Process excellence –
through global shared services

Shared service centers offer greater efficiency, transparency and global standardization in a broad range of administrative and business processes. In addition to providing services for corporate functions such as Human Resources, Purchasing and Finance, teams in Henkel’s shared service centers are now also being assigned to support processes serving our three business sectors.

Catherene Conde is one of around 400 Henkel employees working in our Shared Service Center in Manila’s Makati financial district. The site was established in 2003 as the first of three global Henkel shared service centers. These centers are already managing numerous processes and providing extensive services for Henkel, from invoice accounting to capturing and updating product and customer data. The teams in Manila primarily support the regions of Asia-Pacific and North America, although they also have global responsibility for certain processes.

“My colleagues and I are fully committed to working toward a common objective: We aim to constantly improve our service level day by day so that we can become ever more reliable, faster and more efficient,” says Conde. “We started out supporting the functions of Finance, Purchasing, Human Resources and Information Technology. Since 2011, however, we have also been working for Market Research and supporting the management of master data for different business units. It’s an exciting development.”

Faster and more efficient

Around the world there are about 1,000 employees – located in Manila (Philippines), Bratislava (Slovakia) and Mexico City (Mexico) – making an important contribution to the steady improvement in efficiency at Henkel.

The three shared service centers perform a number of different tasks which can be globally standardized because they do not require in-depth local expertise – unlike the development of new products or marketing in specific segments and geographic areas. Each year, for example, the centers handle around 1 million invoices and make 750,000 payments, they process 44,000 purchase orders and enter the details of more than 10,000 new customers into their systems.

Shared service centers offer a range of support activities for different organizational units – based entirely on standardized processes and IT tools. Since the establishment of these service centers, Henkel has been able to reduce its number of SAP systems. However, the fewer systems we now have are more wide-ranging and integrated, which in turn promotes the further standardization and optimization of our processes.

“Within the shared service centers, we see ourselves as a global process network working for Henkel’s overall benefit. In this role we not only exchange expertise across the SSC organization but also work very closely with the local administrative units,” Conde explains. “Previously, many similar – if not identical – activities needed to be carried out by different colleagues at various locations, each using their own systems and processes. We help to ensure that such processes are clearly defined so that they can then be executed by our specialist teams on an integrated basis, faster and more cost-efficient. And for our colleagues in the markets, this ultimately means more time dedicated to further strengthening customer relationships.”

Team meeting at the Shared Service Center in Manila: Catherene Conde (right) with Head of SSC Barbara Elaine Kunkle and her colleague Martin Roger Daquer.

Established in 2011, the Shared Service Center in Mexico City has about 100 employees supporting financial processes aligned to the Latin America region.

“To become consistently more reliable, faster and more costefficient – that’s our aim.”

Catherene Conde
Staff member of the Manila Shared Service Center in the Philippines.