Leveraging technology for Global Business Services at Akzo Nobel

Recently I was talking to Nico Orie, Director & Global Process Owner People Services at Akzo Nobel, to get a better insight in what’s new in HR. Akzo Nobel is  undertaking a huge transformation for the functional areas by setting up a Global Business Services (GBS). This means HR Services, IT, F&A and more, all in one environment serving the internal clients.

What is the aim of this transformation?
“In this way we will be better positioned to serve our clients and create efficiencies by leveraging processes, people and systems across functions”, Nico says.

Why do you think this will be a success?
“Everybody is working together to make it a success,  which is also a result of the top down leadership support throughout the organization”.

But how do you avoid this becomes just another organizational entity in which the  functional areas are separately led?
“The newly established GBS is led by one leader who reports directly to our CEO. Part of the mission is to integrate the operational parts of the function in such a way that the internal client (our managers) are the center of all we do”, according to Nico “.

How will the managers be helped?
“We aim to give them back their time. Time to spend on customers, people and products instead of internal transactional processes”, states Nico.

How will you leverage technology across the functions?
“That is indeed not easy with all the many legacy systems we have. We first want to ensure the internal client is helped by implementing a tool which can be leveraged as knowledge based portal with an easy connect to existing case management and also with end-to-end process capabilities. This tooling, called ServiceNow, will become the interface with our internal clients to apply from one single point all the services GBS has to offer”, Nico adds.

Can you mention an example of a service or process?
“Yes, the on-boarding process of employees is a typical example that requires different functions to work closely together”.

So no big-bang?
“No we believe that part of the success will be to take one step at the time, make it work and move to the next step”.

Thanks Nico for sharing you lesson’s learned.


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