PHARMACEUTICAL PROCESSING | MAY 2015 25 n
nLEAN MANUFACTURING ■ PHARMPRO.COM
single authorization for the position change, after which
all departments know they can get to work. This eliminates two superfluous authorization steps without losing
ADD FLOW TO YOUR ACTIVITIES
Once the value stream is mapped, it is time to simplify
and standardize the process as much as possible. This
prevents obstructions in the process, such as waiting
times. When all activities are picked up and processed at
the right time, flow is created.
In shared service management, the flow principle becomes apparent when an organization has gained experience in communally processing a supra-departmental
process. In the previously mentioned process of an employee changing positions within an organization, HR,
facilities and IT must swing into action. These departments’ activities are mutually dependent to a certain
The first step is often that HR applies a change in the
staff administration because the other departments need
this information to perform their tasks. The IT department has to know which authorizations they must assign,
and the facilities department wants to know whether they
must supply a mobile phone, and which company car.
When these departments work in the same tool, everyone
can see the progress. In addition, the tool makes sure
that the task is not visible until it can be picked up. This
prevents unnecessary obstructions.
PULL: SUPPLY ON TIME
The pull principle concerns services only being supplied when the customer asks for them, and that they are
then supplied on time. This is a tricky principle, and can
only be adhered to when the value stream is mapped and
there is flow in the process. Only then can the process be
controlled and predicted.
In shared service management, the pull principle is
apparent when a shared process is under control. Let’s
take the commencement process as an example. When
someone is hired but won’t start work for another three
months, it’s a waste to immediately order supplies for
them. In this time, the price of the products may drop or
a newer product may become the new standard. When
the commencement process is fully under control across
all departments, you can determine when these items
must be ordered so that the new employee has everything they need to get to work on their first day.
STRIVE FOR PERFECTION
The fifth Lean principle states that you should always
continue striving for perfection. Lean says that you can
never reach perfection, but striving for it is important.
Continue improving by taking small steps.
With shared service management, you strive for completely integrated services and supporting departments.
In the future, you may not speak about separate IT, facilities and HR function, and there will be a single services
department. To achieve this, the departments must join
forces with regard to tools, processes and the service
desk, with each department maintaining its own areas of
expertise. This complete departmental integration cannot
be achieved in the short term, but the important thing is
the steps you take in that direction.
The shared service management implementation comprises various phases. Most organizations start where
there is nothing shared. In this phase, each of the organization’s departments has its own processes and procedures. They hardly work together and there is a strict
division of tasks.
The first step organizations take toward shared service
management is making it a shared tool. Organizations
that use a shared tool already work in a single package,
but still have different ways for the customer to approach
them, as well as their own processes and procedures.
This step does provide significant savings, because it
reduces the number of applications used. However, customer satisfaction really starts improving in the next
step: shared service desk.
In this phase, a shared service desk is set up featuring all of an organization’s supporting departments.
This creates a single point of contact for customers to
request all services. Once all departments start using
the same processes and procedures, the organization is
in phase three: shared process. It is in this phase that
the maximum customer satisfaction and cost effciency is
Regardless of the time and phase an organization starts
in, no two organizations take the same path to shared
service management. However, there is one way in which
practically all organizations are identical: The wish to
reach maximum customer satisfaction at the lowest possible cost.
It’s impossible to predict the obstacles that will be
faced on the way to shared service management. It is
important to set realistic goals for your departments and
colleagues. Nothing is more demotivating than not achieving a goal, while few things are as motivating as celebrating success.
Taking many small steps results in a big improvement
in an organization’s customer services. By following these
aforementioned steps, organizational leaders can keep
taking steps toward better collaboration, and, therefore,
toward improved services. n
Nancy Van Elsacker is president of TOPdesk, a global
provider of service management solutions for organizations
of all sizes.