Malaysia Activity Report

PhD student Fiona visited Malaysia this January to investigate the shared services landscape in the country.

The first visit was to Dr. Aini Aman, associate Professor of the National University of Malaysia (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, UKM). Dr. Aman is an expert in offshore outsourcing and there was a lively exchange of views about shared service centres and opportunities for future collaboration between the two institutions. UKM has a strong network of contacts within local shared service centres and Dr. Aini was able to introduce Fiona to a number of industry professionals who were able to provide insights into the operations of shared service centres. Visits to these shared service centres is allowing the CIMA-Loughborough Shared Service Centre project team to expand our research to the Asia-Pacific region and to make comparisons between governance in Western and Eastern business contexts.

Fiona also met Ms. Aila, Portfolio Development Officer of MDeC MSC. MDeC is a government supported ICT project which aims to attract world-class multinational organisations to set up shared service centres in Cyberjaya, a town with a science park at its centre which was formed as part of the Multimedia Super Corridor. The project also plays a role in providing a conduit for communication between organisations and the Malaysian government. The co-operation of MDeC has enabled us to gain access to local shared service centres of multinational corporations such as IBM and DHL.

Finally, Fiona interviewed Qingqing Soo, Chief Finance Officer of the DHL Asia-Pacific Shared Service Centre, about the current benefits and problems arising within the shared service centres and how service level agreements can play a role in the governance of the business.

Intellectual capital: Optimising performance in SSC’s

In anticipation of the fast approaching SSC event due to take place in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on the 18th of January 2013, we are already beginning to see a number of interesting trends and practices developing regarding performance management in Sri Lankan shared service centres.

One issue that has been brought to our attention is that of young management accountants with unrealistic views about career progression, thinking that a management accountancy qualification provides a fast track route to CFO level.  However, the rates at which career progression can be achieved within SSC’s do not correspond to these expectations, resulting in high turnover rates.

In contrast to this situation, some organisations have moved services to remote villages after discovering that the women who reside there are content in basic process jobs and have no wish to progress.  Thus, turnover rates are low and these workers provide long-term staff for their employing organisations.

The two circumstances outlined above suggest how important it is to find staff with the right attitude towards the roles offered within SSC’s, an issue that we will hopefully gain further insight in to during the roundtable event.

Another notable talking point is the variation between organisations regarding their attitudes toward career progression and the procedures in place that reflect these, which include temporary international relocation and bonus schemes. 

Further performance management issues within SSC’s which we would like to delve further in to include the difficulties relating to specific roles, for example country-specific leaders, and language requirements of staff to name a few.

We hope that this has given you an introductory insight in to the present shared services landscape of Sri Lanka and has sparked your interest in the topic as much as it has ours.  We predict that the event on the 18th will be a thoroughly informative and interesting occasion for all. 

Please see the below information sheet for details of objectives, speakers and topics to be covered at the event.

Ian Herbert Participating in CIMA Expert Roundtable – 15th January 2013

Ian Herbert will be participating in a CIMA expert roundtable event in Malaysia on the 15th of January 2013.  The event is titled “Shared service centres ‘BUILDING TOMORROW’S TALENT’ An Asia Perspective”. 

The main discussion points at the event will concern: the future of finance, challenges and barriers of the transition to SSC’s, the implications of SSC work to the careers of management accountants, the skills agenda, and culture and behaviours.

Please see the link below for a briefing paper.

Roundtable briefing paper

Loughborough University Shared Services Team at 20th Anniversary of the Balanced Scorecard Event

Professor Robert Kaplan of Harvard University and Dr David Norton addressed a conference at Edinburgh University’s Playfair Library on 5th November 2012.

Their development of the balanced scorecard (a performance measurement framework) enabled non-financial measures to be incorporated into metrics and gave managers a more ‘balanced’ view of organisational performance. The ceremony coincided with the 20th anniversary of its development.

Three CIMA-funded research reports were presented that focussed on a different aspect of contemporary performance management. One of the reports was by Professor Lin Fitzgerald and Ian Herbert of Loughborough University, which focusses on their work on performance management in shared business services.

