Frequently asked questions

What is a shared service?

A shared service is a collaboration between two or more organisations to deliver common functions such as HR, finance and payroll through shared resources and from a single location.

Shared services are about more than just centralisation. Service functions and activities are run as a business, with commercially competitive cost, quality and timeliness.

There are two major arguments for shared services:

  • There is “less of a common resource” – with fewer managers, fewer IT systems and reduced estates, costs are lower.
  • “Efficiency through industrialisation” follows from the separation of specialised activities and standardised ones.

Will my organisation retain its back office skills?

Standard transactional processing will move to the MFSS centre but your organisation will retain the skills to deliver the specialist functions such as HR business partner or strategic financial planning.

What’s the difference between MFSS and outsourcing?

In outsourcing, a third party is paid to provide functions previously delivered in-house. The services to be delivered are agreed as part of the contract and, as long as the contract is honoured, the client has little say in how the business of the third party is run. The primary motivation of the external provider is profit, which may not be compatible with the duty of public sector organisations.

MFSS is a collaboration. The partners themselves are accountable for service delivery, and no limit is placed on the efficiency and effectiveness that they can drive.

Do we have to take the full shared service offering?

The business case and benefits / cost model for the MFSS is currently based on on-boarding partners taking the full MFSS offering. If you are interested in adopting a subset of the services we would be happy to discuss this with you.

What is an Enterprise Resource Planning system (ERP)?

An enterprise resource planning system, or ERP, is an information technology tool that combines and integrates the various information systems it uses into one comprehensive system to manage operations. An ERP typically includes finance and accounting, human resources, supply chain and inventory. Its purpose is to facilitate the flow of information among all departments in an organisation, and manage data sharing with outside systems, such as suppliers, business partners, clients and regulatory agencies.

How much can we expect to save?

This will depend on your current back office operating model and systems. We have developed a self assessment tool that will collate relevant information and identify potential saving areas.

What is the contracting model?

The contract with Capgemini is held under a “lead force” model, with Cheshire as the lead force and each new member as an addition to that contract.