in the world of IT this transformational concept has been hijacked by the marketing fraternity and so much has already been written about cloud computing that it’s already difficult to see the cloud through the fog.