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Proservartner challenged fixed mindsets to deliver significant process-led improvements and a future-proof model for our shared services.

Melinda Taylor – Business Operations Manager


Our client, consisting of two allied police forces, had set out to dramatically transform their support operations. The current model involved a one-to-one ratio of support staff to police officers so it was clear that a more efficient way forward was needed.

West Mercia were undergoing a change programme looking at all aspect of their operations and brought in Proservartner to redesign their Shared Service Centre model. Having been involved in many Shared Service Centre projects within different industries, Proservartner can pick from different approaches and experiences depending on the needs of the client. Our aim was to redesign the forces’ shared services with processes that would build in accountability, reduce manual effort and create significant cost savings.


We looked at three main areas:

‘Hire to Retire’ – all HR transactional processes for the lifecycle of an employee.

‘Procure to Pay’ – all processes involved from purchase request through to paying the supplier.

‘Record to Report’ – all processes around capturing and reporting financial information to the senior
Commissioners and Board.

Changing mindsets was undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges we came across. The team members had been in the depths of the problem for so long and were so caught up in the detail of the processes that we needed to help them to think differently about possible solutions.

There had also been an underinvestment in technology where budgets had been repeatedly cut in previous years. New technology was being planned in as part of the wider project but was not scheduled to be in place within the next two years.


Lean Action Workshops

  • Mapped the current processes then brought subject matter experts together and guided the
    team to look objectively at the steps involved.
  • Worked together to highlight opportunities for improvement including areas of inefficiency, multiple checks/rechecks, manual entry and manipulation of data.

Change Management

  • Took the SMEs away from their day-to-day environment and tasks to make it easier to look at the challenges differently.
  • Shared best practice examples from other successful shared service centres and coached the individuals involved to come up with solutions that would work for them.
  • Utilised our proven Change Management Toolkit to enable project success.

Simple but effective solutions

  • Focused on process-led changes including introducing metrics to build in accountability for delivery.
  • Worked with the tools available to create simple adjustments that would make a big difference, for example using lookups, macros and checks in Excel to replace manual entry.
  • Created an extended proposal to show how the benefits could be enhanced once the investment in technology was in place, including opportunities for Robotic Process Automation.


22% Time savings
The design work resulted in a new shared services model with a clear business case that was signed
off for implementation. Having overcome initial resistance, we were able to open eyes of the teams
involved. The new approach created an overall time saving of 22% that will be translated into cost
savings and headcount reduction. In addition there were clear benefits for the teams involved in
terms of less repetitive manual work, lower error rates and fewer re-work requirements.

27% FTE reduction
Originally each and every police officer on the force, had their own administrative assistant. Through
the initial redesign of structure and processes we were able to reduce requirement from a 1:1 ratio to
4:5, and we also outlined further initiatives and technologies which could have reduced this number,
and its associated cost further.

Redesigned 152 processes
We were able to make significant improvement to a number of key services with the redesign of 142
processes. Going forwards there is stronger accountability and a clear plan for the future. The new
model will be easier to migrate to the new technology platform when it is in place, which will in turn
deliver further savings.