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A presentation by Andrew Simpson, head of the BP Americas Business Service Center, to the Accenture Global Shared Services Conference, Miami, Florida.
Day Two of the 2011 Global Shared Services Conference began with a presentation from Andrew Simpson, head of the BP Americas Service Center. BP is a truly global company, with business activities in more than 100 countries in five major focus areas: Exploration and Production; Integrated Supply and Training; Refining and Marketing; Alternative Energy; and Shipping and Operations.
Simpson’s story is about how the BP Americas Service Center, originally formed in support of Refining and Marketing operations, is charting a course toward expanding its range of services and geographic reach through a global business services model. The current dispersed system of service support for Refining and Marketing—with global coverage, but not truly united under a global umbrella—has led to a compelling case for change. Benchmarking has revealed that processing performance in a number of areas is out of line with what it could be.
The Americas Business Service Center itself began in 2009, by pulling in approximately 400 people from existing internal service groups within the Chicago area, along with 300 people from BP’s outsourcing service provider, Accenture. Over time, the Americas Business Service Center transitioned in additional employees from coast to coast. As it grew, it began to develop its own high-functioning culture, and moved into one building. In 2010, ownership of end-to-end processes and of the relationship with the outsourcing service provider was moved out of the business units and into shared services.
A critical milestone for the center was the introduction of the Stabilize, Standardize, Optimize and Source (SSOS), model in 2010. SSOS gave the BP Americas Service Center a disciplined method for becoming more strategic in terms of which processes to bring into the fold, not just from within Refining and Marketing, but potentially, from other parts of the company as well. It also established a clear map to ultimately industrializing the right processes to the point where they could be sourced externally.
The Americas Service Center has worked closely with Accenture since taking over the relationship, and that has led to continual improvements. Said Simpson: “We asked, ‘How do we become more strategic?’ And we found 12 components that, if done correctly, would allow us to be much more strategic in how we worked with Accenture.” Having broken up processes into 12 components, the center looked at how they made a difference to the center as a customer—for example, improving the customer experience, increasing productivity or reducing operating costs. This exercise allowed the center to prioritize particular processes within the SSOS model.
The results have been an expanded scope of services passed on to the outsourcing service provider, reduced costs, and a better relationship with the business as business leaders came to see that the center could lower and also manage the attendant risks in doing so. As Simpson explained, “We have changed from being an end-to-end provider to an end-to-end partner.”
Learn more about the topics addressed at the 2011 Global Shared Services Conference
Multi-Dimensional Shared Services, Multi-Industry Appeal
Lessons from a Master: Mining for Value in a Fast-Moving World
The Global Shared Services Talent and Leadership Imperative—the Future is Here
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