Leading businesses are increasingly implementing centers of excellence as a means of efficiently and effectively managing specific complex business tasks. Centers of excellence are teams of people with specialized expertise who work together to develop and promote best practices in their area of responsibility. Centers of excellence may provide subject matter guidance to the rest of the enterprise, or may deliver tangible business services. Examples of business tasks around which centers of excellence may be created include project management, quality assurance, regulatory compliance, business analysis, continuous process improvement, and enterprise performance management.
Within centers of excellence, to which personnel may be attached part-time or full-time, there is an emphasis on advanced training and certification, knowledge sharing, and development of standards and methodologies. For centers of excellence to gain acceptance within an enterprise, they must be given a clear mission and then provide demonstrable value to the business units. When implemented correctly, centers of excellence can drive both cost reduction and improved performance in their area of focus.
In its work with major corporations world-wide, The Hackett Group has found that in top performing companies, shared service organizations in finance and other back-office operations are evolving toward a three-layer model. One layer is large-volume transaction processing centers, typically offshored in low-cost countries. The second layer is centers of excellence that are responsible for service delivery and act as the primary interface to the business leaders. The third layer is high-level knowledge workers co-located with the business units, to serve as on-site business partners. Centers of excellence are thus coming to play an integral role in shared services deployments for leading global enterprises.
The Hackett Group is a leading global strategy and operations consulting firm, with particular expertise in process metrics, performance benchmarking, service delivery design, and process improvement. We have deep experience and hands-on experience with all manners of organizational optimization, including outsourcing and offshoring, shared services, global business services, and centers of excellence. For business leaders planning centers of excellence deployments, we offer executive advisory programs as well as consulting engagements to help you design, implement, and continuously improve your centers.
Our consulting support for centers of excellence, like all of our services, is informed by our acclaimed benchmarking and best practices database, built on our more than 11,000 benchmarking engagements with nearly 3,500 major global corporations including 93% of the Dow Jones Industrials and nearly three-quarters of both the Fortune 100 and the DAX 30. Drawing on this unmatched intellectual capital, we provide our clients with fact-based advice that drives measurable performance improvements.