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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: (March 31 2008) — Despite the fact that nearly 80 per cent of Global 2000 companies have adopted a shared services model to deliver their back-office processes, many struggle to sustain improvements and continue to add value beyond the initial consolidation, simplification, and standardisation savings.

In response, EquaTerra’s new Shared Services Value Assessment helps shared services leaders identify strengths and weaknesses in their service delivery model, and provides an actionable roadmap for transformation. The Shared Services Value Assessment evaluates process and organisational health, delivers financial benchmarks and a customised, step-by-step roadmap for optimising shared services performance. Specific areas in which the Assessment helps shared services organisations include:

· Quantifies performance of shared services operations at both the process and organisational levels

· Identifies opportunities for improvement, including appropriate alternatives

· Demonstrates indicative savings and cost to achieve for transforming operations or migrating to alternative delivery models

· Provides a platform for discussions among shared services leaders, sponsors and clients regarding the strategy and direction of the shared services organisation

· Delivers a step-by-step action plan for shared services optimisation

“Improvements to shared services performance must start with a comprehensive understanding of current state performance relative to the rapidly changing market options. Our new Assessment leverages our proprietary tools and methodologies to drill down on both qualitative and quantitative factors.” explained Bob Cecil, EquaTerra’s Executive Director of Business and Financial Advisory Services.

“Following exhaustive assessments of myriad process and organisationally-focused issues, we go beyond traditional benchmarking to provide the client with detailed, actionable guidance on how to achieve world-class shared services status.” Cecil continued.

For the qualitative component of the Shared Services Value Assessment, EquaTerra leverages online surveys, questionnaires and leadership interview guides to collect data on and validate and assess current costs, practices and service levels. The Assessment analyses a range of dimensions of shared services operations including leadership; governance; organisation; customer relationship model; best practice deployment; enabling tools and technologies; process control framework; customer satisfaction; and linkage to business outcomes. Those dimensions are then evaluated against the foundational elements EquaTerra deems requisite for shared services excellence.

As a companion to the qualitative assessment, EquaTerra utilises its data collection templates to gather cost, headcount and transaction volume information, and conducts quantitative benchmarks against the performance of organisations in APQC’s Open Standards Benchmarking CollaborativeSM (OSBC) database, the world’s largest repository of business metrics with more than 5,000 participants and covering over 1,200 performance metrics across multiple business functions.

EquaTerra then delivers a comprehensive evaluation that provides shared services leaders with hard data-driven insights into their operations. Finally, EquaTerra works in collaboration with the client to determine methods for exploiting strengths and to establish a strategy to optimise operations.

For further information, or to arrange a media interview, please contact:

Sarah Beyrath (Manager, Public Relations, Europe)
+44 (0) 20 7347 5156 (D/L)
+44 (0) 7702 915 968
sarah.beyrath@equaterra.com

About EquaTerra

EquaTerra sourcing advisors help clients achieve sustainable value in their IT and business processes. Our advisors average more than 20 years of industry experience and have supported over 2000 transformation and outsourcing projects across more than 60 countries. Supporting clients throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, we have deep functional knowledge in Finance and Accounting, HR, IT, Procurement and other critical business processes. EquaTerra helps clients achieve significant cost savings and process improvement with internal transformation, shared services and outsourcing solutions. For more information, please contact Jemima Fitzgerald at +44 (0) 845 838 7500; jemima.fitzerald@equaterra.com; www.equaterra.com.

About APQC

A global resource for process and performance improvement, APQC discovers improvement methods, identifies benchmarks and best practices, disseminates findings and connects individuals. Spearheaded by APQC, the global Open Standards Benchmarking CollaborativeSM (OSBC) research helps executives benchmark comparable business processes. Founded in 1977, the member-based nonprofit serves more than 500 organisations worldwide.

For information, call + 1 800-776-9676 or visit www.apqc.org.

ENDS


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