FAQs as of April 23, 2012
About Shared Services:
What are shared services? (or What is a Shared Services Center?)
Provision of services by one part of an organization, where those services previously
had been found in many other parts of the organization. Thus the providing center
effectively becomes an internal service provider. The key is the idea of 'sharing'
within the organization. Shared services centers operate under shared service agreements
and a focus on metrics and performance measurements.
What kind of activities are typically included?
Good candidates for shared services are administrative processes – or portions of
processes – that are routine, high-volume and transactional.
What are other universities doing?
Many universities have or are in the process of implementing shared services centers.
These include Yale University, University of California Berkeley, the University of
Missouri System, Ohio University, and all public institutions in the state of Georgia.
How SSCs might be implemented at the UofM:
What are we trying to accomplish with this Pilot SSC?
This is another initiative being explored to assist staff with the completion of transactional
processes by transferring some of the more routine work to a Pilot SSC. The University
has taken numerous steps to control costs while keeping student access and reasonable
fees as high priorities, and we continue to focus on ways to gain efficiencies in
our operations and programs.
Specifically, what services are being moved to the Shared Services Center (SSC) at
the University of Memphis?
The services to be offered by the Pilot Shared Services Center at the UofM are not
yet known. To help identify possibilities, the team developing the Pilot conducted
a set of focus groups with University staff in March 2012 and are now conducting an anonymous survey to gather additional data.
How will the SSC be staffed?
With a commitment of limited funding for two years to allow for the establishment
and assessment of the Pilot SSC, we anticipate that it will be staffed with two full-time
staff members. Position descriptions are under development, and it is anticipated
that recruitment will begin in the late spring/early summer of 2012.
How will the Pilot SSC staff learn their jobs?
Training of the Pilot SSC staff will be handled systematically, by process or services,
with processes added to the SSC one by one. The staff will be trained by management
of the SSC with the close involvement of the appropriate functional owners of the
process and the input of customers. Documentation will be developed for their use,
and performance measurements established.
How will I know that the Shared Services Center staff will do a good job?
As divisions, departments or colleges elect to utilize the Pilot SSC for the execution
of a process – or a portion of a process –, leadership of that department and the
SSC will develop a Shared Service Agreement. The agreement will describe the service,
specify mutual responsibilities and expectations, and define the process that will
be followed to get the work done. Departments will then have the opportunity to provide
feedback on performance.
Will the use of the Pilot Shared Servies Center be required?
University colleges and departments will not be required to utilize the services provided
by the Pilot SSC, and there may be services where only a portion of the process is
performed by the Pilot SSC. Of course, as is routinely the case, University policies
and procedures must be followed no matter who is performing their work.
Where will the Shared Service Center be located?
We are currently looking at options, and anticipate having a location selected by
early summer 2012.
Do shared services people have to be FTE staff or can they be GA’s?
For the early stages of this pilot, we are anticipating two full-time staff members.
Over time, the potential use of part-time employees, students and GAs will be considered,
particularly as a way of managing demand during peak service times.
Are the departments going to be charged for using the SSC?
No. A system using internal changes or fees is not a part of the Pilot SSC.
Impact on Staff:
How will this impact departmental staff?
The goal is to assist staff with the completion of transactional processes and optimize
the amount of time spent on University, College, Division, and departmental initiatives.
This is accomplished by transferring some of the more routine work to a Pilot SSC.
Will staff positions be reevaluated because of the SSC?
Long term, that is a possibility as positions at the University of Memphis evolve.