Shared services pertain to the service one part or department of an organization where such service is commonly needed by other parts of the organization or company. The funding of the service is also shared thereby making the service provider in effect an internal service provider in the company. This helps in arranging administrative functions to optimize the provision of cost effective variable and consistent services to customers. The concept of shared services is different from outsourcing in which an external third party is contracted to provide the needed service. However, most often than not, the services that are commonly shared are similar to the services that are usually outsourced to business process outsourcing companies such as customer service management, accounting, legal, IT, compliance, purchasing, data management and security among others.
In Sony, a company renowned for its quality and innovative home and consumer electronic appliances and products, an example of a shared service is its Global Treasury Services. This unit is not a specific department inside the company but acts as a separate entity that provides or acts like a clearing house (for checks) to all Sony affiliates around the world. Thus, the clearing of checks especially for the company’s international operations in all its branches across the globe utilize the services provided by Sony’s Global Treasury Services.
In the local context, one example of shared service in Sony Philippines is the existence of Sony Service Centers. This service centers provide repair services to all Sony appliances and affiliate products that is brought from any Sony retail branch. In the same token, service centers accredited by Sony for fixing their appliances also partakes of the shared service scheme. This is because all Sony retail branches within the jurisdiction of the service center rely on its services and are individually billed to pay for the services. This model helps to simultaneously distinguish the Sony organization from the service provider, allow clear service delivery management, help focus on customer driven transactions and drives a performance driven culture.
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