Shared Services and Business Process Organizations: Resoluteness in COVID-19

by | Jun 10, 2020 | Uncategorized

A webinar hosted by AmCham Philippines, in partnership with KPMG, discussed Shared Services and Business Process Organization. Below is a summary of key discussion points.

Industry Outlook 

The economic impact was undoubtedly unprecedented and caused markets to fall. Supply chains that were dependent on China were one of the most severely affected. With quarantines and lockdowns here and there, remote working and developing a cloud based work platform is on the table. Cybersecurity issues and risks follow the shift to a more digitized working environment and is in sync with the growing ecommerce industry. The Philippines, however, is recommended to improve its digital infrastructures to accommodate the fast changing times. 

Risk Themes 

BPO

One of the measures implemented is the reskilling of workers; firms must make sure their employees have acquired the necessary digital skills to cater to their clients and operations. With economic recoveries are still at best, uncertain, remote working is the main solution to keep the company running and considered the safety of its employees. This arrangement also considers the needed but restricted mobility of most of its members due to suspended public transportations and several checkpoints in the metro. 

Health and Safety of its stakeholders is the number one priority followed by Business Resiliency — ability to adapt and ensure measures in times of crisis. Certain digital strategies are also needed to be able to tap into the western market’s reliance on offshores even more. 

Security

Some say that a crisis is the best opportunity for cyberhackers to exploit and attack. It is necessary for firms to establish a clear set of instructions on the dissemination of information and the modes of communications to be used. Raising awareness as well will help mitigate cyberattacks and falling into traps.

Being able to control activities is another way that eliminates certain risks before they even appear such as updating firewalls and SOPs on digital working. One of the minimum requirements across industries is the need for a two factor or secondary authentication.

The rationale is to avoid data privacy violations and have a more effective system. Policies on security must be upheld, monitored and evaluated on a regular basis to safeguard information, and to an extent, the people — workers and clients. 

Third Party Risks 

There are now risks that may be unforeseen at a quick glance. Various areas or departments of business are presumably at risk in relation to cybersecurity. A key takeaway is to implement the measures of integrate, automate and assess processes and systems.

One must also have the ability to have foresight and ability to see the possibilities beyond and beneath problems seen at face value. Financial, operational, transactional, contractual, regulatory and cybersecurity are the areas of priority to avoid further losses and be able to still deliver exceptional services to clients. 

Workforce

Five points of emphasis were tackled regarding the risk themes that follow a model of preventing, detecting and eventually responding to the risk. 

The first point focuses on the role mixes and a coordinated central resilience model. Job roles may no longer be necessarily as rigid as pre-COVID and offers more flexibility and collaborations between colleagues in the business. 

Secondly, digital tools can be utilized to track productivity. Although, while it is crucial to remain productive and deliver quality results, one should not disregard the health and mental wellbeing of its employees in these times when anxiety, cabin fever and stress among others is quite prevalent.

Third, as firms integrate digital tools, an AI based organization culture must also be developed. Simply means, a shift from the traditional command and control business organization structure to a more hybrid system of networking. 

Fourth, earlier stated that reskilling has been the certain decisions of some firms. In order to elevate productivity and quality of performance, firms are encouraged to opt in providing e-learning platforms and in providing a unique company-employee experience, showing that firms care and acknowledge the development and growth of its individuals too. 

Finally, there is of great importance in having a compassionate leadership. This may be the key factor in effectiveness of services provided but as well as building trust and authenticity within the firm’s workforce. A well cared for team in the firm under an exceptional leadership will be encouraged and motivated to perform well and exceed the client’s expectations.

The paradigm that firms must always uphold the interests of its clients alone is quite being challenged nowadays, paving the way for a more inclusive worldview of caring and improving the lives for all its stakeholders.

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