I am a crusader for Service in a world obsessed with Process. I believe in starting with the customer and finding out ‘What’ they want and then letting Process design ‘How’ the service is delivered. In my estimation, less than 5% of businesses start with the ‘What’ and before you disagree with me ask yourself how often have you been caught in the situation where a company’s processes won’t allow you to receive the service you desire. The times I want to say to a bank teller, someone in a call centre, or an airline booking form: your process should not be my problem! But unfortunately so often it is and that’s how businesses lose money. I can categorically tell you that if you Lead with Service, Service1st will make you money.
I asked this question of a room of approx 20 HR Directors at BAE Systems when they were considering whether to outsource HR to Xchanging or not. TELL THE STORY! Service is all about engaging positively with your customers, asking questions about what they think they want, agreeing a definition of the service required and then consistently meeting (rather than exceeding) their expectations. Now human nature being what it is human beings don’t always keep to their word so it is usually helpful to have some metrics and standards by which to measure whether the ‘How’ matches up with the ‘What’ was requested in the first place. It’s also helpful to ensure that the customer hasn’t moved the goalposts, as they have a way of doing. So we start with the ‘What’ we follow with the ‘How’ and we check that both sides have done what is expected of them and are happy with the outcome. Simples! What about this in the context of HR? Are there any HR Professionals in the room? Then forgive me for what I’m about to say. I had no real idea what HR did or the value they can add to an organisation until I was faced with becoming Director of Service for an HR business. Unfortunately, I don’t think I am alone in this ignorance. However, the Service Definition process is the most succinct and accurate way to explain a subject, a situation, a department, in fact just about anything. So let me tell you about BAE Systems Shared Services which 6 or us (3 Xchanging founders and 3 BAES senior managers) helped create from May 2001.
The point to make here is the losses suffered in both 2000 and 2001. Plus the sheer scale of the business. Australia and USA really would have been a step too far.
The three Xchanging Founders took the roles of MD, FD and SD. None of us had any formal HR knowledge or experience. The experience we brought to the table was as Business and Organisational experts. The HR expertise lay with the employees who had transferred under TUPE to XHRS.
So following on the theme of What vs How let’s start with WHAT we did and then we’ll take a look at HOW we did it. I’m not sure HR is a department that is readily invested in by many companies but you can imagine that HR in a National Defence business like BAE Systems is not a top priority for investment. So while BAE had and still have a highly respected and influential HR team
Case study: Leading with service - BAE Systems, Bryony Moore Associate Director MetaValue & Advisory Board Member at Brunel Business School
What is Partnering?
Guaranteed cost savings
50/50 share of upside
What are the Benefits?
• A jointly owned commercial business
• Xchanging has operational control
• Partner has board seats
• Partner contributes resources / people
• Xchanging brings management, expertise, know-how and
• A true open-book partnership
• Alignment of interests through profit sharing
• Capital upside
• Enables large complex undefined functions to be transformed
into commercial businesses
The Value Proposition
… to maximise value together