Shared Services - An exercise in futility.
Not only are the brainless dolts on the end of the shared service telephones inept, they don't care that they are inept. They are responsible for nothing, can help with nothing, can resolve no problems and even their most basic tasks (scan the invoice, confirm the invoice will be paid) are not guaranteed to be enacted in a correct or timely way.
Most shared service employees could be replaced with a very small computer program.
Them: "This invoice does not have purchase order number, we cannot process this invoice without a purchase order number".
Us: "We have never issued a purchase order number on our invoices in the past and our client states that they do not use them".
Them: "I am sorry, we need a purchase order number and this invoice does not have a purchase order number. You need to get a purchase order number because we cannot process this invoice without a purchase order number."
Us: "You paid last month's invoice and that didn't have a purchase order number".
Them: "I am sorry, we need a purchase order number and this invoice..."
Us: "So who can supply a purchase order number?"
Them: "I am sorry, I do not have that information. Is there anything else I can help with?".
This happens daily.
So what we have with this wonderful scheme is a *possible* reduction in costs for the NHS departments we were used to dealing with, but an increase in costs for *all* of their suppliers. Great scheme. Let's just transfer all the time, energy and money involved in competently administering an accounts payable department to the fools trying to supply goods and services to one of the most important sectors in the UK.
That we have to *constantly* rule-bend and contact some very put-upon staff at each of the NHS trusts to get things done is hardly good for business. Staff turnover at some of the trusts has noticably increased.
Not only this, but the trusts themselves recognise the poor service we are receiving. I have one very nice lady at an NHS trust I will not name referring to shared services as "those idiots in Bangalore".
That I now read about the lack of cost savings really makes me quite mad.