The event was part of CIMA’s ‘Kaplan and Norton: contemporary performance management’ series and the lectures will shortly be available to view as podcasts at

REVIEW: Loughborough-CIMA SSC Forum – 17th October, Loughborough University

The 11th CIMA-Loughborough Shared Service Centre forum was held recently at Loughborough University, to coincide with the launch of the Centre for Global Sourcing and Services

Said one participant: Both the launch of the Centre for Global Sourcing and Services and the SSC Forum were really positive and engaging events, characterised by knowledgeable people willing to share great insights and thinking – just the sort of events and programmes that I am sure will advance both academic research and industry practice in business services and sourcing.”

Organised by Ian Herbert, the October forum focused on marketing and branding of shared services, with executives from finance and HR business support services congregating at the School of Business and Economics to discuss how decision makers define and project the value proposition to the business.

Special guests Satish Paul and Justin Borradaile from KPMG gave their insight into these topics from a consultant’s perspective, stimulating engaging discussions between the attendees.

Paul Wickens, Chief Executive of Enterprise Shared Services, provided an informative case study into how shared services have been branded and marketed within the Civil Service in Northern Ireland.

Attendees were encouraged to share their ideas of best practice with the group, with a number of thought-provoking contributions from representatives of Rolls-Royce plc, Shell, Interfleet and MyCSP to name a few.

Following the next meeting in Wroclaw, Poland on 25th October there will be two meetings in January 2013: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Colombo, Sri Lanka.  The next UK forum will take place in February 2013.

Success in Wroclaw, Poland at the 12th CIMA Loughborough Forum

On the 25th October, 2012 Andrew Rothwell and Stephanie Lambert from the shared services research team headed to Wroclaw, Poland to facilitate the 12th CIMA Loughborough Forum.  For the first time the event was hosted in Poland, very kindly by Hewlett Packard Global Business Services.

The day included three interactive sessions surrounding talent management, marketing and branding and best practice in the shared service centre (SSC).  Discussions were rich and insightful and have clarified areas of interest and topics for future focus.  A range of SSC employees attended, all bringing different and valuable input to the table.

The day also saw a very well organised and informed tour of HP’s global SSC with a specific look and introduction in to their marketing department.

The event has prompted a further series of questions which will hopefully be addressed in the near future at another Poland based forum – watch this space!

Many thanks to CIMA and HP for ensuring this event ran smoothly.  Materials will be available to members on the Forum members page shortly.


PhD Project Presented at British Academy of Management, Cardiff

During September Stephanie Lambert presented her work on ‘Anchoring Professional Careers within Shared Services’ at the British Academy of Management Conference hosted in Cardiff.  A record number of 815 delegates from 49 countries attended the 26th annual BAM conference.

Stephanie’s submitted developmental paper is part of her PhD project which is sponsored and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the School of Business and Economics at Loughborough University.  The research incorporates aspects of the sociology of professions, career theory and global talent management with the endeavour to protect professional traits and behaviours that contribute to the commercial benefits of employing Shared Service Centre Models in multinational corporations.

Forum Agenda – 25th October – Wroclaw, Poland

 The SSC Research Team is pleased to announce the agenda for the 12th CIMA/Loughborough SSC Forum, taking place on the 25th October hosted by Hewlett Packard Global Business Services in Wroclaw, Poland.

The theme for the event will be: Marketing, Branding and Projecting the Shared Service Value Proposition.  See below for the agenda.

Poland Forum Agenda

The visit of the Forum to Poland presents a valuable opportunity for shared services professionals to compare the options of onshore vs offshore in one of the hotspots for European service location. A tour of a SSC facility will give an insight into how local skills are harnessed to provide services across a multi-national corporation. The objective is to create insights into how hybrid sourcing strategies and locations can be developed onshore and offshore.

Powering the knowledge-based economy: global goals, local logic – Interview with Thomson Reuters

According to IMF predictions, by 2030, 56 % of global GDP growth is expected to come from the emerging markets. Kellie Goldstein, CFO, global emerging markets, Thomson Reuters markets division, talks to Ian Herbert and Keshav Champawat of the Loughborough University Business School about why the key to success in emerging markets is balancing global and local dimensions – and matching talent with opportunity.

 Click here to read the interview with Kellie.