Centralisation of company processes is a trend that is being increasingly implemented. Companies now not only handle routine processes such as accounting or IT support centrally, but also for example personnel management, creation of contracts, research or even settlement of claims and complaints. Centralisation of this administration makes companies more effective, improves the quality of customer services and also results in considerable savings, which, according to data from the ABSL, can even reach over 30%. The recently awarded project by the ABInBev Czech Company, which centralised settlement of complaints, resulted in a 33% increase in customer satisfaction and 20% growth in the volume of distributed beer.
Business service centres started to originate in the nineteen eighties in the USA, from where the phenomenon of centralisation of company processes spread to the rest of the world. This segment is currently also experiencing a great boom in the Czech Republic, where there are now over 220 centres employing 89,000 people. “Business services centres are being created by companies across segments and regions. Thanks to the internet and modern technologies it is irrelevant where you carry these activities out, access to qualified human resources is of much greater importance,“ Jonathan Appleton, director of the ABSL, Association, which associates companies in the business services sector, explained and he added: “In general we can say that centralisation is becoming more important for companies which have a large network of branches.”
Service centres for finance, HR and claims
Technological development now enables centralisation of many more processes than in the past, including those that require a significant degree of erudition. This is also confirmed by the current survey by the Deloitte Company, which indicates that the percentage of more demanding, knowledge-based processes in the business services sector has grown considerably. “Even though centralisation of transaction processes continues to predominate, there has also been significant centralisation of more complicated knowledge-based tasks. Their number has doubled since 2013, and in some cases even tripled,” said Pavel Šimák from the Deloitte Company.
Centralisation of processes resulted in an award and increased sales of beer
The fact that centralisation can also contribute to greater client satisfaction is also confirmed by the Anheuser-Busch InBev Czech Company’s project, which has the goal of improving the process of settling customer claims from hundreds of countries worldwide. The success of this project in the field of customer satisfaction and business was also appreciated by an expert jury, which awarded the Anheuser-Busch InBev Czech Company an ABSL Diamond in the Customer Initiative category.
“The project titled “Connect” had the goal of centralising export logistics and our customer services in Prague. In spite of having to overcome several issues, particularly with regard to different IT systems in various countries or continents and taking into consideration the different time zones, languages and cultures, the result has been very pleasing,“ said Ingo Nieten of ABInBev Czech and he added: “We now have 33 % more satisfied customers and 20 % less complaints, and we have also achieved a 20% increase in the volume of distributed beer and added new colleagues to the Prague team.“ An indisputable benefit of the project is also the significantly shorter period needed for settlement of one claim, which was ensured mainly thanks to simplification of the approval process.
Coordination and creation of a central knowledge database by means of which verified procedures in various fields were to be applied, was also very beneficial, even though it was demanding. “The advantages of centralisation are actually tangible for our company and we believe that a further increase in process standardisation can help us achieve even greater customer satisfaction,“ Ingo Nieten concluded.